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Get rid of multi-person matches to determine title challengers

During this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, WWE went with one of its usual tropes to find the next challenger for Liv Morgan and the SmackDown women’s championship — a multi-person match. In this case it was a Gauntlet involving seven different wrestlers.

It’s a trope WWE, and any other pro wrestling company, needs to do away with.

The aforementioned Gauntlet is a great example of why. I understand we’re talking about WWE, and wins and losses hardly matter there, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. I’m not saying they need to go the AEW route and keep win/loss records and rankings, which has its own problems, but the idea that you are always one match away from a title shot, no matter what has happened over the past few weeks or even months, sucks.

Shayna Baszler ended up winning the Gauntlet and will be challenging Morgan for the title at the upcoming Clash at the Castle event on Sept. 3, 2022, in Cardiff, Wales, in a stadium full of some 60,000+ fans. If that match seems underwhelming to you, it’s because this is how WWE decided to get to it. Ideally, you would tell an actual story that would build to a title match in such a way that both wrestlers will be hot at the time the match takes place, especially if you’re doing it in a gigantic stadium.

Instead, Morgan is coming off a cheap win at SummerSlam that is getting her booed as the babyface and Baszler couldn’t be any colder. Actually, I went to to look at her record in 2022 and you probably won’t be surprised to know she’s been listed in 48 matches so far this year and emerged victorious in just four of them:

  • Beat Aliyah at a house show in March in a singles match
  • Teamed with Natalya to defeat Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley on Raw later that same month
  • Beat Sasha Banks in a singles match on SmackDown in May
  • Won the aforementioned Gauntlet match

That’s really bad!

Pro wrestling is such that it needs the kind of flexibility that dictates anyone can challenge for a title at any time, for sure, but that should be reserved for special circumstances. This is just a creatively bankrupt way to get to a title match that feels as meaningless as it possibly could.

The more things change...

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