Tonight we have WWE Battleground, which means it’s time for my PPV Spotlight. We have a few interesting matches, with the WWE Championship triple threat featuring all three former members of The Shield, a tag team match with Charlotte and Dana Brooke against Sasha Banks and a mystery partner, and two 6-man-tag matches involving The New Day and The Wyatt Family, and John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass and The Club.
Here I’m perhaps surprisingly not writing about any of those. There’s plenty to be said about them all, but I feel like there isn’t all that much new to say about any of them. Instead, the match I’m focusing on is between the Queen of Harts Natalya, and the Irish Lass Kicker Becky Lynch.
That this match is even taking place is notable. It’s only the second PPV/Network event since October 2014 to feature two women’s matches on the main card (after Fastlane this year, which featured Charlotte vs Brie Bella and Team B.A.D vs Banks & Lynch). I’ve said it before, but secondary female feuds have been all too rare for far too long now.
They’ve done a good job building this one up though. It feels like ages since the last PPV, which is where Natalya turned on Becky, but since they’ve become embroiled in several brawls that have generally gotten decent reactions from the crowd.
The story here is that people keep turning on Becky, and she is becoming more and more volatile looking for some revenge. Natalya on the other hand is sick of being the nice girl that she feels is taken advantage of, and is starting to look out for herself. As she has said, quoting her uncle Owen: “Enough is enough, and it’s time for a change.”
What I find interesting in the build is that as far as Natalya is concerned, it’s not really anything personal against Becky. Anybody could have been her partner at Money In The Bank, and having lost she would still have snapped. It just happened to be Becky, who has already seen Sasha Banks, Paige and Charlotte turn on her.
Natalya seems to have constantly been on the cusp of having real momentum since she debuted back in 2008, without really breaking through and becoming a top name in the division. In fact, this current run is probably the best exposure she has had as a wrestler since she was Divas Champion and aligned with Beth Phoenix a whole five years ago. She has always had the technical ability, but the timing has never been right. Maybe 2016 is a breakthrough for her in that regard.
Becky is right up there with my favourite women in the company. It was her match with Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable last May that made me a believer in what was to become the Divas Revolution. Partially for that reason, I think it still might be my favourite women’s match.
So I’m expecting big things. If it gets time – and that’s a big if seeing the card – but if it gets around 10 minutes or more it could be a really good women’s match. And in the bigger scheme of things, the pressure is on for them to deliver exactly that.
One of the major disappointments from the WWE Draft on Tuesday was the depth of SmackDown’s roster – specifically their tag team and women’s divisions. With the bigger and more hyped names of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Paige and Nia Jax on Raw, these two are expected to lead a fresher female charge on the blue brand with Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Naomi.
It would be a statement that they can still compete if these two go out and perform. Those are five names that I would trust to put on good matches, but the way the reaction and perception has been since Tuesday they need something to kickstart some positive momentum. Natalya vs Becky Lynch can be that.
What I’m expecting is for the match to start off with a focus on technical wrestling, which will get increasingly physical to the point these two are brawling. As it should, with the way they’ve been interacting over the last couple of weeks. With them both being on SmackDown I think Natalya will eventually come out on top and this feud will continue. But I really do think in this case the performance is more important than the victor.