This week on SmackDown LIVE, Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan officially unveiled two brand new title belts exclusive to the show — a SmackDown Women's Championship and the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
But just what does the introduction of these new titles mean for SmackDown LIVE and who benefits from them the most? Let's take a look at what exactly these brand new belts will bring to the table for SmackDown.
Something To Fight For
Now that the brand split has returned, all respective champions are confined to one show. And with both the Women's Championship and the Tag Team Championship drafted to RAW, there was no way that anybody was going to take SmackDown LIVE seriously if they didn't have championships for those respective divisions. After all, why on earth would the women and the tag teams be happy about being part of a show that had nothing for them? The new championships aren't just being introduced to make the athletes happy, they are also there to make the fans happy. If the athletes are invested in their brand, then so are we.
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The Women's Division
Despite a rich history in the WWE, recent years had seen the Divas division flail. But this past year, it came back to life in a huge way. Why? Because the company was finally invested in it — allowing their talented female athletes more screen time, longer matches and calling up the most talented competitors from NXT. Then finally, the "Divas" tag was dropped along with its title belt and the WWE Women's Championship returned, looking similar to the WWE Heavyweight Championship. The fans were really into the women's division once again, and the revolution was successful.
However, the brand split meant that all that hard work could disappear. The likes of talented, fan-favorite Becky Lynch and veteran Natalya were drafted to SmackDown, but they would have absolutely no reason for being there or wanting to be there — rivalries would only last so long, right? After all, what was the point in SmackDown even having a women's division if they had no championship? It would have made more sense for the blue brand to either have none of the female athletes, or all of them — much like RAW's exclusive cruiserweight division.
The introduction of the new SmackDown Women's Championship ensures that the women's division will really continue to get the respect they have earned over this past year, and will also ensure that SmackDown's women are equally as important as RAW's. The upcoming inaugural women six-pack challenge for the championship, as well as the inclusion of Becky Lynch and the returning Nikki Bella ensures that the women's division will continue to have the main event feel that it has had for the past year.
Reinvigorating The Tag Team Division
Outside of the New Day, the Dudley Boyz and the Club, there really isn't all that much important tag team action on WWE Programming these days — and all those teams were drafted to RAW. So with the tag team division in need of a reinvigoration, the introduction of the SmackDown Tag Team titles really couldn't have come at a better time. Back in the days of the first brand split, SmackDown was known as the "land of opportunity" that, instead of always focusing solely on their headliners, would build and mold future stars of the company using legends like the Undertaker and Kane to do.
This was also true for its tag team division — SmackDown was the premier place for tag team wrestling during this period, with young teams like Paul London and Brian Kendrick and MNM making title reign history, while competing with veterans like the Hardy Boyz or Regal and Taylor. The new tag titles will allow WWE to make this happen all over again. In the tournament, young teams like American Alpha stole the show while usually questionable teams like Breezango proved just how talented they were despite a losing effort. Moreover, the inclusion of the multi-time WWE Tag Team Champions the Usos legitimates the new titles and the show even further.
Furthermore, last time WWE's tag team division got a little stale, they used solo stars to form new teams such as Kane and Daniel Bryan who formed Team Hell No. Together, they managed to breathe new life into the tag team division. It seems we are going to see something similar happen with Heath Slater and Rhyno on SmackDown LIVE, which is certainly going to make for some genius moments. Storylines like this are integral in reviving the team team competition on the blue brand, and it's all thanks to the Tag Team championships.
SmackDown Is Back In The Game
Despite a promising start, we soon became worried that WWE really weren't all that invested in making SmackDown a legitimate solo brand. They had fewer headliners, fewer hours and a lack of championships for their respective divisions. However, the introduction of the new championship once again puts SmackDown right back up there in the running as the supreme brand. It is no longer fighting an uphill battle as they can now treat each of their divisions as importantly as RAW does.
Many hoped for a brand new championship that would benefit SmackDown only — much like RAW's upcoming brand-exclusive Cruiserweight division and inevitable championship — but the introduction of these new titles make an important statement. WWE is finally starting to take its blue brand seriously — all of the talent now has something to fight for and with that comes crucially important and compelling storylines and matches. It breathes new life into the tag team and women's divisions and ensures that SmackDown has leveled the playing field between itself and RAW. We can all debate over who will win the brand new championships, but without a doubt, the real winner here is SmackDown.
Are you happy with the brand new WWE SmackDown Women's and Tag Team Championships? Do you wish they had invented a new exclusive championship? Let us know in the comments!