Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Survivor Series weekend is looming on the horizon, and it’s potentially going to be the most exciting weekend of WWE programming for a very long time. Before we get there though, there are cards and teams to build and matches to hype.
Charlotte Flair & Natalya def. The Kabuki Warriors
Andrade & Zelina Vega def. Sin Cara & Carolina
RAW had an air of excitement this week because everyone saw how good NXT turning up had made SmackDown. They couldn’t do the surprise attack angle, because everyone was expecting it, so they went down the route of teasing their arrival. The opening shot of RAW was several large vehicles arriving at the arena. Triple H got out of the first one but we didn’t see who was in the others.
The Kabuki Warriors vs Charlotte Flair & Natalya.
Teaming Flair and Natalya together for the second week running, combined with the way commentary talk about their shared history and the things being legacy talents gives them in common, strongly suggests there may be a tag title chase in their future. Putting them against the tag champs in the second match of their pairing is a pretty big hint as well.
There was a huge hype package for Natalya and Lacey Evans’ match in Riyadh before Natalya’s entrance. And it was Natalya who started things off, first with Kairi Sane, then Asuka after Sane didn’t like being spun around and slammed into the canvas. Charlotte Flair wanted in against Asuka, but Natalya soon found herself helping out and double suplexes from the legacy pairing sent us into the break.
Asuka got the better of Natalya after the break, with a kick to the face on the outside. The Kabuki Warriors kept Natalya in their corner and in trouble for a little while, just long enough to fire Flair up for her turn. Asuka hooked Sane’s leg on the ropes to prevent a pin, Charlotte Flair made her pay for that then landed a moonsault on both Kabuki Warriors. Sane kicked out of the resulting pin.
After a second ad break, Natalya got her chance to save the day. She almost had to tap to an armbar, but fought her way out and locked in the Sharpshooter. Kairi Sane broke that up, then took a spear from Charlotte Flair and Natalya put the Sharpshooter back on. Asuka tapped.
Beating the champions gives Flair and Natalya a good argument for a title match, but if they’re going to team for a while, it might be nice to see a few more matches first.
Andrade & Zelina Vega vs Sin Cara & Carolina
This match was set after Vega and Carolina got into it last week during Andrade and Sin Cara’s match. Vega wanted some kind of revenge for Carolina putting her hands on her. She got it, eventually, although she took a little punishment first. She got the pin after smashing Carolina’s head into the mat with a basement-rana.
Becky Lynch was interviewed by Charly Caruso, briefly. Caruso asked about the upcoming Survivor Series match and Lynch said it’s her favourite time of the year. No one can relax and everyone is almost tribal. She loved the NXT invasion of SmackDown. Who knows better than The Man what a well-timed invasion can do for your reputation. It’s different this year. Normally she’s the one out for retribution but this time she’s the target because she’s beaten both her opponents’ best friends.
Shayna Baszler turned up, dismissed Caruso and told Lynch she’s been waiting a long time to meet her face to face. She knows all about her, everyone talks about what a shining example she is of the talent that comes from NXT. She trains with Ronda Rousey, they’re friends, but she wants to make it very clear that she’s not Ronda Rousey. At Survivor Series she’ll keep an eye on Bayley, but she wanted to meet Lynch so she could tell her to her face that she’s going to pin her or tap her out.
Lynch said she didn’t know Baszler, so she didn’t know whether she respects her or whether to slap the head off her, yet.
Becky Lynch said she’s glad they met face to face so Baszler can feel the doubt that Rousey felt. Because warring with her will change Baszler like it did the rest of them. So she won’t be taking her eyes off Bayley either, but she’s coming directly for Baszler.
They stood up and got nose to nose. Baszler said it was ‘really’ nice to meet her, and Lynch told her that at Survivor Series she’ll show her who the real baddest woman on the planet is.
Both of them were very dismissive about Bayley. She would, of course, have plenty to say about that later in the week.
I really enjoyed this face to face. Both women look like they’re looking forward to facing each other. I hope so. That always comes through in a match and this one has the potential to be incredible.
Taynara def. Santana Garrett
Shayna Baszler def. Dakota Kai
Dakota Kai had a backstage interview to ask about Shayna Baszler saying she would be a wasted War Games pick. Kai admitted she used to be intimidated by Baszler, but she’s not the same person she was. Since her injury, she is more aggressive and has more fire. She wants to use the match with Baszler to prove to Rhea Ripley that she deserves that final spot, and to see if Baszler still thinks she’s a wasted pick after she kicks her face off.
Taynara vs Santana Garrett
There is no way around it. I try to be as positive as possible, but this match wasn’t what we expect to see from NXT’s women’s division. The word I used in the NXT review this week (which is here if you’d like to read it) was pedestrian and I think that’s fair. It never really built any momentum then it was over. Taynara won with a kick to Santana Garrett’s face.
Survivor Series weekend is going to be big for Shayna Baszler. On the Saturday night she is competing in the first women’s War Games match. Then on the Sunday she has a triple threat champions match against Becky Lynch and Bayley.
Shayna Baszler vs Dakota Kai
A non-title match for Dakota Kai to try to prove a point. And try to prove the point she did. She was aggressive from the off and had the champion taking a break on the outside very quickly. It went wrong when Kai went to the apron to follow. Baszler grabbed her leg and pulled her into the ringpost, then got her back in the ring to work over her braced leg.
Dakota Kai fought through the pain to come back at Baszler, but the momentum she managed to build was halted when Baszler followed her to the top turnbuckle and superplexed her off. It wasn’t enough to pin her though. They got into a striking contest, in which Kai more than held her own and Kai even got in some of her trademark kicks.
Shayna Baszler got the Kirifuda Clutch in and Kai got flipped out before she locked it in. But when Baszler got it on a second time Kai couldn’t get to the ropes in time and had to tap.
After the match, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir joined Baszler in beating Kai up. Rhea Ripley and her team ran down to help but were intercepted by team Baszler’s Io Shirai and Bianca Belair. Mia Yim arrived with a kendo stick to rescue Dakota Kai and clear Baszler and associates from ringside.
Rhea Ripley named Mia Yim as the fourth member of her team in a backstage interview. Mia Yim is ready and excited. Dakota Kai was present at the time and looked sad and angry as Ripley apologised and told her she didn’t make the cut. Kai said it’s cool, she gets it, but she shot Yim a look before she walked away looking like she was going to cry.
It feels like they’re teasing Dakota Kai joining Baszler’s team against her friends. It might be interesting, but I hope they don’t go that route.
Isla Dawn def. Killer Kelly
Xia Brookside was asked about the things Kay Lee Ray said last week. She said they were strong words, but she wouldn’t expect any more of her and everyone knows the truth. Ray may have outsmarted her, but she’s working harder than she ever has and she’s ready to show Kay Lee Ray what she’s made of.
Piper Niven had a getting to know you package about her start in wrestling and her arrival in NXT UK. There will be another part next week.
Killer Kelly vs Isla Dawn
This was Killer Kelly’s return from injury match. Isla Dawn was featured a lot when NXT UK first started, but seems to have been lost in the shuffle recently. It was a pretty even match really, I that they traded control back and forth. Somewhat surprisingly, Dawn spoiled Killer Kelly’s comeback by pinning her off a beautifully bridged suplex.
No women’s division action on Main Event again this week.
Sasha Banks def. Nikki Cross
Dana Brooke & Carmella def. Fire & Desire
This week SmackDown was in Manchester, England, and somehow I managed to avoid spoilers.
Bayley and Sasha Banks had a backstage interview. They were asked whether Baszler’s attack on Bayley last week was a sign of things to come at Survivor Series. Bayley said no, it was a sign of Baszler trying to become relevant and reminded everyone, especially Shayna Baszler, that it was they who put the NXT women’s division on the map. Sasha Banks said the NXT women of today may think they’re good, but they will always live in their shadow. Bayley took exception to Baszler and Becky Lynch saying they would keep an eye on her and pointed out she is the only woman to have held NXT, RAW, and SmackDown titles (and the tag titles as well).
Sasha Banks vs Nikki Cross
Sasha Banks has a new theme song, or an updated version of her old one to reflect her new attitude. Bayley joined commentary for the match. She’s got an issue with Corey Graves and wouldn’t talk to him to start with, but Michael Cole kept her busy with questions about Survivor Series. Cole actually apologised to her for interrupting to talk about the match.
Nikki took a break mid-match after delivering a crossbody to Banks on the outside, to attack Bayley and yell into a headset. She paid for it when Bayley held her leg while Banks kicked her off the apron. Sasha Banks’ advantage was short-lived. Bayley’s bad mood lasted until the end of the match.
The end came via Bank Statement after Sasha Banks reversed Cross’ attempt at a swinging neckbreaker.
After the match Bayley attacked Nikki Cross, and Shayna Baszler attacked Bayley while she was beating up Cross. Baszler was already on her way back out of the arena by the time Banks came back to help.
Fire & Desire vs Dana Brooke & Carmella
The winning team in this match get to join the Survivor Series team (Sasha Banks is the captain). Good match with some excellent teamwork from Rose and Deville to keep Carmella isolated for the mid-portion of the match. Sonya Deville distracted herself with Dana Brooke on the apron and gave Carmella the opportunity to tag out.
Brooke has a lot to prove and she’s determined to do it. She had control of Deville almost straight away, and despite Mandy Rose breaking up a pin attempt, she never lost it. Brooke got the pin after sending Deville flying backwards into the steps then delivering a senton from the top turnbuckle.
That’s it for another week of WWE women’s division action. Join me next week for another instalment, and in the meantime follow @ArnFuriousCom to make sure you never miss a review. You can also follow me @manda_why.