Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Just a standard week on the face of it, but this is tour show week, with both RAW and SmackDown coming from London, England. That invariably means a few extra superstars on the shows and a lively atmosphere. I like tour shows, they’re always fun. And, with Money in the Bank qualifiers to sort out, there was plenty going on.
Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, and Natalya def The Riott Squad
Alexa Bliss def Bayley and Mickie James
Before we got to the matches, footage was shown of an interview with Ronda Rousey at the NBC Universal event (a clip of the footage was used as a teaser to open the show as well) She talked a little about her debut, then brought Charlotte Flair into the interview as someone who was setting her an example of hard work and dedication. Flair asked her if she could Woo, and she gave it a go. Nia Jax appeared said Rousey could sort of Woo, but could she become RAW women’s champion. Rousey said she hoped to one day, but time will tell. Jax told her there is no time like the present, she has an obligatory title defence at Money in the Bank and she’s challenging her. Rousey said it was a huge honour, but she’s only had one match and there are other women who deserve it more. Jax said that might be the case, but she’s not challenging them she’s challenging Rousey. Charlotte Flair encouraged her to accept and she did. The match has been confirmed.
Sasha Banks, Natalya, and Ember Moon vs The Riott Squad
Yes, ok, we could complain about there being yet another pointless multi-woman match. But, this week was RAW on tour, and they always try to cram as many bodies into tour shows as possible. There were no complaints here, it was a really good match.
There seems to be a pattern forming in these matches, where Sasha Banks takes the majority of the punishment for her team. That was definitely the case here. In fact, Banks managed to make both her opponents and her own team look great in this match. Not that Banks was made to look weak in the process of being beaten down. She got plenty of time on the offensive as well.
The chaos preceding the ending was fabulous. Moon broke up Liv Morgan’s pin attempt on Natalya and was ambushed by Sarah Logan. She dumped Logan outside the ring where Sasha Banks gave her the double knees from the apron. Ruby Riott was already outside. She stood up and Ember Moon hit her with a suicide dive so hard the Moon’s momentum carried her to the bottom of the ramp.
With everyone else laid out at ringside, Natalya got Liv Morgan in the Sharpshooter and Morgan tapped.
Before Bayley’s triple-threat match she encountered Sasha Banks in the corridor. Banks wished her luck, Bayley said thanks, and there were tentative smiles all round. I refuse to believe this can be a lasting friendship renewal after all the ‘will they won’t they’ we’ve been put through.
Bayley vs Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James – Money in the Bank, triple-threat, qualifying match
This match says triple-threat, but it was immediately clear it was going to start as a handicap match with Alexa Bliss and Mickie James teaming up to neutralise any threat Bayley may pose.
It was Mickie James who went for the opportunistic pin on her ally first. Bayley had escaped to the corner and they were going to retrieve her when James tried to roll Bliss up. They argued and shoved each other until Bayley recovered enough to pile in, then turned their attention back to her.
Bayley got the upper hand for a while, but it couldn’t last. Alexa Bliss looked to have her pinned until Mickie James kicked Bliss in the face. Bliss accidentally hit Mickie James when Bayley dodged out of the way. Bliss apologised immediately.
Mickie James pulled Bayley out of the ring after Bayley hit the Bayley to belly, then tried to pin Bliss herself. Bayley pulled her from the ring and they brawled on the outside. Bayley managed to get back into the ring alone, but Bliss had recovered. She smacked Bayley in the face, DDT’d her and pinned her.
Alexa Bliss goes through to the Money in the Bank ladder match.
Becky Lynch def Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Paige had an office-based segment with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. It started with her telling Carmella, over the phone, that she couldn’t have a horse-drawn carriage to the Mellabration, then she turned to face her former teammates. Mandy Rose told her that her little power trip last week didn’t work because she still beat Becky Lynch and now it looks like she’s headed to Money in the Bank. Paige congratulated her but said it wasn’t a qualifying match. When they got uppity she told them to lose the attitude of they wouldn’t get a qualifying match at all. Rose checked that meant she was getting one and Sonya Deville started to complain that Rose had one and she didn’t. Paige said they both had a qualifying match, against Becky Lynch. Rose and Deville started celebrating having a handicap match against Lynch. Paige informed them it was, in fact, a triple-threat and wished them luck.
Carmella held her ‘Royal Mellabration’ this week. She was introduced by a town crier and preceded by three guys dressed as Beefeaters, with the middle one holding the title on a cushion.
When she got to the ring Carmella said she’d give the audience ten seconds to show her the appreciation she deserves as the first Miss Money in the Bank and our SmackDown women’s champion., then looked upset when they booed her. She reminded them she is the moon-walking trash-talking princess of Staten Island and commanded them to bow down before her. Unsurprisingly, that didn’t work either. She said they remind her of every woman on the SmackDown roster because they don’t think she’s good enough, none of them thinks she deserves to be champion. But, Mella is money and Mella is champion so she’s better than every one of the crowd, and every woman on the roster, including Ronda Rousey. After she said she was better than Lita and Trish Stratus combined, Paige interrupted, thankfully.
Paige said it was good to be home, and Carmella looked outraged as she got ‘welcome home’ and ‘this is your house’ chants. She told Carmella she was there to announce her opponent for Money in the Bank. Carmella said she wasn’t defending at Money in the Bank. Paige disagreed and introduced her opponent – Asuka.
As the crowd chanted Asuka’s gonna kill you, Carmella grabbed the title and left. All Asuka had done was danced down to the ring and taken her mask off.
Becky Lynch vs Mandy Rose vs Sonya Deville
Mandy Rose looked a lot more comfortable with her entrance this week. Sonya Deville’s entrance suits her pretty well, and there didn’t look to be any nerves there. Paige is obviously determined to split Rose and Deville, putting them against each other is a fairly clear message. Of course, in the early part of the match was essentially Rose and Deville versus Becky Lynch anyway. Mandy Rose was the first to try to take advantage, by attempting to roll up Deville. We went for a break and by the time we came back Rose and Lynch were on the mat, and Deville was looking daggers at Rose. Mandy Rose rolled out of the ring and Deville and Lynch went one on one for a while. Commentary said Deville had punched Rose in the face.
Mandy Rose came back and threw Deville out of the ring so she could try to take advantage of a weakened Becky Lynch. Deville came back in to break a pin attempt and threw Rose back out. With Rose and Deville scrapping it out to beat her up, the only person who didn’t get a break was Becky Lynch who was constantly taking offence from someone.
Lynch wasn’t just a punchbag though, she had regular opportunities and plenty of moments where she dominated the action. Rose and Deville may have had a better chance of keeping Lynch down if they hadn’t kept pulling each other off her to break the cover, but it was every woman for herself. It will be interesting to see how their friendship fares after this match.
Mandy Rose accidentally knocked out Sonya Deville with a knee. While she was freaking out about it, Becky Lynch locked her in the Dis-Arm-Her and Rose tapped out.
Lana revealed, in a segment with Rusev and Aiden English, that she has a Money in the Bank qualifying match next week against Billie Kay. The IIconics had a promo segment later in the show. They played a word association game where we found out they don’t like London, the think Carmella is a loser, Billie Kay is a winner, the Money in the Bank Briefcase is the perfect accessory, and the future will be IIconic.
Lacey Evans def Brandi Lauren
Candice LeRae was involved in the opening segment of the show, in her role as Johnny Gargano’s wife. She was there to confront Tommaso Ciampa and she did get to slap him, so that’s something. It’s a little sad the WWE won’t do proper intergender wrestling when they have someone like LeRae on the roster, but it is what it is. She’s incredible, I just wish she was doing a little more of her own stuff rather than being involved in her husband’s storylines.
Lacey Evans vs Brandi Lauren
I don’t really understand what the purpose of a squash match was here. It didn’t provide us with any information at all about Brandi Lauren (also known as Ava Storie), and it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about Lacey Evans. Oh, we found out her knock out punch finisher is called The Woman’s Right, but a match with a regular roster member would have done the same thing.
The match involved no offence from Lauren and lasted less than two minutes. Evans’ moonsault before she pulled Brandi Lauren up by the hair and hit The Woman’s Right was nice though.
After the match, Evans was posing in celebration at the top of the ramp when Kairi Sane flew at her and beat her back down to the ring. Sane positioned Evans for the InSane elbow and ascended to the top turnbuckle, but Evan rolled out of the ring and escaped.
The interview segment started with Dakota Kai being asked what she thought was going on with Nikki Cross. She said she had no idea because Nikki is crazy. She was responding to a question about her focus at the performance centre (strength and conditioning if you’re interested) when Nikki Cross barrelled through the reporters with a phone camera and said she had a question for Kai. Cross got right in her face and, with lots of repeated words and a spectacularly unhinged demeanour she asked when Kai was going to fight Shayna Baszler for the gold. When Kai said she had no idea, Cross put an arm around her shoulder and said, ‘with fear comes opportunity, face your fear and fight’. Then she laughed maniacally and wandered off.
This week’s Main Event showed brief highlights of the RAW and SmackDown women’s Money in the Banks qualifying matches. They also showed a clip for Nia Jax challenging Ronda Rousey to face her for the RAW Women’s Championship at Money in the Bank.
I’ll be back next week with all the happenings from the WWE women’s divisions, and news of next women to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like me to cover or anything you want to discuss, tweet me @manda_why.