Backstage Update On WWE Women's Championship Presentation On SmackDown

After the 2023 draft took place over a month ago, confusion abounded when "SmackDown" Women's Champion Rhea Ripley was drafted to "Raw" and "Raw" Women's Champion Bianca Belair was drafted to "SmackDown," but the titles kept their brand-specific names. This got even more confusing after Belair lost her title to Asuka — another "SmackDown" draftee — at Night of Champions. On Friday afternoon, however, some light appeared at the end of the tunnel when WWE tweeted, alongside a photo of Asuka, that tonight's "SmackDown" will feature "a WWE Women's Championship presentation."


About an hour later, Sean Ross Sapp added a little bit more clarity in a report from Fightful Select. According to Sapp, WWE sources told him that the phrasing of the tweet "wasn't an accident" and that the segment on "SmackDown" should help clarify the situation. He added that there have been talks of "how to simplify" the situation, presumably without the "belt exchange" segments WWE had done after previous drafts that saw brand-specific champions switch places.

The women's singles titles are currently the only main roster championships that carry the name of a specific brand/show in their name, as the "Raw" and "SmackDown" tag team titles have been unified into the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship. The top men's singles titles have never carried explicit "Raw" or "SmackDown" branding, although the physical WWE Universal Championship belt had been color-coded to correspond to the brand it belonged to before its own unification with the WWE Championship.