Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It was go-home week for Money in the Bank, for RAW and SmackDown, and title match week on NXT with both the women’s and men’s NXT Championships on the line. Happily, there was some women’s division action outside the Money in the Bank match build, or it would have been a very quiet week.
Charlotte Flair def. Liv Morgan
MVP’s VIP Lounge opened the show, with Asuka, Shayna Baszler, and Nia Jax as his guests. Asuka came out first, after a recap of their brawl last week. She and Baszler sat as far away from each other as possible, leaving Nia Jax to sit in the middle. Asuka was dancing to Nia Jax’ entrance music while sitting on a sofa.
Anyway, Jax talked about being dominant, Asuka talked about Kairi Sane being bullied, and Shayna Baszler said Opera Non-Verba (actions not words), which she then explained with a dig at Asuka at the end. Baszler and Asuka got face to face, Nia Jax stood up and they both turned and kicked her out of the ring. MVP got in between them to stop them going for each other.
Charlotte Flair said she’s the hardest working woman in any industry because she’s been pulling double duty since she won the NXT title, working Mondays and Wednesdays. She talked a bit about her upcoming match with Io Shirai, and commented on how happy she was Shirai said she was her dream opponent. She’s glad she can make Shirai’s dream come true, and give her the privilege of bowing down to The Queen.
Liv Morgan came out and she and Flair exchanged insults for a while. The new Liv Morgan is ‘figuring out who she is’, and she’s leaning into it hard. She managed to cram that wording into her opening promo twice, as she did in her post-match interview last week, and trotted out the tired old nepotism/legacy talent line to Flair. Flair happily owns her legacy, so that was water off a duck’s back. We got a match out of it though, at Morgan’s suggestion.
Charlotte Flair vs Liv Morgan
I enjoyed the match. Liv Morgan looked like she was testing herself against Flair just to see how she measured up, as much as she was trying to win the match. She had Flair reeling a few times, and came close to pinning her a few times. She kicked out of some of Flair’s best work as well. It probably did more to establish Liv Morgan’s new character than anything else she’s done since her reintroduction. In the end, Morgan went for Oblivion and Flair dodged it and tapped her out in the Figure Eight.
Chelsea Green def. Xia Li
Charlotte Flair def. Io Shirai
Xia Li vs Chelsea Green
Robert Stone introduced and accompanied his client. Chelsea Green was wearing a skirt thing that reminded me of the netting kids use to play dress up, which she threw at Li to get the upper hand at the start. Sadly, the match didn’t get to play out because Aliyah appeared.
Aliyah’s first attempt to distract Li, by grabbing her leg, didn’t work. Her second attempt got her kicked in the head, but gave Green the opportunity to deliver the I’m Prettier for the win.
Robert Stone helped Aliyah to her feet after the match. It looks like he could have another client to represent.
The NXT women’s division potentially got a new addition this week. Scarlett (Bordeaux) arrived alongside Karrion (Killer) Kross. They got a very elaborate entrance followed by a very quick squash match for him. At the moment, I can find no information on whether Scarlett is there simply as a valet, or if she will eventually wrestle as well.
Charlotte Flair (C) vs Io Shirai – NXT Women’s Championship match
I would be happy to see Io Shirai dethrone The Queen, but it was really unlikely to happen on a random Wednesday night with only a week to build to it. That said, stranger things have happened and it was going to be a good match regardless. Commentary talked about a ‘battle of the moonsaults’ as if it was a close debate. It’s not, Shirai’s is better. End of story.
It really was a good match and Io Shirai looked fantastic. The moonsaults came into play. Flair missed hers and took a tiger feint kick before she had chance to recover. That and double knees in the corner gave Shirai a close two count. When Io Shirai tried to follow up with a moonsault of her own, Flair got her knees up and tried to pin Shirai off a big boot. When Shirai kicked out, something snapped in Charlotte Flair.
She rolled out of the ring when Shirai sent her flying face-first into the corner. Shirai followed via moonsault and Flair stepped out of the way. Before Io Shirai could properly get to her feet, Flair hit her with a kendo stick and got disqualified.
That wasn’t the end of it. Flair wrapped Shirai’s leg around the post and looked like she was preparing to put on a figure four around the post. She didn’t get chance because Rhea Ripley turned up and chased her off.
Io Shirai was very ungrateful. She screamed at Ripley all the way up the ramp with Ripley telling her to shut up.
After a break, Rhea Ripley was interviewed outside. She said she’s sick of Charlotte Flair and her ‘bow down crap’. Flair beat her at WrestleMania, that was one night and she’d like to see her do it again. Io Shirai arrived at that point, still shouting, and it quickly escalated into them having to be pulled apart by officials.
NXT’s women’s division is in pretty good shape at the moment. There are several viable title challengers and enough interweaving storylines and potential feuds to keep those not in immediate contention for the title picture busy. They didn’t need Charlotte Flair to come back, but I’m not hating her being NXT Women’s Champion. I think it works.
This week’s NXT UK was dedicated to the rise of Imperium. Next week is another superstar picks episode, so we’ll see if any women’s division matches get chosen.
Sonya Deville def. Mandy Rose
Tamina & Lacey Evans def. Bayley & Sasha Banks
The show opened with Mandy Rose preparing for her match and Otis talking to her about it. She said she’s ready. The camera’s cut to Sonya Deville preparing, with Dolph Ziggler checking on her. He asked Deville to go easy on Rose’s face. The match started the show proper.
Mandy Rose vs Sonya Deville
They’ve been teasing the breakup of Fire & Desire for months, and the breakup of a friendship generally makes for a good grudge match. That’s exactly what this was, ex-friends who wanted to hurt each other.
Mandy Rose’s leg was taped up, following Deville’s attack last week. But while it provided a target for Deville it didn’t slow Rose down. Sonya Deville spends way too much time trash-talking. Rose did manage to shut her up for a while though when she launched her over the announce desk.
It was just getting interesting when Sonya Deville folded Rose up with a handful of tights and got the win.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Tamina & Lacey Evans
Another grudge type match, or at least a spiteful one. Bayley and Banks spent so long negotiating who was going to start the match, Tamina went through both of them. Banks tried to keep Tamina’s attention so Bayley could sneak up on her, but Tamina didn’t fall for it. They did get an attempt at double-teaming her, but Tamina just pulled them into each other. When they tried to take a break on the outside, Lacey Evans took down Sasha Banks and Tamina pulled Bayley back into the ring by her hair.
That backfired briefly because Bayley pulled her down onto the ropes, but Tamina was back in control and Bayley sought refuge on the outside going into a break.
Lacey Evans and Sasha Banks were in the ring when we came back. Evans took a lot of punishment, and way more double-teaming than the rules allow for. They knocked Tamina off the apron when Evans tagged her, but Tamina made them both pay. Banks went into a barricade and Bayley was thrown around the ring. Banks came back just in time to stop Tamina going to the top to finish Bayley, and by her second attempt Bayley got her legs up.
Bayley thought she had it won after a Bayley to Belly and an elbow drop, but Tamina kicked out. Sasha Banks saved Bayley from a Samoan drop but took a Woman’s Right from Evans. Evans was kneed out of the ring by Bayley. Tamina landed a superkick on Bayley then delivered a superkick to pin the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
Dana Brooke and Carmella had a backstage interview about being in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. They both think they’re going to win, but they’re still being nice to each other. They’ve made it very clear there will be no friendships on Sunday.
It’s good to see SmackDown’s women’s division picking up again. It went very quiet for a while. Hopefully, it will continue after Money in the Bank.
That’s it for another week of WWE women’s division action. Enjoy Money in the Bank and join me next week for whatever there is to round-up. In the meantime follow @ArnFuriousCom to make sure you never miss a review. You can also follow me @manda_why. Please stay safe.