As expected, we’re hearing more about the “confrontation” backstage at SmackDown last night (Oct. 22) between Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy followed up last night’s report from PWInsider with more information. The basic details remain the same: the exchange of the Raw and SmackDown Women’s titles did not go as planned, and on-screen tensions carried over behind the scenes, resulting in a non-physical altercation between the two wrestlers.
Regarding what we saw on-screen, the new report says the script called for Flair to play “cat and mouse” with the Raw title, offering it to Lynch but attempting to pull it back when Becky got a hand on it. A “timing error” occurred when The Man didn’t get her hand on it, and the belt fell to the mat. That was where things broke down, Lynch threw her belt on the mat too, etc.
Neither Becky, Charlotte, or Sonya Deville was reportedly happy with the way it played out, but they got things moving toward Sasha Banks arrival - which also happens to be the only part of the segment WWE has uploaded to YouTube.
Not only did tensions continue after the show, McCarthy’s report indicates they started earlier - because everyone hated the “title exchange” plan:
“It’s believed no one involved was happy about the title switch segment and it was debated throughout the day.”
Charlotte in particular may have been unhappy for a while, as she is said to have lobbied to lose the Raw title clean to Bianca Belair on Monday’s Raw. Flair is apparently a big fan of The EST, and was upset that the finish WWE went with on Oct. 18 ruined what could have been a big moment for Belair.
It’s certainly baffling that The Queen couldn’t convince Vince McMahon & his team to let her drop the belt to Bianca. There’s really no downside to that plan, as it not only would have been great for Belair and allowed them to skip last night’s awful title exchange segment, but it would have added intrigue to Crown Jewel’s Triple Threat for the SmackDown Women’s championship. But I digress.
Back to talkSPORT’s story, Charlotte displeased McMahon by leaving gorilla position without speaking to him last night. Flair then left for Orlando to be with her fiance Andrade, who tweeted “Fu... WWE!!!!!” last night... so don’t be surprised if we hear rumors of backstage heat for Charlotte soon.
A possible upside to all this is that it will turn up the kayfabe heat on a potential Flair vs. Lynch Survivor Series match. McCarthy says there’s more real world roots to that potential worked shoot angle, too:
“The Flair/Lynch friendship has been strained for some time. People close to the situation say Flair didn’t appreciate being called ‘plastic’ during a promo a couple of years ago and it’s been tense since.”
Becky & Charlotte are former traveling companions who played up their ties on social media. Flair told Renee Paquette that stopped because of the way their real and professional lives diverged, but perhaps there’s more to the story.
UPDATE: Fightful Select has another report with additional details. In this account, Lynch was supposed to grab the Raw strap from Flair and hold it up, and calling herself “Becky Two Belts” again until Deville made her give Charlotte the SmackDown title. Flair had made her unhappiness with this known, but was ultimately told to go along with it.
Afterwards, Flair was told to leave the arena before Lynch’s dark match ended to avoid further incident.
Sean Ross Sapp also noted in a follow-up tweet that much of the roster heard about the situation second hand, as after the busy travel week most people were in a hurry to leave as soon as they could.