Lana will get another opportunity to challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship tonight in a match with Naomi.
“The Ravishing Russian” certainly impressed fans in her battle with Naomi at WWE Money in the Bank, but she was distracted when Carmella and James Ellsworth arrived on the scene, as “The Princess of Staten Island” teased that she might cash in her Money in the Bank contract. The disruption gave Naomi an opening to trap Lana in a submission hold to retain her title.
Following a backstage confrontation on SmackDown LIVE last week, Naomi agreed to once again defend her title against “The Ravishing Russian.”
One person who is not a proponent of Lana’s creative direction is Steve Austin, and he had this to say during his most recent episode of The Steve Austin Show.
“Naomi deserves better, the title deserves better. Lana wasn’t up for this task at hand, at this point in her career. I thought she had much more mystique as the valet, whatever the term is, with Rusev. Man, they kind of killed her gimmick off, and reinvented her, and I just liked her the way she was. So, if she wants to be in the ring, that’s more power to her, but a lot of the stuff I got on Twitter was, ‘Hey man. For a first match, she did a lot better than I expected.’ Ok. As I say that, good for her. But as a company who’s striving for excellence in sports entertainment/professional wrestling, the best of the best belong on a pay-per-view.
“They’re not pay-per-views anymore, but the best of the best – whether they’re a top-tier worker, or someone over with X-factor, it factor, or selling merch, or drawing a crowd – those are the people that need to be featured on the pay-per-views. And all of a sudden, you have this person come from nowhere, get a title shot, be featured, now come back two weeks later to be on another featured match on SmackDown, which is gonna do a number or not. But I just thought, you have to treat a title with higher regard and respect than that, and put the people on the pay-per-views, or the events that are broadcast on the WWE Network, the best of the best are on the shows. That’s just the way I see it.”