Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. The build to Extreme Rules is well underway and this week both women’s title challengers were decided. However, while the plans are currently in place, things are far from certain.
News broke mid-week that several staff and talent at WWE have tested positive for COVID-19. Renee Young and Kayla Braxton have tweeted to say they were among those infected, as have producers Adam Pearce and Jamie Noble. The names of in-ring talent have not been released although it is widely rumoured that several are included in the positive tests.
Asuka def. Charlotte Flair
Natalya def. Liv Morgan
Sasha Banks & Bayley def. The IIconics
It was Championship Monday on RAW this week. There were four titles on the line, including the RAW Women’s Championship and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
Nia Jax came to the ring, apparently unscheduled, and set up a chair. She sat there for an ad break, then talked about Charlotte Flair being privileged and handed everything. She also thinks she’s been cheated out her title shots against Asuka (double count-out and fast count that should have been a DQ). R-Truth came out and accused Jax of being Akira Tozawa in disguise then got chased away by the real Akira Tozawa and his ninjas.
Interruption over, she said she wasn’t leaving until… and got interrupted by Charlotte Flair. Flair said Jax squandered her last two opportunities and was out there throwing a hissy fit. Jax said Flair gets what she wants because of who her dad is and Flair told her his new title is Charlotte Flair’s dad and he loves it.
Jax accused Flair of avoiding her and building her legacy on easy targets, because the one time they went one on one Jax dominated and beat her. They both know the one woman built to take Flair’s crown, is her.
Charlotte Flair punched her in the face and it turned int a pull-apart brawl during which Flair’s left arm was injured.
Just before the title match, Charly Caruso asked Charlotte Flair if she was considering postponing. Flair said no, the arm would be fine for holding up the RAW Women’s Championships.
Asuka (C) vs Charlotte Flair – RAW Women’s Championship match
I always enjoy Asuka versus Charlotte Flair. They have developed great chemistry and it’s one of the few feuds I don’t mind if they keep coming back to, as long as they leave enough time between matches.
Obviously, Asuka was at an advantage and Flair’s injured and taped arm was a target. The injury was a feature of the match and it contributed to the result. Charlotte Flair had just powerbombed her way out of a triangle, but Asuka managed to lock in the Asuka Lock with the injured arm trapped tight and Flair had to tap.
It was a huge win for Asuka, her first against Flair in one on one competition.
Nia Jax had been shown watching from backstage. When the match finished Charly Caruso asked her if she thought the fight she had with Flair contributed to Flair losing. Jax said ‘It would be a real shame for someone to kick The Queen while she’s down.
A little later while Flair was talking to Charly Caruso, Nia Jax attacked her, threw her into a ringpost, and slammed a packing crate on her arm.
Ric Flair appeared in a later segment and confirmed Charlotte is injured. He sent a message to Nia Jax that she’s in a lot of trouble when she comes back, then got on with why he was there.
Natalya told Sarah Schreiber she thinks the locker room needs her leadership with Becky Lynch out on maternity leave and Charlotte Flair potentially out injured. Asuka is a great champion, but not good at rallying the troops. She scolded Schreiber for not scheduling an interview with her, because she’s got an important announcement to make. She refused to elaborate because there wasn’t time before her match.
Natalya, with Lana, vs Liv Morgan
Natalya bringing Lana to the ring was an uncomfortable reminder for us all of the short-lived, and cringeworthy in its inauthenticity, storyline she shared with Liv Morgan. Lana was the reason Morgan lost the short match as well. Morgan had the better of Natalya on the outside but stopped after throwing Natalya back into the ring because Lana got too close. Natalya recovered while Morgan’s attention was diverted and slapped on the Sharpshooter for the win.
Either Lana was the big news, or we still didn’t get to find out what it was.
Ruby Riott approached Liv Morgan in the Performance Center but Morgan told her ‘Not tonight’ and walked away. Riott tried again but Morgan said last week didn’t go her way, tonight didn’t go her way. Nothing has gone her way and she didn’t need Riott making her feel worse. Ruby Riott let her go.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs The IIconics – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match
Another decent match, although a tad short. The IIconics had some great chances. Sasha Banks had to break up a pin on Bayley and barely kicked out of a pin attempt herself. Bayley couldn’t have saved her from that one because Peyton Royce shoved Banks into her and knocked her off the turnbuckle to the floor. With Bayley still on the floor, Banks avoided the double team by kicking Billie Kay out of the ring and tapped out Royce in the Bank Statement.
After the match, Bayley gloated then Sasha Banks dropped a bombshell. She’s jealous of Bayley having two titles and she wants a title match… so she’s going to challenge Asuka at Extreme Rules.
Asuka came out and accepted the challenge. Bayley shoved Asuka to the mat and they tried for a double team beatdown. Asuka fought back but ended up in the Bank Statement.
Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez def. Kayden Carter & Kacy Catanzaro
Rhea Ripley def. Aliyah
Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter vs Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez
It feels like the women’s tag division is being taken seriously again, and I’d like to see both these teams as regular players in it. There’s a lot going on at the top of the women’s division and, realistically, of the four only Kai is ready for that spot. They work great as teams though. Carter and Catanzaro could fill a role as the athletic flippy team.
I really enjoyed this short match. It was Raquel Gonzalez’ power that decided this one. She kicked Kayden Carter away while holding Catanzaro on her shoulder with one hand, then slammed her into the mat so hard she should have left a dent. Instead of taking the victory herself, she tagged in Dakota Kai to tap the helpless Catanzaro out.
After the match, Kai yelled a message into camera for Io Shirai that she was coming for the title.
Mercedes Martinez got a hype package on this week’s NXT. I hope they have great plans for her.
Robert Stone tried again to get Rhea Ripley to join his brand. He said Aliyah had already signed and, while he didn’t usually give second chances, he was making an exception for her. She punched him in the stomach and threw him in a dumpster. Aliyah ran over and screamed at her. She slapped Ripley, which secured her a match later in the show.
Rhea Ripley vs Aliyah
Aliyah got destroyed in this match. Ripley had the power advantage, the speed advantage, and the skill advantage. She’s sneaky though, and that got her a little offence here and there, but it was only ever a very temporary reprieve.
Stone threw his shoe at Ripley to stop her tapping Aliyah out. Ripley got out of the ring and chased him around and back into it where he only escaped a beating by struggling out of his jacket. Aliyah tried to use the distraction for a rollup but didn’t have the strength and got pinned off the Riptide.
Backstage a little later Robert Stone demanded William Regal (via video link) give Aliyah a rematch against Ripley. He used the words, ‘we need a rematch’, so that’s what Regal gave him, a two on one handicap match, Rhea Ripley versus Aliyah & Robert Stone.
Stone said he wants the stipulation that if Ripley loses she has to join the Robert Stone Brand. Regal said that would have to be discussed with Rhea Ripley and Ripley appeared behind Stone and said that was fine with her.
WWE keep giving us little teases of intergender wrestling, but that’s all it is. If there was a brand that could do it well, it’s NXT. Not to point out the obvious but they have Candice LeRae and Mia Yim right there, and any number of other equally capable women.
Next week, on NXT’s Great American Bash episode, Io Shirai’s first challenger will be decided in a fatal four-way. Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae, and Mia Yim are the contenders.
This week was another Superstar Picks week and it was ladies’ night. The superstars were asked to pick a match that means something special to them. Jinny had the first pick and picked Nikki Cross vs Asuka, Last Woman Standing, in NXT. An excellent choice which came with some very high praise from Jinny. Nina Samuels got the second pick and chose The British Bulldogs vs The Dream Team at WrestleMania 2. Aoife Valkyrie got the final selection. She chose Finn Balor vs Kevin Owens from Beast in the East. Three great matches. Is it slightly concerning that this was one of my favourite NXT UK episodes ever?
Nikki Cross gets to make one of the picks next week.
Nikki Cross def. Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, and Alexa Bliss
A lot of SmackDown was dedicated to celebrating the career of The Undertaker who has probably definitely retired this time… unless he decides to come back for one more match of course.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak at the Performance Center, some of the ‘crowd’ were wearing face masks… but not all of them.
Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Cross vs Dana Brooke vs Lacey Evans – Fatal Four-way Number One Contender’s match
Bayley and Sasha Banks joined commentary for Bayley to find out who she will be facing at Extreme Rules. Bliss and Cross found themselves alone in the ring after throwing out Evans and Brooke. Nikki Cross tried to get a sneaky pin in on her best friend but Bliss kicked out. Cross told her she still loved her but this was about the title. Bliss agreed and they shook hands and got into it. Sadly, Evans pulled Bliss out of the ring just as they were getting into their stride.
It was a decent match all told. Nikki Cross got the pin on Lacey Evans with a rollup after Evans had knocked out Dana Brooke with the Woman’s Right. Bayley vs Nikki Cross should be great. It’s Extreme Rules though, so we’ll wait and see if the match gets a dodgy stipulation.
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.