WWE Payback 2016: Natalya Should Defeat Charlotte for the Women’s Championship


Natalya should be walking out of WWE Payback with the Women’s Championship.

For the long-term of the WWE Women’s Division, the focal point should be Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch (and Bayley whenever she gets called up).

WWE writers have been smart though in resisting the temptation to run various combinations of Charlotte, Becky, and Sasha by making Natalya a viable contender again.

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And while WWE has a long term investment in Sasha and Becky, now is the time to put the Women’s Title on Natalya.

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Thanks to her NXT experience battling Charlotte, Natalya has responded well to the renewed spotlight and has put on some better than expected matches against the WWE Women’s champion.

Natalya should pick up the win because she’s the first member of the renamed Women’s division to have a counter for Charlotte’s ace in the hole — her father, Ric Flair. Charlotte’s reign has been undermined by Flair’s constant interference, which more often than not, has made Charlotte’s challengers look silly for falling for his antics. Flair’s distractions have been more of the making Charlotte’s opponents slip on a banana peel variety instead of using some genuinely crafty measures to give Charlotte the edge.

With Bret Hart in her corner, Natalya has someone to finally keep Flair in check. Evening the odds against the heels has been a longstanding booking tool that exposes the heel once their advantage is cancelled out.

Flair is familiar with this tactic as well as a major reason for his Great American Bash 1990 WCW title loss to Sting was due to his manager Ole Anderson being handcuffed and Sting’s allies surrounding the ring to prevent the Four Horsemen from interfering.

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To be clear, Natalya definitely doesn’t need a lengthy run. It doesn’t do anyone any good for her to enjoy a months-long run atop the division, but she’s still got enough left in the tank that she can still be a viable presence in the division and even a short title run would bolster her credibility.

Natalya had a 70-day Divas title reign back in 2010, but for the new audience who followed the NXT trio to the WWE, Natalya’s previous accomplishments are largely an unknown.

Having Bret Hart prevent Flair from aiding Charlotte also gives the WWE a golden opportunity to finally let Charlotte stand on her own. Flair takes the focus off of Charlotte and a mere Woooo is enough to rile up the fans and make him the centerpiece of every Charlotte match. And having him play a major role in all of her title defenses hasn’t done Charlotte any favors either.

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Let Charlotte drop the title and fully lose fan support by having her turn on Flair, blaming him for the loss and kicking him to the curb. When Charlotte regains the title through her own nefarious ways she’ll be taken more seriously as the centerpiece of the division. And she’ll finally be positioned as a cheating, underhanded heel that doesn’t need her father’s help in retaining her championship.