14. “SmackDown Women’s Title Deserves Better” – Stone Cold On Lana Getting Title Shots
During the latest edition of The Steve Austin Show podcast, WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin discussed Lana getting two back-to-back SmackDown Women’s Title matches against Naomi (first at Money In The Bank 2017 PPV and now on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live).
Below is what Austin had to say about this:
“Naomi deserves better, the title deserves better. Lana wasn’t up for this task at hand, at this point in her career. I thought she had much more mystique as the valet, whatever the term is, with Rusev. Man, they kind of killed her gimmick off, and reinvented her, and I just liked her the way she was. So, if she wants to be in the ring, that’s more power to her, but a lot of the stuff I got on Twitter was, ‘Hey man. For a first match, she did a lot better than I expected.’ Ok. As I say that, good for her. But as a company who’s striving for excellence in sports entertainment/professional wrestling, the best of the best belong on a pay-per-view.
“They’re not pay-per-views anymore, but the best of the best – whether they’re a top-tier worker, or someone over with X-factor, it factor, or selling merch, or drawing a crowd – those are the people that need to be featured on the pay-per-views. And all of a sudden, you have this person come from nowhere, get a title shot, be featured, now come back two weeks later to be on another featured match on SmackDown, which is gonna do a number or not. But I just thought, you have to treat a title with higher regard and respect than that, and put the people on the pay-per-views, or the events that are broadcast on the WWE Network, the best of the best are on the shows. That’s just the way I see it.”