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Shayna Baszler has failed in its two biggest matches in WWE the main list so far, but delaying its rise to the top of the raw women’s division will ultimately prove to be a smart move on the part of WWE.
According to Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Watch Newsletter (h / t Paul Davis from WrestlingNews.co), Baszler was originally scheduled to win Women’s Money in a Bank ladder match, but WWE reversed direction and asked Asuka to win the match instead.
Baszler is also rumored to be winning the Royal Rumble women’s match too, but he finished as runner-up for Charlotte Flair.
Even so, Baszler then faced Becky Lynch for the Crude Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 36. Baszler looked impressive before and during the match, but he lost to The Man when Becky caught him in a pinning combination.
The Queen of Spades seems to win Money at the Bank and then clash with Lynch, but circumstances beyond the company’s control may have caused the reported decision to change the settlement and make Asuka win instead.
It was revealed to Raw after Money at the Bank that Lynch was pregnant and could not continue to maintain the Raw Women Championship. As a result, he handed the title over to Asuka and announced that the Money in the Bank was for the championship rather than a contract for future title photography.
Now, Asuka will have the chance to be the face of the raw women’s division moving forward, although Baszler will no doubt be waiting in the wings.
Shayna made disparaging remarks about Lynch and her pregnancy on Raw a few weeks ago, which caused a mini dispute with Natalya. Baszler won two matches over Nattie, and that shows WWE still regards Baszler highly and tries to stay relevant and in the mix.
Baszler could have won Money at the Bank and got the title handed to him by Lynch, but that would not have the same effect if and when he defeated established stars like Asuka for the title in a traditional match.
Also, surrendering the title to heels like Baszler will be taken from Lynch’s good-feeling moment, and it’s clear that WWE wants to celebrate her pregnancy while also placing Asuka as the heir to the Becky government.
Even though there is value in the wrestlers being called and immediately become champions at times, there is also value in playing a long game and making them face difficulties before finally reaching the top of the mountain.
By placing a title on Asuka, WWE can rebuild it with a victory over other high heels in the women’s division, including Nia Jax. Meanwhile, Baszler can be built parallel to Asuka to the point that it becomes clear they are on a collision course.
If Asuka and Baszler are handled well in the coming weeks and months, then it will feel like a big problem when they meet and a bigger agreement if and when Baszler takes the Raw Women Championship from him.
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