For all that people like to talk about her being over-pushed, Charlotte Flair hasn’t been at the center of WWE’s women’s division for a while now. She briefly won the Smackdown Women’s Championship from Becky Lynch at Money in the Bank, only for Bayley to immediately cash in the Money in the Bank Briefcase she’d just won and take the Title for herself. After that, Charlotte lost a Triple Threat on Smackdown, alongside Carmella, to Alexa Bliss, making Alexa the Number One Contender to Bayley’s belt, which she still holds. Since that Triple Threat happened on June 4, Charlotte hasn’t been seen on WWE TV at all.
She took time off to spend with her boyfriend Andrade after the death of his mother, and since she was out of the title picture for the time being, she didn’t really leave any loose thread dangling. So with Bayley building up the storyline for her Handicap Match against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross at Extreme Rules this week, it makes sense that this wouldn’t have been the best time for Charlotte to reappear on television.
That’s probably why her return to action this week was in a dark match after 205 Live went off the air. For the benefit of the live crowd, Charlotte unsuccessfully challenged Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title. For the rest of us, it’ll be next week at the earliest. She could even be the friend Bayley needs, as has been hinted about in the storyline with Alexa and Nikki. Everyone’s expecting Sasha Banks, but it wouldn’t be out of character for WWE to deliver someone a bit less exciting. That would also require her to return as a babyface, but that would be an unsurprising choice as well. Crowds love her even when she’s mean (as long as she’s not fighting Becky), so WWE might just decide that she should be nice again.