Welcome to this week’s round up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. We’re into a busy part of the year again with PPVs. We’ve just had No Mercy, Hell in a Cell will soon be upon us, and TLC will follow shortly after. NXT, however, still have plenty of time to build to their next TakeOver. That takes place in Houston on November 18. There was big news from them this week as well though. There’s a lot going on, but I’m still not convinced it’s enough. Anyway, we’ll start with No Mercy.
Alexa Bliss def Bayley, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Emma
During the No Mercy kickoff show, it was announced that Asuka’s RAW debut will take place at TLC next month (22nd October).
After the customary, well put together, video package, and the entrances, we finally got to the match. I still don’t understand why Bayley is still being booed. After all, it’s not her fault she’s been terribly mismanaged since arriving on the main roster.
Something a lot of people picked up on was the introductions. They mentioned Nia Jax’ weight, but not anyone else’s. I know her size, or at least the power advantage it affords her, is part of her gimmick, but that seems a little unfair. NOTE: Nia Jax later answered this point on twitter. If she’s fine with it, it’s no-one else’s business.
I’m not going to attempt to recount the action in this match. Needless to say, with five women in it, there was a lot going on. Alliances were formed, and quickly forgotten. Nia Jax dominated almost every interaction she had, but failed to capitalise. My one major criticism of her is she takes too long between move and pin. She did squat and Samoan drop Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss at the same time though.
There was a sickening moment where Nia Jax was temporarily removed from the match by the other four. Jax was stood on the apron with Bayley and Emma each attached to one of her legs, trying to pull her backwards. Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss delivered simultaneous dropkicks to Jax, which sent her flying backwards to the floor. She landed hard on the back of her neck, and kneed herself in the face.
There was some future storyline set up between Sasha Banks and Bayley, as each broke up the other’s pin attempts. Everyone got a piece of everyone else, and we saw just about everyone’s finisher at least once. Somehow Nia Jax made it back into the match after her horrendous bump, only to be sent shoulder first into the ringpost when Bliss got out of her way.
Alexa Bliss retained her title after a DDT on Bayley. I’m a little surprised that Bayley took the pin, I’d assumed it would be Emma. I am pleased I got my prediction right though.
On RAW Talk, immediately following No Mercy, Alexa Bliss talked a lot about Mickie James. She said James was too old, the peak of her career was a long time ago, and a match between them wouldn’t be competitive – it’d be over in a couple of minutes. She also addressed Asuka’s impending arrival, stating if anyone is going to end Asuka’s streak, it’s going to be her.
In a three-hour PPV, the only women’s match on the card got around ten minutes, bell to bell. I know the majority of the roster were in it, but this is what happens when there are no storylines in the division outside of the title picture.
Bayley and Sasha Banks
Alexa Bliss took to the mic for her post No Mercy victory speech, and told the audience she was very disappointed in each and every one of them. She beat four other women at No Mercy and didn’t get any memes of congratulatory messages from the WWE universe. Everyone was apparently too preoccupied with a potential Sasha Banks versus Bayley feud, or Asuka’s upcoming debut at TLC. We’re all too busy concentrating on what might happen tomorrow to appreciate we’re in the presence of a goddess. But she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. Bliss said she cleared out the entire women’s division.
Mickie James disagreed. She came down to the ring and reminded Bliss that she didn’t beat her, then asked her to repeat what she said on RAW Talk. Bliss told James that she was one of her favourites as a child, back when MySpace and Mickie James were relevant. There followed a lot of age-related, over the hill, insults I’m not going to bother repeating.
James reminded her she was a six-time champion before Bliss was wearing a training bra. Then asked her again to repeat what she said on RAW Talk, and accused her of being a coward. Bliss complied. She called Mickie James an old lady, and got a couple of slaps and a kick for her trouble, before she rolled out of the ring and walked away.
Bayley and Sasha Banks had a backstage segment where they talked about having broken each other’s pin attempts at No Mercy, and reassured each other (somewhat weakly) that they were both over it. The segment ended with a hug. How much longer are they going to keep teasing this feud before we actually get it.
Nia Jax and Emma vs Bayley and Sasha Banks
So, one day after a five-way PPV match, we have a completely nonsensical tag-team match, presented without even the slightest justification. Emma didn’t even get a proper entrance as she arrived at the ring during the ad break. Around a minute into the match, there was a second ad break.
I’m not going to be a downer on the match itself, there was nothing wrong with it. I just desperately want to see storylines instead of endless multi-woman matches. Ok, the beginning of them are there. Bayley wants revenge on Nia Jax for injuring her. There is growing tension between Sasha Banks and Bayley. Emma is annoying everyone with her social media stuff, and her insistence that she started the women’s revolution. So why all the tag-matches? It’s tough to get people to invest in a match when there is no story being told.
Anyway, that’s what we got, and it was ok. Nia Jax seemed to be trying to reinjure Bayley’s shoulder. Bayley took most of the punishment. Sasha Banks came in to try to finish things off. Banks and Bayley worked together to take Jax down outside the ring.
Bayley tagged herself back into the match, and delivered the Bayley to belly on Emma for the win.
It was fine, if a bit short. Now give me something to care about.
Charlotte Flair def Carmella
Carmella still has James Ellsworth on a lead. When they arrived at the ring she fastened him to a ringpost. Of course, it didn’t stop him getting involved. Within seconds of the match starting Ellsworth was grabbing Flair’s leg as she tried to climb to the top rope, while Carmella distracted the ref. It was enough to give Carmella the advantage into the ad break.
When we came back, Carmella was still in charge. She really has improved in leaps and bounds. There were a couple of bits that didn’t look as smooth as they could, but she has grown into her spot in the division. She really wasn’t ready for the transition when she got the call up, but I’m glad they persevered. It’s funny, I remember when I was saying almost exactly the same thing about Charlotte Flair.
Flair won the match with a big boot. My only real criticism of the match is, it was much too short.
After the match Natalya came out to the stage. She said she was happy that Ric Flair is recovering and will get to watch Hell in a Cell, and see his overrated daughter fail. Charlotte Flair held the ropes apart as an invitation for Natalya to come a bit closer, but Natalya just held the title up and left again.
Liv Morgan def Vanessa Bourne
William Regal opened this week’s NXT by telling us that the new NXT women’s champion will be decided, in a fatal four-way, at NXT TakeOver Houston, on November 18. Mae Young Classic winner Kairi Sane will be one of the competitors. The rest will be decided by the outcomes of a series of matches, starting in two weeks.
Ruby Riot was in a locker room interview segment. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have requested a rematch with her and her ‘friend’ Nikki Cross. Riot said she and Cross aren’t friends, Cross is usually trying to punch her in the face and she has no idea why she showed up to help. But, if Royce and Kay want to fight, she’ll fight, and if Nikki Cross turns up again she has nothing to do with it. Cross just better stay out of her way.
Vanessa Bourne vs Liv Morgan
It’s been a fair while since we’re seen Liv Morgan on NXT tv. She’s been off doing live shows, and improving by the looks of it. A video clip of each of them staking claim to their place in the title hunt played during their entrances. I quite like it, it adds an air of importance to even the short and sweet tv matches. Everyone wants to prove they’re worthy of a place in one of those qualifying matches.
Bourne was aiming to utilise her power and aggression advantage over, the much smaller, Morgan. Liv Morgan is incredibly flexible and athletic, she’s looking a lot more rounded as a performer now as well. Vanessa Bourne had the upper hand for most of the match. Morgan turned it round though, and once she was in the ascendency it was her match.
Liv Morgan won the match with what appeared to be a new finisher. A kind of leaping double knees to the face. It looked cool. I feel like I saw something in this short match from Morgan that I haven’t seen before. Looking forward to seeing what she does next.
This week’s Main Event recapped the confrontation between Mickie James and Alexa Bliss from RAW. It’s a shame there was no women’s division action again. Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox aren’t involved in anything right now, they could give them a storyline.
That’s it for this week. Next week will include a preview for Hell in a Cell, as well as all the usual stuff. Personally, I’m hoping HIAC will include Paige’s return to WWE (it is heavily rumoured she will go to SmackDown), but that’s just a wish list item. Anyway, if there is anything you think I should cover, or anything you’d like to discuss, tweet me @manda_why.