Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. We are living in uncertain and difficult times, but WWE are trying to carry on and provide some kind of shows in their scheduled programming slots. It’s all super-weird, but it’s a welcome distraction from reality for a few hours a week.
WrestleMania has been split into two nights in order to keep the number of personnel around at one time to a minimum. It also looks like most or all of it will be pre-taped.
There isn’t a huge amount to report this week, but every show had some contribution from the women’s division.
Becky Lynch was at RAW this week. She turned up in a huge truck with her face plastered all over it, and she has never looked happier.
She was there to talk about Shayna Baszler and their upcoming match at WrestleMania. With Baszler shown watching from backstage, Lynch said her mere existence drives Baszler crazy and nothing makes sense in Baszler’s world while she holds the RAW Women’s Championship. Baszler has been taught she can bully her way to the top, but then she sees this loud ginger absolute legend of an Irishwoman and it makes her question the whole order of things. As long as Lynch is the champ, Baszler’s whole world is a lie.
Lynch is the one who got hunted and got tired of being hunted, she is the prey who killed its predator. So she cautioned her not to make the same mistake the rest of them made. Every word, every action every tweet and every interview is designed to make Baszler think whatever Lynch wants her to think of her. So Baszler can walk around with her mouthguard and her cold dead eyes, and she can cut through the rest of the division, but she knows Lynch is a whole different proposition and that enrages her. Lynch asked to think about how it will feel when she beats her, because at WrestleMania she’s going to prove Baszler’s whole life is a lie and it’s going to hit her like a truck.
She also came out during the final segment to join Stone Cold Steve Austin for a beer or three, she even brought a cooler full. He was wary when she arrived, stepping on the unfortunate Byron Saxton who had just taken a stunner as she got into the ring. Last time they shared a ring, on Austin’s interview show apparently (I don’t think we got that in the UK), she gave him a stunner. It’s on YouTube if you’re bored.
Anyway, she promised to respect the honour of 3:16 day and they drank beer and posed on the corners to an empty arena, then Byron Saxton took another stunner from Austin and some trash-talk from Becky Lynch.
NXT did things a little differently. There were no live matches, the only people in the Performance Center were Tom Phillips and Triple H, who took care of the introducing of the three segments of the show, and had a little banter along the way.
Over half the show was devoted to a documentary about Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. What was left was split between Finn Balor and Rhea Ripley.
WWE are good at building a story with these packages and my favourites are always the ones with the superstars narrating their story and the clips backing them up. This was a really good one. She talked about arriving at WWE as a twenty-year-old for the first Mae Young Classic and trying to be what she thought she should be instead of being herself. She changed that for the second one and became the Rhea Ripley who is currently taking over the game. Her journey from the second Mae Young Classic through NXT UK to NXT and her amazing weekend with TakeOver WarGames and Survivor Series were all discussed, with her smiling her way through the memories, as was her title win. Only the last few minutes were dedicated to the feud with Charlotte Flair. She used the same rationale for why she has the advantage as Kevin Owens did when he talked about his match against Seth Rollins. The Performance Center is Ripley’s turf, not Flair’s. And the crowd that Flair uses for fuel won’t be there. It will just be the two of them.
I was impressed (disclaimer, I am a huge Rhea Ripley fan anyway). She’s a great interview, very genuine and likeable. I want to see her succeed and I’m gutted for her that she won’t get to come out to eighty-thousand people to defend her title. She’s only twenty-three. Injuries permitting, she’s got an awesome career ahead of her.
Kay Lee Ray def. Dani Luna
NXT UK was the only show unaffected by the global pandemic. They pre-tape so this was in the bag before the arenas were emptied.
Kay Lee Ray vs Dani Luna
This non-title match opened the show. Happily, it wasn’t a squash. Luna got a decent amount of offence and even a near fall before she took a Gory Bomb and got pinned.
Kay Lee Ray attacked Luna again after the match and Piper Niven ran down to make the save. She and Ray had a standoff, but it didn’t get physical this time.
Paige appeared via video link for an interview with Michael Cole, except Bayley and Sasha Banks took over and told Cole to leave the ring before they’d got past the initial pleasantries. The pleasantries were definitely over when they got there, it was straight into bitchiness. Bayley went low and reminded Paige she couldn’t do anything to back up her words.
Paige was there to announce Bayley’s match at WrestleMania. Bayley said she wasn’t going to have one, they were going to go straight to the Hall of Fame. Paige enjoyed telling her she would be facing Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke. When Bayley laughed Paige added Tamina, then Naomi. Sasha Banks called Paige a bitch and said how dare she do that to her friend. That’s when Paige added the final competitor in the Six-pack Elimination Challenge, Sasha Banks.
Bayley and Banks gave each other an anguished look and Bayley left alone.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross had a backstage interview about their desire to face The Kabuki Warriors for the titles. Nikki Cross got upset and ranty, so Bliss took the mic off her and challenged Asuka to a match on next week’s SmackDown.
So that’s all four women’s title matches set for WrestleMania, or nearly. The women’s tag title match hasn’t been officially set yet, but unless I’ve missed anything I’d expect the Kabuki Warriors to defend against Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross and I’d imagine it would be set up after next week’s match.
That’s it for another week of WWE women’s division action. Join me next week for whatever there is to round-up, if there is anything, and in the meantime follow @ArnFuriousCom to make sure you never miss a review. You can also follow me @manda_why. Please stay safe.