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Carmella Defeats Charlotte to Retain SmackDown Women's Title at WWE Backlash

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

Carmella defeated Charlotte Flair at WWE Backlash Sunday in Newark, New Jersey, in her first title defense since winning the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Carmella demonstrated some nice resourcefulness in order to keep the women's championship.

Charlotte looked to hit her moonsault and adjusted midair when she saw Carmella had moved. While Flair landed on her feet, her left knee buckled. Carmella noticed and quickly kicked Flair in the hamstring before pinning her for the win:

WWE @WWE

Here is your winner...and STILL #SDLive #WomensChampion, @CarmellaWWE! #WWEBacklash https://t.co/XEhWilShaa

Some were surprised to see Flair losing in relatively conclusive fashion:

Adam Pacitti @adampacitti

A month ago Charlotte ended Asuka's streak and tonight she was largely out-wrestled by Carmella. A shame. #WWEBacklash

David Bixenspan @davidbix

Asuka can’t beat Charlotte. But Carmella can…clean? #WWEBacklash

Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN

Carmella pins Charlotte clean. I did not see that happening. #WWE #WWEBacklash

After holding the Money in the Bank contract longer than anyone in history, Carmella successfully cashed in on Charlotte just two nights after WrestleMania 34.

The Princess of Staten Island took advantage of the perfect opportunity, as the debuting IIconics had beaten down Charlotte upon making their SmackDown Live debut.

Although the win was huge for Carmella since it made her a champion for the first time in WWE, it was made even bigger because of the caliber of opponent she defeated.

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Just two nights prior to Carmella's cash-in, Charlotte had ended Asuka's undefeated streak by forcing her to submit in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania 34.

While Charlotte has already been part of some important matches over the course of her career, that was arguably her most meaningful win.

The Queen had more momentum than ever after retaining against Asuka, and she had an air of invincibility that few women in the history of the business had ever possessed.

Carmella stripped that away, however, and she wasn't shy about letting everyone know exactly what she accomplished.

She even went so far as to rationalize that because she beat Charlotte, it meant she was superior to Asuka as well.

Carmella ran her mouth on numerous occasions after winning the SmackDown Women's Championship, and it appeared to alienate much of the blue brand's female roster with the exception of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.

Charlotte lost the title to Carmella in a weakened state, but many within the WWE Universe wondered if Carmella had what it took to beat Flair on equal footing.

It can be argued that no other woman in WWE can match Charlotte's athleticism and physicality, and there is no question that she had a substantial size and strength advantage over Carmella.

The one area in which Carmella excels over most others, however, is craftiness and the willingness to do whatever it takes to win.

Charlotte was once in the same boat, but her attitude has changed since switching from heel to babyface.

Carmella has no reservations about cheating or taking shortcuts, and that aided her in retaining the SmackDown Women's Championship on Sunday.

With other top stars such as Asuka and Becky Lynch in search of a title shot, though, Carmella's reign is far from safe.

             

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