Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. After almost no mention of Survivor Series before the teams were announced over the weekend, it was full steam ahead on the build this week. And NXT 2.0 had a big announcement of its own.
Liv Morgan def. Carmella, Queen Zelina, Rhea Ripley, and Bianca Belair
Sonya Deville announced the team to the women’s locker room, which is odd because it’s been on Twitter since Saturday. Doudrop, Nikki A.S.H., and Dana Brooke were in attendance as well as those who made the team – Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Carmella, and Queen Zelina – and they weren’t happy. Deville also announced the team had a fatal five-way match to determine Becky Lynch’s next challenger, as a bit of ‘friendly competition’.
Doudrop had a problem with Belair being included in the match and the team. Belair has been on RAW for three weeks and has already had and lost a title match. She should go to the back on the line. She got into a row with Belair about it. Dana Brooke was pissed off about being overlooked for what must be the hundredth time. And Nikki A.S.H. reminded everyone she’s a former RAW Women’s Champion and she didn’t get picked.
Zelina Vega and Carmella were patronising to Nikki, and Carmella was particularly mean. Rhea Ripley threatened her for it. That’s a great start to team unity.
In fairness to the others, of the Survivor Series team, only Rhea Ripley was on RAW before the draft. And sticking your team into a number one contender’s match isn’t going to lead to friendly competition, it’s going to start building some serious resentments.
Rhea Ripley vs Liv Morgan vs Bianca Belair vs Queen Zelina vs Carmella – Fatal Five-Way Number One Contender’s Match
Becky Lynch joined commentary for the match. Doudrop approached Bianca Belair again while she was waiting to go out. She asked her to explain how she’s in the team when she’s been there three weeks and is still in this match and on the team. She told her she speaks for all the women in the locker room and Belair stopped her and said she’s not speaking for them, she’s speaking for herself.
The pre-match brawl began when Carmella and Zelina Vega threw Bianca Belair out of the ring for paying too much attention to Becky Lynch. The match proper started after a break.
Becky Lynch talked over most of the early chaos. She gave a run-down of how great all the women in the ring were and everything they’ve achieved, except Liv Morgan. Meanwhile, Carmella and Vega worked over Ripley together but fell out over who should pin her. Liv Morgan was showing everyone how great she was. Ripley chucked Vega around the ring a bit and would have pinned her if Belair hadn’t made it back. Vega had a close call on pinning Ripley after a tornado DDT, but she kicked out. Heading into the next break, Belair pressed Vega over her head and tossed her over the top rope onto everyone else.
Belair attempted a tower of doom with Ripley on the top. She achieved a double powerbomb on Vega and Morgan but got dropkicked by Ripley, who then got superkicked by Carmella. Carmella tried to pin everyone, but they all kicked out. Ripley and Belair should have been the champion vs champion match at Survivor Series. They showed us how good it would have been before Morgan stopped Ripley pinning Belair off a Riptide. Morgan would have pinned Ripley with Oblivion if Vega hadn’t got there in time.
Belair successfully gave Vega a K.O.D., which would have finished the match if Doudrop hadn’t pulled her out of the ring and smashed her into the post. Carmella tried to steal the pin, but Liv Morgan dragged her off and over into a crucifix pin for the three count.
This will be Liv Morgan’s first title shot and she’s been through a lot on the way to it. She got face to face with Lynch on the announce desk post-match, and the champ backed off and walked away.
Toxic Attraction def. Io Shirai, Kacy Catanzaro, & Kayden Carter
Kay Lee Ray def. Sarray
Elektra Lopez def. Erica Yan
Toxic Attraction vs Io Shirai, Kacy Catanzaro, & Kayden Carter
Zoey Stark confirmed on Twitter that she’s had surgery for a torn ACL and meniscus as a result of Toxic Attraction’s attack. Surgery was successful and she’s already rehabbing. She said Shirai, Carter, and Catanzaro could kick Toxic Attraction’s asses in her absence.
This match opened the show and it was really good. Catanzaro and Carter have almost become veterans by default in the 2.0 landscape and it suits them. The dive Catanzaro put Mandy Rose down with before the break was prettier than the one Carter used to take down Jacy Jayne and Gigi Dolin, but they were equally effective. Mandy Rose stopped Io Shirai making it three for three on the dives by intercepting her and slamming her into the mat.
Mandy Rose had to be saved from Io Shirai’s pin attempts twice. On the second attempt, Dolin and Jayne jumping on her hurt her back and it took her some time to get to Carter. Carter fought Dolin and Jayne to start with, and came close to pinning Dolin until Jayne got in her face. Catanzaro and Shirai arrived to deal with Jayne and Rose, but Carter let herself get distracted watching it all unfold from the top turnbuckle. Gigi Dolin dragged her down and pinned her with a move I think Vic Joseph called Uncaged.
Kay Lee Ray vs Sarray
Kay Lee Ray made her entrance while Toxic Attraction were still posing in the entryway. This was such a match of opposites. Sarray is sunshine in human form. Kay Lee Ray… just isn’t. She did a credible job of ruining Sarray’s day, starting as she meant to go on, with some serious aggression.
Sarray caught Ray in a submission that had her screaming as she inched towards the ropes. She got there, but it levelled the field a bit. Ray got out of the way of the devastating dropkick against the ropes and kicked Sarray out of the ring. She gave her a KLR Bomb (Gory Bomb) onto the announce desk, then dragged her back into the ring and pinned her with another.
It’s great for Kay Lee Ray to be positioning herself strongly and that was a really good match, if a little short. My only complaint is that Sarray deserves better.
Toxic Attraction patronised a reporter in the parking lot. Mandy Rose took the opportunity to send a message to Kay Lee Ray that the stare didn’t intimidate her and she should take a number if she thinks she’s next in line. Dolin said no one was next in their eyes because no one was worthy.
Raquel Gonzalez rode up on her motorbike and said she’d deal with them later. Rose should keep her title warm for her. Then she rode off to the ring.
When she got there, she said while Mandy is holding onto her title, she was going to deal with the one thing on her mind, calling out Dakota Kai.
Kai came out giggling and told her it felt good to hit her with the shovel and watch her lay there motionless. That was as far as she got before Cora Jade attacked her. Gonzalez walked up behind Jade while Kai was being removed. Jade looked rightfully scared when Gonzalez turned her around, but all she did was tell her she gets it and she knows she wants a piece of Kai as well, but she’s first.
Elektra Lopez is horny for Xyon Quinn. She sent a message that she hoped he was watching as she made her way to the ring.
Elektra Lopez vs Erica Yan
The match was short and basically a display for Lopez. She called Quinn to the ring after she won and asked him to join Legado del Fantasma. He said no and was forced to eject an offended Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde from the ring. Lopez moved to attack him so he grabbed her wrists and immobilised her by pulling her close. There was some tension there, and she stopped Mendoza and Wilde going after him when he left.
NXT 2.0 is bringing back WarGames on December 5th. The TakeOver label has been removed from the event. I think that’s for the best. This is not a brand ready to hold a TakeOver level event with anyone other than the crew who transferred from NXT. On a similar note, I’ll be interested to see who is picked for the WarGames matches. It’s a chaotic and brutally violent match, one that veterans with years of experience and the skillset that comes with it get hurt in. It doesn’t seem like the best place for rookies.
Dani Luna def. Stevie Turner
Dani Luna vs Stevie Turner
Turner’s cockiness evaporated briefly when faced with Dani Luna’s strength advantage. She tried being tricksy, stamping on Luna’s foot after encouraging her into a test of strength, but it backfired and Luna dropped her. She found her feet and turned things around, but her three amigos failed to keep Luna down and with a single strike, Dania Luna was right back in it.
They’re two of the more interesting and impressive members of the NXT UK roster. This time, strength won over speed and quick thinking. Luna slammed Stevie Turner into the mat and pinned her.
Blair Davenport crashed Subculture’s celebrations backstage to tell Luna she should stay at the bottom of the pack because as soon as she got close to the top she’d push her straight back down.
Nina Samuels failed to interview Isla Dawn for the Nina Samuels Show, then got caught bitching out Aleah James. James challenged her to a match, so Samuels got her exclusive after all.
Indi Hartwell def. Valentina Feroz
Indi Hartwell, with Persia Pirotta, vs Valentina Feroz
Indi Hartwell kept touching her wedding ring between moves at the start of the match, in case anyone has forgotten her storyline marriage. She had the measure of Valentina Feroz early on, but was much too cocky about it and ended up in a scrap.
Hartwell took some damage to her left arm, which slowed her down and limited her offence, and softened her up for the armbar Feroz wanted to finish her with. Feroz had a couple of attempts at that, and a couple of other credible pin attempts, but she couldn’t overcome Hartwell’s power advantage and got pinned off a spinebuster.
Sasha Banks, Naomi, & Aliyah def. Shayna Baszler, Shotzi, & Natalya
Sonya Deville opened the show with Shayna Baszler, Shotzi, Natalya, and Aliyah in the ring with her. She was there to announce them as the Survivor Series team, but there was one missing. Aliyah got a reasonable welcome from the crowd, but the big pop was reserved for the one who got her own introduction, team captain, Sasha Banks.
Shotzi was staring daggers through Banks before she even got to the ring, and they had to be held apart.
Naomi crashed the party, yelled at Sonya Deville and attacked Baszler. That’s when all hell broke loose, with everyone brawling. Natalya and Naomi, Baszler and Banks, and Shotzi and Aliyah, were scrapping in various parts of the ring and ringside while Deville wandered between them telling them to stop.
By the time we came back, we had a tag match.
Shotzi, Shayna Baszler, & Natalya vs Sasha Banks, Naomi, & Aliyah
Aliyah made her SmackDown debut with a Banks assisted head-scissors on Baszler, and a dropkick the camera angle stitched her up on because it clearly didn’t make any kind of contact (maybe a toe). Shotzi’s new aggressive side was responsible for trapping Aliyah in the corner for her to get beaten up by all of them.
Aliyah tagged Naomi who got caught by an unseen tag and suplexed off the apron to the floor, then again at ringside by Natalya. The tiniest hint of a comeback from Naomi was met with Natalya’s discus lariat that nearly took her head off. Baszler threw her into the barricades to take us into the ads.
Shotzi was beating Naomi down when we came back. She tagged in Baszler for an elbow stamp, and Natalya kicked Naomi in the face when the ref wasn’t looking. It took a lot of fight to get near her corner, and Natalya knocked Banks off the apron as Naomi got close. Aliyah was there though and she came in to show everyone what she could do.
She might have pinned Aliyah if it wasn’t for Baszler’s interference. And that’s when it broke down. Banks came in to deal with Baszler and took her down on the outside with double knees from the apron, but grounded herself too. Naomi gave Shotzi a ringside Rear View then got dropkicked off the apron by Natalya.
Aliyah tried to roll Natalya up but found herself in a Sharpshooter. Natalya tried to use the ropes for extra leverage (which I’ve never seen her do before). Naomi bounced her throat off them and Aliyah got her with a roll-up.
Aliyah, NXT’s most patient superstar, just got the pin in her first-ever main roster match. I’m so happy for her.
Backstage, Aliyah’s excited post-match interview was interrupted by Sonya Deville. She asked her how long she’d known Naomi for, but stopped her answering. She congratulated her for winning the match, then kicked her off the Survivor Series team. Aliyah looked rightfully devastated.
Mustafa Ali approached Aliyah backstage while she was on the phone telling someone how upset she is. He empathised with her but never got to make his point because Ricochet arrived. Ricochet told her not to listen to Ali and talked about how well she did. She left with him without talking to Ali again.
Charlotte Flair came out for a chat about Becky Lynch. She started with the number of different catchphrases and taglines Lynch has had and said she’ll give her a new one at Survivor Series – Becky Uh-Oh.
For once, Flair got the crowd involved with her instead of against her. But then she launched into how fighting her makes everyone into a star, even when she beats them. And she can beat anyone.
Toni Storm arrived to say Flair doesn’t help any of the younger talent or do any of the things she talked about. Becky Lynch has defended her title on RAW, but Flair hasn’t defended the SmackDown one. She’s challenging her for tonight and giving her a chance to change that.
Flair said, ‘Absolutely not’ and left.
Xia Li got another vignette, but she’s still listed as Coming Soon.
Sasha Banks faces Shotzi on next week’s show… just two days before they’re on the same Survivor Series team.
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.