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‘Heal The Glow’: Why Naomi relinquishing the Smackdown Women’s title wasn’t a bad idea



It was a dark and dismal moment in the career of Trinity Fatu, better known on WWE television as “Naomi”, as the injury bug seemed to bite at precisely the wrong time.

Two weeks removed from a well deserved and long-awaited women’s championship victory over Alexa Bliss at WWE Elimination Chamber and a knee injury has pulled one of the most charismatic superstars out of action, sidelining her for what appears to be an unknown amount of time. This led the WWE brass pulling the plug on her first reign, stripping her of the title citing that “you must defend your championship within 30 days, and you cannot” and putting the title back around the waist of the red-hot Bliss, who has become arguably the most popular competitor on the Smackdown women’s roster.

To some, this was a slight against Naomi and nothing more. It seems to be a quick solution and many online “know it all’s” will argue that the WWE has held out longer for other champions to battle back from injury and many seem to cite that Dean Ambrose, the current WWE Intercontinental Champion, has not defended his title on WWE television in over a month.

While I usually tend to sway more against the decisions made by the WWE writers than for them, I think this decision is in fact the best one to make in this circumstance. While Naomi has been able to take some questionable WWE ideas and make them work (ex: the aptly named “Team Bad” and the entire duration of her run as a “Funkadactyl”) and has clearly improved in the ring, I would like to argue that her first title reign could not succeed with so much time spent out of action and no storyline building towards WrestleMania.

It is clear to me that WWE had intended to go into the big event with Naomi at the helm as this year’s show is set to happen in her hometown of Orlando, FL and while those plans remain up in the air, it is logical that WWE has simply hit the reset button and put the title back on Bliss, who has been nothing short of terrific during her tenure as champion.

Try and see this scenario logically. If WWE keeps her off television as champion, there is no build towards a match she may not even be ready to compete in. Instead, keeping the title active and delivering a heartbreaking piece of television featuring the tears of a woman who has worked so hard to get this far, only to have it taken away from her abruptly is a far better build than sitting at home, on the mend, keeping the title undefended could ever be. This invites many different scenarios as they keep an eye on Naomi’s progress and from the looks of it, if she is well, this injury could very well give her an even better WrestleMania moment than she ever expected, while giving WWE legitimate options to look at in the event that Naomi will be unable to compete.

Like it or not, to succeed as champion, Naomi needs to be active. They need her poise to grow significantly and get some in ring experience as the champion before simply “handing her the keys” to the WrestleMania vehicle. WWE’s decision making is completely logical in this case. She was a brand new champion who took the title off an incredibly popular superstar, meaning the expectations are massive and in this case, with the Smackdown women’s roster being so over right now, WWE cannot afford to miss whatever shot they take going into the next few weeks of action. WWE needs a champion they can build on going into Wrestlemania and a knee injury absolutely kills those plans, especially when the expected champion’s entire shtick is dancing and sliding down a long, metal ramp.

This is merely the beginning for Naomi, not the end. Fear not, fans. All WWE has done here is hit the reset button. Between the tearful relinquishing of the title and Alexa Bliss having more time to hold the championship as a heel, I think we are in for an amazing moment when Naomi reclaims and gets her rightful reign as champion, which in my opinion, is what WWE is attempting to build towards. Until we see the storyline develop, all we can do is wish Naomi well in her recovery and hope that she returns sooner rather than later.  

Get well soon, Naomi and know that when the fans chant “You deserve it”, it is sincere. For more stories and articles follow @NicholasGrooms on Twitter.

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