The glow is back, and we’re feeling it. Naomi made a triumphant return to SmackDown Live this past Tuesday, and just in time, too. We’re days away from WrestleMania 33, at the competition for the Women’s Championship is on fire.
And how else would Naomi make her return, but in style? It all started when a singles competition between Becky Lynch and Carmella exploded in a no-contest. Current champion Alexa Bliss and Mickie James had decided to get involved, after commentating at ringside. Daniel Bryant then stepped in to turn the contest into a tag team match, which was eventually won by the team of Carmella and Bliss.
As expected, Natalya got herself involved in a few post-match scuffles as well. But then Naomi’s music hit to the roar of the crowd, and she ran in, looking better than ever, to clear the ring.
The Knee Looks Fine
A month and a half ago, Naomi won her first SmackDown Women’s Championship by pinning Alexa Bliss at Elimination Chamber. However, the same split-leg moonsault that won her the match also injured her knee. She was quickly forced to relinquish the title; Bliss would win it back shortly.
But it seems like the knee injury was never too bad – and Naomi was quick to demonstrate this in her surprise return. First she performed a scissor leg take down to Natalya on the ramp. She then proceeded to take out the other superstars in the ring with a variety of kicks, alternating from left to right with no problem at all.
The question now is if WWE is confident enough in Naomi too award her the championship once more. A poll on WWE.com asked fans which champion was most likely to lose their belt at WrestleMania 33. And of the choices, Bliss came in 2nd with 17% of the votes (behind only Goldberg’s 40%). Someone would expect the glow to take off just where it was left.
Given that we’re looking at a 6-woman free-for-all (at least), Bliss will have more than Naomi to worry about. Becky Lynch is always a crowd pleaser, and Mickie James would be the choice if WWE wants to pull off an upset.
But storyline-wise, Naomi still hasn’t done anything with the belt, so it would make far more sense to bring her back to the spotlight. SDL has been trustworthy with their creative approaches so far. Returning the belt to Bliss allowed them to avoid the hot-potato treatment that Raw’s Women’s Championship has been getting.
And let’s not forget that Orlando, where WrestleMania 33 is taking place, is Naomi’s hometown. It’ll be hard to deny her a victory there as a way of revving up the crowd during the kick-off show.
Ready for the Ultimate Thrill Ride? WrestleMania 33 starts this Sunday, April 2.