When I interviewed Mandy Rose last week, she was excited about the match that she and her tag team partner Sonya Deville were supposed to have against Women’s Tag Team Champions the IIconics on this week’s Smackdown. She must have been pretty disappointed then, as I imagine the other women involved also were, to arrive at Smackdown yesterday and find out that the match had been taken off the show.
There were rumors going around that Vince had called for a last minute rewrite of Smackdown, which may have something to do with it. There had also been talk that Peyton Royce was on the “inactive” list over the weekend, so she may have still had some kind of minor issue. Whatever the reason, there was a women’s tag match on the show, but it was part of the Smackdown Women’s Title scene, not part of the Women’s Tag Team Title scene. To even find an acknowledgement of the previously announced match, you had to go online for a “WWE.com Exclusive” video of Fire & Desire and the Kabuki Warriors confronting the IIconics, who claim that Billie can’t wrestle due to “puppy fever.”
The IIconics can spin gold out of pretty much anything you give them, but it’s really unfair that what WWE keeps giving them is the storyline blame for the fact that the company can’t be bothered to devote any time whatsoever to these titles that were introduced less than six months ago. Not only are the Women’s Tag Titles rarely on television, they haven’t been on a PPV (not even a preshow) since the IIconics won them at WrestleMania. And with three women’s matches already booked for SummerSlam, it seems unlikely they’ll make that show either.
There is simply no excuse for WWE to create this women’s tag division and then let all of these talented women do nothing. For the sake of argument, let’s say that maybe Peyton Royce really couldn’t wrestle this week. If this was a division WWE cared about, the clear course of action would be for the Kabuki Warriors to pick a fight with Fire & Desire about how they should still be next in line for a title shot, and have those two teams fight instead. While I’m at it, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, who do get regular TV time, should really be participating in this division right now, instead of getting involved with both women’s singles champions, despite neither of them having title matches lined up for SummerSlam.
At the end of the day, it’s clear that WWE cares less about women’s wrestling than men’s wrestling, and less about tag team wrestling than singles wrestling, so they really just can’t be bothered to care at all about women’s tag team wrestling. If the Bella Twins hadn’t thought they were coming back, it seems doubtful the belts would have even been introduced. It’s not about a lack of talent or “roster depth” (there are plenty more women between catering and NXT who could easily be pulled into teams if there was a reason to do so). It’s a matter of whether or not WWE thinks the women on their roster are worth spending time on, and it’s a real slap in the face that they don’t.