So Charlotte Flair is WWE Raw's women's champion again. Excuse me as I stifle a yawn.
8 1/2 months after the women's title was revived at Wrestlemania 32 to replace the Divas title, the last remnant of the Vickie Guerrero error of administration (2007-14), and the self-styled Queen is a 4 time champ already, or 1/4 of the way to matching her father, Ric, and his 16 World titles.
You do know who I'm blaming for this, don't you? Of course you do, but we're not here to discuss the nutcase who owns the company. Not today, anyway.
It does seem as though that same nutcase is having Raw's uncreative team follow the career trajectory of Ric Flair and apply it to Charlotte, if but for no other reason than to establish Charlotte as the new face of the women's division across all three brands (Raw, NXT, Smackdown). However, I don't think this is how Triple H would've envisioned things. No, this has his father-in-law's stink and fingerprints all over it. Yes, Sasha Banks is a 3-time champion herself, but for some reason, Vince McMahon can't see Charlotte losing on Pay-Per-View (aka WWE Network special events) just yet. Then again, the old man can't see the forest for the trees, but we've covered that ground enough times.
So what happens? Charlotte loses a non-title match to Bayley on Raw, a 3rd such loss in the last couple of months, mirroring the James Ellsworth-AJ Styles scenario on Smackdown. Noticably absent the last two nights, however, was Dana Brooke, who had been Charlotte's flunky the last few months. Apparently, either Dana is injured, or uncreative finally got the message and made sure she couldn't get involved at Roadblock: End of the Line. That PPV win streak will come to an end at Wrestlemania 33 in April, you can set your watch by it, and the last of the 4 Horsewomen, Bayley, will join her sisters-in-arms (Charlotte, Sasha, Becky Lynch) in holding the gold.
Unfortunately, if there's a lesson to be learned from how uncreative botched the Charlotte-Sasha feud, Bayley can't get too comfortable with the title. For some reason, the mandate is for Charlotte to tie and/or break her father's record of 16 titles, and at a much faster clip, since it appears that the two men who could've been in the best position to break the record, Triple H & John Cena, are now part-time performers and in no hurry to etch their names into the history books, although Cena, some figure, might get #16 in April if he were to defeat AJ Styles. Edge retired before he could get close. Cena holds the WWE record at 15, followed by HHH and Randy Orton, but most of those title runs have been short, like Charlotte & Sasha's ping-ponging of the women's belt, largely because of Vince's mental instability.
Digression over. Sasha will have to feud with Nia Jax once she's ready to return to action after a short break over the holidays. Bayley will chase Charlotte for the winter. Emmalina will finally show up, provided McMahon runs out of excuses for the stalling. If they can parlay Alicia Fox's storyline fling with Cedric Alexander into getting her a title shot in concert with Alexander getting a cruiser title match, regardless of who the champion is (likely Neville by this time next month), great.
But, then, there is another, underlying problem with the women's division behind the scenes that I've been meaning to talk about.
A couple of weeks ago, it got out that Tom Casiello, credited with developing the division to where it is today, was cut in a cost-saving move. Coincidentally, Emmalina's return was delayed again shortly after that move was made. Casiello has said all the right things in interviews since, which makes you wonder just why 1) Emmalina has been kept on ice and working as a ref at house shows, 2) the quality of the women's matches on Smackdown, particularly involving current champ Alexa Bliss, have all the stink of Vince McMahon's meddling, and 3) the storylines involving Bayley-Charlotte and Nia Jax mirror men's angles. Jax, yes, is the distaff answer to Braun Strowman, and has been pushed the same way, except that her TV time had been cut considerably in recent weeks, also coinciding with Casiello's dismissal.
People are already calling for Triple H to try to do something about it, with assistance, of course, from wife Stephanie, but as long as the old man continues to run the company, nothing will change. He's ruining the vibe, and doesn't care. Every time WWE starts to climb out of the ratings hole it's been in, Vince pushes it back down with one lame idea/decision after another.
One poster on www.lordsofpain.net had it right when he suggested that Vince and his houseboy, Kevin Dunn, should've been locked in that shark cage that was used on Raw and will be put into play at Royal Rumble. In this case, forget about the key. The cage can be kept in a warehouse near Titan Towers, and the two of them can get their 3 square meals a day, Geritol included for Vince, until they agree to step aside and let WWE progress fully into the here and now.
Otherwise, by this time next year, we'll be discussing Charlotte as being halfway to her father's record, when she's not really ready to be that far along. And we know where we'll be pointing toward to cast blame, don't we?