Pruett’s Blog – Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka is the only choice for the real main event of WrestleMania 34

By Will Pruett, Senior Staffer (@wilpruett)

It didn’t hit me until I saw them share the ring for the first time. I began to assume the match would happen in the last week, but the impact of the two of them standing face to face didn’t dawn on me until the moment. Last night, as Charlotte Flair celebrated her championship defense and Asuka interrupted her, I realized Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair was the WrestleMania main event we all need.

We now know a large portion of the WrestleMania card and can extrapolate the rest. It’s looking like a very good show is on the horizon for New Orleans. The only men’s match I could potentially see in the main event slot is AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. While it hasn’t happened in WWE, this match has happened before. I know it’ll be great, but will it be undefeated vs. champion great? Will it have the two years of build WWE has given Asuka’s streak? Nope.

The other potential WrestleMania main events feature a lazy man in Brock Lesnar likely pouting on his last night (it’s happened before), or a wrestler who majorly disappointed closing the show last year and proved he didn’t have an epic match left in him (Undertaker). Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns will be big. Undertaker vs. John Cena will be big. Neither match needs to close out the night. It would be a disservice to both the fans and the women of WWE not to have Charlotte and Asuka close this one out.

We’ve been hearing, since 2015’s NXT show in San Jose on WrestleMania weekend, that women could one day, hopefully, in a dream, main event WrestleMania. Like many accomplishments in wrestling, women have to have the perfect scenario to get the opportunities men regularly do. Well, what could be more perfect? Asuka is the undefeated Royal Rumble winner with the longest winning streak in modern wrestling history. Charlotte Flair is the class of the division. She’s been on top since her main roster debut and has been a pioneer in WWE’s evolution.

Imagine a pioneering man defending his world title against an undefeated challenger coming off a Rumble win. Could this match be anything but the WrestleMania main event?

There’s also the issue of the WrestleMania crowd. WWE’s audiences have shown a receptiveness to women making history. While many fans may scoff at all of the “first time evers” thrown about, when it comes time for the hard working women of WWE to get in the ring and wrestle, fans are there for it. What better way to keep the WrestleMania fans engaged than to give them one of the biggest matches and moments in WWE history?

Finally, WWE should think about the optics of this. They brought Ronda Rousey in and on the same show where she makes her wrestling debut, women could main event WrestleMania for the first time. This is a moment to show giving Divas a chance, the Divas Revolution, the Women’s Revolution, and the Women’s Evolution aren’t just hashtags or catchphrases, but an actual movement. This is a moment to do more than pay lip service to progress. By choosing now to give women the main event slot at WrestleMania, WWE would be further enhancing their own brand image. They’d be showing fans, investors, and potential television network suitors their commitment to equality.

WWE has said a lot about how women can do anything, even main event WrestleMania one day. 2018 is the year to stop saying they could and say they did.

Will Pruett writes about wrestling and popular culture at Of interest to him are diversity in wrestling and wrestling as a theatrical art form. To see his video series “What I Love About Professional Wrestling” subscribe to his YouTube channel. To contact, check him out on Twitter @wilpruett, leave a comment, or email him at

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Readers Comments (12)

  1. Got to agree with this, especially if you want to avoid the boos sure to follow a Reigns victory closing your Show of Shows-unless Samoa Joe re-appears to decimate Reigns. And on the merits the Charlotte-Asuka match is the money encounter, too. Then Rousey can come out and rag-tag the winner.

  2. This is meant with zero disrespect meant to women’s wrestling, but you can’t have this as the Wrestlemania main event this year. First, you’d have the awkwardness involved with having two babyfaces going against each other. Second off, the build’s still lacking. And lastly, is Asuka a strong enough promo to carry a Wrestlemania main event slot?

    If you wanted to try to sell me on this six months sooner, I’d buy it. They’d have enough time to turn Charlotte heel, and build to the match a bit. I’m sure they’d put on a great show, too. The timing’s just off right now, to me.

    • Hi friend,
      The following are babyface vs. babyface WrestleMania main events throughout history:
      – WrestleMania VI – Hogan vs. Warrior
      – WrestleMania XII – Hart vs. Michaels
      – WrestleMania XVII – Austin vs. Rock
      – WrestleMania XXIII – Cena vs. Michaels
      – WrestleMania XXVI – Undertaker vs. Michaels
      – WrestleMania XXVIII – Cena vs. Rock
      – WrestleMania XXIX – Cena vs. Rock
      – WrestleMania XXXIII – Reigns vs. Undertaker

      Tell me more about how babyface vs. babyface Mania main events do not work.

      • The problem with this matchup versus the majority of those mentioned is that all of the other matches involved individuals who were clearly positioned as top-of-the-card-every-PPV-stars. I can’t deny the popularity of Charlotte and Asuka, but you really think they compare to the likes of Undertaker, Rock, Stone Cold, or even Cena? That’s laughable. Any other show, I could see. So instead of focusing in on one point made, look at the whole picture.

        Miz could carry a feud with himself on the mic better than both of them together. Charlotte has lacked any serious character development on Smackdown and has been mostly spinning her wheels as the Smackdown Live creative team seems to have forgotten they have good women wrestlers on the roster.

        Could it be main event worthy? Certainly. But there’s not enough time to build it that point with out it feeling rushed.

        • womens wrestlers cant achieve the popularity of a Cena or Austin untill the same energy is given to promoting them.

          this means not just putting them in the main event but going beyond “its a first for women” to treating them like they belong.

          if WWE did this for Women, Tag Team wrestling, Cruiserweights etc they would sell alot more seats at shows.

          back to Women, i completely agree that Charlotte v Asuka is that moment. The story sells itself, there is four shows to go and a million possibilities. Charlotte is a Flair if they want to turn her heel it will take 30seconds. shes got a legacy to defend and Asuka is a real threat. its turn 101.

          • The problem with a Charlotte heel turn now, is there won’t be enough time to establish her as a credible heel. She has past work to lean on, yes. But that’s not what you want to build a current character on.

            The ideal scenario would have been to have Charlotte heel months ago and have her soundly beat practically everyone. No cheating. No shortcuts. Her proving she’s superior and unbeatable. and after defeating the scrappy underdog, Ruby Riott, have her gloat and say she’s beaten everyone. The pop for Asuka would have been unreal.

            If that was the story, I’m ALL IN for them in the main event. Instead, Asuka has been handcuffed to Raw, seemingly pointed toward a match with Alexa Bliss. And Charlotte has been “The Queen” on Smackdown because what credible heels do they have that are capable of believably dethroning her….

      • Max summed up my thoughts almost spot on.

        Every match you listed could stand on it’s own practically because of the participants involved, and their legacies. You wouldn’t need to give the casual wrestling fan a reason to boo someone like the Warrior, or Shawn Michaels, because they’re going to be invested in the characters already. And Wrestlemania is marketed more to the casual fan, and not the hardcore audience. Always has been, as you know.

        From a character standpoint, who is Asuka? Yes, she’d undefeated, and you could argue that’s part of the spectacle of the match- but for people who haven’t seen NXT, that’s hardly going to mean much. The Bludgeon Brothers are also undefeated in about the same length of time on the main roster. Asuka also struggles with her English, so she’s going to need a strong foe to help her promote the match on the mic so people tune in to see Asuka’s strength: her wrestling.

        To an extent, you could also ask who’s Charlotte as a character? Sure she’s a Flair, and she’s “genetically superior”… but the creative powers on the Smackdown side have done her no favors in making her seem special. And to interject a little more personal opinion here: she’s just not very likable as a babyface, to me.

        I just don’t see a way you put Asuka on one side of the ring, Charlotte on the other, and sell it as the main event of Wrestlemania on the strength of “Streak vs. Title” alone. Emotional investment matters, and the proof will be in the pop Asuka got for her confrontation with Charlotte; and how it won’t be as loud as the one that comes when Cena’s standing in the ring, and that gong hits.

        They can absolutely close that gap, but it’s going to take story work and more than a few weeks time.

        • If they were to announce that match as the main event, and less eyes than usual were to watch the product, Vince would make it his mission to stonewall women’s wrestling in WWE in any prominent spotlight.

          Now is not the time to put them in the main event. I would argue it’s next year or never. And I have a reason why I believe that.

          I would rather see the women get the same attention creatively as someone like Cena, as opposed to card placement for the sake of equality. I want them to be given the opportunity to build that reputation. WWE has, in my opinion, the best women’s roster top to bottom that it has ever had. So, feed and water them. Help them grow. Pick a fruit before it’s ready, and it won’t be good.

          I, myself, would prefer quality over equality. And by that I mean, I want the women to have more time and effort dedicated to them. I think combining the Raw and Smackdown women’s roster and creating a show dedicated entirely to them would be a step forward. There, they can be highlighted. Each woman can receive the opportunity to grow. Their characters can be fleshed out. They can have a women’s tag division (sorely needed considering the number of multi-woman matches they do).

          It could work now. But I’d rather get a polished, finished product that would blow everyone’s mind rather than doing it for the sake of doing it and risk setting women’s wrestling back.

  3. I think the other commenters’ points about the lack of time to fully promote a Charlotte-Asuka match are obviously well-taken, as is the implicit point (explicit as to Asuka) about the competitors not being great at self-promotion. However, sometimes it is up to the wrestlers to grab opportunity and run with it, like Elias or Braun Stowman, for example. I think both Asuka and Charlotte have the ability to sell the spectacle once the match starts. You’d be surprised at how well people perform WHEN GIVEN A CHANCE. That is what the author is saying, and he is right.

  4. I think it is really time to go with some fresh faces in the main event this year. Styles- Nakamura would make for a great main event if WWE is thinking about appeasing the diehard fans this year. I would be more than happy if Asuka and Charlotte main evented though. I have no doubts that they can tear the house down and the match does feel big. I would be disappointed if Lesner-Reigns or HHH/Steph- Rousey/Angle mainevented. Too many stale names there. Same for Cena-Undertaker (if it happens).

    • The Superdome is sold out and WrestleMania will always spike buyrates no matter what the main event is (Lawrence Taylor/Bam Bam Bigelow proved that). It’s a captive audience so putting Asuka/Charlotte on last wouldn’t be an issue….On an unrelated note I hope Sonya Deville gets a high profile match.

  5. This match will be good but no way should it be the main event. But I would rather see these two be the main event then that travesty match with Rousey.

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