The SmackDown women’s division needs bolstering. Bayley and Bianca Belair are two of the best competitors in the ring today – of any gender. They are, quite simply, that good. Over the course of the past year, we have witnessed the evolution of Belair; her raw potential finally on display as she shakes the notion of being “green” – that being an unpolished, though talented competitor.
Bayley, of course, is a veteran – one of the best to ever do it, with her track record in the ring speaking for itself. Despite all of the acclaim these two women warrant, they need some fresh faces to work with. With the announcement that they will square off once more at Money in the Bank, this time in an I Quit Match, it becomes increasingly apparent that – without the presence of Sasha Banks – the SmackDown women’s division is lacking in numbers.
It is, However, Not Lacking in Talent
The SmackDown women’s division currently possesses these eight competitors: Bayley and Belair, Sasha Banks, Natalya, Carmella, Tamina, Liv Morgan and the returning Zelina Vega. When you consider that each of Natalya and Tamina are involved in the women’s tag team division, that division becomes six. With Sasha Banks being on hiatus and Zelina Vega having only returned last night, this means that, for a while, the singles division consisted of only four women. As always, booking women who aren’t involved in title feuds remains a problem for the WWE. Liv Morgan, who was part of a natural tag team with the recently released Ruby Riott, is absolutely someone who could be positioned better; her willingness to improve; her appearance and likability factor often drawing comparisons to a young Trish Stratus. Carmella, though not at the level of a Bayley, Banks or Belair in the ring, is also someone who can be utilized and positioned better as a Miz-like, conniving heel.
This division is one which has never lacked in talent, just in numbers and, of course, effective booking. The latter has improved overall on SmackDown over the past year and one must hope that, soon, the division benefits from the improvements. The fundamentals are there; there are no less than three elite tier workers within that division who can be relied upon as the core of the division; the founding stones of an Angkor Wat. Additionally, it is not like there isn’t another brand within the WWE which has talent to spare.
NXT is the Answer
The dreaded NXT call-up. Call-ups have gained something of a deservedly trepidatious reputation in recent years; with promised careers developed in NXT having been squashed in a matter of weeks on the main roster. However, if a WWE women’s division on the main roster is to ever succeed, it will do so with utilizing call-ups from NXT. The NXT women’s division has gained something of a proud reputation over the years; having produced a number of main roster talents, such as Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. With Asuka, though an already established veteran upon her NXT debut, another example of a successful call-up. Alexa Bliss, a multi-time women’s champion, is another. There are, however, horror stories – such as the one Shayna Baszler currently finds herself in. If SmackDown can continue to produce entertaining and serious shows every week, there is no reason why an NXT call-up will fail if treated well.
There are plenty of talents to choose from, too. The brash, young Toni Storm; Candice LeRae, a veteran; Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox, when she returns, and many more. There is also Io Shirai – arguably the most talented in-ring competitor in the world today, who would no doubt bring an instant boost of legitimacy to the division. All of these women would bring something new to a division which greatly needs it – they are all highly talented superstars to rival the likes of Banks, Bayley and Belair. If they could be gradually introduced over time, or even brought up together, much like Becky, Banks and Charlotte in 2015, then they would have an exceptionally strong chance of succeeding and, indeed, making the division far stronger than it currently is.
Zelina Vega Could Win Money in the Bank
Zelina Vega is someone who could be a big star within the WWE. With the company consistently wanting to find its next big Latin American star, it need look no further than Vega. With her return last night, there is an instant opportunity available to book her seriously; allow her to gather momentum and then win the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match, of which she is already confirmed as an entrant. She has already brought new life to a division desperately needing it and whereas she might not be at the level of a Bayley or Belair inside the ring, she makes up for it in so many other areas that it does not matter. If she were to win Money in the Bank, and there is reason to believe she will, this then adds another solid competitor to the title chase, which will no doubt be welcoming Sasha back when she returns in the next month or so. The SmackDown women’s division may be lacking in numbers, but the talent is there – both in NXT and its own roster.
More From LWOS Pro Wrestling
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. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.
Looking to talk wrestling, pro football, or any number of sports? Head on over to the LWOS Boards to engage in conversation with fellow fans!