Women of the WWE – weekly round-up – w/b August 27
Welcome to this week’s round up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It’s a quieter week this week, with there being no PPVs. But it’s been a busy one for me because the first round of the Mae Young Classic has finally been released and I’ve been reviewing it. We also had a RAW Women’s Championship match, so there’s still plenty going on.
Emma def Mickie James
Alexa Bliss def Sasha Banks – RAW Women’s Championship match
Emma had another locker room segment this week. Playing around with her phone, on Twitter again. She asked Mickie James what would be trending after their match, pointing out that she was trending last week even if though she lost to Jax. James asked if she was delusional because the hashtag was #GiveEmmaCPR, and Jax destroyed her in the match. Emma started on about starting the women’s revolution again, and James set out a challenge for their match. Mickie James said that if Emma wins then she’ll tweet anything she wants, but if she wins Emma is never allowed to say she started the revolution again.
Mickie James vs Emma
Sadly, this was a RAW women’s division standard, three-minute match (actually closer to two minutes). It was fine. Emma won. What else am I supposed to say about a match that short. Mickie James seems to be drifting a bit, and I don’t understand Emma’s current character incarnation. It’s good to see women outside of the title picture appearing on RAW, but what’s the point for a match that short, they can’t do anything useful in that time.
After the match Emma walked up the ramp repeating, ‘I started the women’s revolution’, like she’d finally lost the plot.
Alexa Bliss had a backstage interview before the match (way before). She said her strategy was to win, simple as that. Then she talked a lot about how Banks might be a four-time champion, but she has never successfully defended the title. Bliss said she was planning to make history repeat itself, and humiliate Banks in the process. She’s going to expose the legit boss for what she really is, a legit loser. She senses that the WWE universe are ready to celebrate and worship their goddess again. And, finally, she hopes Sasha Banks had fun playing champion this week because tonight the goddess reclaims her throne (pretty sure that’s a mixed metaphor but…).
In her answering interview, Sasha Banks acknowledged that she has never had a successful title defence, but said that ends tonight. She said that running your mouth doesn’t make you a four-time champion. She’s going to put Bliss in her place like she did at SummerSlam, then the crowd will be chanting, you tapped out.
Sasha Banks (C) vs Alexa Bliss – RAW Women’s Championship match
The women’s title match main evented RAW, as rightly it should.
Sasha Banks was not playing around. She went for the Bank Statement early on in the match. They both had a go at getting the early pin. With Bliss on the back foot, Banks had some early dominance. After not putting any ‘someone’s going to get hurt’ spots in the SummerSlam match, we got Banks flying knees to the outside, then went for the obligatory ad break.
By the time we came back Bliss was in control. She apparently got there by driving Banks into the barricade and edge of the ring. I think I enjoyed this match more than their last one. They may not like each other, but they’ve developed a nice in-ring chemistry, and the match worked.
There was a lot of back and forth, and passing control of the match, and a handful of bigger spots. Bliss eventually won with a huge DDT. It seems Sasha Banks really can’t hold on to a title.
After the match Nia Jax came out and congratulated Bliss, then delivered a big splash to Banks in the corner. Jax put Bliss up on her shoulder in celebration, walked with her to the centre of the ring, then dropped her backwards onto the mat. She stood over the new champion, holding the championship belt up, then walked away leaving Bliss lying shocked in the ring.
Tamina def Tina Stock
SmackDown felt like a bit of a let-down with the amount of time the women got this week. I know they’ve only got two hours, and there are plenty of people not getting enough time, but a squash match and a bit of talking just isn’t enough to represent the entire women’s division. That being said, I’m sure it’s a one off, SmackDown generally give the women more time than RAW, and they did set up a couple of matches in the talk segments.
Carmella was due to interviewed by Dasha Fuentes. James Ellsworth took the mic off her and introduced Carmella. He asked her to tell the WWE universe what’s next for her. She said she’s never telling him anything again because last week he blabbed her plan to Nattie and if he hadn’t she’d probably to SmackDown women’s champion by now. He apologised and they were talking about some flowers he sent her, that may or may not have been lifted from a funeral, when Natalya interrupted them.
Natalya said Carmella should keep her pet on a leash, and that she should be grateful to him, because if she ever tries to cash in on her she’ll make her the Baron Corbin of the women’s division. She also said she’ll make her pay for last week’s double cross next week, when they go one on one. Carmella and Ellsworth told Natalya she’d just made a big mistake and left, just in time for Naomi to arrive.
Natalya asked Naomi what she was looking at. Naomi said she seems a bit on edge and she should take a cat-nap, because she’s got a difficult couple of weeks coming up. When Natalya asked her why two weeks, Naomi explained that Natalya may have a match with Carmella next week, but the week after she was getting her rematch for the title.
Tamina vs Tina Stock (Hayley Shadows)
Lana introduced Tamina as ‘The most dominant and most feared female superstar in WWE’, and ‘Your future SmackDown Women’s Champion’. Her opponent wasn’t announced by commentary named her as Tina Stock (name graphics for enhancement talent would help). A little internet research, ie. Someone on twitter, confirmed the wrestler was Hayley Shadows.
Nothing much to say about the match. It was a straightforward squash. Tamina looked a little unsure until Lana started yelling at her to crush. Tamina crushed, and then kicked Stock out of the ring. All over in a matter of moments.
As I said, a bit of a disappointing showing from SmackDown this week, but with the champion in action for the next two weeks, and hopefully some other women’s matches as well, I’m sure they’ll redeem themselves.
Peyton Royce def Ruby Riot
It was only a matter of time before we saw this match, as Ruby Riot beat Billie Kay a couple of weeks ago. Royce is the more athletic of the ‘iconic duo’, and her style meshes well with Riot’s. The match was a lot more even than I would have expected. Peyton Royce is looking better than she ever has, she’s a lot more poised and put together than even a couple of months ago. Ruby Riot has been a standout since her arrival, and just keeps getting better.
Billie Kay got involved in the match, of course. She distracted Riot long enough for Royce to kick her in the face. She pulled Royce out of the ring when Riot was in the ascendency, so Ruby Riot dived on both other them. Then, while Peyton Royce distracted the ref by pulling the ring apron into the ring, she delivered the big boot to Ruby Riot. Apparently that big boot is now called Shades of Kay.
With Ruby Riot knocked silly by Billie Kay, Payton Royce hit the bridging fisherman’s suplex and pinned her.
This definitely isn’t over, but I’m not sure where they go from here. If they decide to put Billie Kay in a shark cage, I quit (I won’t quit, but I’ll whinge a lot).
Dana Brooke def Alicia Fox
Good to see Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox getting some screen time on Main Event this week. They’re a pairing with a lot of potential, and I’m sure they could tell good stories together, but something in this match didn’t work for me. It felt stilted and poorly paced. The ref was out of position for a pin attempt, and the action seemed to have big gaps in it. Like the sequences didn’t run together properly.
Brooke has improved massively, and Fox is wildly underrated by some people, but they’ve both had much better matches. Dana Brooke got the pin this time. Hopefully they’ll have chance to do it again soon, maybe even with a storyline.
Main Event also showed highlights of the RAW Women’s Championship match. I think for time on screen for the women Main Event may have beaten SmackDown this week.
Mae Young Classic
After the months of hype, it’s finally here. And it didn’t let anyone down. The standard of matches across the first round have been consistently high, more so than we could have hoped for with such a wide variety of experience levels among the competitors. The sixteen first-round matches were spread over four shows, and were released on Monday. The second round of matches will be released next Monday (September 4th). I’m not going to review each match here, because I’ve already reviewed them for Rear View Reviews, and it would make this column unbearably long. If you’d like to see what I thought in detail, here are the links and match listing for each episode:
Episode 1 – Kay Lee Ray vs Princesa Sugehit
Serena Deeb vs Vanessa Bourne
Shayna Baszler vs Zeda
Jazzy Gabert vs Abbey Laith
Episode 2 – Mercedes Martinez vs Xia Li
Marti Belle vs Rachel Evers
Miranda Salinas vs Rhea Ripley
Mia Yim vs Sarah Logan
Episode 3 – Ayesha Raymond vs Toni Storm
Dakota Kai vs Kavita Devi
Sage Beckett vs Bianca Belair
Piper Niven vs Santana Garrett
Episode 4 – Renee Michelle vs Candice LeRae
Lacey Evans def Taynara Conti
Nicole Savoy def Reina Gonzales
Kairi Sane def Tessa Balnchard
All done for another week. I’ll be back next week with all the usual coverage, plus links to my coverage of the next batch of Mae Young Classic episodes. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like me to cover, or anything you want to discuss, tweet me @manda_why.