On SmackDown this week, two new WWE Championship titles were revealed: the SmackDown Women’s Championship and the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon announced these titles at the beginning of the August 23rd show. They also announced that a women’s six-pack challenge will occur at the upcoming Backlash pay-per-view, with this determining who will become the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion.
As well, a tag team tournament will be held to determine the Tag Team Champions; it began on August 23rd’s SmackDown but will culminate at Backlash.
This comes a few hours after SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan revealed on Twitter that two exclusive titles were on the way. He did not add any more information, but most fans expected them to be the long-anticipated SmackDown Women’s Championship and SmackDown Tag Team Championship, as ultimately proved to be the case.
Bryan had previously teased the idea of introducing new titles to compete with Monday Night Raw; on that show, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley came up with the Universal Championship when SmackDown secured for themselves the World Championship. In a recent appearance on Talking Smack, though, Bryan said that he doesn’t want to rush into creating new titles.
“We’re trying to formulate a good way of bringing in the tiles and giving people the opportunity to take those titles and prove they’re the best team on SmackDown,” Bryan said.
He also mocked Raw for immediately introducing their own title to compete with SmackDown, laughing at the name “Universal Championship.”
It probably wasn’t a coincidence that American Alpha happened to be sitting next to Daniel Bryan when he talked about a potential tag team title, as this team is the favorite to become the first SmackDown Tag Team Champions. And on the women’s division side of things, this new Women’s Championship title is being introduced on the night that Nikki Bella just so happens to be returning, so could she be the first to claim it?
The design of these titles received a much better reaction than the WWE Universal Championship did. Fans everywhere complained after SummerSlam that the new Raw belt was ugly and uninspired, and in fact the crowd in Brooklyn chanted more about the belt than they did about the match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Rollins was not happy about this, writing on Twitter that the Brooklyn audience let him down.
Raw General Manager Mick Foley made a similar post on Facebook, describing the crowd chants as what happens when smart fans turn dumb.
“There are so many times when WWE fans act in a way that makes me proud,” Foley wrote. “Last night was not one of them.”