It was only two months ago that Becky Lynch stunned the world to announce her pregnancy, further vacating the Raw Women’s Championship and leaving a division that she had carried for over a year. And it’s been roughly one month since Charlotte Flair was also removed from WWE television as she headed for time off and upcoming surgery. Two massive blows to the women’s division of the WWE considering all of their programming in the division has been built around them for the last two years. And as we sit here with them gone, many would say that the divisions on Raw, SmackDown, and NXT have flourished since then.
The adjustments made by the WWE to essentially replace their two biggest female stars is something to discuss, considering what each show has to offer week in a week out. This article will take a look at the good and bad of WWE’s life without Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Asuka’s Rise As A Single Star Once Again
Asuka has been the biggest beneficiary to both of these ladies leaving and it may not be too close. The reigning Raw Women’s Champion has risen to the popularity that she had when she debuted on the main roster back in 2017 after her historic run in NXT. Her win of the Money in the Bank briefcase was only the beginning of her rise. For a lot of fans, it was justification for the longtime fan-favorite who had been treated so poorly for years. And the night she was handed the championship from Becky Lynch felt as though it was the first time this was truly Asuka’s division to run. And since then, she has looked rather dominant in most of her defenses with wins coming over Nia Jax and Charlotte Flair, two former champions.
Now, her current feud with Sasha Banks has managed to be the main program of all WWE main roster television and will finally come to a head on Sunday. Fans, for a long time, believed in Asuka and her ability to carry herself and those around her. If this time without Lynch and Flair has shown anything, it’s that the fans were right all along. One can only hope that her title run can continue as it’s among the best things going in all the WWE.
Bayley & Sasha Banks
Speaking of “best things going” when it comes to WWE and even pro wrestling, look no further than Bayley and Sasha Banks. It’s been pure dominance in terms of entertainment and delivering week in and week out by the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. They stepped up more than perhaps anyone as champions, and winning the tag titles made them the perfect traveling act. Almost the opposite of Charlotte Flair, who many got sick of being on every show. Bayley and Banks’ relationship is heading for an eruption down the road, but there’s no doubt that everyone should enjoy and appreciate what they are doing right now ahead of that blow-up. They have perfected who they are, and that happens to be the MVPs of the WWE through the first half plus of the year.
NXT’s Division Is Revived With No More Queen
Was there a bigger layup than this? Probably not. NXT’s women division was hitting on all cylinders before Rhea Ripley challenged Charlotte Flair to fight for her NXT Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. When that went down, it almost destroyed everything NXT had built but ever since Flair dropped the title, and subsequently left the brand, they have found their groove again. While yes, this week’s Io Shirai vs. Tegan Nox match is exciting, that has been something of a guarantee by NXT in recent weeks. Look at the showdown between Shirai and Banks, or the fantastic Street Fight between Candice LeRae and Mia Yim. It’s just inevitable that they are going to deliver and the removal of Charlotte is a perfect image of that.
The “Queen-less” NXT women’s division is what everyone missed and exactly what returned. WWE has put the women in the spotlight and it’s paying off in shining colors. Let’s hope that this trend continues as they are the X-factor for the company right now.
The Raw & SmackDown Divisions Remain Incredibly Shallow
— WWE (@WWE) July 11, 2020
The bad has only one section, but it’s really bad. Raw and SmackDown have still struggled to utilize all the women despite having shallow women’s divisions as is. Before Monday night, Shayna Baszler and Bianca Belair were held off television for months while Charlotte Flair stole the spotlight on all three shows. And the same can be said about Bayley and Banks, but their numbers show that people actually want to see that. Liv Morgan is another case of how the company is struggling to use what they have, creating shallow divisions that show leads to repetitive matches on television. Raw has less of a problem of being shallow and more so the problem of not utilizing their talent at their exposal. They were shallow with Becky and Charlotte still going as well.
SmackDown, on the other hand, is another story. As shallow as can be to the point that Bayley has defeated everyone in singles action not named Sasha Banks. How do you know they’re so shallow? Considering Tamina got an actual title match on a PPV, that is how you know. And it was just last week that the few women that the brand has were used in a singing competition. A putrid one at that. The shallow division is what hurts SmackDown, considering the women seem to be the best part of Raw and NXT on a weekly basis while the blue brand is probably WWE’s worst show.
To continue their strength, they need to make these divisions more even so that the shallow part of them isn’t a struggle to watch. Especially on Friday nights. Bayley and Banks can only do so much.
The Future Without The Faces
The future remains bright even without Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair apart of their roster. A shuffling of the brands can only help Raw and SmackDown from that shallow feel and continue to have the divisions elevate the shows as a whole. And when it comes to the good of the divisions, they must keep believing and utilizing what they have. That way, the WWE product as a whole grows in quality, as the women truly run the landscape at this moment. Even without the two biggest stars. It’s as though there is more freedom for others to be elevated.
More From LWOPW
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. WWE fan? You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network.