The shocking decision to have Charlotte Flair beat Asuka for the SmackDown Women's Championship on Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live was reportedly made on short notice.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Daniel Yanofsky of WrestlingInc.com), WWE Chairman Vince McMahon didn't lay out the plan for Charlotte to take the title from Asuka until the day of the show.
There is little doubt that having Charlotte beat Asuka wasn't WWE's initial plan since it was announced last week that Carmella, Naomi, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville would compete in a Fatal 4-Way match with the winner going on to face Asuka for the title at WrestleMania 35.
That match didn't happen, and it now appears that the SmackDown Women's Championship will not be defended on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
WWE announced that the Triple Threat main event between Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte is still for only the Raw Women's Championship. That means the SmackDown Women's title will essentially be an afterthought.
The likely reason for WWE having Charlotte win the title is so a memorable moment can occur to close out WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Assuming Lynch wins the Raw Women's title and the team of Sasha Banks and Bayley retains the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships, all four members of the Four Horsewomen will be in possession of a title when WrestleMania ends.
That will allow WWE to have a "curtain call" moment with Lynch, Flair, Banks and Bayley embracing in the middle of the ring while fireworks blast off around them.
It can be argued that sacrificing Asuka's opportunity to have a WrestleMania title match isn't worth the end result, but it would undoubtedly be fitting for the Four Horsewomen to close the first WrestleMania headlined by a women's match together since they played a huge role in getting WWE to this level of equality.
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