Natalya vs. Naomi at WWE SummerSlam Set After 5-Way Battleground Elimination Win

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Natalya won a five-way elimination match at Battleground on Sunday night to earn a shot at Naomi and the SmackDown Women's Championship at SummerSlam.

Natalya and Charlotte were the final two wrestlers. The beginning of the end came when Natalya got her knees up to block an attempted moonsault by Charlotte. From there, Natalya used a modified school boy pin to drive Charlotte's head into the bottom turnbuckle and earn the victory.

WWE Universe showed Naomi and Natalya facing off after the match:

WWE Creative Humor commented on their upcoming matchup:

WrestlingINC enjoyed Sunday's bout:

Natalya took to Twitter to share her thoughts: 

The entire SmackDown Live women's roster has been in pursuit of a title opportunity in recent weeks, dating back to a pair of Money in the Bank ladder matches, both of which were won by Carmella.

That left Naomi without a challenger, but SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon set out to change that by booking Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Tamina and Lana against each other at Battleground to determine a new No. 1 contender.

There was immediately a clear divide among the competitors, as Charlotte and Becky are best friends, while Tamina has recently sided with Lana.

Nattie was something of a wild card, but due to the fact that she's a heel, the Queen of Harts worked in conjunction with Tamina and Lana.

On the go-home episode of SmackDown Live prior to Battleground, Natalya devised a plan to break the bond between Charlotte and Becky by picking up on some potential tension and convincing Shane to pit them against each other in a match.

Charlotte and Becky put on a great, back-and-forth bout that ended when the Irish Lass Kicker forced The Queen to tap out to the Dis-arm-her.

Wearing down Flair and Lynch was part of a bigger scheme for the heel trio, as they attacked the physically spent Superstars after the match.

Tamina and Lana then turned on Nattie, though, which created an interesting dynamic heading toward the pay-per-view.

Aside from Naomi and Carmella, SmackDown's women have struggled to separate themselves from each other in recent months.

Lana had a brief feud with Naomi that resulted in her losing three matches in decisive fashion, while the others have constantly been involved in multi-person contests.

Natalya has been a solid, reliable presence in the women's division on SmackDown since the brand split, but she is now in line for her biggest opportunity.

Nattie is often lost in the shuffle due to the fact that she has been around for so long, but she is hugely important, due to her status as the most established female heel on SmackDown.

Naomi is a quintessential face with plenty of crowd support, which makes Natalya an ideal opponent for her at SummerSlam.

      

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