Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It’s been a bit of an odd week for WWE’s women’s divisions. There has been plenty of action, but nothing much happening… except in NXT, of course.
Rhea Ripley, Shayna Baszler, & Nia Jax def. Asuka, Naomi, & Lana
Charlotte Flair def. Mandy Rose
About an hour into the show the cameras cut from the end of a match to Sonya Deville walking through a corridor. She let Charlotte Flair in through a fire exit. They only kept us waiting an ad break to find out what was going on.
When we came back, Deville was in the ring. She brought out Flair, and we saw that Eddie Orengo was in the ring as well. As part of explaining why they were there, Deville forced Orengo to watch himself getting beaten up by Flair again. He could probably have done without that. Deville said she believes Adam Pearce rushed his decision and didn’t hear the full story before he suspended Flair indefinitely, so she handed over to her.
Flair apologised to WWE management, the WWE Universe, and most importantly, to the ref. He accepted her apology and said he hadn’t seen Rhea interfere or Flair would have won the match. Deville said as Flair had apologised and Orengo accepted, and Flair had paid her fine in full, the suspension was lifted. Flair would have a match on the show and Orengo would officiate.
Charlotte Flair chipped in and demanded an apology from Orengo as he admitted her loss was his fault. He did and Flair condescendingly called him a good boy. He opened the ropes for her to exit, but he didn’t look happy.
Adam Pearce was waiting for Flair and Deville at gorilla and he clearly had no idea that was about to happen. Deville said she’d been trying to find him and apologised. He told her he might accept her apology if he actually believed it. Charlotte Flair looked happy, because it all worked out for her. Deville didn’t look overly worried.
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Rhea Ripley about Charlotte Flair’s apology. Ripley said that despite Flair’s apologies never meaning anything, she did enjoy watching her get fined $100,000. She’s happy Flair’s back and maybe one day their paths will cross, but she’s focused on the six-woman tag. So while Flair’s busy playing rugby with the referees, she’s carry on being the champion.
Nia Jax complained backstage to Shayna Baszler and Reginald about Charlotte Flair’s special treatment and about Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. Baszler told her off for being distracted all the time, got in a dig at Reginald, and said no more distractions. After Baszler had stomped off, a bunch of flowers arrived for Jax, followed by Angel Garza who sent them. Reginald wasn’t happy, but he did find it funny when she hit Mandy Rose with them as they passed her in the corridor.
Asuka, Naomi, & Lana vs Rhea Ripley, Shayna Baszler, & Nai Jax, with Reginald
I don’t mind the odd slightly meaningless six-woman match because no one at WWE can come up with anything more interesting or meaningful, but the comedy/humiliation spot in the middle was too much for me. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke came out and Baszler met them at the bottom of the ramp. They threw a bucket of water over her (including the bucket). Jax stormed over and slipped in the water. We went into the break with Reginald trying to help her up.
They’d gone after the break and the rest of the match was, thankfully, just a match. It was good, and it was entertaining. No criticism of the women in the match at all, but it furthered neither storyline nor character, so I don’t understand its purpose.
Naomi is in good form. Ripley had to break up her cover in Jax, but she fell foul of Reginald’s interruption and it was only Asuka’s intervention that stopped her being pinned. Lana had a shot at pinning Ripley after Ripley missed their tag and delivered the Riptide to Naomi. She had another go when she countered Ripley into a pin attempt. Sadly, she couldn’t make either stick. Asuka had been taken out at ringside by Jax after Asuka put Baszler down, and Naomi was still down from the Riptide. So when Lana took a Riptide as well, there was no one left to save the match. Ripley didn’t take the win for herself. She tagged Nia Jax in and let her get the pin with a leg drop.
Backstage, Sonya Deville spoke to Rose and Brooke and told them they should be ashamed of themselves. She said some mean things about Rose then told her she didn’t have time to be mad at her because Charlotte Flair needed an opponent and she’d chosen her. It was framed as a bad thing, but giving a wrestler a wrestling match doesn’t seem like much of a punishment.
Alexa Bliss is on her way back to the ring. She and Lilly had a segment from Alexa’s Playground again this week. Bliss said Lilly is getting restless just being with her on the playground, so it’s time to unleash her to play with the rest of WWE. I’m not even going to attempt to explain the rest of it, so here is it.
Charlotte Flair vs Mandy Rose, with Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke pointed out Flair trying to make the pin with her feet on the ropes. Shouting at her cost Flair a few moments of control, but that was it. Rose almost flung Flair into Orengo, and it was clear he was still wary of her. When he made a count Flair deemed slow, he stood his ground but looked very nervous. That almost cost Flair the match, but Rose couldn’t make the pin stick. Flair gave Rose a backbreaker, smacked her face into the turnbuckle, and delivered Natural Selection for the win. Short match and the finish was very abrupt.
Charlotte Flair wouldn’t allow Eddie Orengo to raise her hand, so he got out of the ring. She made him come back to part the ropes for her to exit.
Carmella on the Bella Twins’ Podcast
Last week I had a bit of a rant about how much the treatment of the women’s division has slipped back to almost pre-2016 levels. I wondered there how the locker room were feeling about it. This week, Carmella was on the Bella Twins’ podcast and she, unsurprisingly, had quite a lot of interesting things to say about it. I’ll be honest, I was going to listen to the podcast but I ran out of time. This is the Fightful article I saw the story in.
Mercedes Martinez def. Dakota Kai (DQ)
Zyada Ramier def. Toni Storm
Dakota Kai, with Raquel Gonzalez, vs Mercedes Martinez
Dakota Kai is in a weird position now. She’s become the sidekick to her sidekick. In recent interviews, she’s appeared to take partial credit for and ownership of Gonzalez’ title, and if that’s not an issue already, it will be. As far as Martinez is concerned, Kai is merely an obstacle between her and Gonzalez.
Good opening match for this week’s show. Martinez set the tone early on by folding Kai up and slapping her around a bit when she tried to be clever. It turned into a hard-hitting affair, and it would have been really interesting to see how the finish worked out. Kai was in trouble after taking some damage to her arm. Raquel Gonzalez got between her and Martinez when she took a few moments on the outside, at which point Kai slipped back into the ring and distracted the ref. Gonzalez tried to punch Martinez and took a punch in the face instead.
Martinez got back in the ring, kneed Kai in the face and hoisted her up on her shoulders, but Gonzalez invaded the ring and kicked her in the face before she could finish it.
Post-match, Raquel Gonzalez destroyed Mercedes Martinez at ringside, finally firing her into the plexiglass.
Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart aren’t concerned about the threat of Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell taking their titles next week. Moon had a bit of a ‘been there done that’ attitude to them. Their interview was interrupted twice. First by a delivery of flowers, then by Franky Monet. Monet took the card out of one of the bunches and said they were from Dexter Lumis. The segment ended with Moon and Blackheart shoving the flowers at each other, each insisting they must be for the other.
We got a vignette for Tian Sha this week, just in case you’d forgotten about them.
Toni Storm vs Zayda Ramier
Toni Storm said Zoey Stark owes her a thank you for making her famous at TakeOver. No one would know who she was if it wasn’t for her. But Stark is only going to be a footnote in Storm’s career, the next chapter of which is ending Stark. She said she hoped Stark was watching because every time she slapped the rookie she’d imagine it was her.
Well, the rookie, or Zayda Ramier as I’m sure she’d prefer, gave Storm more than she bargained for, and Zoey Stark was definitely watching.
The match started with Storm systematically destroying Ramier and effortlessly countering or evading anything thrown at her. Storm had the opportunity to finish it with Storm Zero, but decided to make a point and dragged Ramier to the corner to deliver it from the second turnbuckle.
Zoey Stark came to the ring and got onto the apron. Storm went for her immediately, then went back to Ramier when she jumped down. Zayda Ramier had recovered just enough to fight Storm off and when Storm fell to the mat, Ramier delivered a shooting star press and got the win.
Sensibly, Ramier got out of the ring and up the ramp before Storm got to her feet. Zoey Stark laughed from the stage.
Indi Hartwell cost Austin Theory his match and gifted Bronson Reed a shot at Johnny Gargano’s title while trying to avoid Dexter Lumis, presumably upset about the flowers – which are obviously LeRae and Gargano’s doing. He saved her from being crashed into by Theory, by pushing her out of the way and taking the hit himself.
Backstage LeRae and Gargano twisted it all around to make it Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart’s fault, so Hartwell stormed off to find them.
When Blackheart and Moon arrived for their scheduled match against Aliyah and Jessi Kamea, there were more gifts waiting for them, flowers, cupcakes, chocolates etc. They didn’t get the gifts or the match, they got attacked by Hartwell and LeRae.
While the tag champs were being laid out at ringside and hit with the presents, Robert Stone and his team were celebrating like they just won the tag titles. The match never started and it was non-title, but they had fun.
As a result of the attack Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon’s title defence against Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell next week, has been turned into a Street Fight.
Meiko Satomura def. Aoife Valkyrie
Kay Lee Ray was brought to the ring with a respectful introduction by Sid Scala. She wasn’t happy with the accolades he gave her because he didn’t point out she was the longest reigning women’s champion in WWE. She told him it doesn’t matter how many schemes he wasn’t to come up with, no one compares to her. Toni Storm, Piper Niven, Jinny, Meiko Satomura, none of them could do what he wanted them to do. Then she asked him to get to the point.
He said the NXT UK women’s division is stronger than ever (which is a pretty low bar considering they’ve had no decent opportunities), so he and Johnny Saint have decided to give five women an opportunity in a gauntlet match. The winner will be her number one contender. The match will feature, Jinny, Isla Dawn, Xia Brookside, Dani Luna, and Emilia McKenzie. The women were revealed in spotlights on the stage as their names were called.
Kay Lee Ray said she hopes they all get their hopes up, but none of them are good enough to beat the forever champion.
Meiko Satomura vs Aoife Valkyrie
I’m surprised Aoife Valkyrie wasn’t included in the gauntlet match, but I guess there is a different path to a title shot planned for her. Testing herself against Meiko Satomura was her task for this match, and it was a good contest if a little disjointed in places. Commentary told the story of two wrestlers with similar styles at opposite ends of their careers, and that’s how it played out. The up and comer had her chances, and even got close, but was ultimately schooled by the veteran. Satomura finished it with Scorpio Rising, but it was clear Valkyrie had taken it out of her.
The addition of Satomura to the NXT UK women’s roster has had a huge impact on the division. There is inherent importance to wrestling Satomura that has been missing from everything other than the title matches. It’s a good start and long overdue.
Bianca Belair and The Street Profits def. Bayley & The Dirty Dogs
Tamina & Natalya def. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
Bianca Belair got to open the show this week. Her massive SmackDown Women’s Championship belt earrings must be noted. I kind of liked them. She welcomed everyone to SmackDown but got interrupted by The Dirty Dogs (Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode), presumably while she was trying to bring out the Street Profits as they were out seconds later. Bayley followed them out and got in the ring. She snatched the mic out of Belair’s hand then did a horrible fake hysterical laugh until Belair slapped her. Bayley launched herself onto Belair, Street Profits and Dirty Dogs joined the brawl, and that put us into the ads.
Bianca Belair & The Street Profits vs Bayley & The Dirty Dogs
This was underway when we came back, but apparently only just. Bayley and Belair were in the ring, and Belair’s biggest cheerleader was doing his thing from the apron.
Bayley got a cheap shot in on Montez Ford when the ref wasn’t looking, but Belair saw it and was definitely going to make her pay when she got the chance. Belair nearly got to give Ziggler a K.O.D., but Bayley ran in to save him so she took the move instead. They weren’t legal though, Angelo Dawkins and Robert Roode were. She got to whip Roode with her hair before he took Dawkins’ slam and Ford’s frogsplash and got pinned.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler were giving an extremely grumpy interview on their way to their match when they were attacked by Natalya and Tamina, their opponents for the evening.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax, with Reginald, vs Natalya & Tamina
Jax and Tamina got this non-title match started and Tamina tried to end it early with a splash. Jax got her knees up. Nia Jax took a couple of elbows from Tamina while getting out of the ring and she was still crouched by the announce desk with Reginald looking after her when Baszler needed a tag. Jax got back after Baszler had already pulled herself back into it.
There was chaos at the end. Tamina went to the top turnbuckle and had to kick Reginald off the apron to stop him interfering. Natalya tried to put Reginald in a Sharpshooter but got put into a Kirifuda Clutch and thrown over the announce desk by Baszler. Jax headbutted Tamina while she was still on the turnbuckle and Baszler tried to bring her down with a superplex. Tamina blocked it, headbutted Baszler to the mat and finished her with a Superfly Splash.
Tamina delivered a ferocious promo on Talking Smack, aimed at Nia Jax.
Next Friday there will be a throwback Edition of SmackDown. I’m intrigued.
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.