WWE Money in the Bank 2017: Who Should Face Naomi?


Who should win this week’s fatal five-way, and go on to face Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Title at WWE Money in the Bank 2017?

This coming Tuesday on SmackDown Live, the No. 1 contender to the SmackDown Women’s Championship will be determined when Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Carmella and Tamina Snuka face off in a fatal five-way elimination match. Whoever emerges victorious will face Naomi for the title at Money in the Bank.

Though it hasn’t exactly got fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation, we have to give credit where it’s due and commend WWE on a relatively unpredictable affair.

The only person in this one without a hope of getting the victory is Tamina Snuka – someone who’s been practically forced into The Welcoming Committee angle on Tuesday nights considering her glaring absence from the brand before April.

How she can criticize Charlotte for taking opportunities is anyone’s guess, considering she debuted on the same night. Simply put, as a character, Tamina’s been booked as little more than an extra since returning as part of the “Superstar Shake-Up”, and there’s no way to justify her becoming the next challenger to the division’s only title.

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Four out of five is still very good in terms of viable winners though, and the elimination stipulation should ensure that the finish is decisive and that Money in the Bank will indeed be one-on-one. So, who walks out victorious?

Well, a case can really be made for each of the remaining four women.

Becky Lynch, albeit the recipient of a rather unfavorable win-loss ratio this season – with last week’s tag match being her first televised win since March – still remains as one of the most popular women on the SmackDown Live roster.

She’s been the peacekeeper between Naomi and Charlotte a number of times, and many have theorized that she could be on the cusp of a heel turn, as hinted at by the inner turmoil she displayed when approached to join The Welcoming Committee.

There would be few more appropriate platforms to pull the trigger on that shift in character than by betraying Charlotte here and going on to feud with Naomi.

The counter to that, is of course “Second Nature” herself.

As it stands, Charlotte has Naomi’s number. She ousted the champion in a non-title match in her first bout on SmackDown Live, and if not for The Welcoming Committee the following week, there’s a good chance she’d be carrying the gold as we speak.

Sufficed to say, seeing Naomi defend against Charlotte in St. Louis would easily be the most thrilling option, considering their track record together. Charlotte has one up on the champion, and it may not be too long before she becomes the second person ever to hold both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships.

The dark horse here, however, is actually Carmella. Though she still isn’t getting over with the crowd – no matter how many times James Ellsworth introduces her – Carmella has been showcasing some great ability since this new plot reared its head.

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She’s got a number of pinfall victories over the champion, and her character work has certainly received a boost under her new “Mean Girls”-esque role alongside Natalya and Tamina. Lack of popularity could be her downfall here, but she’s performed well enough since WrestleMania to warrant a championship opportunity. Actually winning the title is another story, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Which leads us to the final, and perhaps most appropriate participant; Natalya.

Though it can be quite trying to listen to her mid-match yell, Natalya has created quite the opportunity for herself as the de facto leader of The Welcoming Committee.

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She is using her wealth of experience to perfection, leading her cohorts in Tamina and Carmella to do her bidding and rid the brand of unwanted pests with the intention of securing the SmackDown Women’s Championship before she does.

Her work wasn’t exactly top-tier during the Nikki Bella rivalry, but she’s starting to really hit her stride as a heel, and she has her new faction to thank for that.

So, in the interest of giving The Welcoming Committee the crucial boost that it needs, why not have Natalya achieve her goal and prevent Becky Lynch and Charlotte from getting a look at the title picture? It would significantly strengthen the group to have its leader go toe-to-toe with the champion on pay-per-view, while Tamina and Carmella face Charlotte and Becky Lynch in tag-team competition – also building up the real-life friendship between the two as an on-screen dynamic.

Again, there is reason to justify why most of these women should be in line for a title match at Money in the Bank, but it seems that Natalya adopting the role of No.1 contender could be the most beneficial scenario for all parties involved right now.

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What do you think? Should Natalya face Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Title at WWE Money in the Bank, or is that a role best reserved for somebody else?