Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. What an odd week it was for WWE. A Wildcard Rule was established which enables four superstars from RAW to visit SmackDown and four from SmackDown to visit RAW. It didn’t affect the women’s division this week, but it caused chaos so who knows what will happen if it continues.
Lacey Evans def. Allie Catrina
Lacey Evans sent formal, scented, invites to the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match competitors. Apparently, they smelled like peach cobbler. She invited them to ringside to watch her match. We only got to see Natalya, Naomi, and Dana Brooke discussing it in the locker room, but Alexa Bliss was there too when they came out to watch the match.
Lacey Evans vs Allie Catrina
Squash, obviously. After Allie Catrina had been knocked out with the Woman’s Right, Evans told her guests off for not sending an RSVP. She had invited them there because she felt they deserved a front row seat to see what a legitimate lady is capable of. Just like at Money in the Bank when Becky Two Belts loses everything she has ever worked for courtesy of a Woman’s Right. She’s aware one of them may win the Money in the Bank ladder match and she hopes they’re smarter than they look because if any of them have the audacity to cash in on her after she wins the RAW Women’s Championship they will quickly regret losing their opportunity to become a champion.
Becky Lynch had heard enough around about then. She sauntered down to the ring, dropped the belts and dived in to get at Evans. This time Evans had no answer to anything Becky Lynch was throwing at her. She rolled out of one side of the ring and got thrown back in, and barely managed to roll under the ropes on the other side to avoid a Dis-Arm-Her.
Naomi has been inducted to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Hall of Fame. She is the first of WWE’s women to receive the honour.
And that was it for the women’s division on WWE’s three-hour-long flagship show.
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville def. Carmella & Ember Moon
No Becky Lynch on SmackDown this week. It’s about time she had a night off.
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs Carmella & Ember Moon
I still don’t really understand making Money in the Bank opponents team together, but WWE do it fairly consistently which is why Carmella and Ember Moon are suddenly a tag team. The more interesting story should be Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Deville gave up her chance of competing in the match to let Rose take the spot. It was all sweet friendship and smiles, but there has been tension between them in recent months. This being WWE, it’s impossible to tell whether it’s a slow simmer or has been forgotten about.
The match was fine but much too short. It was one of those, everybody did a bit and then it finished, matches.
If there is any unresolved tension between Rose and Deville it wasn’t bubbling to the surface this week. Sonya Deville sacrificed herself and took the full brunt of Ember Moon’s suicide dive allowing Rose to knee her in the face and roll her back into the ring.
As soon as they were back in Mandy Rose planted Moon face-first into the canvas and got the pin.
After the match, Paige brought Asuka and Kairi Sane to the stage. She reminded Rose and Deville that she used to represent them, back when they actually meant something (she called them trollops), but she’s traded up. Way up.
Sane and Asuka are going to rip through the women’s tag division starting next week, against Rose and Deville.
I love that idea, but how many teams do there need to be to declare it a division? We have The IIconics, Rose & Deville, Kairi Sane & Asuka, and that’s about it on the main roster. On NXT there is Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir, and Vanessa Borne & Aliyah. I must be missing someone…
Beth Phoenix and Natalya might make another appearance, I guess. Nia Jax and Tamina are no more because Jax is out for months. Sasha Banks and Bayley are no more because Sasha Banks isn’t around and Bayley’s been moved to SmackDown. The Riott Squad have been split up. If these championships are going to survive then more strong teams need to be developed. It’s not good enough to have a succession of random and obviously temporary pairings.
Bianca Belair def. Mia Yim
Bianca Belair vs Mia Yim
I have to say, I really enjoyed this match. There was a nice moment, near the beginning, which looked almost like respect until Belair kicked Yim in the stomach.
Belair has all the talent in the world, but Mia Yim is super-talented too and she has the experience advantage to back it up. That gave her the edge early on, but Belair slipped out of the ring to avoid Yim and smashed Mia Yim’s face into the apron.
Belair isn’t quite as fast as Yim, but she has the strength advantage, and she used it well, wearing Mia Yim down. But she was only able to achieve a couple of two counts.
Wiggling her butt in Mia Yim’s face wasn’t Belair’s wisest strategy. Yim kicked it then tripped her and got a couple of near falls and tried for a guillotine submission. Belair got free via a suplex, knocked Yim down, and went for a splash, but Mia Yim got her knees up.
When the end came, it was a murky one. They were right by the ropes and Belair tried to make the pin using the ropes as leverage. The ref stopped her and Yim and Belair rolled each other back and forth trying to get the pin. Bianca Belair looped her hair over the rope and used that as leverage. The ref didn’t notice and Belair got the win.
We got to see a few moments of footage of Shayna Baszler working with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir at the Performance Center. Then Io Shirai attacked her and they had to be pulled apart. Shirai was eventually removed from the ring and dragged away.
Nina Samuels def. Kasey Owens
Nina Samuels vs Kasey Owens
We were promised the Nina Samuels show, and that’s what we got. The crowd were completely behind Kasey Owens, but it didn’t do her any good. Owens had a token minute of control in the middle of the match, but Samuels had been working her back over by then and it was already too late.
Nina Samuels finished the short match with a fireman’s carry neckbreaker.
After the match Samuels said she admires Toni Storm for working so hard to get to the top of the women’s division, then it took a turn to the offensive, and a little personal, talking about Storm leaving her family to chase her dreams being a selfish act. Oh, and Samuels is planning to take the title away from her.
Peyton Royce def. Nikki Cross
Nikki Cross vs Peyton Royce
Peyton Royce was in no hurry to get into the action. Even when they locked up she went straight for the ropes. Nikki Cross, on the other hand, was ready to play.
Cross had the best of the early chances, but she caught a kick in the face from Royce and lost the momentum. Once she was in control, Peyton Royce spent too much time posturing and belittling her opponent, while the crowd got behind Cross.
Billie Kay made her presence felt at ringside by shouting at the ref when Royce only got a two count, but she didn’t get involved in the match, although she looked for the opportunity to.
Nikki Cross missed with her leap from the top rope but kicked out of Royce’s pin attempt. Peyton Royce delivered a series of kicks and a fisherman suplex, and got the pin.
Later in the week, Nikki Cross started officially showing as a member of the RAW roster on the WWE website.
All in all, a bit of a quiet week for the various women’s divisions. This is the shortest column I’ve written for ages. There’s a double contract signing planned for next week, that should go well. I’ll be here to report the resulting chaos, and everything else going on for WWE’s women. In the meantime, connect with me on twitter @manda_why and let’s talk wrestling. Make sure you’re following @RearViewReviews so you never miss a review.