WWE SmackDown Women's Championship

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WWE SmackDown Women's Championship
WWE SmackDown Women's Championship belt.png
The SmackDown Women's Championship belt with default side plates
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandSmackDown
Date establishedAugust 23, 2016
Current champion(s)Charlotte Flair
Date wonDecember 30, 2022
Statistics
First champion(s)Becky Lynch
Most reignsCharlotte Flair
(7 reigns)
Longest reignBayley
(2nd reign, 380 days)
Shortest reignCharlotte Flair
(4th reign, 4 minutes and 55 seconds)
Oldest championAsuka
(37 years, 81 days)
Youngest championAlexa Bliss
(25 years, 117 days)
Heaviest championBianca Belair
(165 pounds (75 kg))
Lightest championLiv Morgan
(100 pounds (45 kg))

The WWE SmackDown Women's Championship is a women's professional wrestling world championship created and promoted by the American promotion WWE, defended on the SmackDown brand division. It is one of two women's world titles for WWE's main roster, along with the WWE Raw Women's Championship on Raw. The current champion is Charlotte Flair, who is in her record seventh reign.

The title was unveiled on the August 23, 2016, episode of SmackDown Live as the counterpart title to the then-WWE Women's Championship, which became exclusive to Raw as a result of the 2016 WWE draft. That title was subsequently renamed after the crowning of the inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch. The SmackDown Women's Championship has been contested in the main event of three WWE pay-per-view events: TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in 2018 and, along with the Raw Women's Championship, WWE's flagship event WrestleMania in 2019, and by itself on Night 1 of WrestleMania in 2021. It was also the first women's professional wrestling championship to be defended in Saudi Arabia, which occurred at Super ShowDown in 2020, and again at Crown Jewel in 2021.

History[edit]

The inaugural and four-time SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch, shown here after winning her third title along with the Raw Women's Championship (right) at WrestleMania 35

In July 2016, WWE reintroduced the brand extension wherein the promotion again divided its roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands where wrestlers are exclusively assigned to perform; the first brand split ended in August 2011. During the 2016 draft, reigning WWE Women's Champion Charlotte was drafted to Raw, leaving SmackDown without a women's championship. Immediately following SummerSlam on the August 23, 2016, episode of SmackDown, SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon and general manager Daniel Bryan unveiled the SmackDown Women's Championship (Raw's title was subsequently renamed).[1] A six-pack elimination challenge was then scheduled for Backlash on September 11, 2016, to determine the inaugural champion. The six women who competed at SummerSlam in the six-woman tag team match were chosen for the six-pack challenge: Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Natalya, and Nikki Bella.[2] Lynch became the inaugural champion when she last eliminated Carmella.[3] The NXT Women's Championship would become WWE's third main women's title when the NXT brand, formerly the promotion's developmental territory, became WWE's third major brand in September 2019 when it was moved to the USA Network.[4]

The championship belt design is physically identical to the Raw Women's Championship with the only difference being that the background of the center plate and the default side plates' globes are blue (as opposed to red) to symbolize its exclusivity to SmackDown. In what has become a prominent feature of the majority of WWE's championship belts, the side plates can be customized with the champion's logo. During Naomi's second reign, strips of multi interchanging colored LED lights were placed around the outline of the WWE logo and the outline of the belt to go with her "glow" gimmick.[5]

The title headlined a pay-per-view event for the first time at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December 2018, where Becky Lynch defended it in a triple threat Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match against Charlotte Flair and Asuka, which Asuka won; this was also the first women's TLC triple threat match.[6] The title was then on the line in a winner takes all triple threat match in the main event of WrestleMania 35 in April 2019, where Flair defended the title against Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and Lynch, who won the match. This was the first women's match to main event a WrestleMania – WWE's flagship event.[7] At Super ShowDown in February 2020, the title became the first women's championship to be defended in Saudi Arabia, where Bayley retained the title over Naomi; this was only the second women's match contested in the country.[8] The title would again be on the line in the main event of a WrestleMania, this time Night 1 of WrestleMania 37 in April 2021 where Bianca Belair defeated Sasha Banks to win the title;[9] this was also the first time that two African-Americans headlined a WrestleMania and only the second women's match to main event the annual show.[10] The title was defended for a second time in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel in 2021, where Becky Lynch retained against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks in a triple threat match.

Inaugural championship match[edit]

Eliminated Wrestler Eliminated by Method of elimination Time
1 Alexa Bliss Naomi Pinfall 9:38
2 Naomi Natalya Submission 10:52
3 Natalya Nikki Bella Pinfall 12:50
4 Nikki Bella Carmella Pinfall 12:58
5 Carmella Becky Lynch Submission 14:40
Winner Becky Lynch

Brand designation history[edit]

As its name implies, the championship was established for the SmackDown brand. However, the title is still eligible to switch brands during the annual WWE Draft.

Date of transition Brand Notes
August 23, 2016 SmackDown Championship established for the SmackDown brand. Becky Lynch became the inaugural SmackDown Women's Champion at Backlash on September 11, 2016.
October 22, 2021 Raw As a result of the 2021 WWE Draft, the then WWE Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair was drafted to SmackDown while then WWE SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch was drafted to Raw.
October 22, 2021 SmackDown During the 2021 WWE Draft since the then WWE SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch was drafted to Raw and the then WWE Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair was drafted to SmackDown To keep both Women's titles on their respective brands, WWE SmackDown official Sonya Deville had Becky Lynch and Charlotte exchange championships and the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship was traded back to its original roster.

Reigns[edit]

As of January 28, 2023, overall, there have been 25 reigns between 12 champions and 1 vacancy. Becky Lynch was the inaugural champion. Charlotte Flair has the most reigns at seven. Bayley's second reign is the longest singular reign at 380 days, while Flair's fourth reign is the shortest at 4 minutes and 55 seconds. Bayley also holds the record for longest combined reign at 520 days. Asuka is the oldest champion, having won the title at 37, while Alexa Bliss is the youngest when she won it at 25.

Charlotte Flair is the current champion in her record seventh reign. She won the title by defeating Ronda Rousey on the December 30, 2022, episode of SmackDown in Tampa, Florida.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, Adam. "Daniel Bryan to reveal two new championships exclusive to Smackdown Live tonight from Connecticut". wrestleview.com. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  2. ^ Parks, Greg. "8/23 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Complete, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  3. ^ Caldwell, James. "9/11 WWE Backlash Results – CALDWELL'S Complete PPV Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  4. ^ "Triple H Discusses NXT as a Third Brand, Putting Talent in a Position to Succeed, More – 411MANIA". 411mania.com.
  5. ^ Young, Renee; Bryan, Daniel; Naomi (July 4, 2017). "How Naomi made the SmackDown Women's Title glow: WWE Talking Smack, July 4, 2017 (WWE Network)". WWE (YouTube). Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Powell, Jason. "Powell's WWE TLC live review: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs Asuka in a TLC match for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "WrestleMania to feature first-ever women's main event". WWE. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  8. ^ Powell, Jason (February 27, 2020). "WWE Super ShowDown results: Powell's live review of "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt vs. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship, Brock Lesnar vs. Ricochet for the WWE Championship, Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz and John Morrison for the Smackdown Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  9. ^ Powell, Jason (April 10, 2021). "WrestleMania 37 results: Powell's live review of night one featuring Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. AJ Styles and Omos for the Raw Tag Titles, Bad Bunny and Damian Priest vs The Miz and John Morrison". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  10. ^ Hale, Andreas (April 11, 2021). "WrestleMania 37 match grades: Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks make history in instant classic on Night 1". Sporting News. Retrieved April 12, 2021. A historic main event, two African-American[s] headlining WrestleMania for the first time...

External links[edit]