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Charlotte or Becky don’t have to win for a women’s match to be good

Monday’s Rude Awakening looks at Battleground’s number one contender match, a not-very-good PPV, and Sasha Banks’ idea for a women’s Royal Rumble.

Natalya is the new number one contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and that’s a perfectly fine result. Charlotte Flair didn’t win the match, and neither did Becky Lynch, but that’s also perfectly fine. It’s not much of a women’s revolution if only four women find any success in it, and SmackDown’s continued insistence that women outside of that foursome not only exist but are also talented is one of their continual high points, even now during something of a rut for the Tuesday show.

Becky Lynch was the first SmackDown Women’s champ, so let’s not pretend like she’s never found success on the show. She’s also constantly portrayed as an amazing babyface who will get her moment again someday. SmackDown has also spent time finally giving Naomi her time in the spotlight, though, raising Alexa Bliss up from NXT into a champion and a top performer on both SmackDown and RAW, and making the Carmella push finally work this summer after persisting for months where she was ignored or derided for not being part of the ready-made inner circle.

Natalya winning is an extension of that: she’s been on WWE’s main roster since debuting in early 2008, and yet, she’s only held a women’s title with the promotion on one occasion: she lost the inaugural Diva’s title match to Michelle McCool in 2008, won that same belt in 2010, and hasn’t touched a title since. Natalya, a long-standing and recognizable part of WWE’s women’s division, getting a shot at the championship at a premier event like SummerSlam is a fine choice.

This is especially true when you consider that there are other things for Charlotte and Becky to do. They could feud with each other. They could team with each other against other women in the division. They could use SummerSlam as a setup for something large and memorable in the near future — Becky sure has been interacting with MMA folks a lot of late, and there is a Charlotte/Ronda Rousey rumor floating around out there, too.

Charlotte and Becky don’t need to win everything, much the same way that Bayley and Sasha don’t have to on RAW: between the four of them, they already make up nine of the 14 reigns between the women’s belt on each show, and three of the foursome were NXT Women’s Champions as well. Building depth is important — Naomi vs. Natalya will help with that, especially since it’s a matchup of a true face against a true heel — and leaving Charlotte and Becky out there to be put into another story is a positive for the division, and maybe even for SummerSlam.

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