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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Charlotte Flair’s greatest strengths as a character are her entitlement and her ability to back it up in the ring. She might feel like she deserves everything in the world just for existing, but when an obstacle is put in front of her, she tends to overcome it. Charlotte isn’t necessarily a heel because she’ll occasionally cheat or bend the rules: she’s a heel because she’s a jerk who can’t stop throwing her greatness in everyone’s face. That tendency reared its head on her first speaking segment on SmackDown Live since the Superstar Shakeup, when Charlotte wanted to know what the holdup was in getting her a shot at the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
While Charlotte gets her title shot next week and earned it by defeating Naomi in a one-on-one matchup — a matchup she was given thanks to her demanding one in the middle of the ring — there is going to be a cost. The chances of Charlotte actually winning the title seem slim, and that’s because she managed to infuriate most of the rest of the SmackDown women’s division minutes into her first promo on the show. Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella featuring James Ellsworth seem to have banded together in, if not a stable, at least a loose confederation whose goal is to make Charlotte pay.
Naomi and Becky Lynch are on the face side, and will naturally have plenty of combative interactions with Charlotte because of their alignment. Charlotte, though, has managed to isolate herself from the rest of the heels on the roster in record time, and has something of a Lady Legacy after her now. Charlotte might have earned her chance at Naomi’s title without interference, but it’s hard to imagine that a stable of second-generation wrestlers who feel threatened by Charlotte’s success and immediate impact on the blue brand will let her actual championship match go by without getting involved.
While this serves to highlight how few women are actually on SmackDown until Lana shows up and NXT provides an additional boost or two or three at the draft, it seems we aren’t going to have to wait to see what the women they do have are up to — or to see if all of them will have something to do. Plus, it’s a good reminder that SmackDown is all about building a cohesive, always-interacting universe — post-Shakeup, with a new-look lineup, that kind of reminder is welcome.
- Jinder Mahal is the new number one contender for the WWE World Championship, as SmackDown continues its run as the land of opportunity. While it was a surprise victory, it’s also a good way to introduce Mahal’s new stable, which apparently includes the Bollywood Boyz, who helped him cheat his way to victory in the first place.
- There are problems with Mahal’s post-match promo and the way Randy Orton straight-up ignored him to react to Bray Wyatt, of course, and these issues dinged what was otherwise a mostly fun episode of SmackDown.
- Wednesday’s Rumor Roundup has itself quite the Baron Corbin whisper in it, if you’re so inclined: he’ll supposedly be the focus of the show by year’s end, as WWE is higher on him than even Braun Strowman.
- Speaking of Strowman, here’s him and Big Show destroying the ring on Monday, but in slow motion!
- Alexa Bliss has a secret to being evil, and while you won’t guess it, it makes a ton of sense once you see what it is.
- Impact Wrestling announced the details of their partnership with AAA, which includes Slammiversary and TripleMania plans, co-branded tours, and more.
- Former WWE superstar Matt ‘Rosey’ Anoa'i has passed away at the age of 47. WWE and the wrestling world reacted to his death, and we were reminded of just how much everyone seems to have loved him.
- The Broken Hardys are coming to WWE, once the lawyers finish doing all their lawyer stuff.
- There have been whispers that Maria and Mike Bennett were headed to WWE for a while now, and reports are coming in that they’ve already signed and will show up on SmackDown.
- Don’t worry, Cagesiders: Stone Cold isn’t fighting with WWE. He explained his absence from WrestleMania 33, and it involves real-life things.
- Here’s why Canadian Kevin Owens really is the Face of America, according to Andrew Swift.