Women of the WWE – weekly round-up – May 12-18

Women of the WWE – weekly round-up – May 12-18

Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It was a strange week this week, the intersection of tour shows and go home shows. Tour shows always mean a lot of superstars appearing, whereas go home shows tend to be more focused, the two don’t necessarily mesh well.  

RAW

Nikki Cross def. Natalya, Naomi, and Dana Brooke

Before the double contract signing began, Michael Cole suggested Becky Lynch’s never back down attitude might mean she has bitten off more than she can chew, and asked if she realised how gruelling it was going to be to defend both belts.

Lynch said it was a good question. Evans and Flair are both bigger, stronger and more athletic than she is. It’s not that she doesn’t know how much of a beating she’s going to have to take, it’s that she doesn’t care. He can talk about biting off more than she can chew or being under pressure, but when the bright lights hit… She turned her attention to Lacey Evans and told her she’s going to have to back up everything she’s said while the champ stomps down on the back of her neck. And Lynch promises Evans will ask herself why she ever came looking for The Man in the first place. Just ask her ‘twin sister’ how hard it is to beat her.

Flair told Lynch she never learns. She’s got everything she’s ever wanted, and she still has to make digs. It’s the same big mouth that got her in trouble in the first place and now she’s in a situation she just can’t win.

Evans told Flair, ‘well said, Miss Flair’ and complimented her on dressing appropriately, turning to Lynch and telling her it’s a contract signing not a fight in a barn. Becky Lynch laughed and said, ‘you’ve never done one of these before, have you?’

Lynch turned to Flair and reminded her she’d be walking into their match knowing Lynch made the history she thought she was owed. Flair was born into wrestling royalty, groomed by the McMahon family to get results, but against her, she hasn’t been delivering. It seems like Flair really needs to bring this one home, pressure, pressure.

So, at Money in the Bank, one of her opponents, or as she put it ‘you dopes’, can’t afford to lose their first title match, and the other can’t afford to lose her millionth. Seems like she’s not the only one under pressure. Then she signed both contracts.

Flair said, ‘Wow, you got your storybook ending, you beat the baddest woman on the planet, and it’s still not enough for you. You had to go and name yourself Becky Two Belts, building up this reputation you just can’t live up to. And all of this is going to come crashing down, and frankly, I find it hilarious.’ She accused Lynch of being jealous and told her she’d have nothing to blame but her stubborn pride when she bows down to The Queen. Then Flair signed her contract.

Evans said this was the point she’d been trying to prove. The WWE Universe deserves a legitimate lady to set the proper example as champion. Apparently, young women are being led astray by Lynch’s classless and confusing behaviour. But Evans is there to clean up the nasty and restore class back to the RAW Women’s Championship.

With a bit more abuse, Evans signed her contract. Becky Lynch offered her cheek for a free shot. Evans didn’t take the invitation, but she stood up and Flair goaded her to give Lynch the Woman’s Right. Evans said she didn’t want to get her dress dirty.

Lynch said she’d slap the blonde off both of them, which was the moment Lacey Evans chose to shove the table into Charlotte Flair and launch herself at Lynch. Becky Lynch threw her into the ring post and out of the ring and turned around just in time to start a brawl with Flair. Evans was soon back and Lynch grabbed her for the Dis-Arm-Her, only to catch a big boot in the face from Charlotte Flair. Flair chucked Lynch into the corner while she set the table up in the middle of the ring, then Flair and Evans powerbombed her through it.

Charlotte Flair bi boots Becky Lynch with Lacey Evans in foreground
Credits: wwe.com

Alexa Bliss had troubles with lost luggage which we found out about during a backstage segment. All her gear was in her bag (surely wrestling gear is carry on). Bliss was yelling into her phone, apparently at the airline, then turned to find Nikki Cross had appeared.

Cross asked her if everything was ok. Bliss said nothing was ok, she’d had a travel week from hell and thanked Cross for asking, telling her not everyone is as nice as she is. Nikki Cross said she’d been there for four weeks and didn’t think anyone had noticed her. Bliss said no, everything was crazy with the Superstar Shake-up and she was sorry she hadn’t got to know her. She apologised for giving Cross all her issues and started to walk away. Nikki Cross put a hand on her arm to stop her and told her she could talk to her.

Bliss complained about the match with Naomi where she had to keep tying her shoes, and now she’s lost her gear and doesn’t want to go out in the fatal four-way and be laughed at. Cross said no one likes to be laughed at, ‘it sticks with you and it’s hard to get over’, and suggested Bliss went to the McMahon family and ask them to find a replacement.

Bliss took that as an offer to take her place. Cross said it would be an incredible opportunity, and Bliss said that settled it and went off to find a McMahon.

It was a really odd segment, and Nikki Cross’ smile after Bliss left made it unclear who manipulated who. It smells of a blatant attempt to put Cross in front of the UK crowd, but we got Nikki Cross in the four-way, so I’m not complaining in the slightest.

Naomi vs Natalya vs Dana Brooke vs Nikki Cross – Fatal Four-way match

All the women got promos during their entrances, Bliss had hers during Cross’ entrance, of course. Funnily enough, they all think they’re going to win. Alexa Bliss joined commentary, so a really fun match was largely ignored while they talked to her.

Nikki Cross on Natalya's back with Dana Brooke and Naomi nearby

Nikki Cross was awesome, but it was a proper tour show match. Everybody had their moment to do their thing. No one came out of it looking bad. Dana Brooke had the biggest moment of the match. When everyone was clustered at ringside, she set a ladder up next to them, climbed to the top, and launched herself off. I’m really enjoying Brooke’s ‘proving she belongs’ storyline.

It wasn’t Dana Brooke who picked up the win though. Nikki Cross delivered a draping spinning neckbreaker to Natalya and got the three count.

After the match, Alexa Bliss went to the ring and Nikki Cross helped her set a ladder up. Cross wanted to climb it but Bliss stopped her, climbed the ladder herself, and took down the briefcase.

Alexa Bliss on a ladder with the Money in the Bank briefcase

On Thursday WWE announced that Alexa Bliss is not medically cleared to compete and Nikki Cross will be her replacement in the match. It makes sense with Cross having picked up the victory on Monday Night, but the rumours that Sasha Banks will end up taking the spot started immediately. I hope Cross does get to keep the place.

SmackDown

Kabuki Warriors def. Fire & Desire

Carmella thinks she has the best chance in the Money in the Bank ladder match because she’s already won two of them(ish) and successfully cashed in.

Ember Moon said she is wild, unpredictable, and without fear. She’s going to risk it all to win it all and it’s her job to manifest her own greatness. She sees herself becoming Miss Money in the Bank every time she closes her eyes.

Bayley said the Money in the Bank ladder match is her chance to step out of the shadows and show the world what she’s been capable of all along. She’s not just a hugger or a weak link, this Sunday she will be the winner.

Charlotte Flair came to the ring to deliver her pre-PPV promo. She said that this Sunday at Money in the Bank will be the culmination of her rivalry with Becky Lynch, and their storied rivalry will end with her victorious as the SmackDown Women’s Champion. She put a really heavy emphasis on end, so hopefully, this will be the last time for a little while. It almost certainly won’t be the last time ever. To illustrate their storied rivalry, there was a long hype package. A really good one, as you’d expect with that amount of material to draw on. The video was the end of the segment, which was a bit odd. It felt unfinished.

Lacey Evans also got a promo on SmackDown. She’s planning to give Becky Lynch the Woman’s right and win the title. Funny that…

Kairi Sane & Asuka vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville

Kairi Sane & Asuka are now known by Kabuki Warriors. Paige announced it before the match to a lukewarm reaction. Twitter collectively hates it, we’ll see if it lasts. She also declared them the future of the women’s division.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville declared themselves the future of the women’s tag team division, and they’re using the name Fire & Desire again, which I don’t recall hearing since Elimination Chamber. Rose said that after Sunday, they’ll be calling her Miss Money in the Bank.

The IIconics joined commentary for the match, which meant a lot of the match was ignored.

Asuka and Kairi Sane are looking great together already and they had Sonya Deville in trouble from the off. I really like the rainbow thing Deville has in her back pocket when she comes to the ring, but she needs to either secure it better or remember to remove it.

Asuka attempts to submit Mandy Rose

After a break, it was Mandy Rose in trouble, until Deville pulled her out of the corner and Kairi Sane was unable to stop her charge. Rose and Deville isolated Sane for a while, but she knocked Deville off the apron and struggled free of Rose’s grasp to tag in Asuka. Deville made it back just in time to get Rose out of the Asuka Lock.

Sonya Deville tagged back in and had Asuka reeling. Rose insisted Deville tag her in so she could make the pin, Asuka flipped Rose over and pinned her instead.

NXT

Vanessa Borne def. Jessie

NXT TakeOver XXV is coming up and the NXT Women’s Championship match has already been announced. As a result of Io Shirai attacking Baszler while she was training with Duke and Shafir, and everything that led to that attack, Shirai has been chosen as Baszler’s challenger.

Mia Yim asked for a second shot at Bianca Belair, after Belair used her hair looped over the ropes to win their last one. She got it. She told Belair this after Belair caught her coming out of William Regal’s office. Bianca Belair was dragging Cathy Kelley to Regal’s office to make her ask him when she was getting her next title shot, and immediately accused Yim of trying to get in and get a match against Baszler. Yim said no and gave her the news.

Vanessa Borne vs Jessie

The last name thief has got to Jessie. Where will it end?

It was a short match, mainly designed to further establish Vanessa Borne for the NXT Universe. Aliyah accompanied Borne, as usual, and she made her presence felt by slapping Jessie while Borne was talking to the ref.

Jessie trips Vanessa Borne

Jessie got a couple of pin attempts with an opportunistic roll up and crucifix, and she actually came out of the match looking pretty good, but Vanessa Borne kicked out and picked up the win.

NXT UK

Piper Niven def Jamie Hayter

Killer Kelly vs Xia Brookside went to No Contest

Piper Niven vs Jamie Hayter

Hayter was introduced as a new superstar, and she started strong, but this match was all about Piper Niven. It was over quickly too. Jamie Hayter made the mistake of slapping Niven, took a headbutt for her disrespect followed by a cross body, a cannonball, and a Michinoku driver.

Piper Niven sets up Jamie Hayter for a Michinoku Driver

Toni Storm had an interview where she was asked to respond to the personal comments Nina Samuels made about her last week. Storm said she never had a problem with Nina Samuels, but you’re playing Russian roulette with your career if you think you can talk about her family and get away with it. Mess with her head and she will become dangerous and out of control and Samuels shouldn’t think for a second that’s a good thing. Storm now wants the match more than Samuels does. She’ll even put the title on the line. All she has to do is go and ask Sid and Johnny. Samuels wants her fifteen minutes, she’s got it.

It was later announced that the match will take place in two weeks’ time.

Killer Kelly vs Xia Brookside

Another really short match, but for different reasons, and they crammed a lot into NXT UK this week. Both women have had a couple of notable losses on the brand, and both were clearly looking to prove their worth in the division.

Xia Brookside and Killer Kelly

They were having an enjoyable contest and had just stopped to shake hands, when Jinny appeared. She walked halfway down the ramp the raised her hand and out came Jazzy Gabert. Alpha Female has arrived.

Kelly and Brookside formed an alliance as Gabert walked to the ring, then Kelly immediately changed her mind and backed out of the ring. Brookside got slammed face first into the mat and Jinny climbed into the ring to pose beside Jazzy Gabert.

Jazzy Gabert and Jinny stand over Xia Brookside

I’ve got to be honest, this is the first time I’m really interested to see what happens next on NXT UK. It’s been flat for me so far, which is odd considering some of the talent they have, but Jazzy Gabert aligning with Jinny is interesting to me.

Main Event

No Women’s division match on Main Event this week. They covered the double contract signing on RAW, but that was it.

Money in the Bank – Preview and Predictions

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair – SmackDown Women’s Championship match

Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans – RAW Women’s Championship match

Naomi vs Dana Brooke vs Natalya vs Nikki Cross vs Bayley vs Mandy Rose vs Carmella vs Ember Moon – Money in the Bank ladder match

The trouble with predicting the Money in the Bank title matches is that we won’t know the running order until the night. That means that, depending on the positioning of the ladder match, one of the title matches could potentially be interrupted by a cash in.

Naomi vs Dana Brooke vs Natalya vs Nikki Cross vs Bayley vs Mandy Rose vs Carmella vs Ember Moon – Money in the Bank ladder match

Women's Money in the Bank match competitors
Credits: wwe.com

I hate doing predictions at the best of times. And an eight-woman ladder match, it not the best of times. I’m absolutely thrilled that Nikki Cross has been chosen to replace Alexa Bliss, I’d love to be predicting a win for her, but it might be a step too far. I could definitely imagine the unpredictable Cross being Miss Money in the Bank though. Maybe next year… but there’s always a chance.

Dana Brooke has had a good build-up storyline to the match. She’s fighting to prove she belongs. I have a feeling she’ll get close, but I think she’ll still come up short. Mandy Rose is a possibility, it could definitely be used to further the issues between her and Sonya Deville. Ember Moon would be an interesting prospect with the briefcase. But the most likely, in my mind, is Bayley. Since WWE split The Boss ‘N’ Hug Connection and transferred Bayley to SmackDown, she’s taken on a new attitude. The Money in the Bank briefcase would be a logical progression for her storyline.

Prediction: Bayley – but still hoping for Nikki Cross

Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans – RAW Women’s Championship match

Becky Lynch vs Lacey Evans Money in the Bank promo

Lacey Evans has had quite an odd journey to her first title match. She got called up from NXT, spent a few weeks wandering up and down the ramp, punched the champion in the face a few times, beat Natalya in a number one contender’s match that was given to her as a ‘favour’ from the McMahon family, and here she is.

I don’t think she’ll win the match. I hope she doesn’t because I really don’t think she’s ready. But that doesn’t mean Becky Lynch will end up with the RAW Women’s Championship at the end of the night. There is definitely cash in potential depending on match placement. Even if this one is before the ladder match, if the SmackDown title match is after it, there is nothing to stop the winner cashing in for the RAW title at the end of it.

Prediction: Becky Lynch – with possible briefcase shenanigans.

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair – SmackDown Women’s Championship match

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair Money in the Bank promo

This is a long and storied rivalry, likely to go down as one of the most important women’s division feuds in recent memory. Despite Flair’s assertion that it ends at Money in the Bank, it will never really be over until one of them retires.

I’m torn over the result of this chapter. It is entirely possible that this is the PPV where Becky Two Belts becomes Becky No Belts, if she is beaten in one match she could be cashed in on for the other title. If that’s the intention, this is the match she is most likely to lose.

I’d like to see Lynch retain, purely because I’m more excited about the potential new rivalries for her than for Flair. I can’t see both title matches going to clean finishes with no outside interference though.

Prediction: Becky Lynch – with probable briefcase shenanigans

I’ll be back next week with all the Money in the Bank results and all the fallout. 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.

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