Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. A slow and steady week, with some interesting announcements but too few matches. It’s all in the name of building to TakeOver and SummerSlam, so hopefully, it will pay off in the end.
Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan def. The IIconics
Sasha Banks vs Shayna Baszler – No Contest
Technical issues started on RAW this week and continued into SmackDown. They were blamed on a new faction originally billed to arrive on RAW but all we saw was security camera footage of them throwing Molotov cocktails at a generator.
Bayley and Sasha Banks were supposed to have an interview with Sarah Schreiber. She asked them whether they were intending to defend any of the belts at SummerSlam. Instead of answering, they showed another tribute package to themselves. It focused on Bayley beating up Kairi Sane, confirming it was a plan to cost Asuka the RAW Women’s Championship. Unexpectedly, it ended with Asuka shouting and screaming. She said, ‘Revenge will be very very sweet’.
Banks and Bayley were outraged but had their tempter tantrum cut short by Shayna Baszler. Baszler has a problem with the way Banks snaked her way to the championship when she’s been waiting in line long enough. To prove she was done waiting, she punched Banks in the face and knocked her to the floor.
They had a match later in the show.
The IIconics stopped Kevin Owens on his way to the ring for the KO Show to suggest themselves as guests. He agreed they’d be great guests but not this time because he already had planned guests.
The first of those guests was Ruby Riott. They talked briefly about Riott’s rough times since her comeback and her joy at beating Peyton Royce last week. When she said the only thing that would have made it better was Liv Morgan being there to celebrate with her, Owens revealed the real reason she was there. He brought out Morgan and did his best to repair their friendship, despite Morgan’s obvious cynicism. He talked about knowing how close they were from travelling with them, and about the friendships he’s sacrificed in the name of his career. And he told them he didn’t know if it was worth it.
Ruby Riott told Morgan everything had changed when she came back from injury. Morgan was thriving and Riott was scared she didn’t need her anymore. She took that fear out on her and that was wrong. They both teared up when she talked about the tattoo they all have of their debut and asked for another chance. Morgan didn’t get to answer because The IIconics arrived.
There was a lot of waffle about how great Royce and Kay are as a team and as friends. Liv Morgan told them she and Riott aren’t friends like The IIconics and they’re not IIconic, but no one starts a riot better than they do.
Kevin Owens asked Royce and Kay to leave, but they challenged Riott and Morgan to a match instead. When he asked if there could be some more technical difficulties, but only for The IIconics’ mics, Peyton Royce slapped him. He asked if that was really necessary and Billie Kay slapped him. He turned to Morgan and Riott and asked for a little help so they dived on them and were pounding on them into the break.
Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan vs The IIconics
Riott and Morgan aren’t back to being The Riott Squad yet, but they hadn’t forgotten how to work together. Kevin Owens joined commentary for the match and only overshadowed it a little bit. He talked a lot about hoping Riott and Morgan would rekindle their friendship. The match was about half the length of the segment. Liv Morgan got the win on Billie Kay with a rollup. Ruby Riott saved her from the IIconic double-team then they showed Kay a double team of their own.
They left together, but there was still some distance between them. There’s hope for them. I’d really like to see them working together again. They were a great team and the tag division needs them. A while later they were shown backstage, still talking to Kevin Owens, before Owens was pulled away for a segment with Ric Flair.
Nia Jax was brought out to apologise to Pat Buck, the official she hurt last week. She has a new hairdo and it looks great. Anyway, the apology didn’t go quite to plan. She called Buck a ‘scrawny undeserving little runt from WWE management who couldn’t cut the mustard in his own career’ and offered him the chance to prove her wrong by fighting her. He said he wanted the apology and she told him he could have it after their match, then threw out a bunch more insults. He suspended her indefinitely without pay. She pulled his jacket down to pin his arms and headbutted him to the floor then kicked him in the ribs to roll him out of the ring. She got so much makeup on his shirt, that will never come out.
Sasha Banks vs Shayna Baszler
Sasha Banks went for arrogance rather than intelligence and slapped Baszler a couple of time to get things going. Bayley got up on the apron to distract Baszler, just to give Banks half a chance. But half a chance was enough for Banks to hurt Baszler’s arm, which was enough for her to take control for a while.
I’m really intrigued by this combination. I think there’s a lot of potential for them going forward. Baszler almost got it with a Kirifuda Clutch, but Banks managed to get out of it. When Baszler went to stamp on her arm the way she’s done so many people before her, Banks tripped her and got her in the Bank Statement. Shayna Baszler just pulled Banks’ arms apart.
We didn’t get to see a finish. Asuka ran down and attacked Bayley on the outside. For whatever reason, that’s when the match was thrown out. It should have been thrown out ten seconds later when Asuka got in the ring after Banks, so they were just a bit quick.
After a break, Asuka was being interviewed by Charly Caruso in the ring. Caruso asked about Kairi Sane. Asuka said Kairi will be fine but now she’s not here. She’s still here though, and she wants a rematch at SummerSlam.
Baszler was still in the ring. She told Asuka she doesn’t want to fight her yet. She’s rooting for her to beat Banks and get the title back because she wants to take it from her.
Banks and Bayley came back out and said she’ll give Asuka a rematch only if she can beat Bayley next week. It was obviously the first Bayley had heard of it, and she looked a lot less enthusiastic than Asuka did.
Bianca Belair got into another altercation with Zelina Vega this week. Montez Ford was ‘poisoned’ before his match against Andrade and collapsed during it. Belair came out of the doctor’s office and demanded Vega tell her what it was. Vega made a stuttering and entirely unconvincing attempt at innocence, so Belair took off her earrings and leapt on her.
Dakota Kai def. Rhea Ripley
Tegan Nox def. Indi Hartwell
Dakota Kai vs Rhea Ripley
This match opened the show and it was a dominant display from Rhea Ripley to well past the halfway point. Just before a break, Ripley slammed Kai’s head into the apron and it looked like there was no coming back, despite a token kick out after. She was up and in charge when we rejoined the action.
Kai never developed the momentum of Ripley and was quickly in trouble again, but Ripley still couldn’t keep her down for the three. She did have some good chances though. She countered the Riptide setup into a DDT, which got her two, and her momentum shift escape from the Prism Drop sent Ripley headfirst into the corner. A big kick had Ripley rolling onto the apron and together they climbed the turnbuckle with Kai looking for a superplex. Instead, she got punched to the mat.
The ref turned his back on Ripley for a few seconds to check on Kai, and Mercedes Martinez appeared on the apron from nowhere and kicked Ripley in the head. After that, Kai just dragged Rhea Ripley off the turnbuckle into a GTK and pinned her.
Martinez attacked Ripley post-match as well, leaving Ripley bleeding from the nose.
McKenzie Mitchell caught up with Robert Stone, Aliyah, and Mercedes Martinez a few minutes later. She asked why they interfered. Stone said Rhea Ripley might be done with the Robert Stone Brand, but the Robert Stone Brand is not done with Rhea Ripley.
Tegan Nox vs Indi Hartwell
For someone who has one single win under her belt, Indi Hartwell was very arrogant going into the match. Pat McAfee joined commentary for this one and he talked over most of it. Luckily for those interested in the action, Mauro Ranallo is not that easy to talk over so we still got some actual commentary. It was short but decent. Tegan Nox kicked out of Hartwell’s big boot. With any luck, the Shiniest Wizard she met at the end of the match will teach Hartwell a little humility.
Toni Storm introduced her match against Dakota Kai, which Storm won. Kay Lee Ray had a promo segment about how great she’s going to be when things get back to a variety of normal.
SmackDown didn’t have a women’s division match this week. There was some storyline development, but it’s still not good enough.
Miz and Morrison had Sonya Deville as their guest on The Dirt Sheet, to talk about her attack on Mandy Rose last week. But first, they had a weird mocking video segment with ‘Mandy Rose’s hair’ with Miz and Morrison both getting in on providing the voice. When Deville came out she said she doesn’t know why everyone is confused. She told Mandy Rose she was going to make her outside as ugly as her inside and she did. And she enjoyed all of it. Rose was so scared because her entire life had been about this image. She would apologise, but she doesn’t feel bad. She has no respect for Mandy Rose anymore. She broke her physically by beating her and destroyed her emotionally by giving her a haircut.
Miz and Morrison said Rose hasn’t been heard from since the attack. Deville went off on another diatribe, then Heavy Machinery ran down to the ring and attacked Miz and Morrison.
They ended up with the main event match. Sonya Deville accompanied Miz & Morrison to the ring. Of course, Mandy Rose appeared, with shoulder-length hair, and attacked Deville. The match was thrown out and they had a pull-apart brawl which didn’t end until Heavy Machinery removed Rose from the ring. They were still arguing while being held apart backstage after a break. Then the lights went out and the new faction that caused some damage on RAW arrived and caused chaos.
They’re called RETRIBUTION and they chased Cole and Graves away, attacked cameramen and officials then attacked the crowd. At least two of the members of the faction are women because one of the wrestlers in the crowd who was attacked was a woman. They also spray-painted the plexiglass, overturned the announce desk and cut the ring ropes with a chainsaw.
Looks like the next couple of weeks might be interesting.
The Fiend brought Alexa bliss to the ring. He started to put the mandible claw on her to try and draw Braun Strowman out, but she put a hand on his arm to stop him then reached up and touched his face. Strowman appeared on the big screen and told Wyatt that playing on his emotions won’t work because he doesn’t give a damn about Alexa. He said a lot of other stuff too, but they have a match at SummerSlam now.
Bayley and Sasha Banks had a conversation about whether Bayley was worried about her match with Asuka on RAW. Banks told her not to worry, and just doubled down when Bayley said she wishes Banks had consulted her. Their conversation was ended by them being summoned to the ring for a video conference with Stephanie McMahon.
Stephanie McMahon started by congratulating them on everything they’ve achieved. They thanked her and it was all very fake and positive, for a little while. It turned when McMahon
Sasha Banks will be defending her title at SummerSlam, possibly against Asuka. Bayley will also defend her title. She will face the winner of a triple-brand battle royal next week.
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.