From the kickoff last Friday (Oct. 8) on SmackDown, it was apparent WWE’s Queen’s Crown tournament wasn’t going to be what a lot of fans were hoping for when we first heard about plans for a women’s equivalent to King of the Ring.
But after Carmella vs. Liv Morgan AND Zelina Vega vs. Toni Storm got less screen time than Roman Reigns’ entrance, there was at least some reason to think there would be more time for the matches on Raw. While the blue brand’s two hour runtime is usually a boon, it’s not when WWE needs to cram in four first round matches in addition to their other storylines.
Even with three hours on Raw, though, Queen’s Crown was still treated like an afterthought. Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke and Doudrop vs. Natalya didn’t get five minutes between them, and the wrestle web noticed.
Consider these match times (courtesy of Cagematch):
Zelina Vega def. Toni Storm in 2:10
Carmella def. Liv Morgan in 1:40
Shayna Baszler def. Dana Brooke in 1:25
Doudrop def. Natalya in 3:00
Sami Zayn def. Rey Mysterio in 7:58
Finn Bálor def. Cesaro in 11:25
Xavier Woods def. Ricochet in 10:55
Jinder Mahal def. Kofi Kingston in 8:55
Combined, the four first round matches in the Queen’s Crown Tournament only exceed one of King of the Ring’s opening round matches.
This is more than WWE simply not dedicating time to Queen’s Crown. As our Cain A. Knight pointed out in his “Stock Report” feature over the weekend, the time disparity between the their newest tourney and King of the Ring is a function of week-in, week-out neglect of the entire women’s division.
WWE does not have a lot of time for women not named Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, sometimes Alexa Bliss, and now Bianca Belair. And when others - like the wrestlers who’ve been booked for Queen’s Crown - are on screen, they’re usually facing each other, in short matches, losing, or some combination of those handicaps.
- Toni Storm has been in three matches since being moved to SmackDown in July, none of which has been more than three minutes long.
- Liv Morgan hasn’t been in a match that didn’t feature Carmella or Zelina Vega since May. Her victory over Mella on the Extreme Rules Kickoff is the only one-on-one match she’s been in during that time that lasted more than four minutes.
- Last Friday was Carmella’s first win since June, when she beat... Liv Morgan. She lost nine matches in between wins over Liv.
- Natalya is on a seven match losing streak, including her time as a WWE Women’s Tag champ.
- Dana Brooke just returned to Raw for the first time in months last week, and hasn’t won since beating Peyton Royce on Main Event in February.
- Shayna Baszler has been doing well since splitting with Nia Jax last month, but prior to that she hadn’t won a singles match since February - a run that included losses to Reggie and being intimidated by Alexa Bliss’ doll.
- Outside of Baszler, Doudrop is the wrestler whose arguably had the most recent success in the Queen’s Crown field... but that’s mostly on account of her wins over Eva Marie.
It’s hard to see how any of these women will break into the Women’s title picture after Crown Jewel, so expect the bulk of TV time to continue to go to the four women currently in the Raw and SmackDown championship scenes. The other female wrestlers on the roster can’t even get on the broadcasts. Even the current Women’s Tag champs were relegated to a brief appearance last night - which is just as well since WWE broke up all the teams that could potentially challenge for their belts.
There are two things we can probably count on in the coming months. PR from WWE about how Queen’s Crown helped change the world, and more rumors about how frustrated the women’s roster is.