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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The finish to the six-woman tag match at Backlash was a surprise, but mostly because we were all expecting there to be a heel turn with the true leader of the Welcoming Committee revealed. Instead, Natalya, who was seen as the stand-in head of the group, submitted Becky Lynch in the middle of the ring, clean as can be. So, maybe Natalya really is in charge of the Welcoming Committee, and the problem was with our expectations and a belief that somehow, a former champion who we all know can wrestle wasn’t the real leader of this heel stable.
They’ve got their clout now, though, as we’ve all been reminded that, oh right, Natalya trained in the Hart Dungeon and is legit, Tamina is effective muscle, and Carmella is a danger so long as James Ellsworth is around to ensure her safety and success. One of them — be it Natalya after pinning Becky or Carmella by way of Ellsworth politicking — is likely going to challenge Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, with that match likely for Money in the Bank. That would surely give the entire stable something to do, as they’ve got to be there to
cheat for cheer on their rep.
That would leave Charlotte and Becky, neither of whom turned on Sunday. Charlotte has the opportunity to do so now, though, especially if Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan gives one of the Welcoming Committee a title shot instead of Charlotte, who had already said her post-Backlash business was to challenge Naomi. Charlotte could blame Becky for the team loss and her being leapfrogged in the championship line, giving us face Becky vs. heel Charlotte, something none of us should have any complaints about seeing.
Given the size of the women’s division, it’s a little difficult to believe that the women will also get their own Money in the Bank briefcase match next month, but who knows: maybe that’s what Becky and Charlotte’s feud will spill over into, with the other two-thirds of the Welcoming Committee taking part and maybe an NXT call-up or two filling out the rest of the match roster.
With or without a fight for a briefcase, however, SmackDown’s women’s division seems to have plenty going on. We just didn’t get to see it all happen at once at Sunday like expected.
- This week’s RAW sure made it seem like Finn Balor is going to be the guy who gets to wrestle Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire.
- Neville vs. Austin Aries at Extreme Rules is going to be a submission match, which, while not necessarily extreme, is a no-disqualification situation all the same.
- Kevin Owens made Talking Smack really uncomfortable again, helping us forget about the fact Daniel Bryan hasn’t been around.
- Kurt Angle has already announced two big matches for next week’s RAW in the lead-in to the Fatal Five Way at Extreme Rules.
- Matt and Jeff Hardy got to pick the stipulation for their match against Sheamus and Cesaro at Extreme Rules, and they’ve chosen cage match.
- Shane McMahon is going to make a Money in the Bank-centric announcement on this week’s SmackDown. Will it be a tournament to determine which wrestlers appear in the titular match? The first women’s MITB ladder match and introduction of their own briefcase? Or something else we haven’t thought of yet?
- Vince McMahon was “very happy” after Jinder Mahal won the WWE World Championship at Backlash, and Jinder is clearly thrilled, too.
- Jinder Mahal isn’t necessarily the most unlikely first-time WWE World Champ in the company’s history. And freaking out about his win is irrational, according to a guy named Jason.
- And one more on Jinder: there’s nothing fake about what Mahal’s win means to western millenials of color, writes Nadir Shirazi.
- There’s no injury update yet on Johnny Gargano, as he’s too heartbroken to speak with doctors.
- SmackDown has already announced three matches for their June 13 episode in New Orleans (home of WrestleMania 34), and that’s where we’ll get the Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal rematch, as well as the next round of Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles for the US strap.
- Big names are reportedly returning to SmackDown tonight, and you can probably guess who they are.
- Alundra Blayze is apparently a guest trainer at the Performance Center this week.
- Impact’s president said that WWE has “no interest” in the Broken Hardys gimmick, but don’t worry, it took less than 24 hours for that to be contradicted by rumors in Tuesday’s rumor roundup.
- If you missed seeing really dumb comments from Ryback, don’t worry, he’s got you covered with some takes on India.
- ESPN’s latest entry in how to get over looks at the different types of heat.