Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Not a bad week for WWE’s women’s divisions. There are feuds, plural, heating up on every brand going into the festive season, with most roads leading to WWE Day 1 on New Year’s Day.
Bianca Belair def. Doudrop
Queen Zelina def. Rhea Ripley
Bianca Belair vs Doudrop
I’m so very happy that Doudrop finally gets to show the world who she is in the ring. I still wish she’d drop the name, but I have to grudgingly admit it kind of works now she’s turned vicious. She walked out on Belair last week and Belair said in a video before the match she wasn’t going to let her escape from the fact she can’t beat hen. IN her pre-match video Doudrop said she’d overcome a lot to get to RAW and all anyone can talk about is Bianca Belair. It’s time for her to be the one who steps up to take the spotlight Belair keeps stealing.
The match was good. Sassy and full of attitude. Belair still isn’t used to being in the ring with an opponent she can’t outpower. She’s got the speed and athleticism advantage, but not by as much as she’d like. The first clear advantage went to Doudrop, via a kick to Belair’s head that caught her in the eye. She followed up with an elbow drop while Belair was still clutching her face, then we went to a break.
The advantage was gone by the time we returned. Belair took a Michinoku Driver, which has been Doudrop’s finisher in her Piper Niven past, but Belair kicked out. Her next pin attempt, off a suplex, didn’t work either, but she dragged Belair to the corner for a senton. Before she could jump, Belair was up, bounced her head off the turnbuckle and slammed her. Bianca Belair climbed the turnbuckle and landed a 450 splash to win the match.
Doudrop attacked Belair from behind while she was celebrating on the stage, so I guess this isn’t over.
Becky Lynch and her husband might be having an outrageous outfit contest. If they are, she won this week with the padded shoulder spikes. She was in the ring to talk about beating Liv Morgan the week before. She acknowledged that a lot of the crowd wanted Liv to win but said they’d have found a reason to doubt her if she had. The WWE Universe don’t know what they want. After all, they wanted her back and now they boo. Everyone has opinions on how she is and how she does her job despite never having set foot in the ring. Despite never having broken down the gender barrier to become the biggest thing in the industry then leaving at the height of their careers and coming back better than ever. They’ve never had to evolve, because if you don’t evolve in the industry you get left behind, disappointing all of your fans. Just like Liv did last week.
She showed a fan from last week, angry at the result of the match and said all Liv fans will have to get used to it.
Liv Morgan finally arrived and said she’s not getting used to anything. Lynch says people will doubt her if she becomes champion, but she’s the only doubter and that doubt is why she had to cheat to win. Morgan showed a still of Lynch holding the ropes to pin her and said the only thing she’s the best at is cheating to win. She was disappointed and cried after their match but she snapped out of it because she knows she can beat her. She won’t ever give up until she can make the title mean something for people like that fan. And if Lynch is really Big Time Becks she’ll agree to a rematch.
Lynch said she didn’t do it because she had to. She did it because it was easy. Morgan should blame herself for not being ready to anticipate it and not having the killer instinct. She did what she always does. Nothing.
Morgan rushed the ring and they brawled. She followed Lynch to the outside, where the champ threw her into the steps. Lynch trapped Morgan’s arm in the steps, kicked then, and stamped on it. With officials tending to Morgan while she cried, Lynch accepted the rematch.
Dana Brooke is still 24/7 Champion. She’s hanging around with Reggie and he’s helping her evade the incompetent attacks of R-Truth and Akira Tozawa. This week they went for a walk and encountered Truth dressed as a Christmas tree and Tozawa dressed as a snowman. Tamina is the real 24/7 threat. Brooke has to deal with her alone, but she’s managed to get away so far and she did this week too.
I wish I understood what they’re trying to do with Nikki A.S.H. at the moment. She’s got this character to show kids (and adults) to keep trying and keep believing and they can almost be superheroes. It’s cute and wholesome, and now they’re breaking her down. She and Ripley have lost the titles. Nikki is losing matches right left and centre, and she’s clearly unhappy and doubting herself. For a company so proud of its Be A Star campaigns, the televised message is often that bullies usually win. I don’t want to see that happen to her.
She spoke to Rhea Ripley before Ripley’s match and immediately put herself down. She admitted she’s barely slept or eaten for a week because she keeps replaying her loss and she’s worried about letting her down. Ripley reminded her that they’re tag partners because she saw a fire in her. The fire that got her the Money in the Bank briefcase and allowed her to beat Charlotte Flair, which Ripley hasn’t done herself. She wants that Nikki back. Nikki just smiled sadly and said she appreciates her trying to cheer her up and she’ll always have her back no matter what.
Rhea Ripley, with Nikki A.S.H., vs Queen Zelina, with Carmella
The entire “match” took less than a minute. Vega talked for longer than that on her way to the ring. Ripley dropkicked her in the face. Carmella got on the apron and Nikki chased her off and straight into the ring. Carmella kicked Nikki in the face. Ripley went to check on her. Queen Zelina kneed her in the back of the head and pinned her.
Maryse was back in impromptu and unwelcome action this week. Her husband, The Miz, used her as a human shield to protect him from Edge’s spear. Edge managed to stop in time, and Maryse showed us all she’s got a great slap on her. She screamed at Miz for putting the mother of his children in danger to save himself, smacked about two-thirds of the smug off his face, and left with him trailing after her begging her to talk to him.
Ivy Nile def. Amari Miller
Cora Jade def. Dakota Kai
Cora Jade has been cleared to wrestle and has a match against Dakota Kai. Kai interrupted her interview to warn her that Raquel Gonzalez is using her because that’s what she does. She latches onto someone talented and makes them do all the work while she takes all the glory. Kai’s behaviour is very odd. She’s twitchy and talking in stilted sentences. Paranoid and jumpy, and very unsettling.
Cora Jade called her ‘Mum’ when she told her she didn’t need her advice because once she’d beaten her she’d be on quite the winning streak and one step closer to facing Mandy Rose for the title. Jade left and Kai began to spiral about being called Mum.
Ivy Nile vs Amari Miller
Two of the serious prospects of 2.0’s women’s division, with very different styles. Going into it, your money would have to be on Nile. They’re going hard on the tiny powerhouse image. Wade Barrett said he had to leave the weight room at the Performance Center because he was embarrassed Nile was out lifting him (which might be something he wants to work on in his own time).
So, Miller’s skill and athleticism versus Nile’s strength. Not a bad match at all. Miller is getting better and better with every outing and Nile is doing great. This time, strength won. Nile seems to like her submission hold and it didn’t take Miller long to tap once it was on.
Cora Jade vs Dakota Kai
Mandy Rose joined commentary for the match. It didn’t take long for Dakota Kai to start working over Cora Jade’s heavily taped shoulder. And like any seasoned professions, once she’d got herself a target she didn’t let up. Jade was in a world of pain and a lot of trouble. She kept trying to come back, but she was one-armed.
She’d obviously scouted Kai’s moveset because she bought herself some time by avoiding one of Kai’s signature corner kicks and tipping her out of the ring. A brief run of momentum ending in a dropkick from the top got Jade a two count. Kai had several near falls, and got increasingly unhinged with each kickout.
After Jade kicked out again, Kai retrieved the shovel from under the ring. The ref wrestled it away from her and Jade took the opportunity to roll her up and pin her.
Kai kicked Jade to the mat during her celebrations and picked up the shovel. Raquel Gonzalez arrived and chased brawled off with Kai, away from ringside.
Toxic Attraction turned up next and Mandy Rose attacked Jade’s injured shoulder while she was watching them approach and left her laid out in the centre of the ring.
Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez ended up having to be separated by officials in the parking lot. There was a dented trashcan, a fire extinguisher, and a chair on the ground near them, and Gonzalez was holding a kendo stick, which hit an official when she launched at Kai.
Gonzalez had a locker room promo to camera later. She said this thing between her and Kai had to end. She has to end her. She proposed they do it in a street fight and I guess Kai accepted because the match is next week.
There was a medical update on Cora Jade later in the show. She has a subluxation of the shoulder and her injury status is Day to Day.
Tiffany Stratton and Io Shirai told Grayson Waller off backstage. He’s the guy who ruined Johnny Gargano’s farewell speech last week.
NXT UK didn’t feel the need for a women’s division match this week. There was a build vignette for Meiko Satomura’s title match against Blair Davenport. Nice story to it. Davenport conquered the Japanese scene but never met Satomura there. She came to NXT UK to get the match she missed out on, and this will be it.
Sarray def. Lash Legend
Valentina Feroz& Yulisa Leon def. Erica Yan & Fallon Henley
Lash Legend vs Sarray
Every time Sarray plasters on a smile and wades into the kiddie pool I want to cry for her. This match got a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons, which is what’s going to happen when you put the greenest of the green on live tv. Pre-covid, a superstar like Lash Legend would have been out on the live circuit in tag matches for ages before being expected to have a single’s match on tv. She would have had time to work out her poise and presence and how to move around in the ring. When that doesn’t happen, this does.
Anyway, she’s going to be a powerhouse and she can talk so she’s got a chance to bring however little wrestling skill WWE wants into her game before she gets fired, probably.
Sarray won the match with a handful of tights after Lash Legend tried to do the same to her. Lash Legend attacked her after the match and left her laid out on the canvas. From the stage, she told Sarray it was her own fault and she liked her before she did that.
Erica Yan & Fallon Henley vs Valentina Feroz & Yulisa Leon
It was Fallon Henley’s debut in WWE. She’s wholesome and bubbly, for now at least. She let Yan start things off against Valentina Feroz, but she came in quickly. Feroz and Yulisa Leon seem to be a proper team now. I wonder if they’ll get character development at some point.
The match was fine, fair, and solid. There’s no story to tell, just here are some people let’s see how they do. Feroz and Leon’s blossoming teamwork got them the win this week.
Henley and Yan offered a show of respect and raised the victor’s hands.
Sasha Banks & Toni Storm def. Charlotte Flair & Shotzi
Naomi def. Shayna Baszler
Sasha Banks & Toni Storm vs Charlotte Flair & Shotzi
This is the way to start a SmackDown. At least having a women’s division match on first almost guarantees it won’t be a sub-three-minute wonder. The teams came about because Banks has been supporting Storm in going after Flair, and Shotzi blames Banks for her not getting a title shot. Charlotte Flair is the natural tag partner of no one. Not that she can’t, but it’s hard to be a good partner when you’re refuse to believe anyone is on your level.
Shotzi took the first stint for their team but tagged in Flair to face Banks, which the crowd appreciated. When Storm came in for Banks, Flair isolated her by kicking Banks off the apron. Storm coped fine on her own until Shotzi came in to break up a pin and threw her out of the ring.
By the time we came back, Storm had control of the match and Shotzi was in trouble. She took a lot of punishment from Storm and Banks. But when Banks took some payback on Flair and punched her off the apron, Shotzi was waiting and took her down with a discus lariat.
From there, Flair was calling the shots. She told Shotzi what to do, then tagged in and worked her old foe over herself. A trip into the barricades wasn’t enough to pin Banks, so Flair wore her down while the crowd tried to fire her up. A backbreaker took the wind out of Banks and the fans.
Banks caught a break when she evaded Shotzi’s knee against the ropes and tagged in Storm. Great match for both Storm and Shotzi and awesome to see them getting some actual time. We even got a second break during a women’s division match which is a rare occurrence.
It came down to Flair and Banks for a long run towards the end. Storm had tagged Banks in desperation, so she was recovering on one side of the ring. Banks had knocked Shotzi off the apron and she hadn’t reappeared. They get so vicious with each other, taking the kind of risks and liberties you can only take with someone you’ve worked with countless times.
There was nearly a fairytale ending when an unseen tag left Flair open to a crossbody from the top. Flair kicked out a fraction before three and almost immediately bashed Storm’s head off the turnbuckle. Charlotte Flair missed her moonsault from the top and Toni Storm got her knees up for the standing follow up and rolled her up for the win.
Toni Storm pinned the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Sasha Banks alternated between praising Storm and mocking Flair for the celebrations.
As a result, on next week’s Christmas Eve edition of SmackDown, Charlotte Flair will defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Toni Storm.
Natalya had a backstage interview with an interviewer called Megan, apparently. She was trying to ask her about Xia Li and I think Natalya probably made her regret it. She talked more about how wonderful and important she is than she did about Li, who she called a nobody. Attacking her in the name of protecting Naomi (when she, Shayna Baszler, and Sonya Deville were about to beat her down three on one) was a big mistake and if Li come near her again she’ll be the one who needs a protector.
Naomi came out to demand the one on one match against Sonya Deville that she has been repeatedly denied. It’s the only item on her Christmas list and she’s hoping Santa is going to come a little early for her. She called Deville out and she did come to the stage, but she was in her suit.
She condescendingly explained that Naomi isn’t allowed to touch her when she has her suit on or she’ll be fired. She had another opponent lined up, Shayna Baszler again. Baszler attacked her from behind while Naomi was still trying to get Deville to fight her, and Deville insisted the ref ring the bell while Naomi was laid on the mat clutching her leg. He wasn’t allowed to check on her first.
Naomi vs Shayna Baszler
The official match lasted seconds. Baszler went straight back to the leg she’d already injured. Naomi tried to struggle to the ropes in a submission hold and when that failed, she shifted her weight so she was on top of Baszler and pinned her.
There was a long look and a little trash-talk between Naomi and Deville as Naomi left.
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.