According to Dirty Sheets, Natalya is expected to drop the SmackDown Women’s Championship to Charlotte Flair next Tuesday on SmackDown LIVE.
WWE officials were planning on having Natalya drop the title to Charlotte at Starrcade on Nov. 25, an event which would also see the return of Ric Flair. Nature Boy, ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on the life and career of Ric Flair, which premiered Tuesday night, is a big reason why WWE officials want to do title change next Tuesday (and it just so happens that the show will take place in Charlotte’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina). The critically acclaimed documentary has been the recipient of much media attention.
There are others reasons for the company wanting to do the title switch.
WWE booked themselves into a corner with the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match. They planned on having Team SmackDown win the match but then felt the need to put Asuka on Team Raw. However, the current plan for Asuka is to keep her undefeated. They are now planning on having Team Raw go over, which in turn changes the outcome of Bliss vs. Natalya, from the Raw Women’s Champion winning to the SmackDown Women’s Champion winning in order to keep things even between the two brands. This is now likely to be switched to Charlotte vs Bliss, which will mean Charlotte will beating Bliss instead, an outcome the company is far more content with than Natalya beating Bliss.
In addition to that, WWE officials want to keep Charlotte away from Asuka (both are currently advertised to compete against each other in the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match). They see Asuka vs. Charlotte as a money encounter and do not want them crossing paths until they are involved in a significantly built program with each other.