Last night’s (Oct. 22) episode of SmackDown ended with a “WWE Women’s Title Exchange” between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. Yes, WWE now has a formal name for segments where champions swap titles with each other. It’s the dumbest thing.
This championship swap came about because WWE isn’t good at planning out most stories more than one week at a time. At the beginning of this month, the SmackDown women’s champion (Lynch) was drafted to Raw, and the Raw women’s champion (Flair) was drafted to SmackDown. That created the obvious problem of both championships now being on the wrong brands. WWE seemingly gave themselves a few weeks after the draft to sort out that situation, because the new rosters did not go into effect until last night. But WWE didn’t bother to do anything to address this problem over the last three weeks.
WWE’s solution was to have Lynch and Flair enter the ring together at the end of yesterday’s SmackDown and simply exchange their titles. It was a terrible segment, with both Lynch and Flair coming off like immature children throwing their toys at each other, and Sonya Deville acting like the parent that has to scold her children and keep the peace.
According to a report from PW Insider, the segment between Lynch and Flair was not supposed to go off the rails to that degree. Before the show, Charlotte apparently expressed concerns that “she didn’t want to look weak nor did she want her title reign to look weak” during the title exchange.
Insider goes on to explain where the segment deviated from the script:
“...there was a moment where Flair was to hand the belt to Becky but instead pulled it away and threw the belt on the mat, which was not the way that exchange was expected to go. At that point, Sonya Deville demanded Flair retrieve the belt and hand it to her, which Flair did. Deville then asked for Becky’s title but instead Lynch threw her title belt at Flair, which was also not part of the plan.”
The report claims this led to a backstage confrontation between Lynch and Flair after the show went off the air:
“...there was a confrontation between Lynch and Flair over Flair allegedly disrespecting Lynch by ‘trying to make her look bad’, as one source stated, during the segment and there were loud words between the two. We are told that the situation was heated but did not get physical.”
As I was watching the segment live, the part where Flair dropped the Raw title and was then ordered to pick it up by Deville did seem strange, and immediately struck me as something that wasn’t part of the plan. As for the rest of it, well, I’ll leave it up to my fellow Cagesiders to weigh in below in the comments. What do you make of this report?