Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Sasha Banks & Bayley are still travelling between brands, but they only managed two this week. NXT had the second half of The Great American Bash featuring Mia Yim versus Candice LeRae in a Street Fight and the return of Mercedes Martinez, so they had things covered. And Martinez wasn’t the only superstar to return this week.
Kairi Sane def. Sasha Banks (DQ)
Billie Kay def. Ruby Riott
Asuka def. Bayley
Bayley and Sasha Banks were due to have an interview with Sarah Schreiber backstage, but Bayley said why would they bother talking to her when they can talk to the world. After they’d gone Asuka appeared and Schreiber asked her how she was planning to deal with those two alone. Asuka replied, ‘Who says I’m all alone’ and wandered off.
Banks and Bayley wanted to talk about themselves. I still hate the Golden Role Models as a team name, but commentary seem to be pushing it. They talked about how wonderful they are and how hard they’re working, and how they’re going to beat everyone forevermore.
Asuka came to the stage and told them they’re not ready, then taunted them into Bayley volunteering Banks for a match against an unnamed opponent. Happily, and unsurprisingly, the opponent was Kairi Sane.
Sasha Banks vs Kairi Sane
It’s awesome to see Kairi Sane back on RAW. Her future with WWE looks very uncertain, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise because she hasn’t been given the greatest of main roster runs.
She had a good match here. Heading into a break she threw Banks out of the ring to join Bayley, who was busy shouting at Asuka, and baseball slide dropkicked them into the barricade. It was apparently the first time they’ve fought one on one, which seems like a lot of big match potential to throw away on a frankly average episode of RAW.
Banks probably had the best of it, but not by much. She grew visibly frustrated at her inability to keep Sane down and Sane’s insistence on retaliation.
The match ended in a DQ when Bayley invaded the ring and kneed Sane in the head to stop Banks submitting. Asuka came in the even the odds and it turned into a two on one beatdown to her on the outside. Kairi Sane put a stop to the with an InSane Elbow which took down Banks and Bayley.
Backstage, later on, Asuka said that after she beats Bayley the Kabuki Warriors would be challenging Sasha Banks & Bayley to a tag title match next week. Kairi Sane played them out on the recorder.
The IIconics were being mean girls about Ruby Riott, taking care to mention Liv Morgan again. Riott arrived behind Billie Kay while they were still being mean. She said the sound of their voices makes her neck twitch a bit, and I can totally see that. She did confirm she’s been trying to get hold of Morgan, and she doesn’t know where she is or where her head is. But she’s focused on them tonight, and that’s bad news for them.
Billie Kay vs Ruby Riott
This was too short to be much of anything. Ruby Riott lost her hair extensions and The IIconics took some of them for a trophy. She also lost the match, courtesy of a Peyton Royce distraction.
In Bayley’s backstage interview before the Champion vs Champion match, Charly Caruso asked her if there was extra pressure now Asuka would challenge them for the tag titles if she won. Bayley said it was Asuka’s stupid idea because she wasn’t going to win. Sasha Banks said the Kabuki Warriors needed to accept they were never going to be tag champs again and if it took accepting their challenge to make that clear then that’s what they’d do. They accept. Bayley started to argue but Banks said no tag team on any brand could beat them. Bayley agreed, so we’ve got a tag title match next week.
Asuka vs Bayley – Champion vs Champion match
When we joined commentary for the entrances, security were attempting to remove Nikki Cross. Commentary vouched for her and she was allowed to stay. Samoa Joe had to hold her back during Bayley’s entrance. Nikki Cross is both hilarious and adorable and Samoa Joe is great at this commentary lark. He was brilliant with her. Sadly, a couple of minutes into the match the action moved to the outside. Bayley took a moment to knock Cross’ headset off and she was being carried away over security’s shoulder going into the first ad break.
It was a little duller and less vibrant without Nikki Cross’ input, but the match was good. It main evented and was long enough to get two ad breaks. Heading into the second one, Bayley took a seat at the commentary desk while Asuka was down. The break saved us from having to listen to too much of her rambling.
It was close, as you’d expect from Champion vs Champion. One thing I appreciated was the lack of outside interference until right at the end of the match. Asuka caught Bayley with a spinning backfist and it appeared it may have properly caught her. Asuka hesitated and stared at Bayley for a clear few seconds before she hip-attacked her out of the ring. The match carried on though, so it was probably fine.
Bayley threw Asuka into the top turnbuckle, then into the barricade with a knee to the head. After she threw Asuka back in, she took a few moments to forearm Kairi Sane to the floor. Sane tried to follow her into the ring and while the ref was dealing with her Bayley shoved Asuka’s head into Banks’ knee. Asuka kicked out anyway. Bayley splashed water in Asuka’s face after she demanded Banks get her a bottle, then got scared by Nikki Cross bettering on the plexiglass from the crowd side. Asuka grabbed her in the Asuka lock, Bayley tried and failed to flip out of it. Kairi Sane speared Sasha Banks to stop her breaking things up, and Asuka got the pin.
Candice LeRae def. Mia Yim
Mercedes Martinez def. Santana Garrett
Mia Yim vs Candice LeRae – Street Fight
NXT opened the second night of the Great American Bash with this match. And a good choice it was too. Of the many talented women in the NXT locker room, I can’t think of two more suited to this kind of match than Yim and LeRae. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It took a while to officially start, but only because Mia Yim attacked LeRae on the stage during her entrance and stopped to fill the ring with toys after she’d thrown LeRae into it. Weapons-wise it was pretty standard, just the usual array of chairs and tables, kendo sticks, a trash can, and the fixtures and fittings. LeRae let off a fire extinguisher in Mia Yim’s face, shortly before Yim put her through the snack table.
The finish was precarious. Candice LeRae balanced a table across the top of a corner. A few minutes later Mia Yim tried to use a set of brass knuckles, but LeRae held a chair up and Yim punched that with them. LeRae buried her under some chairs and climbed on the table but Yim followed her up there. They fought on top of the extremely wobbly table until LeRae wrenched the brass knuckles off Yim’s hand, punched her with them and delivered a diving swinging neckbreaker onto the pile of chairs. LeRae’s draped her arm over Yim when they landed and got the pin.
Both women were laid in the ring through a couple of promos and cleared out during an ad break, just to emphasise how much the match took out of them.
LeRae and Gargano were interviewed backstage later in the show. They gloated about their victories (Gargano beat Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott), declared themselves the greatest power couple in the universe, and spoke about having old scores they still wanted to settle. Gargano is going back after Finn Balor. LeRae didn’t specify who her old issues were with, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon.
Robert Stone attempted to recruit Shotzi Blackheart to the Robert Stone Brand this week. It did not go well for him. She turned him down, calling his brand a dumpster fire. He threw his coffee over his shoulder and it hit Killian Dain. Dain threw Stone into a packing case and while he was sprawled out on the floor Shotzi Blackheart parked her miniature tank on his leg and walked away.
Tegan Nox will take her title shot against Io Shirai next week. This week there was an excellent build package to it. It highlighted the similarities in their journeys to WWE and the differences in their attitudes. Tegan Nox is sick of the sympathy vote, she doesn’t need it and she’s ready to move on. Io Shirai said it is her NXT Women’s Division, she’s at the top of her game and she will be waiting.
Mercedes Martinez vs Santana Garrett
There have been a few hype packages for Mercedes Martinez in the build for this appearance, so once again there was no chance of Garrett picking up a win. I hope she gets her turn eventually. She gave Martinez a good match, and the opportunity to show off her power game. It’s a strong power game. It finished with a fisherman buster.
This week’s NXT UK was a Superstar Picks episode, but the matches had to be NXT UK roster members fighting in the US. Xia Brookside chose the semi-final of the Mae Young Classic between Toni Storm and Meiko Satomura.
Nina Samuels had a promo segment on the show. I really think she’d be better off with a mouthpiece to do that for her. There was nothing wrong with the content, she had a period of reflection in lockdown and realised she’s amazing as she is and everyone should appreciate her more, but it all sounded so hollow. Whatever it is that makes a promo meaningful, heart, conviction, I honestly don’t know I just know I’m not getting it in Samuels’ segments.
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Lacey Evans vs Naomi – No Contest
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Sasha Banks and Bayley were still on the stage for their entrance when Nikki Cross jumped on Bayley’s back. Alexa Bliss arrived a few seconds later, so it clearly wasn’t a planned attack, and started brawling with Banks. They were fighting on the ramp heading into an ad break.
The match proper started after the break and Nikki Cross was on the receiving end of a lot of punishment from Banks and Bayley. She was never in serious trouble though and got to Bliss after trapping Bayley in the ring skirt. Bliss and Cross outsmarted Bayley and Banks throughout. They had them both down on the outside going into another break. Cross got caught playing with Bayley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship, Bliss dropkicked them when they rushed her and Cross threw herself onto Bayley from the announce desk.
Alexa Bliss got caught out by an unseen tag and Banks and Bayley made her suffer for it, but they couldn’t keep her down even with some underhand tactics. Hurricane Cross entered the ring and took Banks and Bayley down in chaotic style.
Bayley picked up the win for her team, rolling Cross up when she got distracted watching Banks throw Bliss into a barricade. She didn’t even do that fairly, she had her feet on the ropes.
Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Tamina, and Naomi took place in a karaoke competition. They had to sing their favourite WWE theme song. Who the actual fuck is writing this shit!?! Sorry, but it was bad. Jey Uso hosted it and he was pretty funny, but it was just a terrible idea on every level. Why would you have so many talented wrestlers on your roster and make them do this shit? Naomi was declared the victor, but there were no winners here.
Lacey is Evans is a bad loser. She shoved Naomi over while she was celebrating, shoes were thrown and there was some hopping about. We went for a break with Jey Uso trying to separate them.
Lacey Evans vs Naomi
The match happened after a break, with Lacey Evans still wearing a knee-length dress with full underskirts. She used it to her advantage at one point, trying to either strangle or suffocate Naomi with it.
Evans got into an argument with Dana Brooke on the outside when Brooke called her out for being a sore loser. Tamina tried to clam things and Evans pushed her and got back into the ring. Brooke and Tamina followed and the match ended in a brawl. Naomi was pulled away, Evans escaped, and Tamina and Dana Brooke were left scrapping in the ring.
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.