Back in July when WWE announced that their first ever all-women’s pay-per-view (PPV) would take place in late October, I was excited to see how much extra TV time the female superstars would receive in October to properly build to their matches at Evolution. That’s how things typically work in WWE; most of the TV time is allocated to the feuds that are most relevant to the very next PPV.
That excitement was quickly diminished in mid-September when WWE announced they were returning to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel on Nov. 2, just five days after Evolution. It was clear that WWE was going to spend October building towards two PPVs at the same time.
Evolution turned out to be a great show, but there wasn’t much follow-up for the women’s division on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live. There was a very brief promo from Becky Lynch, as well as a backstage segment between Charlotte Flair and Paige. That was pretty much it. There were zero women’s matches on the Oct. 30 episode of SmackDown Live.
With that fact in mind, I’m now going to write a list of every single SmackDown Live match in October in reverse chronological order, until I finally come across the most recent women’s match:
- Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton & the Miz (Oct. 30)
- R-Truth vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Oct. 30)
- Big E vs. Cesaro (Oct. 30)
- AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan (Oct. 30)
- Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton (Oct. 23)
- Rey Mysterio vs. the Miz (Oct. 23)
- Aiden English vs. Rusev (Oct. 23)
- AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan vs. the Usos (Oct. 23)
- Big Show vs. Kofi Kingston (Oct. 23)
- Rey Mysterio vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Oct. 16)
- New Day vs. the Bar (Oct. 16)
- Rusev vs. the Miz (Oct. 16)
- AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan vs. the Usos (Oct. 16)
- Big Show vs. Randy Orton (Oct. 9)
- AJ Styles vs. Shelton Benjamin (Oct. 9)
- Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe (Oct. 9)
- Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Oct. 9)
This list shows that there were zero women’s matches on the Oct. 16, Oct. 23, and Oct. 30 episodes of SmackDown Live. The last women’s match took place a whopping 17 matches ago, when Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair wrestled to a draw in a fight for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
By my count, seven of these 17 matches are strongly related to the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel, three matches are strongly related to the Tag Team Championship match at Crown Jewel, and three matches are strongly related to the WWE Championship match at Crown Jewel. That adds up to 13 matches that are heavily related to the stories featured at Crown Jewel.
The only four matches on that list not strongly related to Crown Jewel are Truth vs. Nakamura (Oct. 30), Rusev vs. English (Oct. 23), Styles vs. Benjamin (Oct. 9, and one could argue it’s related to Crown Jewel), and Lynch vs. Flair (Oct. 9).
The actual wrestling matches are only part of the equation when it comes to WWE television, but it’s still a part of the equation that has no representation at all from the women’s division over the last 3 episodes of SmackDown Live. This is partially a reflection of the fact that WWE hasn’t developed any kind of meaningful feuds for the SmackDown women’s division outside of the championship story between Becky and Charlotte. WWE has been busy juggling stories and moments for Evolution, SmackDown 1000, and Crown Jewel, and the entire undercard of the women’s division on Tuesday nights has seemingly been left in the dust.
It’s worth noting that it looked like there was going to be a tag team match on the Oct. 23 episode of SmackDown pitting Asuka & Naomi against Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, but the match never officially began because the IIconics and others got involved and crashed the scene.
What do you think about this absence of women’s matches, Cagesiders? Is it a glaring problem that needs to be addressed, or is it a fluky result that doesn’t have much meaning?