Tonight’s SmackDown proved to be another eventful night of action, following a post-‘Mania Raw full of debuts, returns, and the sad retirement of Paige from in-ring competition.
After Paige was announced as the new SmackDown general manager in the opening segment, we saw two sets of number one contenders announced. The Usos defeated the New Day, and will go on to face the Bludgeon Brothers at the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. Randy Orton won a triple threat match against Rusev and Bobby Roode, thereby establishing himself as the number one contender to Jinder Mahal’s United States Championship.
However, the biggest news came in the form of a title change – which immediately followed the debut of a noteworthy pair of NXT Superstars.
Charlotte Flair hit the ring to put over Asuka (after defeating her and breaking her undefeated streak at WrestleMania 34). She asked for new challengers, and was attacked by the debuting Iconic Duo: Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.
As the new pair were leaving the arena, Carmella hit the ring and cashed in her Money in the Bank contract. She then defeated Charlotte in a matter of seconds to become the new SmackDown Women’s Champion.
There appeared to be some confusion before the match, as WWE official Mike Chioda asked Carmella several times if she really was cashing in. This could well have been a reference to a storyline in recent weeks, which has seen Carmella attempt to cash-in on several occasions, only to be thwarted at the last second each time.
Charlotte won the title back in November, defeating Natalya on an episode of SmackDown Live in her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her reign lasted 147 days, the longest in the (relatively short) history of the title.