Given that WWE split their Women’s roster across both Raw and Smackdown, resulting in two divisions with only a handful of wrestlers in each, you would think they’d be thrilled to have an experienced performer like Emma off the injury list as soon as possible. However, it turns out that isn’t the case, as Emma revealed on social media that she’s been cleared to return to the ring for about six weeks at this point, which means she could have potentially been back on TV in time for SummerSlam.
6 weeks ago I was cleared… Each week I wait, the more frustrated I get. I feel sorry for the person who's going to see it's all about me!
— TENILLE DASHWOOD (@TenilleDashwood) September 20, 2016
It seems curious why WWE would hold her back (while at the same time having Nikki Bella make a big return during that same time frame), but when we looked at how the Raw and Smackdown Women’s divisions have been set up after the brand split, perhaps we can understand it a bit. Over on Raw, Emma’s former NXT partner Dana Brooke has been co-opted by Charlotte, and the division is largely stacked and focused around three of WWE’s biggest female Superstars, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley, with Nia Jax rising up the ranks as well. Given that logjam, there really isn’t a spot for Emma to make an impact. Meanwhile, on Smackdown, while nobody has really stood out as a huge star, the women by necessity have been kept clumped into a single group in order to have them all compete in a single match for the newly introduced Smackdown Women’s Title, and jamming a seventh person into an already-crowded Six Pack Challenge probably wouldn’t be the best idea.
Honestly, holding Emma back so she can have a big return (and given what we just said, we’re still assuming she’ll end up on Smackdown) is probably better for her career, even though it will probably get pushed back again in favor of All Red Everything, Eva Marie, who’s set to come back from her Wellness suspension this week and resume her role of not actually wrestling. Not exactly a fair trade, from our perspective.