Asuka Will Defend Her Title At Fastlane, But You Wouldn’t Know It From Smackdown


If you watched Smackdown last night, you may have noticed that there were no women’s matches. There weren’t even any segments building toward Smackdown women’s matches, when you take into account that Charlotte’s promo, despite being on Smackdown, was about the Raw Women’s Championship. The only other women who appeared besides interviewers and Stephanie McMahon were Carmella, Zelina Vega, and Lana, who respectively accompanied R-Truth, Andrade, and Rusev to the ring, and Lacey Evans, who accompanied herself to the ring for no reason. The Smackdown Women’s Champion Asuka was nowhere to be seen, after returning from a long absence last week only to get pinned in a non-title match by Mandy Rose.

Mandy Rose and her tag team partner Sonya Deville weren’t on Smackdown either, but they appeared backstage in a youtube video where Mandy revealed that her win over Asuka has earned her a title shot against the champion at Fastlane. According to WrestlingInc, this match was supposed to be set up in a segment with Asuka on Smackdown, but that was cut from the show. I guess they needed more time for Lacey Evans to walk down the ramp and then not do anything.

WrestlingInc also notes that Asuka did appear last night to defend her title in a dark match against Charlotte. That’s the rematch that many fans have said they wanted at WrestleMania, so naturally WWE doesn’t even want to put it on TV. It’s beginning to feel a bit like the unprecedented main event build for the Raw Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania is coming at the expense of all other momentum in the Women’s Division.

Even the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, which were just introduced at Elimination Chamber with the promise that they’d be defended on all brands, don’t seem to have any space on Smackdown. The IIconics have taken to social media to challenge Sasha and Bayley, even mocking them for failing to appear on Smackdown as promised.

Sasha Banks promised that they’ll be there soon, and mocked The IIconics in turn for failing to get TV time.

There was a time when Smackdown had a reputation for booking its women’s division better than Raw. Unfortunately, with Charlotte and Becky wrapped up in a Raw storyline, Asuka being ignored for no explicable reason, and the first Women’s Tag Team Championship feud happening on Raw as well, Smackdown women’s booking is basically non-existent.