I’ve really enjoyed Nia’s improved ring work. She’ll never be the most solid technical wrestler, but I think she’s put on some really good matches. Alexa has been a really good champion. I loved the real emotion after the elimination chamber win and how it turned on a dime into ripping the crowd and going right back to her heel persona. She’s a master at playing the “mean girls” character. We’ve seen this type of title run many times before. The heel always manages to keep the belt for a long period of time through any means necessary. But I think it’s time for that run to end.
Nia should be the new Raw Women’s Champion. I’m wondering if some kind of stipulation gets added to this match. I could see a no DQ, no countout stip being added, since that’s how Alexa has retained her title multiple times. Will Mickie James be banned from ringside? I think they may stack up all the odds against Alexa here to take away any possibility of a heelish win.
Nia is tough to book. It’s hard to find any woman who could give her a clean loss aside from Asuka. Bayley did beat her in NXT with a guillotine. She’s not totally unstoppable, but if she wins, and she should, I’m really not sure how to book her going forward from there. I would think a full Sasha Banks heel turn would see Sasha lose to Bayley at Mania (no match has been scheduled yet, and from what I hear it may not be), and Sasha go off either then or the next night on Raw to put Bayley out of action and set her sights on Nia and the championship. No matter what direction they go after Mania, Nia should definitely be your NEW women’s champion.
I am so excited for the Charlotte vs. Asuka match. This should be a technical masterpiece. Rarely does Charlotte get to work with someone who can carry a match as well as she can. That’s not a knock to the rest of the women’s division. Charlotte, like her father before her, is just such a gifted wrestler and such a cut above of her peers that it’s almost always her making her opponent look terrific. Not here. These women will should put on a masterpiece. There’s a reason everyone has wanted this match, because it’s obvious how tremendous they can be in the ring together. I hope this match gets a ton of time. I want to see 20-30 minutes.
Asuka will win the championship. Mark it dude. The real question is: will she leave New Orleans with the title. I fully expect Carmella to cash in her money in the bank briefcase after a brutal and exhausting match. If I’m a betting man, I say Asuka repels her and keeps the title, but it could just as easily go to Carmella. One thing I’m sure of: Charlotte will not be champion at the end of the night. MARK IT ZERO!
Asuka should hold the title at least until next Wrestlemania. I think a heel turn in the interim would be a great lead up to a WM35 match with whoever is the top face at the time. A lot of people expect Ronda Rousey will eventually end the streak. I’m not ready to go in on that assumption yet, we still haven’t seen her in action. It could be Rousey, it could be Charlotte getting revenge, or Bayley, or Ember Moon. Ember and Asuka’s NXT rivaly is one of the best feuds in recent memory. I’d love to see Ember finally get that elusive win over Asuka on the big stage.
First things first though: Asuka beats Charlotte, then Asuka beats Carmella. Winner, and NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion: ASUKA! Winner, and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: ASUKA!
Any other predictions for these matches? What are you looking forward to most from these women? Let’s hear it.