SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka
What we learned: We learned here that Asuka isn’t unbeatable after all. I was a bit surprised at the placement of this match but maybe it was a good thing to capitalize on the hot crowd at the Superdome for this one.
Riding the undefeated streak that started with her arrival in NXT in 2015, Asuka came into her WrestleMania debut as the favorite, and I have to say that I was just as surprised as everyone else at this outcome. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, because there was plenty of action leading to that finish. First of all, both entrances were fantastic, and I always love WrestleMania for that. It’s a special day for everyone in WWE and this was a special match.
They worked a great back and forth at the start, and you could sense the intensity here. Each seemed to have a counter for the other and things picked up even further when Asuka suplexed Charlotte onto the floor. The slo-mo replay was great as you could really see the impact. It looked like Charlotte kept mouthing “I can’t breathe,” and it wouldn’t surprise me if she actually did get the wind knocked out of her for a minute. Great spot.
Back on the inside, things kept going and Charlotte hit the spot of the match with that Spanish Fly from the top rope. Seriously, how great was that? Gotta love everyone pulling out the big moves for WrestleMania. The champ then hit a nice Spear and then slapped on a one-armed Figure Eight (Charlotte really did a great job of selling the injured arm) to get a surprise tapout from Asuka. I certainly did not see that coming, but if anyone was going to end the undefeated streak (must be a New Orleans thing), Charlotte was the one to do it. Excellent match. I think Asuka should have been a little more upset at the loss, but the respect angle was nice enough and they had to save a Japanese superstar getting mad at failing to win a title for later in the show.
What’s next: This certainly isn’t the last time we’re going to see these two do battle. I don’t know if Asuka ends up on SmackDown Live or Charlotte ends up on Monday Night RAW, but I’d love to see another match from these two at Backlash. But I think I see what’s happening here. If Asuka goes to Tuesday nights, I can see her taking the title in the rematch and then Charlotte goes back to Monday nights to set up the next “dream match” in the women’s division: Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey, which likely happens at SummerSlam.