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Joshi vs. Joshi: Asuka & IYO SKY Set for Championship Bout

At this past episode of Smackdown, the team of Shotzi and Charlotte scored a victory over Damage CTRL's Bayley and WWE Women's Champion IYO SKY to open the show. Chaos erupted as soon as the bell rang with all four competitors exchanging strikes in the ring ending with IYO delivering a springboard Asai moonsault to ringside. Though Bayley was in control of the offense against Shotzi for majority of the match, the ballsy Shotzi would secure the hot tag for Charlotte to take control.

It would not be long, however, before Damage CTRL capitalized on an opportunity to gain the upper hand. But as Bayley was about to deliver a Diving Elbow Drop for the finish, former Women's Champion Asuka appeared ringside to steal IYO's championship belt held by Dakota to distract the team. Flair and Shotzi then took advantage of the distracted Damage CTRL with Shotzi delivering a modified DDT to Bayley for the pinfall finish.

After the match, Asuka taunted IYO SKY with the latter's championship belt insinuating that she wanted a shot at her title somewhere down the line. The championship match between the two was then announced for the September 22nd episode of Friday Night Smackdown later on that night. This marks WWE's first singles joshi match in the modern era.

Writer's Thoughts: The tag match was fantastic, and I'm glad that 1) Shotzi scored yet another victory over Bayley, and 2) Charlotte focused on uplifting Shotzi throughout the match! This leaves room for Asuka and IYO to finally meet one-on-one in the ring leaving the WWE Universe in anticipation for their championship battle. I'm personally stoked to see how the Western audience would react to a singles bout of purely Japanese wrestlers given their wrestling styles. With Asuka and IYO being two of the best wrestlers in the world, I look forward to how WWE sets up the storyline for this match.


For further coverage on this episode of Friday Night Smackdown, be sure to check out Women's Wrestling Talk's official Smackdown Post-Show Live Stream below!


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