Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair fought for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WWE Evolution 2018 in the first ever “Last Woman Standing” match on the main roster. And when the match was over with the carnage on display for all to see, the WWE Universe knew that they witnessed an all-time great match.
Ever since Becky Lynch betrayed Charlotte Flair after the latter’s SmackDown Women’s Championship victory at SummerSlam, the WWE Universe has been treated to a rivalry that will stand the test of time as an iconic feud between two of the best superstars in the business. Charlotte and Becky have changed the game in so many ways, and they added another game-changing chapter to their already-illustrious careers at Evolution 2018.
Although Nikki Bella and Ronda Rousey would main event in a Raw Women’s Championship match, fans knew going into Evolution that Lynch vs. Charlotte would be the “Match of the Year” candidate.
Charlotte and Becky competing in the first ever “Last Woman Standing” match on the main roster, adding to the history that Nikki Cross and Asuka started in NXT. Not only did Becky and Charlotte put together a match that had the crowd emotionally shaken, but their “Last Woman Standing” bout will go down as one of the most important matches in WWE history.
There were so many jaw-dropping moments in this match, and it was as brutal as any match in wrestling this year, including the scary bouts between Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano in NXT. This “Last Woman Standing” match was even better than the “Last Man Standing” match between Gargano and Ciampa, let alone the timid battle between Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles.
While Charlotte came into the arena to a chorus of boos and isn’t a fan favorite among the most vocal members of the WWE Universe, she showed once again why she is deserving of the utmost respect. Charlotte will do whatever it takes to produce a match of historic proportions, and nothing typified this desire more than her Somersault Senton through a table.
It was inspiring to watch as Charlotte tracked down a retreating Becky, who clearly wanted nothing to do with the bloodthirsty, impossibly resilient Charlotte. But Flair ran her down and hit her with some of the most vicious chops we’ve seen this year, earning “Oh f**k”” after “Oh f**k” from Becky. Those were far from the only expletives we heard in a match that featured innumerable chairshots, kendo stick shots, and ladder spots.
Though Charlotte’s Figure Eight through the ladder was quite brutal, Becky’s leg drop off the ladder onto Charlotte through the announce table was even more horrifying. As Charlotte lay there, the referee approaching the ten count, she began to stir before defiantly yelling. “Is that all you got?” at her former best friend.
The best friend who chose a championship over her affection and betrayed her in the most cruel way possible. A former best friend who antagonized her at every turn. A former best friend who let it come to this following attempts to assassinate Charlotte’s very character.
So Charlotte stood up with the weight of a legacy and the determination that can only be conjured up by someone who has everything to fight for. And when Charlotte stood up and challenged Becky, the SmackDown Women’s Championship was equally ready to tear Charlotte apart limb from limb. Becky, who has always seen Charlotte as a selfish and undeserving roadblock to her success, attempted to bury Charlotte figuratively and literally in a sea of tables and chairs.
But Charlotte exploded out of the mess. In that moment, Becky realized just what she was dealing with in Charlotte, whose heart Becky may have underestimated. See, Becky has always been the most determined superstar in the building, but for the first time, she saw someone with just as much willpower as her. That was frightening, and Becky seemed to plea, knowing that she was on weak legs after the Figure Eight and all of the damage incurred.
What Charlotte forgot, however, is Becky’s resourcefulness. This new Becky is even shrewder than the version of Becky who struggled to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title and was unable to obtain matches for that most prized possession.
When Flair laid Becky on the table, prepared to hit her devastating moonsault to the outside, Becky stirred and seized Charlotte, who was helpless on the top rope. Knowing where she was and where the table was, Becky launched Charlotte into the table, ending this painful, emotionally jarring match for good.
Becky heads into the month of November as the SmackDown Women’s Championship despite several close calls at the hands of the most formidable opponent of her career in Charlotte. They’ve had so many battles before, but this was by far the most impassioned and dangerous of their matches. This wasn’t about who was the better competitor. This was about which woman wanted it more and which woman was crazy enough to end the other, while still finding that bit of resolve to continue despite taking shot after shot.
That woman proved to be Becky Lynch, and the WWE Universe is hoping that this only continues what has been a special title reign. Even as Becky has captivated the audience with her words (and tweets) for months, it is this “Last Woman Standing” match that will forever stand as a defining moment in both their careers and women’s wrestling as a whole.
Women’s wrestlers are capable of having all-time great matches, and this match wasn’t just the best match on the WWE main roster in WWE (in fact, it isn’t even close).
No, this brutal, personal battle ranks as one of the best stipulation matches in WWE history. We’ve seen the women of WWE shine in “firsts”, such as Money in the Bank matches or Elimination Chamber matches, but this “first” Last Woman Standing match on the main roster just might be the best of its stipulation in WWE history.
Only time will tell, but everyone who watched this match understood they witnessed something special that will require more than just a few deep breaths to recover from (this match was barbaric). Charlotte and Becky scared us, they dazzled us, and they empowered us with their strength and fearlessness. There are moments in this match that will be played at wrestling schools and on highlights reels for years to come, because this is how you capture raw emotion for an audience and turn it into something more.
So give Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair all the praise in the world for showing unequivocally that women aren’t just capable of having brutal stipulation matches or main eventing the biggest Pay Per Views. They are capable of having the best matches of all-time. And they always have. It’s just that now, in 2018, they’re being given a chance to do it, and, again, all that praise goes to these two women for going out there and putting it all on the line for us, the eternally grateful audience.