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If WrestleMania 33 doesn’t feature two Women’s title matches, what’s the point?

Friday’s Rude Awakening includes a problematic Mania rumor, Finn Balor’s health, and why Randy Orton’s Rumble win makes so much sense.

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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We’re still two months from WrestleMania 33, so the card isn’t 100 percent set in stone. Current plans, though, give a pretty good indication of what that show is going to look like: there are already 10 matches that are supposedly setup for Mania, from Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg to a RAW Women’s Championship match to Triple H vs. whoever they figure out should face him now that Seth Rollins is injured. As a point of comparison, there were nine matches on Mania’s main card last year, as well as a couple of segments to introduce the new Women’s title, brag about attendance, and let the Rock do whatever it is that he was doing while we all were wishing for the sweet embrace of death. These joined four pre-show matches for a total of 13.

None of the current 10 matches rumored for Mania 33 are for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. And if you’re running a six-hour show and can only find room for one women’s match and a rumored mix-tag match, then all your talk of a women’s revolution taking hold in your promotion is just that: talk. The way SmackDown runs itself independent of the booking at joint promotions is impressive: Elimination Chamber could have three women’s matches on the card — likely half the total card — despite being half as long as Mania. The Royal Rumble, though, only made room for one blue brand women’s match, and left it on the pre-show to be fought in front of a near-empty arena. Mania doesn’t sound like it’ll be much different.

How are you going to have your biggest show of the year and not find room for Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss? How is potentially your sole representation of SmackDown’s women’s division going to be Nikki Bella (who is amazing, this is not a criticism of her) in a match that isn’t even really a women’s match? Have a triple threat match! Have a ladder match for the SmackDown Women’s title so you can get the entire division in there while doing something dope we haven’t seen. Whatever you do, don’t leave SmackDown on the pre-show yet again, leaving the focus for women in WWE entirely on the feuds NXT was doing a couple of years ago. They were — and are — great, but there is so much more you could be doing, WWE. Start by remembering SmackDown’s women exist outside of that show.

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