Right now, it may not seem like it, but there’s some real advantages that may come from unifying the WWE Women’s Championships at WrestleMania.
I get it. Any time a WWE title gets taken away, it seems like a bad situation.
Opportunities in WWE are typically given out based on who’s in contention for a championship.
With only one women’s championship, they’ll initially be less of those opportunities. Superstars like Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Cross will have an even harder time than they already do at finding a way to make an impact now.
That’s perhaps the most prominent negative outcome that could come about initially as a result of WWE’s decision to unify the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships in the main event of WrestleMania.
As tough of a pill to swallow as that may be currently though, it shouldn’t be seen as a sign that WWE is stripping the women’s division of opportunities. At least, not yet that is.
Simply put, that’s because there are some genuine perks that are going to come with having a unified title that WWE should be given some time to develop.
For example, you may not have even realized it in this context, but practically the entirety of the build for the WrestleMania main event has been done as if the belts were already unified.
Unfortunately, it’s almost just a fact that Asuka’s title reign was never positioned in any major way on WWE TV. She had title defenses for sure, but they all felt like they were playing a large second fiddle to the on-going Becky Lynch angles.
That, combined with Asuka not even appearing on SmackDown Live at certain points, partially resulted in the Raw Women’s Championship taking the lead across both brands as the sole women’s championship angle.
Although the results have been mixed in the telling of that storyline, it has undeniably given us some true memorable moments that wouldn’t have necessarily been able to occur with the traditional restrictions of a brand split.
Across both brands, the rivalry between Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey, and Becky Lynch has been given the airtime and space it needed to develop to a point where angles like the highly-praised police segment from Raw can credibly exist due to the feverish build-up of animosity we’ve seen occur across all forms of WWE TV between these 3.
Of course I agree that a build like that shouldn’t have occurred at the expense of diminishing Asuka’s title reign. Nevertheless, it’s proof that allowing a feud to transcend the brand split, in a similar fashion to how a unified title would work, could bring about tremendous results.
However, that still clearly doesn’t address how already underutilized stars like Asuka could benefit from a unified championship.
Admittedly, that’s going to remain a gray area for some time at first. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance for those superstars to benefit though.
Without the restrictions of a title picture to consider, more unique storylines may be able to emerge organically. Feuds won’t be forced into the routine of bloated tag matches, contract signings, and bland stare downs that plague the traditional major WWE title match build.
Instead, those elements will likely still occur as they have throughout the company’s history, except only in the frame of a rivalry that gets two shows worth of airtime to develop. The brand specific “mid-card” rivalries will then be set free of some of the most commonly presented creative restraints.
More storylines like the feud between Naomi and Mandy Rose will have time to develop then, hopefully elevating the status and universal support for superstars who have struggled to find consistent opportunities by creating talked about and buzz-worthy angles.
On top of that, these rivalries would hopefully naturally breed the necessity for WWE to create a set of mid-card titles akin to the United States and Intercontinental Championships for the women’s divison.
At the moment, those belts are the only missing pieces to fully fleshing out the women’s division’s set of championships on WWE TV. Rivalries for those championships could then go a long way in helping to build up-and-coming stars like Nikki Cross into true contenders to challenge the winner of the WrestleMania main event.
Of course, that entire mid-card title scenario is dependent on the WWE’s willingness to actually create those championships and follow-up those buzz-worthy storylines with actual opportunities to move up in the division.
Basically, that’s why I feel like the decision to unify the women’s championships needs to be judged several months from now rather than immediately. The openings are right there for WWE to make some great strides in the division due to this decision.
It’s just up to them now to fully capitalize on those opportunities and negate the concerns many fans, including myself, have about the reduction in women’s championships.