WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte has twice needed help to make it past Natalya: once from Ric Flair on Raw, and once from Flair’s referee doppelganger Charles Robinson at WWE Payback, who called for the bell before Charlotte could tap and initiated the “Chicago Screwjob” of 2016. At Extreme Rules, the champion have either of those luxuries, and to beat Natalya, she’ll have to flat-out tap her out, because the rule for their rubber match is a straight-up, no-frills Submission Match, with Flair barred from involvement. The first Superstar to make the other cry uncle will be crowned the winner.
As challenges come, that’s a seemingly insurmountable one for Charlotte. Not because she can’t win the match fair and square — she pinned Natalya outright in their first confrontation over the NXT Women’s Championship in 2014 — but because since coming into her own as a champion, the young prodigy has leaned increasingly on her father’s “coaching” (i.e., interference) to retain her title.
All of this is a welcome development for Natalya, but lost in the narrative of Charlotte’s support system (or lack thereof) is the question of whether The Queen of Harts can get it done. For all her claims that she can beat any woman in the world in a straight-up contest, Natalya has yet to manage it against Charlotte when the chips are down. Her and uncle Bret Hart pretzeling the Flairs into twin Sharpshooters at WWE Payback was fun, but it didn’t fill up her trophy case, and it’s not hard to imagine Natalya being shuffled to the back of the line should she fall short on May 22.
Luckily, it’s doubtful she’d have it any other way. As the daughter of WWE royalty, Natalya is always up for a fight. Give her a ring to compete in and an opponent to tap out and she’s got a shot. As for Charlotte? Well, she is the daughter of WWE royalty, too, but she’s been content to play daddy’s little girl over the last few months as she hides behind her father’s interference. At Extreme Rules, she’ll have to put up — and grow up — or give up.
|Extreme Rules 2016 previews|
The New Day v The Vaudevillains • Charlotte v Natalya • Roman Reigns v AJ Styles • Dolph Ziggler v Baron Corbin • Dean Ambrose v Chris Jericho • Kalisto v Rusev • Fatal 4-Way match • The Usos v Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows