Welcome to this week’s round up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. This week we are looking back at the Battleground PPV, and continuing our look ahead to the Mae Young Classic. It’s been an interesting week for WWE’s women, so let’s get straight into Battleground.
Natalya def Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Lana and Tamina
Kickoff showed a beautiful build up video for the match before Carmella joined the panel. She did an excellent job dealing with a rowdy crowd chanting during her interview, and even happily trolled them while chatting about being Miss Money in the Bank. She chose Natalya as her pick to win the elimination match.
Naomi joined the commentary team for the match, presumably to make good on her promise to be the first to shake the hand of the winner. Unusually for a commentary guest, they spent pretty much the whole time talking about the match. It was a refreshing change.
The weird relationship between Tamina and Lana was in evidence near the start of the match, when they spent some time double teaming Charlotte Flair. Tamina also saved Lana from elimination twice. There was a decently long time before the first elimination, which gave the impression that the match might get the time it deserved. Once the eliminations started though, it all went very quickly.
Tamina was eliminated first by Becky lynch with a Dis-Arm-Her. Closely followed by Lana, also by Lynch with the Dis-Arm-Her. Becky Lynch was then eliminated almost immediately by Natalya.
Natalya won the match. She managed to get her knees up as Flair went for the moonsault, then slammed Flair head first into the corner, pulled her back out, and pinned her.
True to her word, Naomi offered her hand to Natalya as soon as the match finished. Natalya stared her down, then turned her back and walked away.
On Talking Smack, Natalya said she told everyone so, and it feels good to get what she deserves. They talked for a little bit about Carmella being two faced and conniving, but Natalya isn’t bothered if she ends up facing her instead of Naomi, because neither of them are in her league. I just can’t get on with Natalya’s current promo style. The content is too many cats and catchphrases, and the delivery is a bit cartoon villain for my tastes. No problem with what she does in the ring, but I find her promo’s hard work.
Nia Jax def Emma
Bayley def Sasha Banks
Emma interrupted Kurt Angle’s interview to ask when she was going to get notice. She said that she started the women’s revolution, and Sasha Banks and Bayley used to look up to her. But now she’s sat on the sidelines while they get all the opportunities. Then she threatened to start dating Angle’s “son”. Angle said she had a right to prove herself, and gave her a match with Nia Jax.
Alexa Bliss said she’s not worried about SummerSlam, she’s just happy that Bayley and Sasha Banks friendship is going to explode as a result of their match. It doesn’t matter who wins, neither will be able to cope with watching the other get the SummerSlam match, so she’s the real winner.
Nia Jax vs Emma
This week it looked a bit like they’d reinstated the Nia Jax squash matches. To her credit, Emma had a bit of a go early in the match. She kicked Jax’ legs out from under her, but it just seemed to annoy Jax. A few throws and slams later, and what looked like a new finishing move, Jax got the three count.
Before their match Bayley and Sasha Banks disputed Bliss’ claims that the match would ruin their friendship, then proceeded to argue about who would win the match. I’m seriously starting to get impatient with the Sasha Banks as a babyface thing. She’s done all she can with it, but it doesn’t suit her and it never has. She’s a tweener at best, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s much more natural for her promo style. It must be coming soon, surely.
Sasha Banks vs Bayley – to face Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam
Alexa Bliss joined the commentary team for the match, so Bayley and Sasha Banks worked their backsides off in the ring, while commentary talked to Bliss. They called the high spots and close calls, but very little else. It really annoys me when that happen, and it happens so very often.
Considering they’re best friends, Banks and Bayley didn’t hold anything back. They put on a great match, which got only a fraction of the credit it deserved. Bayley spent a considerable time in the Bank Statement, but eventually powered out. Banks countered the Bayley to belly. It was a slap that seemed to break the intense but friendly competition and turn it into a fight. They did a bit of hair pulling brawling, followed up by kneeing each other in the face, then back to trading blows.
Because they’ve fought with, and against, each other for so long, they had ready counters for most of each other’s moves. It makes for a fun to watch match, and it caused the ending too. Sasha Banks hit the frogsplash, Bayley rolled over and got the pin. It looked a little odd or ungainly, but it was effective.
Interestingly, there was no handshake or hug after the match. Instead, Banks cleared the ring and Alexa Bliss came down to hold the championship up in Bayley’s face.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch def Lana and Tamina
Naomi was asked backstage how she felt about Natalya refusing to shake her hand after the match at Battleground. She said Natalya is tough as nails but she isn’t going to let her disrespect her like that. At which point the summoning charm of mentioning someone’s name worked, and Natalya appeared. She dismissed Dasha, then said Naomi has tarnished everything the championship stands for and turned the title belt into a kid’s toy. She has no respect for the legends like the Hart’s who paved the way. She disgusts her. At SummerSlam she is going to take the title and restore honour to the women’s division.
Naomi responded by telling Natalya she is stuck in the dirty dungeon of the past and can’t see that this is the now. She didn’t tarnish the title she earned it. The women’s evolution is about the future and the light up title represents that. She respects tradition, but she added a little piece of herself to the title. (I like the light up belt).
Carmella appeared at the end of the segment knocking on the briefcase. She said she just wanted to remind Naomi that she, and her briefcase, are looking to the future.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs Tamina and Lana
To my mind, this had mismatch written all over it. Tamina is considerably more skilled and experienced than Lana, but neither are in the league of Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair. But this is WWE and you just never know. Indeed, Tamina and Lana had the best of the early part of the match, with Lynch taking the punishment.
Eventually Becky Lynch got to Charlotte Flair, and everything changed. Flair and Tamina were getting into it, with Flair in dominant position, when Lana tagged herself in. The first thing Flair did when Lana hit the ring was knock Tamina off the apron. One big boot later and Lana was on her back for the three count. Tamina looked less than happy with the result and left Lana by herself in the ring while she stomped up the ramp.
Ember Moon def Lei’d Tapa
Lei’d Tapa’s made her first NXT appearance this week. She has six year’s professional wrestling experience, for companies including OVW and TNA (Impact/GFW). She also has an MMA background. None of it helped her in this match. She made a good start, but her initial flurry of offence was all she got. Ember Moon took control, and a minute or so later hit the Eclipse for the win.
After the match Ember Moon declared she wants Asuka at TakeOver. She’s ready to be the worthy opponent that Asuka desires and defeat the Empress of Tomorrow. That match was confirmed later in the show by William Regal.
Main Event showed highlights of the Bayley vs Sasha Banks match from RAW.
Mae Young Classic
We are now just a month away from the first batch of Mae Young Classic matches being released on WWE network. This week we’ll look at a couple of the more experienced wrestlers in the competition. I’d highly recommend getting on YouTube and checking out as many matches as you can find for these women.
Piper Niven: Undoubtedly one of the powerhouses of the tournament. Niven is better known as Viper on the independent circuit. She’s from Scotland. She’s been wrestling since 2009, and credits part of her training to Mikey Whiplash and Killian Dain. She’s worked extensively across the UK and Japan, for promotions including Shine and ICW.
Kay Lee Ray: One of my personal favourites in the tournament. Kay Lee Ray is, like Niven, from Scotland, and has been wrestling since 2009. High flying, hard hitting and no holds barred when necessary. Kay Lee Ray made one appearance for NXT, and has appeared regularly across the UK, USA and Japan, for promotions including Shine, SHIMMER, PROGRESS, Southside and ICW.
Jazzy Gabert: Also known as Alpha Female. Gabert is another powerhouse. Trained, and competing, in MMA as well as wrestling Gabert has over 15 years experience in the ring, and has wrestled across Europe, the USA, and Japan. wXw, Impact and Stardom are among the many promotions listed on her CV.
With the wealth of footage of these three women available to view, I think that’s enough for this week. Do try to check them out of you’re not familiar with them. It’ll be worth it when it comes to the tournament.
That’s it for another week. I’ll be back next week with all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. In the meantime, if there is anything you think I should cover, or anything you would like to discuss, tweet me @mandawhy.