Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. We kick off this week with Sasha Banks and Bayley trying to own all the gold at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. It was a PPV of mostly good matches with mostly bad finishes, and the women’s division certainly wasn’t exempt from that.
The Horror Show at Extreme Rules
Bayley def. Nikki Cross
Sasha Banks ‘def,’ Asuka
Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Kairi Sane gave Nikki Cross a pep talk before her match. They each gave her affirmations, then Kairi Sane spoilt it a bit by telling her they’ll still be her friends if she loses.
Bayley (C) vs Nikki Cross – SmackDown Women’s Championship match
Alexa Bliss accompanied Nikki Cross to the ring to counteract the presence of Sasha Banks in Bayley’s corner. Cross looked very nervous during her introduction, but she took the early momentum in the match after losing out in the initial exchanges and had a few solid pin attempts in the first couple of minutes.
Bayley turned it around by bouncing Cross off the plexiglass a couple of times. She used Cross’ ring skirt trick, but Cross crawled right under the ring and trapped Bayley in the skirt when she came after her. Nikki Cross decided two can play at that game and did Bayley’s old wavy thing before the splash into the corner.
Nikki Cross nearly got the win by rolling Bayley up while she was arguing with the ref over a perceived slow count, but Bayley kicked out. I genuinely wanted Cross to win, but it wasn’t to be, despite numerous near misses, and we didn’t get the clean result Cross deserved. When it became clear Bayley was running out of ideas, Sasha Banks handed Bayley her BOSS ring and distracted the ref while Bayley punched Cross in the ribs with it. The ref turned around in time to see Bayley plant Cross’ face into the mat and pin her.
It was all smiles and celebrations for Banks and Bayley, but there was no missing the look Sasha Banks gave that SmackDown Women’s Championship after she handed it back.
Bayley did Sasha Banks’ introduction to her pre-match interview, then did all the talking except for Banks telling Kayla Braxton to go and get the champagne.
Asuka (C) vs Sasha Banks – RAW Women’s Championship match
Bayley was in Sasha Banks’ corner and Kairi Sane in Asuka’s as expected. This one definitely fell into the good match bad finish category. Maybe even great match awful finish.
Banks had a couple of very near chances, first with a frogsplash, then a Bank Statement. Asuka barely got to the ropes. Banks had to kick out at two and a half after a couple of German suplexes and a hip attack. Banks managed to land on her hands and knees off a superplex and deliver double knees into the corner, but she slipped off the ropes on whatever the follow up was going to be and hurt her knee.
The near falls and close calls were many and varied. On merit, you’d probably have to give the match to Asuka, but this match wasn’t going to be decided on merit.
Kairi Sane took a Bayley to Belly on the outside after pulling Bayley off the apron. Asuka got Banks in the Asuka Lock and Bayley threw a tag title belt into the ring. While the ref was removing it, Sasha Banks tapped out, but he didn’t see it. Bayley got in the ring and took a kick to the head from Asuka. Banks rolled on top of the other tag belt and the ref had to wrench it out of her grasp.
She ducked as Asuka appeared behind her and Asuka green-misted the ref by accident. Bayley smacked Asuka in the back of the head with the belt then ripped off the ref’s shirt and counted the three when Banks crawled onto Asuka. The timekeeper didn’t ring the bell until Bayley went over there and made him. Sasha Banks left with the title belt, so I guess the mess will be sorted out on RAW.
I really hated that ending. I’m not the biggest fans of messy finishes at the best of times. I’d generally like to see a good match with a clean finish. That was never likely to happen with Sane and Bayley at ringside, but I just didn’t enjoy the way they played that out.
Ruby Riott def. Peyton Royce
Kairi Sane def. Bayley
Bianca Belair’s interview was interrupted by Peyton Royce. Royce dismissed Sarah Schreiber and told Belair she shouldn’t have stuck her nose in where it didn’t belong and she should have picked a partner with a better win-loss record. Ruby Riott arrived and pointed out they beat her and Billie Kay last week. Kay wasn’t there. Riott and Royce argued and nearly come to blows when Peyton Royce mentioned Liv Morgan. Bianca Belair got in between them, seemingly made a match between them, and steered Ruby Riott off to the ring.
Ruby Riott vs Peyton Royce
A rare true one on one match for Peyton Royce. She and Riott had a single’s match a couple of weeks ago, but with Billie Kay on the outside it was never really one on one. Ruby Riott still didn’t get to dominate that match, Royce was in control for the whole thing. She did, however, get to win. Riott ducked out of the way of Royce came off the top turnbuckle, then grabbed her arm and delivered the Riott Kick to secure the pin.
Ruby Riott tweeted after the show about it being her first singles win since November 2019. She also said she hoped Liv Morgan was proud if she was watching and told Peyton Royce to keep Morgan’s name out of her mouth.
It is widely reported that this was Kairi Sane’s last week on RAW as she has decided to go back to Japan. It may be that she recorded something else at the tapings, but it seems that her match against Bayley was likely her last one.
Bayley and Sasha Banks had too much to say, as usual, before the match. Bayley introduced Banks as the new RAW Women’s Champion, then Banks took over. She talked about Asuka having been handed the title, whereas she fought for it, then ran through a whole list of excuses as to why Bayley did the right thing and she’s the rightful champion.
Asuka and Kairi Sane arrived on the stage. Asuka called Banks a thief and said the title is hers. Sasha Banks told her to come and get it.
Stephanie McMahon appeared on the big screen before they got to the ring. She confirmed Banks is not the RAW Women’s Champion. As neither of them actually won, there will be a rematch next week. But she’s set the rules so the result can be decided on Pinfall, Submission, Count Out or Disqualification. She made a point of clarifying that if Bayley interferes, Banks will lose the title.
Bayley vs Kairi Sane
Kairi Sane went for it the second the bell rang and quickly had Bayley leaning through the ropes to make the ref back her off. Bayley took advantage when that happened, but it was only a temporary reprieve. I’m going to miss Kairi Sane, she’s such an entertaining wrestler. It settled into a very good match and one that got a nice amount of time.
Sane landed her InSane Elbow after a spinning backfist and a spear, but Bayley got her foot on the ropes in the pin. Bayley landed an elbow drop of her own, but Sane kicked out. When Bayley picked Sane up for a Bayley to Belly, Kairi Sane shifted her weight to take Bayley to the mat and pinned her.
Shayna Baszler was interviewed backstage while watching the match about whether she had a vested interest. She said she’s beaten every other woman in the locker room, and been dominant, and she still doesn’t have a match. No one deserves the spotlight more than she does. So, yes, she has a vested interest in the match the way a shark has a vested interest every time it sees prey.
Nice to see the interview, but they could have put it at the end of the match rather than cutting a full minute of it out.
Shotzi Blackheart def. Aliyah
Dakota Kai sent a video message to Io Shirai to tell her she’ll be waiting when the taste returns to Shirai’s mouth after she kicked it out last week. And she reminded Shirai to bring the title.
Io Shirai responded by tweet later in the show, saying actions have consequences and she’ll see Kai on Wednesday. The match was confirmed for next week.
Aliyah, with Robert Stone, vs Shotzi Blackheart
Unusually for NXT, this was the only women’s division match on the show. Robert Stone hobbled to the ring, still wearing the protective boot after Shotzi Blackheart ran his leg over with her tank. Blackheart aimed her tank straight for the steps he was stood on during her entrance.
Stone’s presence did work in Aliyah’s favour on one occasion. He distracted Blackheart on the outside, enabling Aliyah to come off the apron and drive Blackhearts head into the floor. Aliyah tried to make a pin with her feet on the ropes, but got caught. Stone got up on the apron while Aliyah was down from a suplex. Shotzi Blackheart took a moment to knock him back down with a kick to the head. That meant he wasn’t able to see his client take a diving senton and get pinned.
On her way out, Blackheart ran over Stone’s other leg. While she was stood in her tank celebrating, she got kicked in the head by Mercedes Martinez. Martinez just looked at Stone and Aliyah and walked away.
Backstage, later in the show, Martinez approached Robert Stone and Aliyah while they were talking. She told Stone she wants someone to handle the big matches look over the contracts, and deal with all the crap she doesn’t care about, so she can focus on hurting people in the ring. She warned him that if he oversteps his boundaries she’ll break both his legs, then shook his hand to officially join the Robert Stone Brand.
Yet another Greatest Matches in NXT UK History show. They have to be running out of matches that don’t truly stretch the definition of ‘great’ by now. That said, this week’s selection was pretty decent. Piper Niven introduced her match against Jinny, which Niven won.
Xia Brookside got a promo segment or inspirational message segment, or some kind of slightly odd combination of the two. She did say NXT UK will be back as soon as possible. It was a very odd promo though.
More of the same next week.
Nikki Cross def. Alexa Bliss
Sasha Banks and Bayley have decided they are now the definition of greatness because they are in possession of all the gold, despite Banks not actually being the RAW Women’s Champion. Banks declared the Women’s Evolution over because it started with them and it’s going to end with them. Bayley said it’s the start of a new era, an era of greatness, the era of Sasha Banks and Bayley. There was a lot of self-aggrandizing nonsense in there too, but you get the gist.
Angry Nikki Cross came out with her ribs taped up, accompanied by Alexa Bliss. She said Banks ruined her title shot and all she had to show for it was cracked ribs, and she stole the title from Asuka. She demanded another title shot.
Bayley said she could have another shot, as long as she beats Bayley’s hand-chosen opponent… Alexa Bliss. Whoever wins gets the title match next week.
Bliss didn’t want to do it, but Cross said they had to, shoved Bliss over, and stomped to the ring.
Nikki Cross vs Alexa Bliss
The relationship between Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross has always seemed very sweet and genuine, but they were all business in the ring. They did team up for a moment in the match, when they’d both had enough of Bayley and Banks heckling from commentary. Fair enough, they were spectacularly annoying. Bliss had just fought back from being trapped in the ring skirt and they took a moment to punch Banks and Bayley before getting back to it. Banks and Bayley were back up after a break and Bayley challenged Michael Cole for SummerSlam. He declined.
The match was great. Despite her reluctance to fight Cross, Bliss didn’t go easy on her tag partner. She even went after Cross’ injured ribs, albeit initially apologetically. At the finish, Cross missed with a crossbody from the top and the ref backed Bliss off to check on her. As Bliss came back over, Cross rolled her up and pinned her.
There was no hug and make up from Cross and Bliss in the celebrations, just Cross growling at Bayley. They met up backstage after a break. Bliss handed Cross a bottle of water and said ‘You got one over one me’. She remembers Cross saying last week that she didn’t get the same opportunities as her. But tonight she earned it and she’s very happy for her. Now it’s time to focus on beating Bayley next week. I will be heartbroken if it is Bliss who costs Cross the title next week.
I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that I adore Naomi. She’s astoundingly athletic, can hold her own in the ring against just about anyone, and can handle herself on the mic as well. In addition, she’s a great role model, very humble and approachable, very honest about the toll life takes on her sometimes, and the epitome of work ethic. If you doubt that last one, take a trip back to just post-Funkadactyls, era and see where she came from.
That’s been one of the hot twitter topics of the week, which is why Naomi was Miz and Morrison’s special guest on Miz TV. She was taking no shit from anyone.
Miz and Morrison live to stir the pot. Their questions were inflammatory, focusing a lot on the fact she went viral for losing and asking how losing makes her feel. Naomi focused her answers on fan support and doing it for the people who support her.
When the interview started to get really confrontational and Naomi started to properly tell them off, Miz and Morrison brought Lacey Evans out.
Evans asked Miz and Morrison if they’d ever got their asses kicked so bad they had a pity hashtag go viral. And said Naomi had been there for a decade and hasn’t got much to show for it. For reasons best known to herself, she was doing her lipstick while she spoke.
Naomi shoved her and Evans’ lipstick went all over her face and teeth. They had the briefest of brawls before Evans escaped. Naomi kept Evans’ hat and danced around in it to end the segment.
Of course, they have a match 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.