WWE SmackDown 5 Takeaways: Shinsuke Nakamura is Looking Strong

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3. Is Natalya Getting the Next Title Shot?

The SmackDown Live women’s division remains muddled, because it’s hard to tell how the hierarchy has unfolded behind Naomi, who is the champion. Carmella has pinned Naomi, Charlotte has pinned Naomi, Becky has submitted Carmella, and Natalya has submitted Becky. Pretty much everyone has been given a chance to be in the picture, which has made the division captivating despite the messy booking.

Next week, the WWE has announced that a fatal 5-way match will take place on next week’s episode of SmackDown Live, and it will determine Naomi’s No. 1 contender. Although Charlotte could win, it’s more likely that a member of “The Welcoming Committee” will come out on top, which puts the focus on Carmella and Natalya.

This past Tuesday night, it was Natalya who kicked off the women’s division’s backstage segment by letting Shane McMahon know that she would like to receive a title shot. As is customary in the WWE, the rest of the superstars in the picture came to argue why they should be given the opportunity.

An out-of-the-blue victory for Tamina could be interesting, but I have a feeling Natalya could come out victorious and get the win. I’m not sure how that would tease tension within “The Welcoming Committee”, but I think Naomi needs to get into a rivalry with someone that she can retain against. Beating Natalya in a feud carries the least booking repercussions, because it’s easier for a veteran like Natalya to take a rivalry loss than it is for Carmella. At this point, it isn’t the time to take the belt off of Naomi, which is what could happen if, say, Charlotte becomes the No. 1 contender again.