Welcome to this week’s round up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It feels like quite an unusual week this week, there are no PPVs to either write up or preview. Of course, that’s because all three brands are building towards one of the big events of the year – SummerSlam weekend – which of course includes NXT TakeOver Brooklyn III.
Bayley def Nia Jax
Alexa Bliss said she was ecstatic to be facing Bayley at SummerSlam rather than Sasha Banks. She feels like she can beat Bayley easily, because she’s done it twice, and didn’t want to face Sasha Banks again. She called Banks’ loss embarrassing, made a few disparaging comments, and announced that Bayley had a match with Nia Jax.
It was a decent length match for RAW. Bayley did a good job of fending off Jax for the most part, and she’s beaten Jax before. She took a bad landing on her shoulder early on, and seemed to pick up an injury. It didn’t stop her being proactive in the fight, but she returned to guarding the shoulder at every opportunity.
Bayley managed to get Jax to the outside, and dived onto her. Alexa Bliss appeared and tried to take Bayley out, Jax threw Bayley into the barricade, checked on Bliss then charged to put Bayley into the steps. Bayley bypassed her and rolled back into the ring. Jax was counted out.
After the match Bliss tried the sneak attack again, but Bayley escaped from the ring still holding her shoulder.
On Tuesday, WWE confirmed Bayley suffered a shoulder injury during the match with Jax. Messages of support started flooding in from other WWE superstars, and the spidey-sense that this might be a bad one started to tingle. It could be storyline of course. The shoulder was a focal point for commentary during the match, which is possibly indicative of scripting. Or it could be a genuine injury that they noticed and went with. Time will tell.
Later in the week WWE announced that Bayley will undergo a medical assessment on Monday before RAW, and that her match with Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam in in jeopardy. All evidence points to this being a worked injury now. It’s very early to do a final assessment before SummerSlam, unless it’s thought to be catastrophically bad in which case I think we’d have heard more. I hope it’s a storyline injury, no-one wants to see a superstar sidelined for months because they’re hurt.
Becky Lynch and Naomi def Carmella and Natalya
Yea another women’s tag match on SmackDown. Are the writers for the women’s division on holiday? It feels like the entire division is treading water. I still appreciate seeing most or all of the women each week, I just wish there was some kind of storyline outside the title and MITB briefcase. I suppose I just need to be patient.
Anyway, this is what we got. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Carmella in the ring, so they teamed her up with Natalya and stuck Becky Lynch and Naomi together because… well because they did. I’m impressed with this new Carmella, she’s got so much more confidence and poise. She’s the opportunist, and it suits her.
The spirit of opportunism cost her team the match. Naomi had been worn down, by spending a long time in Natalya’s Sharpshooter, when Carmella tagged herself in. She locked on the Code of Silence, but Naomi reversed it into her own submission and Becky Lynch stopped Natalya breaking it up. Carmella tapped out to give Naomi and Lynch the win.
Not a bad match at all, but it didn’t tell us anything new or move anything forward. I’m sure SmackDown must have something in the works for the women, I just wish they’d hurry up and play it out.
Later in the show it was announced that Carmella has requested a one on one match with Naomi. That will happen next week. It’ll be good to see a one on one, I’m not sure how this ties in with the MITB briefcase though. I guess we’ll find out next Tuesday.
Sonya Deville def Jenna Van Bemel
Short match on NXT this week. Van Bemel looks like a powerhouse of a wrestler, Deville still looks unstoppable. I’m consistently impressed by her, and she really seems to be growing into her characterisation. I think she’s got a big future. I hope so anyway.
Van Bemel got minimal offence in the match, more of a catalyst to Deville than opposition. Looks like Deville is getting the strong build. She won the match via submission, with an armbar, after a couple of minutes. I’d like to see her in some longer matches, see how she looks against Cross or Riot.
Asuka appeared to address the issue of her TakeOver match against Ember Moon. She said, ‘At NXT TakeOver Brooklyn, I will fight Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship. I have beaten Ember before. I will beat her again. Ember Moon is not ready for Asuka.’
Of course, Ember Moon had to have her say as well. She came down to the ring and responded with, ‘Ever since TakeOver Orlando I have been doing everything in my power to get back where I belong. Fighting for the NXT Women’s Championship. You can sit here and say that I’m not ready Asuka, but I know that I’m ready, these people know that I am ready, and you know that I’m ready Asuka. Deep down inside, underneath all of that arrogance you know the truth, and you are afraid of the truth Asuka. The truth is that Asuka isn’t ready for Ember Moon.’
Asuka offered a handshake then removed it when Moon tried to accept, and slapped Moon across the face. They brawled for a few moments, and Asuka threw Ember Moon out of the ring.
Her mistake was taking her eyes off Moon and starting to celebrate. Moon hit Asuka with the Eclipse and laid her out. She resisted the temptation to pick up the belt, said ‘I’ll get that when I earn it’, and left the ring with Asuka still laying in the middle of the ring.
Emma def Mickie James
The women got almost five minutes on Main Event this week, and it was good. I still think these two are a great combination, but I’m greedy and I want more storyline for them They’ve had a couple of matches now, please tell me why they’re important.
Mickie James got the best of the offence, but not the victory. She was dominant, right up to the point Emma shoved her face first into a turnbuckle and rolled her up for the pin. Surely they can build on this now.
Mae Young Classic
Apologies, but life got in the way this week. I promise some info on twice as many Mae Young competitors next week. There are still a lot to get through before the first round of the tournament appears on WWE network later this month.
That’s it for a relatively quiet week for WWE’s women. I’ll be back next week with more the update on Bayley’s injury, and the ongoing build up to SummerSlam and TakeOver Brooklyn III, as well as the usual action from WWE’s women’s divisions. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like me to cover, or anything you want to discuss, tweet me @manda_why.