Welcome to this week’s round up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. In case you missed the announcement, WWE released three superstars on Sunday October 29. Two of those superstars were women – Summer Rae and Emma – the third was Daren Young. Summer Rae has been absent, at least partly through injury, since before the brand extension. It’s still sad to see her go, but it was less surprising. Emma, on the other hand, had just been the debut opponent for Asuka, two night’s running. I just can’t fathom what went on there, and we may never know the full story. It looks like Emma is heading back to the indies though, under the name Tennille Dashwood. She posted this tweet saying she is accepting bookings from Feb 1st.
With no more releases, and no new additions to the women’s rosters this week (still waiting for Paige’s return, it’s rumoured to be very soon), it’s all about the build-up for Survivor Series and TakeOver WarGames.
Nia Jax def Bayley
Asuka def Stacie Cullen
Alexa Bliss def Mickie James
We got a three women’s match show this week. I’m impressed.
Bayley vs Nia Jax
Alicia Fox was scheduled to be in this match, but she came out at the beginning, wearing a captain’s hat, and told Bayley she was too busy being the captain of the RAW Survivor Series team to be in a match with her. Nia Jax was Fox’ choice of replacement.
This seemed to be part of the ‘make everyone look strong’ build up to Survivor Series. Nia Jax is obviously a formidable opponent, but one Bayley is very familiar with, and has beaten before. She had Jax rocked a few times, and even got her down once or twice. A guillotine submission attempt was probably her best chance.
It wasn’t Bayley’s night though. Once Nia Jax established dominance she wasn’t going to give it up. She finished Bayley with a massive leg drop.
At the end of the match Alicia Fox announced that Nia Jax is her first pick for the Survivor Series team.
Asuka vs Stacie Cullen
Asuka finally got the squash match that so many people seemed to want her debut to be. The local talent, billed as Stacie Cullen, was Kasey Catal, give her a follow, she earned it. She got kicked, slapped and manhandled around the ring, without getting in a single strike, then tapped out to the Asuka lock.
Alexa Bliss (C) vs Mickie James – RAW Women’s Championship match
A women’s championship match to close out the show. It was set up during an office based segment with Kurt Angle, where Bliss suggested that Angle strengthen the women’s division by cutting Mickie James and replacing her with someone from the Mae Young Classic, or digging up Mae Young. Angle pointed out that Bliss had stood by during the invasion, but James had fought. Then he told Bliss she’d be defending against James that night.
Good match, worthy of its main event position. Another, make everyone look strong, match. Bliss, for all her cowardice and avoidance tactics, brought it when James made running away impossible. James seems to bring the best out of her in the ring, something about Mickie James’ experience grounds her. They just work well together. Mickie James looks more than worthy of being in the title picture.
The ending was bizarre in its abruptness. Alexa Bliss punched Mickie James in the face, and down went James for the three count.
Becky Lynch gave the women’s locker room a pep-talk about being ready for Survivor Series, and possible retaliation from RAW for last week’s attack. James Ellsworth was dressed as a dog and barking, so Lynch sprayed him with water and Carmella made him sit (I’m shaking my head a little typing this). They agreed to work as a team
Natalya appeared and said it was a shame she wasn’t the captain of the team, but she’d be too busy defending against Bliss. Then told Becky Lynch there was always a weak link in a team and she had to find it. Natalya seemed to think the weak link would be Charlotte Flair, and told her she would be to blame if RAW beats SmackDown at Survivor Series.
And that was it for SmackDown this week. No women’s match at all. With the content of Becky Lynch’s speech, the commitment to work as a single unit, it sounds suspiciously like we may not get another women’s match until survivor series is over. I hope that isn’t the case, we shall see. I appreciate the Survivor Series build, it’s important to make the PPV feel important. But it shows up how undersized the women’s division is when the champ, plus the Survivor Series team, equals the entire division except for Lana.
Nikki Cross def Taynara Conti
I love just about everything about Nikki Cross. She comes across as beautifully unhinged in an almost innocent way. She had a good long look at the title belt on her way to the ring, but resisted touching it, I’d love to see her win it at TakeOver.
Cross started the match with the aggression you’d expect, quickly making Conti run away. Unfortunately for Conti, she got tied up in the ring apron and pummelled for every bit of the four count Cross could take. Conti managed to fight back, but everything she did just fuelled Cross’ excitement.
It was over for Conti when she got stuck in the tree of woe. Cross dragged her out of the corner, after giving her a kicking of course, and slammed her into the mat. One swinging fisherman’s neck-breaker later Nikki Cross was the victor.
Mercedes Martinez seems to be trying to start something with Ember Moon. An interview with Martinez, from after the battle royal, was shown. After expressing her disappointment at not winning, she was asked who was her pick to win the title. She refused to pick a winner, but said it wouldn’t be Moon because Ember Moon can’t win the big matches.
Peyton Royce and Billie Kay had a segment with Royce kicking off about the fact Billie Kay isn’t in the four-way at TakeOver. They started being mean about Kairi Sane, who appeared by the magic summoning power of someone in WWE saying your name. She showed Billie Kay her elbow, then lunged forward enough to send Kay cringing back into Royce. Kairi Sane and Billie Kay now have a match next week.
This week Main Event showed highlights of Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James.
Quiet-ish week this week. Next week will be the TakeOver prediction, and then we’ll be into Survivor Series. In the meantime, if there is anything you want me to cover, or you’d just like to chat about wrestling, tweet me @manda_why.