Charlotte Flair became an eight-time women's champion in shocking fashion on Tuesday night when she was awarded an impromptu title match against SmackDown Women's Champion Asuka and beat her via her Figure Eight Submission. The development came as a surprise given that Flair has been linked to the Raw Women's Championship match ever since she was awarded Becky Lynch's title shot by Vince McMahon. On top of that, WWE had already announced a No. 1 contender's match to determine who would challenge Asuka at WrestleMania. Based on Dave Meltzer's report on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, WWE didn't decide to put the title back on Flair until hours before SmackDown Live.
"This decision was made at the last minute," Meltzer said. "It was literally made this afternoon or this morning. I heard about it a couple of hours before the show. Not exactly. I wasn't told what was happening. I was only told things were happening that would effect the [WrestleMania 35] card and obviously those were the matches, the SmackDown Women's title match is out, it looks like."
As of Wednesday, the WWE hasn't determined whether or not Flair's title will also be on the line in the WrestleMania main event, or if the switch was just made to help boost the prestige of the main event itself without adding anymore stipulations.
Numerous members of the women's locker room voiced their frustration over the development, particularly because it took away a WrestleMania match from Asuka.
"She (Flair) did less to earn that title shot than the WrestleMania one," Lynch tweeted. "Asuka deserves so much better."
"[Asuka] deserves better," Sarah Logan wrote.
As of Wednesday, the WWE has announced 13 matches for the show, which will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Elsewhere on SmackDown Live this week, Vince McMahon gave Kofi Kingston one more opportunity for a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 35 when he put Xavier Woods and Big E in a tag team gauntlet match. Together the pair beat Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura, The Bar, The Usos (via forfeit) and WWE Champion Daniel Bryan and Rowan.
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