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WrestleMania 33: SmackDown Women’s Championship full match preview

Alexa Bliss defends her title against all comers.

SmackDown Live Women’s Division

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Naomi vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella

SmackDown Women’s Championship Six-Pack Challenge

The Road to WrestleMania

Alexa Bliss will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against all comers in a match that has seen plenty of controversy this past week. When it was first announced for the Kickoff show—unlike the Raw Women’s Championship match—an uproar emerged on social media. The hashtag #GiveSDWomenAChance (reminiscent of the old battlecry #GiveDivasAChance from two years ago) rallied fans who saw this as an injustice. WWE eventually moved the match back to the main card, prompting this tweet from Becky Lynch:

The story of SmackDown’s Women’s Division since the brand split can be explained rather easily: the light speed rise of Alexa Bliss to stardom. Inaugural champion Becky Lynch only ever faced one challenger, Bliss, who became number one contender to the title only two days after Lynch won it at Backlash last September. Their contest at No Mercy was rescheduled due to Lynch being medically unavailable to compete—with Bliss instead taking a surprise loss to Naomi—but Becky did successfully, if controversially, retain the title against Alexa on a SmackDown supershow Nov. 8, 2016, in Glasgow.

That controversy gave Alexa another opportunity, and during their Tables match at TLC on Dec. 4, 2016, Bliss powerbombed Lynch through a table to win her first ever championship in WWE. She then recruited Mickie James to ensure that Lynch was unable to retake the title, and entered the new year as the unquestioned champion.

On Jan. 29, 2017, Naomi pinned Bliss in a six-woman tag match on the Royal Rumble Kickoff show, and then pinned her again in another tag match only two days later. She was named the number one contender for the title, and in a shock result, stunned the world by vanquishing Bliss at Elimination Chamber Feb. 12.

Unfortunately, she also picked up an injury in the process, which forced her to vacate the title Feb. 21. Bliss demanded Bryan simply hand her back the title, but he instead put her in a match with Lynch to determine the new champion. Bliss emerged victorious—and with a handful of tights—and became a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion.

Bliss’ stratospheric rise has ruffled more than a few feathers, which she has been more than happy to incite. Alexa has certainly not made any friends on her way to the top—in fact, she’s made an enemy out of virtually everyone that has crossed her path, feuding with Becky and Naomi, continuously belittling Natalya, and going back on an alleged “deal” between her and Mickie James. (Also, uh, Carmella ... well, they have NXT history?) She didn’t earn the moniker of “Wicked Witch of SmackDown Live” for no reason. Her rank of enemies includes SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan, which came back to bite her when Bryan made the division’s Mania match.

As part of her March 8 “Blissertation,” Alexa was set to announce her desired WrestleMania opponent. Her answer was that she believed she didn’t actually have a deserving opponent.

With no clear number one contender, and with Bliss having irked literally everyone—including him—Bryan took it upon himself to make the match an open challenge with every available women eligible to compete. With the division (sans Nikki Bella) slated to fight each other, the last few weeks have been little more than one continuous brawl with basically no resemblance of order.

That all changed in a big way last Tuesday, when Naomi made a surprise return to SmackDown Live just five days before WrestleMania. No one can ever say the Glow Queen doesn’t know how to make an entrance, and this one was especially wild, with an insane, running hurricanrana to Natalya outside the ring and a flurry of other offense to any who stepped in her way.

Needless to say, she entered herself into the championship match in her hometown of Orlando, making Bliss’ task of retaining that much harder—and personal.

What’s at stake?

The SmackDown Women’s Championship, and a WrestleMania moment to last a lifetime.

Will SmackDown’s rising star—who helped announce WWE’s upcoming Women’s Tournament slated for this summer—continue her incredible journey to superstardom? Will the hometown heroine triumphantly regain her title? Will a fiery wild card upend everything and receive her own coronation? Or will a complete surprise shock the world on the grandest stage of them all?

Find out Sunday during WrestleMania on the WWE Network—and stick around right here on Cageside Seats for recaps and analysis of this match and the rest of show.


Who’s winning the title in Orlando?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Alexa Bliss
    (91 votes)
  • 56%
    (283 votes)
  • 10%
    Becky Lynch
    (52 votes)
  • 2%
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    (17 votes)
  • 8%
    Mickie James
    (40 votes)
497 votes total Vote Now

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