Welcome to this week’s round up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. Tonight (Dec 17) sees the final PPV of the year, the SmackDown branded Clash of Champions. Just one women’s division match on the card, but we still get to see the entire division (except Becky Lynch who is still filming). Lots to get through before that though, so let’s get straight into RAW.
Paige and Mandy Rose def Mickie James and Bayley
Before the tag match a clip package was shown documenting the first women’s title match in the middle east, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss competed in Abu Dhabi, the first time for WWE’s women.
Mickie James and Bayley vs Paige and Mandy Rose
Absolution came as far as the stage to get their pre-match talky bit done. Paige said she had her first match back on RAW last week, and got to squash a boss (Sasha Banks accompanied Bayley and Mickie James to the ring). Now the Absolution train was going to run through two more former champs. Mandy Rose said they demand the spotlight and they will continue to purge the division of the feeble and unworthy. Sonya Deville told them it was time to ‘put your hair up and square up’. It is true that Rose and Deville need more practice on the mic, I actually thought Deville especially did better this week.
I’ve moaned a lot about how sick I am of tags and multi-woman matches, but I enjoyed this one. I’m putting it down as a necessary evil until Absolution are better established as a unit. Hopefully some one on one feuds will eventually grow out of it all.
Commentary spent a lot of time talking up Mandy Rose, specifically her Tough Enough run. Paige is looking comfortable and confident, and that’s lovely to see. Mickie James spent much of the match absolutely dominating Mandy Rose, and she looked to be having the time of her life doing it.
Outside interference was minimal. Sonya Deville got up on the apron at one point, but Mickie James kicked her in the head. Sasha Banks didn’t get involved at all.
The end came via a double team of sorts. Mandy Rose and Mickie James were legal, but Bayley and Paige had entered the ring. While the ref was hustling Bayley back to her corner, Paige kicked Mickie James in the face so Mandy Rose could pin her.
Asuka was supposed to fight Alicia Fox again, but her music hit and she didn’t come out. Absolution came out instead and showed her being convinced to see the medics about her elbow. Paige said that it gave them time to talk.
She said she respects Asuka, but no-one can stop Absolution so Asuka can either move out of the way, or they’d make her move out of the way. Asuka stood her ground as they surrounded the ring and got on the apron, Shield style. Paige finished by saying that Asuka says no-one is ready for Asuka, but it’s time she met Absolution.
Asuka immediately knocked Mandy Rose off the apron, but was grabbed by Deville. She took her out, and caught Paige in an armbar, but that left her vulnerable and the triple team beatdown began.
Sasha Banks music hit, but Banks didn’t come alone. The entire women’s division, including Alicia Fox, ran down to the ring, and all hell broke loose. Mandy Rose ended up as the only member of Absolution left in the ring, but she was just run through by Nia Jax before Paige and Deville rescued her, and they made their escape.
Charlotte Flair def Ruby Riott (sort of)
Ok, I’m well and truly over the constant recapping of how the new trios arrived, and what they’ve done since. Give that time to the matches please.
Natalya joined commentary for the match. Which, of course, means no-one paid the slightest attention to what was going on in the ring. The rest of the Riott Squad were at ringside. Sarah Logan tried to get involved just a few minutes in. She got up on the apron, and was forearmed to the floor by Charlotte Flair.
Flair threw Ruby Riott out as well, then followed her. Natalya left commentary as Flair knocked down Liv Morgan, so Flair hit her as well and there was a Flair versus everyone moment. Natalya hit her back, which got Ruby Riott disqualified.
The Riott Squad piled into Charlotte Flair, beating her down in the ring, then taking her outside to throw her into the stairs. When they tried to put her under the stairs, like they did to Naomi, Naomi ran out to make the save. She double dropkicked Morgan and Logan, then threw Riott into the ring to deal with her.
Logan and Morgan grabbed Riott and retreated, but when they got to the stage they were attacked from behind by Lana, Tamina and Carmella. Natalya stood and watched the whole thing from a safe spot in front of the announce desk.
Ember Moon def Peyton Royce
This was Ember Moon’s first match as champion. Non-title, but with a view to Peyton Royce staking a claim on a title shot if she won. Royce had Billie Kay with her, as always.
Ember Moon was the first to get Billie Kay involved. She launched herself off the top turnbuckle on to both the iconic duo after Peyton Royce left the ring to regroup (the . Kay then grabbed Ember Moon’s leg to prevent her getting back into the ring, distracting her long enough for Peyton Royce to catch her in her rope based submission.
Of course, that hold has to be broken, and Moon was quickly back into it. They’ve faced each other several times now, and it shows in how much smoother their matches have become. It would have been a bad look for the new champion if she’d lost this one though. An Eclipse finished the match, just as it should.
After the match Billie Kay delivered Shades of Kay to Moon while she was celebrating, then she and Royce started to beat Ember Moon down in earnest.
Out of nowhere, Nikki Cross appeared in the ring. She dealt with Royce and Kay, and cleared them from the ring. Once they were gone she stared at both Moon and the belt for a while, bounced herself off the ropes a bit, then left.
This week’s Main Event recapped the women’s division action from SmackDown.
Clash of Champions Preview and Predictions
Charlotte Flair vs Natalya – SmackDown Women’s Championship – Lumberjack match
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The lumberjacks will make things interesting, and hopefully set up some one on one feuds. I don’t see them having an impact on the outcome though. They are simply there to carry on SmackDown’s tradition of using as many people as possible.
There is no value in putting the title back on Natalya. She did ok in her recent run with it, and it was nice to see her get the recognition, but Charlotte Flair is a big part of the future of the division. I’m not sure where SmackDown are heading with storylines in the run up to Royal Rumble, then through to WrestleMania, but there are more options for good matches with Flair than Natalya. I’d be amazed to see a title change unless they’re going to put it straight back on Flair next week.
Prediction: Charlotte Flair
I’ll be back next week with another round up of all the action from WWE’s women, and the Clash of Champions results. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like me to cover, or anything you want to discuss, tweet me @manda_why.