Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It may not be a PPV week but the build to Survivor Series is in full swing and that’s usually one of the most fun PPVs of the year. It’s sad that NXT aren’t involved this year, but with current circumstances, it’s probably sensible, and NXT have a lot of their own stuff going on. Both RAW and SmackDown had title matches this week, and every show except NXT UK had more than one women’s division match. Not a bad week at all.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler def. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke
Nia Jax def. Lana
Alexa Bliss made an appearance during Randy Orton’s opening segment. She came to the ring while Orton was daring people to come and try to take his title and stood smiling while Orton walked around her and asked where The Fiend was. She held her hands under her chin to reveal the words Play and Pain on her gloves then lowered the Play one and said, ‘He could be here’. The Fiend’s sound effects went off and the lights turned red, but it was Drew McIntyre not The Fiend who attacked Orton, and Bliss just vanished into the background.
She was in the Firefly Fun House later in the show. Once again I’m going to add the video instead of explaining because you’d lose so many nuances and extra little touches in the words.
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (C) vs Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship match
I’m not convinced putting Team RAW in a tag match against each other is the best team-building exercise they could have come up with, but here we are. The fifth member of the team, Lana, came to watch the match from the bottom of the ramp. Unfortunately, she got involved.
Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose did great against Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler for the first minute or two. With a bit of teamwork, they managed to get Jax down and got a credible pin attempt before she tagged out. Baszler allowed herself to be distracted by Lana’s presence and questioned and it cost her control, but not the match.
Mandy Rose was removed from the match by Nia Jax after she rushed across the ring to stop Jax breaking up a pin attempt. Baszler kicked out of Brooke’s pin and Rose was left laid out in front of the announce desk. Oddly, Shayna Baszler got distracted by Lana again and took a baseball slide while she had Lana by the head.
Back in the ring, Baszler got Brooke in a Kirifuda Clutch and Lana got up on the apron. Brooke rolled Baszler up while she was trying to drag Lana into the ring, but the ref was too busy yelling at Lana to notice. Baszler kicked out when he turned back and the kick-out sent Brooke into Lana and knocked Lana off the apron. That took Dana Brooke’s focus for just long enough for Baszler to slap on the Kirifuda Clutch and tap her out.
Backstage, Nia Jax was furious about Lana’s interference, to the point where she demanded Sarah Schreiber didn’t say Lana’s name in her presence. She talked herself into giving Lana a match and threatened to end her career.
Nia Jax, with Shayna Baszler, vs Lana
Shayna Baszler cleared off the announce desk during Jax’ entrance. For some reason, there was a video from Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans played during Jax’ entrance as well, but they were just mocking Lana’s chances of surviving the match. Lana had her video played during her entrance, in which she said she wasn’t going to let Nia Jax treat her like that anymore.
That didn’t quite pan out for her. She did show some resilience, but she got thoroughly beaten up for a couple of minutes before she was pinned. Jax pulled her out of the first cover, just so she could beat on her for a bit longer. She wanted Lana to quit, but when she wouldn’t she ended it with a Samoan drop.
For the briefest of moments, it looked like Jax and Baszler would leave the announce desk intact. They got halfway up the ramp before they turned back and Baszler threw Lana out of the ring to Jax. This time, Lana tried to fight back, but she still got Samoan dropped through the desk.
Nikki Cross approached Alexa Bliss backstage. Bliss was turned away from her and wouldn’t look at her as she complained about not being able to get hold of her and expressed her concerns about how The Fiend has changed her. When Cross had had enough of appealing to her former best friend, she grabbed her arm and pulled her around to face her. What she saw was enough to make her run off in shock. Bliss now has some ice blue contacts with red rings and a very sinister smile.
Dakota Kai def. Ember Moon
Toni Storm def. Shotzi Blackheart
Ember Moon vs Dakota Kai, with Raquel Gonzalez
It would be nice to see Dakota Kai pulling out victories by herself if she’s going to work her way back into the title picture. Raquel Gonzalez makes her hard to beat, but also fundamentally weakens her. I’m not convinced Kai needs her and I don’t think the arrangement is helping Gonzalez anymore either.
Anyway, this was the opening match and it got a respectable fifteen minutes or so. Good match, very strategic in places, vicious in others. Moon had half an eye on Gonzalez throughout, which is generally a wise move.
Kai took control of the match after dragging Moon’s shoulder into the post then hanging off her arm. Moon fought her way back into it and powered her way out of a submission that Kai and Gonzalez were convinced would finish her. She got to give Kai some direct payback for the way Kai attacked her as well, spinning her around under the bottom rope and punching and kneeing her in the face.
Going into the ads, Ember Moon wiped out on a suicide dive when Kai moved completely out of the way. She was up and fighting when we came back though, albeit still one-armed. They were slugging it out on their knees in the centre of the ring when Moon offered Kai ‘a free one’. As soon as Kai went for it, Moon tried to submit her. They went back of forth on pins and Kai had a submission attempt of her own. Moon got to the ropes but Kai used the entire five-count to let go.
It was when Kai started trash-talking the Ember Moon stepped it up a gear. Raquel Gonzalez felt the need to get involved when Moon went up for the Eclipse. The ref got her back down, but the distraction was enough for Kai to kick Moon in the face. The GTK followed, and Dakota Kai got the pin.
Io Shirai said everyone wants to know what’s next for her. It’s her NXT, but there’s still one challenge she must face, Rhea Ripley. She wants to face her one on one and she’s not afraid of nightmares.
Rhea Ripley accepted the challenge because that’s what she’s been trying to get since June. She’s planning to see out this year the way she did last year, as NXT Women’s Champion.
Shotzi Blackheart was given her pick of opponents this week as a thank you for being a great host of Halloween Havoc and stopping Candice LeRae cheating herself into the NXT Women’s Championship. She chose Toni Storm because she’s always been a big fan. The match will be a huge test and that’s why she chose it.
Toni Storm said Blackheart made a mistake picking her. This is a whole new Toni Storm, more aggressive, more tenacious, more Toni. She’s going to use Shotzi Blackheart as a stepping stone on her way to the top.
Shotzi Blackheart vs Toni Storm
This match should have been awesome, but it fell a little short. I am a huge fan of Shotzi Blackheart, but she had an off-night and there were some fairly big things that just didn’t quite work right. It was still a good match, it just could have been more. Toni Storm looks focused and on top form.
Her tank was missing and she was furious and upset, so the off-night was quite possibly meant to be an off-night. It was still an entertaining match but it could have been more and the ending wasn’t great.
Candice LeRae appeared on the video screen and said someone had left Blackheart’s tank in the middle of the road, but she was watching it for her. While Blackheart was staring at the screen, Storm grabbed her and pulled her backwards to pin her. As soon as it was done, LeRae appeared on the screen again and ran over Blackheart’s tank with a big-ass car. She said that was for robbing her of the title, and now they’re even.
Shotzi Blackheart was completely distraught, screaming and crying in the middle of the ring. Toni Storm tried to comfort her, but she backed away.
Xia Li said the letters she has been receiving are from her family and they’re personal, but she needs to turn things around. William Regal delivered another one while Li was being interviewed. She read it and asked for a match against Raquel Gonzalez next week. Regal checked she was sure. When she said she had to do it because Gonzalez had dishonoured her, he said he’d set it up.
Jinny def. Aleah James
Jinny vs Aleah James
It was Aleah James’ debut on NXT UK. She’s only been wrestling a couple of years, so it seems very early, but that’s how it goes at the moment. She looks decent enough though, and NXT UK is a pretty low-key introduction to WWE. It’s not like the women’s division has been given any development so far, outside of a couple of key players.
Jinny is looking great and hopefully she’ll be moving properly into the title picture. James got enough offence to make it a nice debut, but it was Jinny’s match and the win was decisive with a rolling Liger Kick.
After the match, Jinny said that was an example of how ruthless she could be. There is a reason why she is the queen of NXT UK, and that’s because she’s got the killer instinct that none of the others have. She singled out Piper Niven and Niven appeared as if by magic.
They argued, then Kay Lee Ray came out and told them they were funny. She baited them to fight telling them neither of them would ever have the title and threw a chair into the ring for them to use. Ray told Piper Niven that she didn’t think she had the killer instinct because she threw away the chance to take her out when she was hurt.
Jinny spun Niven round and slapped her. Piper Niven responded with a headbutt that put Jinny on the mat, then picked up the chair and smacked her across the back with it. Aleah James tried to stop Niven attacking Jinny, and took a Michinoku Driver. Finally, Jinny took a Michinoku Driver onto the chair. Kay Lee Ray looked quite impressed until Niven came towards her, then she backed away. She stumbled on her way out and just scooted backwards until she found her feet and ran.
They scrapped backstage during the break and had to be pulled apart by many officials. Niven tried to take the title belt and the officials had to persuade her to give it back. She gets a chance to take it properly in two weeks.
Sasha Banks def. Bayley
Ruby Riott def. Zelina Vega and Natalya
Sasha Banks (C) vs Bayley – SmackDown Women’s Championship match
Bayley had a backstage interview before the match. She mocked Sasha Banks’ previous inability to defend a title, seemingly convinced history would repeat itself. Banks looked supremely confident.
They know each other’s every move, so finding a way to take control was always going to be difficult. It took a while, but Bayley managed it launching Banks into the air from the apron and sending her crashing to the floor. It looked like she hit her head on the way down as well, but Sasha Banks does the ‘is she ok’ landing very well. Bayley kept the control for a while but Banks kicked out of everything she tried and slowly recovered while Bayley’s frustration grew. As we went into a second ad break, Banks flew off the apron to take Bayley out with a cross-body at ringside, but they were back in the ring by the time we came back.
It got increasingly vicious as it went on and each pin attempt failed. Bayley pulled a kendo stick out from under the ring and threw it in right in front of the ref. While he was removing it she grabbed her chair and swung it but Banks kicked it out of her hand. Sasha Banks launched the chair into the ThunderDome, but Bayley caught Banks with a backstabber then gave her a Bayley to Belly, Sasha Banks kicked out. And she kicked out of the elbow drop. Bayley tried a Bank Statement, but Banks got out and nearly pinned her.
Bayley charger Banks on the apron and crashed into the post when she moved. Sasha Banks delivered the backstabber and locked in the Bank Statement. She had to catch Bayley’s arm with her legs, but that was enough to make Bayley tap out.
As Banks got to the stage on her way out, Carmella superkicked her in the face then smashed her face into the floor and left her laying.
Natalya vs Ruby Riott vs Zelina Vega – Triple-threat Survivor Series Qualifier
Natalya, who was also in last week’s qualifying match, has new gear. It has orange and yellow on it as well as pink and black. Ruby Riott has a new short haircut and it really suits her.
Short but fun match. The ending was dodgy though. Natalya had Zelina Vega in a Sharpshooter. Ruby Riott added an armbar as Vega was about to tap and stopped her. Natalya let go and Riott didn’t and Vega tapped out. Riott is on the team and Natalya is furious.
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.