Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. A bit of a mixed week for WWE’s women’s divisions. Stuff is happening, but slowly and there are still too many women not getting any tv time. We did get at least one match on each show and the Starrcade network special though, so it’s not all bad.
The Kabuki Warriors def. Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks & Bayley
The Kabuki Warriors (C) vs Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs Sasha Banks & Bayley – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-way match
This was fought under Fatal Four-way rules, so two teams in at one time and they can tag in any other teams, or get tagged in on by any other team which is what happened a lot at the start of the match. Apologies for the shitty promo shot, WWE didn’t bother putting pictures up on the website.
WWE are quite attached to this network special, and this was a hell of a line-up. All four horsewomen, plus the tag champs and Bliss and Cross is definitely a big match. And, although all of them except The Kabuki Warriors are currently being marketed as singles competitors, primarily, only Flair and Lynch haven’t held the tag titles. They have both said they want them to add to their accolades.
It was a good match as well, chaotic and messy in the right ways, and the crowd got to see a bit of the best of everyone. Becky Lynch got to clean house and then drop both Kabuki Warriors at the same time.
I would have been surprised if The Kabuki Warriors had dropped the belts on a network special. It was sad it was Nikki Cross who gave them the win though. She tapped out to an Asuka Lock after literally everyone else had been taken out.
The Kabuki Warriors def. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair vs The Kabuki Warriors
This seemed like a weird match for Flair to have chosen or an arrogant one, but fighting one of The Kabuki Warriors basically equates to fighting them both anyway. At least this way the ref should try to keep one of them on the apron most of the time, as they’d theoretically have to tag in and out of the match, rather than Flair waiting for the sneak attack.
Asuka and Kairi Sane had a pre-match interview, but most of it was in Japanese. They did say they’d beat Flair and it would be easy.
The Kabuki Warriors certainly started with the intent of making it easy. They attacked Flair before the bell and double teamed her for long enough that Flair was staggering when the ref finally called for the bell. That gave Asuka and Sane the advantage, and Charlotte Flair spent the opening part of the match in their corner. If they’d kept her there, it might have been a very short match.
They didn’t and Flair fought back against them both until she managed to throw Sane from the ring. It was a brief reprieve and she was back to dealing with them both within moments. It turned out to be one of the two longest matches of the night and one of the best, which was just as well considering it was the only women’s division action of the night.
There were a few periods where Charlotte Flair was only dealing with one Kabuki Warrior, but they were few and far between, and Flair held her own for a lot of the match. She got her ass kicked a lot too though. In fact, Flair came close to winning a few times. Her moonsault from the top was met with both pairs of knees. A double spear only resulted in a two count. And the end came when Flair had Asuka in the Figure Eight. She hadn’t realised that Kairi Sane was the legal competitor and took an InSane Elbow while bridged and got pinned.
That was a really well done 2on1. Charlotte Flair looked immense, even in defeat, and The Kabuki Warriors are truly great together.
Backstage, after the match, Flair was asked if she regrets challenging The Kabuki Warriors. She said ‘No’, then walked away.
This was the second week without an appearance by, or mention of, RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. She was at Starrcade, and WWE did release a dot com exclusive video of her being interviewed backstage, but it’s still not great. In the video she talks about not having defended the title for two months and WWE knowing which match she wants. You can see the video here.
Shayna Baszler def. Xia Li
Xia Li got a very angry promo where she shouted about Shayna Baszler attacking her last week. She asked for the match against Baszler so she could show Baszler how she fights and show the world she can compete with the best.
Shayna Baszler vs Xia Li
Not convinced Xia Li thought this through. It was only ever going to end one way, but it honestly got longer than I thought it would. I like Li, and I think she’s shown a lot of improvement since her debut (accidentally breaking Aliyah’s nose aside). She was allowed to look good in places during this one. She carried on and kicked out after Baszler stomped on her arm, refused to tap to an armbar on the damaged arm. And she had Shayna Baszler rocked with some of her fast kicks and a sunset flip powerbomb.
There was, however, only one way for it to end. Xia Li tapped out in the Kirifuda Clutch.
Dakota Kai vs Rhea Ripley never started. Instead, Ripley came to the stage and talked about the way Kai set them up at TakeOver being clever, but setups working both ways. Then Mia Yim’s music hit and Yim ran down to the ring to start getting her revenge on Dakota Kai. Kai rolled out of the ring only to be rolled straight back in by Ripley for the beatdown to continue.
There was a brief moment, a shove and a kick, where it looked like Dakota Kai might turn it around on Yim, but that was over as soon as it began and Yim and Kai brawled their way out the back.
Rhea Ripley found herself alone at ringside. Of course, that was the moment Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir chose to arrive. Ripley was in the ring and ready for the attack from Shafir and Duke and dealt with them easily to start with. She fought valiantly against the numbers game, with Baszler attempting to put her in the Kirifuda clutch the whole time.
Rhea Ripley succumbed, eventually, and only because Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke held her over the ropes by the arms while Baszler’s arms were around her throat.
Once she was out, Baszler grabbed a mic and told her she’s not so tough now, and that she didn’t know what she was asking for when she said he wanted a title match. But Baszler wants a title match too, so it’s happening in two weeks.
I’m loving the way things look for NXT’s women’s division. The title match between Shayna Baszler and Rhea Ripley will be incredible, but there’s so much other stuff going on as well. The Dakota Kai angle involves Tegan Nox, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, and Rhea Ripley as well as Kai. Shayna Baszler is answering challengers from the bottom of the roster. And Bianca Belair and Io Shirai will filter in there too somewhere, I have no doubt. That’s already more women than any of the other rosters are using.
Voting is open for the NXT Year End Awards. It’s vote via tweet again. You can find the nominees and all the details here.
Toni Storm def. Killer Kelly
Toni Storm vs Killer Kelly
It’s been a while since Toni Storm had a match on NXT UK. She was last seen as part of the Survivor Series team for NXT and it’s strongly rumoured that her future lies predominantly on the NXT brand. She turned up last week though to beat on Kay Lee Ray a bit and this week it was Killer Kelly’s turn.
Kelly actually took control of the match early on, but it was only briefly. Mind you, it couldn’t be anything else. Toni Storm delivered Storm Zero after less than two minutes to end the match.
It looked like Toni Storm was going to say something post-match, but Kay Lee Ray attacked her from behind before she got a chance. Piper Niven ran in to chase Kay Lee Ray off and offered Toni Storm a hand up. Storm slapped it away and yelled at her a bit before pushing past and walking out.
Backstage, Niven tried to talk to Storm. Toni Storm yelled that she doesn’t need her help, all she needs is her title, and told Piper Niven to stay away from her.
Jinny had a promo later in the show, with Jazzy Gabert, talking about disrespect. It was apparently disrespectful that Piper Niven beat her and disrespectful that Jazzy Gabert was ejected from ringside. She also wanted to reassure everyone that everything was absolutely fine between her and Gabert. That would have been more convincing if Gabert hadn’t interrupted to echo the sentiment through gritted teeth and bumped past Jinny to walk away. Jinny’s worried look afterwards didn’t exactly help her case either.
Natalya def. Sarah Logan
Natalya vs Sarah Logan
Not a bad match again on Main Event. I do wish they’d space them out a bit, maybe mix up the women they use on the show a bit. Two weeks running is a bit much when it’s just a holding pattern match.
My automatic assumption would have been that that match was designed to bring Logan to the fore a bit, but I’d have been wrong apparently. Natalya won the match with an inside cradle.
Main Event also covered the Charlotte Flair vs The Kabuki Warriors match from RAW.
Alexa Bliss def. Mandy Rose
Lacey Evans def. Haley Jones
Ref Jess is working on SmackDown now. Congratulations to her. She’s a great ref.
Dana Brooke was involved in a segment on SmackDown this week. Sadly, it didn’t involve her wrestling, although it did involve her fake-pinning Drake Maverick after he got spanked in the middle of the ring by Elias…
Alexa Bliss vs Mandy Rose
This was Alexa Bliss’ first SmackDown match back from injury after returning last week to help save Nikki Cross from a post-match Fire & Desire beatdown (and appearing in the four-way tag at Starrcade).
Mandy Rose took control of the match fairly early on and, in a somewhat bizarre move, ripped off Bliss’ false lashes halfway through the match. She’d probably have kept the control if she hadn’t gone down the trash-talking face slapping route, but that woke Bliss up and Rose was basically done from there.
Sonya Deville got up on the apron to interfere, and when Bliss forced her down she took a crossbody from Nikki Cross.
Back in the ring, Twisted Bliss finished the match.
Lacey Evans vs Haley Jones
Last week Lacey Evans was punching out Sasha Banks. This week she had an inconsequential squash match. That’s how it goes, I guess.
Sasha Banks came out at the end of the match, to make the segment worthwhile, and told Evans not to leave because they had some business to take care of. After a break Banks told Evans she got lucky last week so she’s there to remind her that she’s the best, the ‘Legit Boss’, and the leader of the women’s division. She warned her never to mess with her or Bayley again. And told her that just because she’s a terrible role model to her bratty little six-year-old it doesn’t mean she can come out and interrupt her.
Evans interrupted and told Banks never to say anything about her daughter again – which is fair enough – and reminded her that not only is she a mother she’s also a US Marine. She interrupted them last week because she was sick of Banks and Bayley blaming everyone else for their failures. And if Banks wants to continue to run her mouth then, once again, she’ll drop her where she stands.
Sasha Banks got into the ring and Evans just raised her fist. Banks fell over and Evans left. Or tried to. Bayley attacked her from behind at the entranceway and Banks and Bayley beat her down.
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.