Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Bit of a basic week this week, but they can’t always be paradigm-shifting. The women’s Royal Rumble Match is filling up nicely though.
Lacey Evans def. Charlotte Flair
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax def. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke
In her pre-match interview with Sarah Schreiber, Charlotte Flair called Lacey Evans flirting with her dad ‘classless’. She said Evans wasn’t the first and won’t be the last woman to hit on her dad in front of her. Her dad is who he is, and she loves him. She questioned Schreiber asking about Ric when she’s about to have a match and he’s sat at home. The interview ended with her excusing herself to ‘Show this classless woman how to act like a lady’.
Lacey Evans also got a pre-match interview with Schreiber. She said Charlotte needs to realise she didn’t flirt with anyone who didn’t want to be flirted with. Ric is Charlotte’s dad, but to her, he’s charming handsome powerful man’s man, and who wouldn’t want a little bit of that (Nope!!). She dedicated the match to him before she left.
Charlotte Flair vs Lacey Evans
The first match of the night, following a segment with Randy Orton and Triple H, and with a public service announcement from Drew McIntyre (who tested positive for COVID-19 this week) between entrances and start. It didn’t get as long as first matches usually do. They’d barely got into the rhythm of it before Ric Flair turned up.
From that point, it was just a case of waiting to see how he was going to influence the outcome, which made the rest of the match feel pointless. His first interference was to drape Evans’ leg over the ropes to stop Charlotte pinning her. Charlotte told him to go home and he said he wasn’t staying home. His second and decisive interference was to pull Charlotte’s leg out from under her when she was trying to suplex Evans back into the ring. That got Lacey Evans the pin.
As he left with his arm around Lacey Evans he said, ‘Somebody wants me here’.
Backstage, Sarah Schreiber asked Lacey Evans to comment but all she said was she thinks she’ll change her hotel.
There are many reasons this storyline is bad. So, so, very many reasons.
Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax vs Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke
This was a short match just before the main event. Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke declared themselves for the royal rumble match in a video shown during their entrance, and they’re gunning for Baszler. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler have already declared themselves for the match.
The match was fine, this rivalry has been rumbling on for a while now. Brooke and Rose have got the measure of Baszler, or so it seems. Nia Jax had to save her tag partner from getting pinned by Rose. The interesting bit came right at the end. Nia Jax was all ready to pin Brooke, but Baszler tagged herself in and tapped Brooke out in a Kirifuda.
The look on Jax’ face from the tag onwards, right through the celebrations, suggests this is a tag team on the verge of going their separate ways.
Alexa Bliss made an appearance at the end of the main event. She appeared in the ring after The Fiend’s sound effects and a warped Firefly Fun House theme had played and the lights had gone off, and threw a fireball into Randy Orton’s face.
Asuka versus Alexa Bliss has been announced for next week. It’s a bit out of the blue, but with Bliss’ new character it should be interesting. Asuka tweeted that she’s not scared of Bliss and her monster because she already me The Boogeyman at Legends Night. Bliss responded with ‘That’s cute’.
Candice LeRae def. Shotzi Blackheart
Xi Li def. Valentina Feroz
Shotzi Blackheart vs Candice LeRae, with Indi Hartwell
The rivalry between these two is bitter and ramping up nicely. They’re both legitimate title contenders who aren’t quite next in line at the moment, so having them in a grudge feud to keep them visible is great.
Shotzi Blackheart performs at Sasha Banks level of looking like she’s going to hurt herself. It makes her compelling if nerve-wracking viewing and the match was great when it was just the two of them.
Unfortunately, no Candice LeRae match is a fair fight at the moment. Indi Hartwell got involved as a distraction on the outside going into the break and gave LeRae recovery time and the chance to get back in the ring and dropkick Blackheart. Blackheart got her own back with a dive onto both of them.
Hartwell caused the result as well. She got up on the apron when Blackheart climbed the turnbuckle. Shotzi Blackheart took a second to punch her back down, but that was all it took for LeRae to join Blackheart on the turnbuckle and bring her down with a swinging neckbreaker for the win.
Raquel Gonzalez said Rhea Ripley is like 2020, a bad memory we’re all trying to forget. Gonzalez is looking ahead. She’s coming for Io Shirai and the NXT Women’s Championship.
Shotzi Blackheart isn’t dwelling on her loss to Candice LeRae, she’s looking at making history. She’s entering the Women’s Dusty Cup. She knows Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell are in it, so she needs a partner she went to war with and knows she can win the whole thing with. Ember Moon. Moon joined her and judging by her enthusiasm, they’re going to be a great team.
In addition to those two teams, Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter, and Mercedes Martinez & Toni Storm have been declared for the tournament. They will get the first Women’s Dusty Cup underway next week.
Carter and Catanzaro feel they’re up to the challenge. They invited their competitors to keep overlooking them until they make history and win the whole thing.
Xia Li vs Valentina Feroz
I could do another long and boring rant about squash matches which are vaguely disrespectful to all concerned, including the fans, and serve no purpose, but I’m tired. Not announcing the competitor is just rude (her name was listed in the results on the website, but not mentioned or displayed on the show). All we learned was Li is extremely aggressive now, which we already knew) and can finish someone whose ability levels we have no clue about and in whom we have no investment, in two moves. Oh, and the veiled figure in the chair can make Li go back to the ring after the match and attack her opponent, with a simple gesture.
Jinny and Kay Lee Ray had a face to face ahead of their match next week. Joseph Connors accompanied Jinny. She gave him some recognition for helping her become number one contender and explained their alliance as her being a woman of wealth, which brings with it power and connections. Next week she believes she will be the next NXT UK Women’s Champion.
Unsurprisingly, Kay Lee Ray disagrees. She’s champion because she’s beaten everyone who has been put in front of her and Jinny will be no difference. Jinny said she hasn’t beaten her and insulted Ray a lot, then told her to enjoy her last week as champion.
And that was it from the NXT UK women’s division this week. Not so much as an extra vignette.
Natalya def. Liv Morgan
Natalya, with Tamina, vs Liv Morgan, with Ruby Riott and Billie Kay
Sadly, as well as pushing herself into the Riott Squad, Billie Kay joined commentary for the match. Pulling focus from Liv Morgan might not be the best strategy for endearing herself to Riott and Morgan, but I’m not sure leaving commentary to stand with Riott and make a nuisance of herself didn’t serve her cause either.
After Billie Kay started yelling at the ref and got too close to Tamina, she got into the ring to escape. Liv Morgan had been about to finish Natalya until Kay appeared between them. Natalya rolled Morgan up and pinned her while she was yelling at Kay.
Bayley has a new talk show called Ding Dong, Hello! She was dressed like a talk show host, complete with glasses. Her first ever guest was Bianca Belair. Bayley made her go behind the door set up in the ring and ring the doorbell. The first thing Belair did was nick Bayley’s comfy chair instead of the stool put out for her.
Belair has a WWE Chronicle premiering on WWE Network on January 24th. Bayley said she had a special sneak preview, but it was footage of her pinning Belair. That got Belair on her feet. Bayley asked why Belair calls herself the EST of WWE when it relates to accomplishments before she arrived in WWE. Belair asked Bayley why her confidence intimidates her.
The rest of it was just bickering. Belair wanted a rematch to prove she can beat Bayley. Bayley suggested an obstacle course next week instead. Bianca Belair excitedly accepted, and that was that.
Bayley’s Obstacle Course Challenge was later confirmed for next week.
Carmella said she told the truth about Sasha Banks last week. Banks can’t touch her for natural talent. She’s here again this week and Banks is nowhere to be seen since she pinned her two weeks ago and proved she’s better in every way.
When Carmella said Banks was hiding from her, Banks attacked her. Reginald got between them. Banks said she’d grant Carmella a title match as long as she got Reginald in a match first.
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.