Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It was another busy week for WWE’s women. The tag titles were on the line on RAW, and Charlotte Flair did triple duty. She made sure everyone knew about it of course. It’s nice to see some off-title feuds being developed recently. I hope that continues, the talent is there to support it.
Charlotte Flair def. Ruby Riott
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross def. The IIconics
Shayna Baszler def. Natalya
The show opened with the Becky Lynch tribute package, including footage of her handing the title over to Asuka and Asuka’s reaction to her pregnancy announcement. I hope they don’t keep playing it because it’s one of the most heartfelt and adorably sweet pieces of television WWE has given us in a very long time and I don’t want to get sick of it.
Liv Morgan said that her mom is her hero. She didn’t have a job or much of a savings account or resumé, but what she did have was determination. She never quit and Morgan is her mother’s daughter. A couple of weeks ago she had a match with Charlotte Flair and she didn’t win but she learned she’s just like her mother. She’s determined that one day she will become RAW Women’s Champion.
Charlotte Flair thinks everyone at home is in awe of her. She’s the hardest worker on all three brands, the face of RAW, a mentor at NXT, and a special guest superstar on SmackDown. She talked briefly about her altercation with Bayley and Sasha Banks on SmackDown and said she’s excited for the Champion vs Champion match, which takes place on Friday. She’s looking forward to teaching Bayley there are levels to being a champion.
Moving on to her opponent for the evening, she said she knows Ruby Riott has something to say to her because everyone has an opinion, and invited Riott to come and say her piece.
Ruby Riott came out and immediately took her jacket off and got up close face to face with Flair. It didn’t seem like she was looking to do much talking.
Charlotte Flair vs Ruby Riott
In fact, Riott had nothing to say because the match started during an ad break. She might have been better off talking judging by the early going. It wasn’t a one-sided match. Flair controlled the pace and much of the offence, but Riott had chances to both pin and submit her. Sadly, none of them came to anything. Charlotte Flair blocked an attempted Riott Kick and kicked Ruby Riott in the face before slapping on the Figure Eight and making her tap.
Kairi Sane hosted a celebration for Asuka. It was fun. She gave her flowers. They were very excited. They finally talked about Asuka being Grand Slam Champion, and Kairi Sane played a recorder (or similar, I’m sure someone will correct me). It was cute.
Nia Jax crashed the party and said there was nothing to celebrate. Asuka didn’t win the championship she was handed it. Becky Lynch is on maternity leave and Asuka lucked herself into the greatest temp job ever. And soon she’ll be replaced by someone far more worthy of the title, her. It’s obvious what will happen when they get in the ring together.
Asuka attacked her and hip-attacked her out of the ring. Nia Jax left looking considerably less confident.
Backstage, a little later, Asuka and Kairi Sane were still celebrating. As they went their separate ways, Nia Jax was watching in the background. She walked into the foreground and looked off in the direction Sane had gone.
After the next match, Jax snuck up on Sane while she was playing her recorder and threw her into a packing crate.
Asuka was furious when she found out. She checked with the medic icing Sane’s head that she would be ok, then set off to find Nia Jax. She caught her after a break and yelled at her. Jax walked past her so Asuka grabbed her by the hair and kicked her in the head.
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce earned this match by beating Cross and Bliss last week, albeit with a cheap shot to Bliss’ throat. Royce had to break up a pin on Billie Kay by Alexa Bliss.
It did not get the time it deserved. After only a few minutes, Peyton Royce had to break up a pin. Nikki Cross came in to throw her out of the ring but took a big boot from Kay for her trouble. Alexa Bliss delivered twisted Bliss but Peyton Royce was back in time to break it up again. This time she didn’t stop there. She threw Bliss into the corner by the hair repeatedly, despite being warned by the ref.
Backstage, Royce and Kay argued, and Kay slapped Royce. She immediately apologised and they cried and hugged. Splitting The IIconics up would be a terrible mistake, they’re a great team but I couldn’t see either of them making an impact as singles competitors. I know they did work as singles competitors in NXT, but they hovered around the midcard and I can’t see them climbing further than that now considering the talent in the rest of the locker room.
Natalya vs Shayna Baszler – Submission match
This was Natalya’s bid for redemption after Baszler beat her last week. I know Natalya is very proud of her Sharpshooter, but challenging Shayna Baszler to a submission match is either brave or stupid.
Natalya did get Baszler into the Sharpshooter, but she couldn’t make her tap. There are no rope breaks in a submission match, but Baszler crawled to the ropes and hauled herself out of the ring to force Natalya to break the hold.
Shayna Baszler got the Kirifuda Clutch locked in tight and Natalya had to tap to avoid passing out.
Bizarrely, the crew started setting up for the Kevin Owens Show segment while Natalya was still in the ring. After kicking the ropes and screaming in frustration, she wrecked the set. Samoa Joe had a lot to say about her ‘unprofessional’ conduct, suggesting if she’s going to act like that she might want to take some time off.
Bianca Belair got a hype package this week. Hopefully, that means she will be back in the ring soon. I’m really excited to see where she fits into the women’s division.
A heavy night for RAW’s women’s division. I’m not complaining at all, but three matches and some story building is unusual. It shouldn’t be, the women’s division should be getting between a third to half the show on a regular basis, but it’s unusual enough to remark on. They also announced Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai for NXT on Wednesday.
Mia Yim def. Santana Garrett
Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai – No Contest due to Interference
Shotzi Blackheart had a ‘getting to know you’ package. It was very tank orientated. Her motto is Take Care of Business. She’s just like a tank because tanks don’t give a shit, they’re bad to the bone and indestructible. They make their own path. She talked about her dad, and the influence he had on her, and the synergy between wrestling and punk rock. Then she showed off her favourite tank’s capacity for destruction, rolling it over cars as a metaphor for what she’s going to do to the NXT women’s division.
Mia Yim vs Santana Garrett
It would be nice to see Santana Garrett get some character development, maybe a little feud with another one of the many women who don’t get featured enough. She had a fast, fun, and much too brief match against Yim before taking Protect Ya Neck and getting pinned.
Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae came out after the match and bitched and complained. Gargano is playing the bully, just being generally mean and disparaging. LeRae is still annoyed Yim got an opportunity she didn’t think she deserved. Gargano climbed on the apron and took a knee to the head from Mia Yim, which gave LeRae chance to attack her from behind. They brawled but when Yim charged LeRae and LeRae sidestepped, Gargano pulled the rope down so she crashed to the floor hard.
When he stood over her and laughed, Keith Lee came out to remind the Garganos they’re not NXT’s only power-couple. Lee and Yim stormed the ring but Gargano and LeRae ran away before they got near them.
Rhea Ripley vs Io Shirai
I was looking forward to this and it deserved the main event spot. Ripley has a distinct power advantage, but Io Shirai is, well, Io Shirai. While Rhea Ripley undoubtedly had the majority of the control, it was Shirai who had the best of the chances. Sadly, we never got to see a proper finish.
When both competitors were on the outside, Charlotte Flair came down to watch. She’d been there mere seconds when Shirai sent Ripley flying into her. Flair went down and the match carried on in the ring. Shirai had just delivered a massive DDT and got the closest two count of the match when Flair entered the ring. Flair delivered a big boot to Shirai and a spear to Ripley and stood over them with the belt to close the show.
The inevitable triple threat title defence was confirmed for NXT TakeOver: In Your House, later in the week. Next week, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai will have to team up to face Charlotte Flair and a partner of her choice.
This week’s NXT UK was all about Toni Storm, Kay Lee Ray, and Piper Niven. It started with Storm winning the opportunity to challenge for a title and picking the NXT UK title, then held by Rhea Ripley. We saw Storm winning the title and got a reminder of her title defence against Jinny. Next up was the introduction of Kay Lee Ray and Piper Niven to NXT, with Piper Niven versus Rhea Ripley as the next featured match. Then they moved into the feud between Toni Storm and Kay Lee Ray, sadly, only featuring clips from the match Ray won the title in.
The second half of the show was dedicated to the friendship the three of them shared and its implosion in the run-up to the triple-threat title match. The show finished by showing the triple-threat in full overlaid with comments from all three. Nicely done episode.
NXT UK next week is an NXT vs NXT UK Hidden Gems show.
Bayley def. Charlotte Flair
Sonya Deville & Dolph Ziggler def. Mandy Rose & Otis
Bayley vs Charlotte Flair
Before this champion versus champion match, Bayley told Sasha Banks she didn’t want her in her corner for the match. She said it was nothing to do with being worried about Charlotte Flair’s comments, just that people are starting to say she can’t win without Banks in her corner. The way Banks stared after her as she left for the ring suggests this may come to a head sooner rather than later. She was smiling when she was shown watching from backstage though, so who knows.
The match itself was great and got a decent amount of time. Neither of them is opposed to cheating if it helps them get the result, and they were both caught trying to make a pin with their feet on the ropes. Flair tipped Bayley over the barricade going into a break, then stole Michael Cole’s headset and called for Sasha Banks to come out so she could kick both their asses. Banks did not respond during the break and the match went on.
Bayley got the win, by roll-up with her hands on the ropes for leverage. Charlotte Flair was bleeding from her lip, but seemed amused that Bayley had caught her out. Bayley yelled out to Sasha Banks that she loves her while she was knelt on the ramp celebrating. They celebrated together backstage, so I guess this goes another week.
Sonya Deville & Dolph Ziggler vs Mandy Rose & Otis – Mixed-tag match
This storyline has been several different types of grim and cringeworthy, but we’re getting to the end of it now. It has had some sweet moments, but it was a very convoluted way to get to a Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose feud which is the only bit of this that made any reasonable sense.
Rose and Deville were in the ring when Ziggler took Otis out. He pulled him off the apron then slid off his back when Otis scooped him up, and shoved him into the steps. As we went into a break, Mandy Rose had left the ring to check on him. During the break Otis had to convince her to get back in the ring before she was counted out. She took a lot more punishment than she dealt out at the hands of Sonya Deville, but Otis was back in time to cheer her on and make the tag.
Otis started the brawl with Ziggler when Deville tagged herself and Rose back in. He was too far away to do anything about it when Sonya Deville kneed Rose in the back of the head and pinned her. While he was checking on her after the match, Ziggler superkicked him in the face.
That’s it for another week of WWE women’s division action. 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.