Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Backlash kicked off the week for us with two title matches and they weren’t the only title matches we got this week.
A quick note before we begin. This week in the community surrounding wrestling has been harrowing for reasons I won’t go into here. Wrestling feels tarnished at the moment, and I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that way. I contemplated taking a couple of weeks off but that didn’t feel right either, so here we go.
Sasha Banks & Bayley
Asuka vs Nia Jax – Double Count-out
Sasha Banks & Bayley (C) vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Triple-threat match
Before the match, Bayley and Sasha Banks had a quick interview with Kayla Braxton. She asked them if losing would end their friendship. Banks said no, they were unstoppable, and went to the ring. Bayley hung back to yell at Braxton enough to make you think she’s definitely worried.
It was an entertaining opener. With a member of each team in the ring at any one time, and sometimes more than one, there was chaos aplenty and no chance of anyone getting close to a pin. Alexa Bliss took down everyone in sight when she tagged in mid-match. Peyton Royce took out everyone when her crossbody to Banks and Bliss on the apron sent all three of them crashing into Bayley, Kay, and Cross. Bliss almost pinned Peyton Royce off Twisted Bliss, but Sasha Banks pulled her off the cover and rolled her up for the win.
I would have liked to see Bliss and Cross take the titles back, but I’m very glad it wasn’t Nikki Cross who took the pin this time. Banks and Bayley don’t have long to recover, the defend the titles against Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart on Wednesday.
Asuka (C) vs Nia Jax – RAW Women’s Championship match
Asuka is still pretty angry with Jax for injuring Kairi Sane. Nia Jax is just generally angry. It made for a bad-tempered match. I was annoyed that with only two women’s matches on the card they were both in the first hour. It was short for a title match as well.
Jax got cocky when she had control of the match, despite having been unable to put Asuka away. She asked, ‘Where’s Kairi?’ Asuka answered her with a spinning backfist, and Jax lost any advantage she’d had.
The finish came after Asuka put Jax in an armbar over the ropes and (awkwardly) dragged her out of the ring. She put another armbar on at ringside. Jax broke the hold by swinging her into the barricade. She picked Asuka up to get her back in the ring at eight, but Asuka struggled out of her grasp, kicked her in the face, and they both got counted out. Asuka got back into the ring long enough to confirm she is still champion, then launched herself off the apron onto Jax, grabbed her title and left.
The IIconics def. Liv Morgan & Natalya
Asuka def. Nia Jax
The IIconics vs Liv Morgan & Natalya
Whatever else you may say about them, the IIconics teamwork is exceptional. It cost Liv Morgan the match in the end, via an unseen tag and a Fall From Grace. Short match, nothing much to comment on. Once it was over Peyton Royce and Billie Kay tried to call out the tag champs for an immediate match. It didn’t work but they’re confident it will happen next week.
Backstage, after a break, Natalya was giving Liv Morgan a piece of her mind. She said that Morgan had made rookie mistakes, lacks discipline, doesn’t understand partnership and she understands why Ruby Riott ditched her. Liv Morgan walked away without a word and Natalya carried on talking. She said she built the division for a bunch of ingrates and all she got in return was humiliated. Lana appeared from the shadows and talked about her own humiliation (she got dumped earlier in the show). If they form a tag team it’s going to be the most awkward and depressing of teams.
I’m sad if they’re going to turn Natalya into someone bitter and defeated. She’s getting towards the end of her career now and she has given her all to the women’s division for a very long time. At least give her a storyline that allows her to bow out with some pride and dignity before she heads to her inevitable backstage role.
Charlotte Flair appeared briefly, in a backstage segment with her dad. He was asking her about her plans and she wasn’t giving anything away. I think it was just there to show them interacting, but I don’t know why.
Is was Bayley’s birthday on Monday. She had a little birthday cake shaved into the back of her hair for the start of her birthday celebration week with Sasha Banks. Having defended the titles at Backlash, they announced they were appearing on all three shows including the scheduled title defence on NXT. Sasha Banks had a message for The IIconics, which they decided to come out and hear in person.
There was an exchange of insults and Peyton Royce slapped Banks. Bayley got so angry she accepted their challenge.
That means, after months of neglect, there will have been three WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship matches in a little over a week.
Asuka vs Nia Jax – RAW Women’s Championship match
There’s always at least one PPV match replay, or so it seems, and this was the Backlash one. It kind of made sense as the Backlash match went to a double count-out, but I still feel like the rematches lose some impact. Before the match, Charly Caruso asked Asuka if Nia Jax was just too menacing and dominant for her to handle. Asuka said ‘Nia Jax started this fight, Asuka will finish it’.
The match was fine, very aggressive. Asuka took a powerbomb on the outside going into a break that looked absolutely brutal. Asuka had a couple of good chances to get the win, but so did Jax. After Jax’ final attempt, off a headbutt followed by a Samoan drop, Jax got frustrated and shoved the ref. He headed over to the edge of the ring to disqualify her but on the way, Asuka grabbed Jax and rolled her up. The ref opted to fast count Jax instead of making the disqualification. Asuka retained, but there will be repercussions from that.
Aliyah def. Xia Li
Dakota Kai def. Kayden Carter
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart
Xia Li vs Aliyah
I have no idea why this is still a thing, they’ve repeatedly settled it already. On her way to the ring, Aliyah picked up a drunk and dishevelled Robert Stone from the floor and brought him to ringside to watch. He got up on the apron and vomited into the ring while the match was in progress, which allowed Aliyah to roll Li up and pin her, thankfully away from the vomit. She helped him to the back afterwards too. That was gross.
Mia Yim and Candice LeRae had a backstage scrap after LeRae turned up during a Keith Lee interview to yell at him.
Kayden Carter, with Kacy Catanzaro vs Dakota Kai, with Raquel Gonzalez
Kayden Carter is good, and she and Kai shared some decent in-ring chemistry. She might even have got the win over Kai is it wasn’t for Gonzalez’ distractions. Kacy Catanzaro threw herself at Gonzalez the second time she distracted Carter, but Gonzalez caught her and bounced her off the apron. Ironically, that was the distraction that led to Carter tapping out in a Dakota Kai submission.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match
There is actually something special about having Sasha Banks and Bayley back in NXT, a nostalgia for where they started and everything they’ve achieved. It helps when they pop in and have a great match, which they did.
Realistically, a shock win by Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart was never on the cards. They barely qualify as a team, although there was nothing wrong with their teamwork in this one and I’d love to see them develop it and get another shot. The match showcased them far more than it did Banks and Bayley, they didn’t even have to look weak in defeat.
Bayley brought a chair into the ring when Blackheart was on the verge of submitting Banks. Tegan Nox took the chair off her and while the ref was busy telling Nox to get rid of it Bayley flipped Blackheart over so Banks could apply the Bank Statement for the win.
Io Shirai appeared while they were celebrating. She launched herself off the top rope and dropkicked Bayley, suplexed Banks, and gave them each a double knees in the corner to persuade them out of her ring.
This week’s show was dedicated to Pete Dunne versus Tyler Bate from NXT TakeOver Chicago, so nothing from the women’s division. Kay Lee Ray got a quick hype video during the show though. Next week is another Superstar Picks Week, but who knows if there will even be an NXT UK this time next week with the way things are looking.
Sasha Banks def. Nikki Cross
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are fighting again and it’s The Miz’s fault. He brought Deville during Rose’s appearance on Miz TV, just as Rose was about to walk out because he was being insulting and unpleasant. Of course, they immediately argued. Rose wants Deville to leave her alone. Deville wants a slice of the attention Rose gets, or she just doesn’t want Rose to have it, or possibly a bit of both. It devolved into violence after some quite personal insults from both sides and with Deville appearing to be threatening to stop Mandy Rose being pretty. Rose got to slap Miz after Deville had used him as a shield to escape the ring.
Sasha Banks & Bayley made their fourth appearance of the week on SmackDown. They joined commentary for New Day’s match, but they’d earned a sit down after four shows and two title defences in a week. While a perfectly good match was frequently ignored, Bayley and Banks talked about themselves. Michael Cole likes to stir the pot. He asked Bayley who she’ll face next for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. When she said no one because she’s beaten them all, he pointed out that that’s the one title Sasha Banks has never held.
Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Tamina, Naomi, and Lacey Evans were having a chat by one of the training rings. Bliss said she and Nikki Cross would beat Bayley and Sasha Banks. Naomi said they’d had their chance. Lacey Evans said the last time she saw Sasha Banks she left her with a fist print on her face and she could do the same to Bayley. Tamina objected to Evans just naming herself as Bayley’s next challenger. And Dana Brooke tried to keep the peace by saying they’d all been disrespected by Banks and Bayley and they all deserved a chance at the. Bliss interrupted her to ask where Nikki Cross had gone and the segment ended.
Nikki Cross turned up after a break and a backstage interview with Sheamus, attacking Bayley and Sasha Banks who were still on commentary. Bliss arrived and pulled her away. Cross paced the ring and demanded a match so Bayley granted her a match with Sasha Banks. As usual, Banks looked less than impressed at being volunteered, but she didn’t refuse.
Nikki Cross vs Sasha Banks
The match started during a break and Nikki Cross was at her most manic. It worked well for her for most of the match, she even got herself out of the Bank Statement. In the end, she got caught out with a simple meteora and pinned.
That’s it for another week of WWE women’s division action. Join me next week and in the meantime follow @ArnFuriousCom to make sure you never miss a review. You can also follow me @manda_why. Please stay safe.