Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. And what a week it has been. Chaos all round, brand hopping galore, and all leading up to Survivor Series weekend. This week’s column finishes with NXT TakeOver WarGames, next week will pick up from Survivor Series itself. But before that, we have go-home shows, and chaotic go-home shows at that.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair def. The IIconics
Asuka def. Natalya
Becky Lynch opened the show, is a sentence I feel like I’ve typed a lot in the past year, but it was true again this week. She started by calling out Bayley and Shayna Baszler to come and face her if they were in the building. She doesn’t care about brand supremacy, so if they want to fight they don’t have to wait until Sunday.
Instead of her Survivor Series competitors, she got The IIconics. They’re unhappy that they’ve been left off the RAW Survivor Series team. Becky Lynch interrupted them trying to tell her that the future is IIconic, to tell them she wanted to fight them both on her own instead of waiting for Charlotte Flair.
No one leaves Charlotte Flair out of the spotlight, so she arrived at that point. She said she doesn’t want to tag with Lynch any more than Lynch wants to tag with her, but the forces want them together. And Lynch isn’t the only one with a match to promote for Sunday because she’s the captain of Team RAW at Survivor Series.
Weirdly, Samoa Joe came out as Flair was getting into the ring, but it turned out he was a replacement commentator for Dio Maddin who is still out after taking an F5 on the announce desk from Brock Lesnar.
Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs The IIconics
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay piled into Lynch and Flair as soon as the bell rang and tried to take them out. It was their best, if not only, hope, but it didn’t work out for them. The match was very short. Charlotte Flair got Billie Kay in the Figure Eight and Becky Lynch gave Royce a Bex-ploder to stop her breaking it up.
The real action started after the final bell when Lynch and Flair were halfway up the ramp. Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir attacked The IIconics. Lynch and Flair ran back to help but they were still outnumbered three to two. Baszler put Lynch down on her own, Duke and Shafir took out Flair. Once Baszler, Duke and Shafir had laid them out, they left. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair tried to follow but were stopped by security. Apparently, this frustrated Becky Lynch because she knocked one of the security guards out.
Asuka, with Kairi Sane, vs Natalya
Apparently, this was the first time these two had gone one on one. It is arguable they still haven’t considering how crucial Kairi Sane was to the result of the short match. Sane first got involved when Natalya had followed Asuka to the outside. Natalya thwarted her charge and threw Asuka into the barricade when she hit her with a baseball slide off the distraction. Unfortunately for Natalya, she carried on focusing on Sane when she got in the ring and got kicked in the face and pinned.
Becky Lynch vs Rhea Ripley – No Contest
Kay Lee Ray def. Dakota Kai
Becky Lynch opened NXT as well as RAW. The opening sequence was William Regal greeting her at the door. She made her way to the ring after the credits. She was philosophical at first. As she said, it had been a long time since she’d been in that ring. After her moment of reflection, she was back in ass-kicking mode. She said Triple H had sent out an open invitation, but she was coming anyway because all she could think of was champ versus champ versus champ. On the subject of her opponents in that match, she said Bayley had destroyed all her Bayley Buddies except the blue-haired one that’s holding her back. And that it’s not her fault Bayley is a champ while she is the champ. Then she called out Shayna Baszler. Baszler turned up on RAW to introduce herself. Now she’s there to remind Baszler just who she is. And she wanted to know what Baszler was going to do about it.
She got Rhea Ripley instead. Ripley said ‘So, you’re The Man. Let’s see if you have a set of balls’, and we got ourselves an opening match.
Rhea Ripley vs Becky Lynch
I was not expecting this match and it was awesome. Of course, it wasn’t going to a finish because neither of them could stand to take a loss at this point in the build, but it was fun while it lasted.
They beat the hell out of each other for a good few minutes, without either having a clear and sustained advantage. Becky Lynch managed to get Ripley in the Dis-Arm-Her, but Ripley freed herself by rolling over and picking Lynch up. Lynch reversed the powerbomb, but Ripley was free.
Ripley superplexed them both down to the canvas from the top turnbuckle and they laid catching their breath. That was the moment Shayna Baszler chose to come down with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir and attack them both. Again, Baszler went for Lynch while Duke and Shafir took Ripley. Lynch came back and dealt with Baszler, then she and Ripley cleared Duke and Shafir from the ring.
Kay Lee Ray vs Dakota Kai
Dakota Kai still wants to prove she wouldn’t have been a wasted pick for WarGames. And she’s clearly still angry judging by the way she piled in on Kay Lee Ray at the start of the match.
Kay Lee Ray is vicious and calculating and wasn’t about to let Kai have it all her own way. Kai’s comeback provided a moment of hope, but she took a superkick to the head and Ray’s Gory Bomb finished her off.
SmackDown’s Carmella, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville turned up and attacked Kai and Ray. Bianca Belair, Io Shira, Candice LeRae, Mia Yim, and Tegan Nox arrived to make the save and the brawl got started.
RAW’s Natalya, Sarah Logan, and Kairi Sane arrived. Kairi Sane appeared to be dressed as Nikki Bella. She got face to face with, former best friend, Io Shirai but a kick to Shirai from Logan stopped that escalating.
Nikki Cross appeared waving a trashcan lid. She took out everyone on her way to the ring with it, then proceeded to use it to clear the ring, including a brief interaction with Kay Lee Ray, which was cool considering their extensive history. The segment ended with Nikki Cross alone in the ring with her music playing.
No women’s division matches this week, but Jinny had an interview, accompanied by Jazzy Gabert, where she talked about the NXT UK roster. She admitted they’re talented, but said they’re little girls. Rhea Ripley is a pathetic desperate little girl, trying so hard to be a queen, who ran off to America when she couldn’t handle getting involved in Jinny’s business. She was equally unpleasant about Piper Niven and took offence at Niven thinking she’s championship material. Apparently, Niven has to go through her if she thinks she’s worthy of a shot at the title, because she’s never pinned her.
No original women’s division action on Main Event this week. They did recap RAW’s opening match and the aftermath with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair seeing off Shayna Baszler and friends.
Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks
SmackDown started this week, pre-credits, with a rousing speech from Roman Reigns to say they would be opening the door for invasions and letting everyone in. Corbin tried to argue that is was stupid, and Sasha Banks stepped up to say she didn’t want to wait and the women’s division were going to take care of business immediately. Then she led the SmackDown women away.
After the opening credits and housekeeping, Banks led Team SmackDown – Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, and Carmella – to the ring. She said this was their ring and their show and they were going to take care of business. No one was going to jump them from behind. Her theory was that NXT wouldn’t show up because they’d already beaten them down, but RAW were there and she called them out.
Charlotte Flair came out with Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya, and Sarah Logan and thanked them for opening the door, but they would have kicked it down anyway. Flair challenged Banks to a one on one for old times sake.
It turned out Sasha Banks was wrong about NXT because Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox, and Toni Storm arrived. Ripley said since they were there, it should be a captain vs captain vs captain triple threat. Of course, NXT’s Survivor Series team hasn’t been named yet. It seems plausible that they’re waiting to see who comes through WarGames relatively unscathed. There was some arguing in the ring, then the fight broke out and they scrapped into the break.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley
What a huge week for Rhea Ripley. Becky Lynch on Wednesday, Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair on Friday, WarGames on Saturday, and Survivor Series on Sunday. That’s a lot of career moments in one week, and she completely deserves every one of them.
The match took place with all team members at ringside. Sasha Banks was taken down with kicks from Flair and Ripley and rolled out of the ring to let the other two fight it out for a while. If Ripley continues on her current trajectory, I’d expect this is a full-on feud within a couple of years. When Ripley sent Flair into the turnbuckle, Banks took her place.
Rhea Ripley made the mistake of following Banks to the outside and got kicked in the face when she tried to put Banks back in the ring, then Flair threw Banks into Cross and Sasha Banks and Nikki Cross got in each other’s faces. Ridiculous considering Cross is clearly Banks’ strongest teammate. Anyway, Ripley broke that up and scrapped with Banks until Flair hit them both with a moonsault.
After another break, and with Charlotte Flair bleeding from the mouth, it was all three in the ring, for the most part, winding up to the finish and breaking each other’s attempts. Rhea Ripley got the most inventive of pins. She waited until Flair had the Figure Eight on Sasha Banks, then slid underneath her and dragged her shoulders to the mat. Banks couldn’t do anything about it because she was still tied up in Flair’s legs. It was great.
The NXT team left immediately and watched from the stage as Banks and Flair got into it and their teams joined in.
Bayley was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. She asked her about her concerns for the triple threat match on Sunday. Bayley said she’s ready, and she’s ready if Shaya Baszler turns up tonight. Becky Lynch won’t because she’s too clever, but Baszler is impulsive. She only seems to turn up when Bayley’s back is turned, so Bayley’s telling her now, she’s ready.
Later, Shayna Baszler came to the ring and took exception to Bayley saying she only attacked her from behind. She stood in the centre of the ring and called her out. Bayley attacked her from behind. The ensuing brawl was brutal. Bayley ended up in a Kirifuda Clutch stood up on the outside, but Bayley broke the hold by forcing Baszler into the barricade. The fight continued until Bayley shoved Baszler into the ringpost and escaped. Baszler looked furious.
NXT TakeOver WarGames
Team Ripley def. Team Baszler
I covered WarGames for this very site, so the review below is copied and pasted from my TakeOver Review. The original can be found here. A quick reminder of how WarGames works.
One member of each team starts.
After five minutes a member of the team with the advantage is released from the holding pen.
Three minutes later a member of the opposition is allowed to join. Then they alternate every three minutes until everyone is in the ring.
Only when everyone is in the ring does the match officially start.
If anyone escapes from the cage, they forfeit the match for their team. Only a pinfall or submission can end the match.
On the Pre-show it was first revealed that Mia Yim had been attacked backstage, and then that she would be unable to compete. Rhea Ripley had to pick a replacement fast because the women’s WarGames match was opening TakeOver. Obviously, she picked Dakota Kai. Kai protested that she hadn’t prepared and was reassured by her teammates that she’d got this.
By that point, we all knew where this was going…
Team Baszler – Shayna Baszler, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, & Kay Lee Ray vs Team Ripley – Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox & Dakota Kai – WarGames match
Io Shirai opted to start for Team Baszler, so Candice LeRae went in for Team Ripley. They went at it much too hard for the first five minutes, but you would have expected nothing less.
Team Baszler had the advantage, courtesy of Io Shirai’s assisted victory over Mia Yim, so Bianca Belair joined the match next. Candice LeRae resisted the numbers as long as she could, but she basically got beaten up for two of the three minutes.
Rhea Ripley was next out for her team. She brought trashcans and kendo sticks and chairs into the ring, then set about using them. Kay Lee Ray joined three minutes later and brought more chairs. The crowd were chanting for tables to Ray pulled one half out from under the ring then shoved it back under with a sneer.
The compulsory tower of doom happened with Rhea Ripley bringing down Io Shirai, Lay Lee Ray, and Candice LeRae. Bianca Belair was left on the top turnbuckle, and hit the chairs as well as her target with her 450 onto Ripley.
Dakota Kai was released from the pen, but instead of joining the match, she beat up Tegan Nox, including smashing her knee in the door and taking the brace off Nox’s knee. She also attacked William Regal when he came out to drag her away. She was forced off the stage, but came back and had another go at Nox before screaming at Ripley from the stage.
Shayna Baszler took a moment to look at Tegan Nox when she was released, but Nox was so out of it she didn’t do anything. Baszler strolled to the ring and it became Baszler, Belair, and Ray, against Ripley for a while.
Commentary announced the official start of the match because Kai had been removed and Nox was unable to compete. So, four on two it was.
Despite being outnumbered, Ripley and LeRae fought hard and had each other’s backs and Team Baszler struggled to put them away as the moves got bigger and the strikes got more intense. Candice LeRae’s poison-rana on Kay Lee Ray from near the top of the cage, and Io Shirai’s moonsault onto LeRae and Kay Lee Ray from the very top, were just two of the highlights.
It got weird when Ripley handcuffed herself to Shayna Baszler while in the Kirifuda Clutch. It worked though, she delivered a Riptide onto the chairs and pinned Baszler to take the win.
A mid-show update informed us that both Mia Yim and Tegan Nox were taken to a ‘local medical facility’. Tegan Nox is having an MRI on the knee she previously injured.
On the post-show Facebook Live, Rhea Ripley was named Survivor Series team captain. She named Candice LeRae first, as the only person she knows she can trust. She also picked Bianca Belair and Io Shirai, and her final pick was Toni Storm. That’s a hell of a team.
I used to do predictions, but I’m too biased for Survivor Series. I want to see NXT clean up. Honestly, I don’t think it will happen, but that’s what I want. They’ve seemed quite dominant in the build and as a new to tv brand, this is their chance to put themselves on a level with the main roster brands and wipe away the residual ‘developmental’ status.
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.