Rumors keep circulating that WWE is planning to have a separate Women’s Champion for the SmackDown brand. That speculation has led many to postulate just who might be crowned as the first SmackDown women’s champion. Far be it from me to advocate for Eva Marie on this site, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do here. Yeah, I never thought I’d be doing this either.
A Case For Eva Marie As SmackDown Women’s Champ
First things first. I absolutely love how WWE has handled Eva Marie since the brand split. I think the reason I hated the character so much in NXT was because she was missing an element. Sure, she’s “hot”, she’s “on Total Divas“, she’s “not a very good wrestler”. That seemed to be the entirety of the NXT version of the Eva Marie character. Add in the botches, the injury she caused to Carmella, and the bar being set so high there at the time and it didn’t work out so well. I was not a fan and complained about her nearly every week she appeared.
So, what’s changed? Honestly, not much. Though we haven’t seen Eva Marie wrestle in months, I’ll be shocked if she’s suddenly a ring general. She’s still got the same look, the same entrance theme – but, one major difference. The voice overs. Those voice overs during the entrance appears to that missing “it” that has really tied the Eva Marie character together for me.
Eva Marie’s gimmick on SmackDown Live is nothing new. We’ve seen the “cowardly heel” character numerous times over the years. In Eva’s case it works perfectly. This is an incredible way to get heat on her without having to expose her, potential, lack of in ring prowess. Instead of feeding Eva Marie a bunch of $1000 payday “local talent” for her to squash – we’ve gone to the other extreme and have her faking injuries and no-showing matches. I popped huge for “Eva Marie… has been delayed due to traffic.” I’d love to see Eva’s actual “debut” take weeks to materialize and play this out to the point she’s the most over heel on the SmackDown Live roster.
So, why would Eva Marie becoming the first Women’s Champion on the SmackDown brand be a good idea? Precisely because she’s already getting over as a heel without having to even work a match. Obviously, the best way to do this is via a convoluted match stipulation that would allow Eva to “be delayed” and then enter the match late to win the title. You could do the tried and true “battle royal” shenanigans schtick or have her luck into the pin in a triple threat. There are several ways that WWE could do this and it needs to happen on PPV – say Backlash in September.
Now, once Eva Marie has the strap the internet will explode. People will be swearing off the SmackDown brand. They’ll be railing on about how Eva Marie holding the title sets the division back years. Then, WWE has two choices. They can either drag Eva as champ out even longer having her duck defending the title. Or, you go the other route. You give Becky Lynch a title shot on the very next SmackDown Live after Eva wins the title. If WWE puts Becky over strong in that match, it solidifies her as the top of the SmackDown women’s roster and will go over huge with the fans. It also serves to show that “anything can happen” on SmackDown Live just like “anything can happen” on Raw.
Becky just randomly winning the title outright after it’s announced would be incredibly anticlimactic. However, a little misdirection of an initial Eva Marie win would have a much bigger payoff when Becky takes home the gold. WWE needs to make Becky’s first title win in the company something special. Also, I’m not discounting Natayla or Naomi either by saying Becky should dethrone Eva. The SmackDown women’s roster is incredibly solid with multiple title contenders in the ranks.
All in all, it seems that putting Eva Marie over as the first SmackDown Live Women’s Champion is the way to go. And yeah, I never thought I’d say that on this site. WWE has managed to completely flip my feelings about the Eva Marie character over the course of just a few short weeks. Bravo.