The women’s division on SmackDown Live is relatively young. Many of the competitors in it are fresh from NXT, with a few already established competitors sprinkled in, and there’s going to be a feeling out process for nearly every talent as each wrestler finds their spot in the company’s figurative pecking order.
With that said, Alexa Bliss losing to Naomi at No Mercy was huge mistake that WWE regularly makes over and over — even if the division’s pecking order is in a fluid situation.
Here we have Bliss. She is a wonderfully delightful heel. Is she on the smaller side? Sure. But she overcame that “obstacle” with more than solid in-ring talent and by having developed a character in which she might be the most engaging of all the women who made their way to the main roster during the mass call-ups stemmed from the brand-split.
She had done such a terrific job in such a small period of time, mind you, that the WWE gave her the opportunity to be the division’s first No. 1 contender for Becky Lynch’s title.
And how did the company reward her and her character? By having her lose to Naomi at No Mercy after Lynch was pulled from the card.
This is an issue for several reasons. The largest of which is as clear as the sky on a night in mid-October.
Bliss is made to look weaker as the No. 1 contender. Nothing less, nothing more. That’s not complicated. It would be like having Seth Rollins lose a match right before facing Kevin Owens at a WWE Network Special.
It is even slightly worse than that. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with Naomi — one can argue she has been misused for some time — she is basically a career-jobber. She’s never won a title, has spent the majority of her career in iffy angles, and has only remained relevant — and this is a credit to her — by being the athletic marvel the women’s division hasn’t really had.
WWE thought it would be wise to have its top female heel lose to a random competitor on a Network Special she was originally meant to fight for the title on. Under the assumption this was done as more a shock and awe approach at No Mercy than it was to actually give Naomi a push, shame on you WWE. What a way to waste what was becoming a great build for what should be a more than solid women’s title match.
To be fair, if WWE is using this as an attempt to sincerely push Naomi, then fans should have no qualms with the decision. While it’s different, this can be viewed as a somewhat similar situation to the cruiserweight division trying to build stars of their own. However, that’s more likely an apples-to-lobsters comparison, as the women’s division is much more established at this point.
Anyway, we all know how this is going to end. It was most likely a one-off move by the WWE for the company to buy itself time until Lynch’s medical issues are all cleared up. Since they are presumably unsure as to how long she will be out, while knowing it won’t be that long, the creative team is attempting to quickly force an inorganic feud to buy time.
However, having Bliss continue to run through her opponents until Lynch was cleared would be best for everybody. Have her beat Naomi at No Mercy, then don’t have her wrestle on Tuesday and instead have her cut a promo. Just because Lynch might be out for a week or two does not mean Bliss needs to be inorganically forced into something else for the time being.
WWE needs to be better about this. How are fans supposed to take Bliss seriously as a No. 1 contender if she’s losing to a career-jobber? Honestly, and with as little shade hurled to Naomi as possible, even if this does benefit the athletic veteran a lot, isn’t the company and division better served by having the younger, more riddled with potential talent attempt to get over with fans via wins?