Women of the WWE – weekly round-up – w/b September 23

Women of the WWE – weekly round-up – w/b September 23

Welcome to this week’s round-up of all the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. It would have been a relatively quiet week for WWE’s women this week, no title matches, no big revelations, and there is still another week of build-up before Super Show-Down. Action-wise, it was all fairly run of the mill, but there was one incident which had people talking for half the week. It occurred on RAW, so let’s get straight into it.

 

 

RAW

The Riott Squad def. Natalya and The Bella Twins

Nia Jax def. Alicia Fox

 

Bayley and Alicia Fox got into it a bit this week. They weren’t in a match, they were at ringside supporting their Mixed Match Challenge partners (Finn Balor and Jinder Mahal, respectively). Singh grabbed Balor’s leg to stop him finishing Mahal. Bayley did the same to Mahal a few moments later. Fox went around to deal with Bayley and got floored with one blow. Bayley then delivered a Bayley to Belly to Sunil Singh, who approached her at Fox’ insistence. Balor won the match by rolling up Mahal while he was watching his minion get suplexed. Poor Sunil Singh got beaten up by Jinder Mahal, with a lot of encouragement from Alicia Fox, after the match.

Bayley punches Alicia Fox

 

The Riott Squad vs Natalya and The Bella Twins

This match was advertised on the preview as Brie Bella versus Ruby Riott. No explanation was given for the change, but maybe the events of the match were explanation enough.

Now, I really don’t like to dwell on mistakes. Wrestling is dangerous, and accidents happen. But some things can’t be glossed over, and this is one of them, so let’s talk about Brie Bella for a moment.

Early in the match, Brie Bella delivered a series of Yes Kicks to Liv Morgan. As she started to speed the kicks up she appeared to catch Morgan, who pitched forward just enough to catch the next kick full in the face. Liv Morgan crumpled to the mat and was motionless for several seconds.

Brie Bella kicks Liv Morgan in the face
Photo credits: wwe.com

Things got a bit messy here. The ref didn’t check on Morgan immediately. Brie Bella turned her over and went for a cover, I’m not sure if Morgan kicked out or Brie pulled her up, but it was a two-count. It was Brie Bella who half supported half dragged Morgan to her corner to tag out, and Morgan was lifted from the ring by Sarah Logan.

It was clear that the ref was keeping an eye on her and telling her to stay out of the match, but there was a triple-suplex spot due, and Morgan dashed into the ring to take the move along with her teammates. The whole Riott Squad rolled out of the ring after it and Ruby Riott was shown cradling Morgan’s head while Logan fussed over her, both looking very anxious. Morgan looked unfocused and out of it.

Commentary said Morgan had been taken to the trainer’s room for treatment, but the second the three count ended the match, Riott and Logan were seen rushing to check on her at ringside, where she was laid out being seen to by a doctor.

Accidents do happen, but Brie Bella has had a few since her return. To highlight a few, she wiped herself out on a suicide dive, caught Zelina Vega with a knee, and in this match, she also smacked Ruby Riott on the nose while taking a catapult move from Sarah Logan. Riott immediately got in the ring and kicked her in the shoulder – it didn’t look like Riott held back.

I really wouldn’t be surprised if the Super Show-Down match is in question and Morgan spends some time on the sidelines. I hope not, but it looked that bad.

After the match, Brie Bella tweeted from the Bella Twins account acknowledging and expressing remorse for what happened (Don’t read the comments, they’re toxic as hell). WWE later turned the tweet into a brief article which seems relatively unusual.

The rest of the match, while overshadowed by the injury to Morgan, was fun and perfectly decent. Ruby Riott won it for her team with a Riott Kick on Natalya.

Ruby Riott kicks Natalya

If you went near social media in the few days following RAW, you’ll know that just about everyone has an opinion on this regarding where the blame lays and whether Brie Bella should even be in the ring. So, here’s mine. The ref should have checked on Morgan immediately after the kick that knocked her out and should have done more to prevent her taking that suplex spot. She clearly wasn’t with it and that was very dangerous.

As for Brie Bella, I’m not sure what the answer is. She has been out for a while and the women’s division has changed while she’s been away. I don’t think her skill level is high enough currently to be an active part of the division. WWE don’t seem to have confidence either, judging purely on the fact they changed Monday’s match from singles to a six-woman. Whether it’s residual ring-rust or rushing back too soon, or simply that the women’s division has evolved beyond her skill set, I don’t know. Brie Bella is probably the only one who can answer that.

I am not part of the baying hoards calling for her to be fired, the Bellas have an important role in the WWE whatever anyone thinks about it. I would like to see her take a few weeks away from the ring, work hard on training (performance centre maybe) and then for her to reassess where she is. Maybe she can shake off the cobwebs and sharpen up, maybe she can’t and needs to concentrate on other roles. At the moment, I don’t want to worry every time she gets in the ring that she or someone else will get seriously hurt.

 

Nia Jax vs Alicia Fox

Ember Moon accompanied Nia Jax to the ring and they had a short pre-match backstage promo, mainly focused on Nia Jax’ nomination for a people’s choice award. Alicia Fox was accompanied by Alexa Bliss and Mickie James.

Mickie James dragged Fox out of the ring to give her a breather, a minute or so into the match. Moon obviously decided that was enough interference and dived off the apron onto James.

Nia Jax throws Alicia Fox

Fox had a good run of offence after she took advantage after Jax rolled her back into the ring. She tried pretty much everything, but the best she got was a two count.

Nia Jax caught her as she rebounded off the ropes and delivered a Samoan drop for the win. I’m not sure what Fox clipped her with but Jax was holding her face as she celebrated with Moon.

 

 

SmackDown

Asuka and Naomi def. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose

Becky Lynch def. Lana

 

Carmella is a brunette now (kind of a mahogany shade), when did that happen? It suits her. She was in the opening segment accompanying R-Truth for Truth TV, an upgraded version of Miz TV, with special guest Daniel Bryan. She didn’t do anything other than call and participate in the dance breaks, but she stayed in her Mixed Match Challenge partner’s corner for his match against The Miz.

 

Footage was shown of Becky Lynch attacking Charlotte Flair during a photo shoot, laying her out and insisting the photographer took her photo holding up the belt with her foot on Flair. We were told immediately after the footage that Charlotte Flair had been medically assessed and sent home following the attack.

Becky Lynch stands over Charlotte Flair

 

Becky Lynch approached Lana and Rusev backstage. They had just come back from a cryptic accusation from Aiden English about something happening one night in Milwaukee, and they were discussing it. Lana asked Lynch to mind her own business and Becky Lynch loosely threatened to lay her out like she did to Charlotte Flair. She runs this women’s division and since that’s where Lana ‘tries to perform’ (her words), that makes Lana her business. She suggested Lana get Rusev to take her bags to the car because if she gets her way Lana won’t be able to do it herself. Match incoming.

 

Naomi and Asuka vs Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville

This started with the IIconics in the ring, but Naomi and Asuka’s entrances cut them off before they could speak. Sadly, they were there to join commentary so they got to talk way too much.

Naomi and Asuka kick Sonya Deville in the head

They largely ignored a decent, if short, match. Naomi and Asuka could be a formidable team, and they appear to be working well together. The two minutes of the match we saw (it started during the ads), was great.

Asuka got the pin on Sonya Deville.

 

Becky Lynch vs Lana

Becky Lynch got her chance to prove Lana isn’t up to scratch in the ring. The match was framed as Lynch reprimanding Lana for being bad for business.

Lana improves every time she gets a chance to compete. She did well enough that Becky Lynch felt the need to leave the ring to regroup. Following her out may have been Lana’s biggest mistake because she ended up meeting the barricades with force.

Lana punches Becky Lynch

When they were back in the ring, Lana had a couple of decent opportunities to put eh champion away, she got two, two-counts in quick succession.

Sadly, for her, her inexperience caught up with her and she was too slow to climb the turnbuckle. Becky Lynch pulled her to the mat and before she could recover, a Bex-ploder followed by a Dis-Arm-Her finished the match for the champion.

 

 

NXT

Kairi Sane def. Vanessa Borne

 

There was a set up for a match between Lacey Evans and Candice LeRae this week. Evans approached LeRae when she was arriving at Full Sail with Johnny Gargano. Evans called them Mr and Mrs Johnny Failure and said it was a shame LeRae was so concerned with separating her career from her personal life. A real lady and a good wife would fight beside and defend her husband no matter what.

Gargano had to hold LeRae back to stop her leaping onto Evans immediately.

 

Nikki Cross asked for a rematch with Bianca Belair in her own inimitable way. William Regal was giving an update on the who attacked Aleister Black investigation when there was a commotion from inside the office and Nikki Cross emerged. Regal asked her what she was doing, and she told him she needed to play with Bianca again. He said he’d take it into consideration and she grabbed his arm and repeated, ‘I know, I know’, before she left. Regal was asked whether she meant she knew who attacked Black, he said, ‘if you ask Nikki she will tell you where the Loch Ness Monster is, or Bigfoot. No-one knows what Nikki knows’.

 

Kairi Sane vs Vanessa Borne

Borne started the match with a show of disrespect, putting Sane’s hat on then taking it off and kicking it out of the ring. It might not have been her wisest decision.

Kair Sane and Vanessa Borne

Much better that Sane gets matches with members of the women’s division rather than meaningless squashes, but this wasn’t much longer than a squash. A minute or two of back and forth, including a lovely looking DDT from Sane, before she was lined up for the InSane Elbow and pinned.

Shayna Baszler turned up during Kairi Sane’s celebrations again. She told her to celebrate with the title while she can because the clock is about to run out on that. Sane won in Brooklyn and Baszler admits that hurt her, but she wasn’t going to take it out on Sane there and then because she’s invoking her rematch clause.

Kairi Sane told her she can have her rematch at WWE Evolution. Baszler looked happy with that and started to leave. Sane stopped her as she ducked through the ropes to ass, ‘and I will beat you again’.

Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler

 

 

 

Mae Young Classic

Io Shirai kicks Xia Brookside

Hiroyo Matsumoto def. Rachel Evers

Taynara Conti def. Jessie Elaban

Nicole Matthews def. Isla Dawn

Io Shirai def. Xia Brookside

 

The first round of this year’s Mae Young Classic wrapped up this week, with the big star signing Io Shirai getting the final match of the round. Overall the first round has given us a high standard of competition, but the second round promises to be something very special. Full details of this week’s episode can be found here.

 

 

Main Event

There was no women’s division action on Main Event this week.

 

 

 

Mixed Match Challenge

Mickie James and Bobby Lashley (Country Dominance) def. Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal (Mahalicia)

Asuka and The Miz (Awe-ska) def. Carmella and R-Truth (Fabulous Truth)

 

Mickie James and Bobby Lashley vs Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal

There were ten minutes of hype and explanation before this first match started, I guess they’ve got to have some kind of separation after SmackDown for the live crowd.

Lashley and Mahal started things off, then Mahal challenged Lashley to a push-up contest. That turned into a push-up contest with their partners on their backs. Sunil spoiled it by trying to sit on Alicia Fox and making Mahal collapse.

Alicia Fox broke a pin up and started beating on Bobby Lashley. Lashley’s response was to gently guide her over to his corner and tag in Mickie James, who quickly climbed the turnbuckle and entered the ring from a height, right onto Fox.

Bobby Lashley and Jinder Mahal's push up contest goes wrong

Fox and James might be friends, or at least both cohorts of Alexa Bliss, but they are also veteran competitors. Unfortunately, a lot of their segment was spent looking at either Bayley and Balor doing the social media thing, or Miz and Asuka.

The cameras cut back just in time for Alicia Fox to take a nasty spill out of the ring. She caught her foot on the rope and the landing looked messy.

James tried to tag out but Mahal pushed Lashley off the apron to prevent the tag, and he and James stood face to face until James slapped him. Alicia Fox was back in by then and kicked her in the face for a two-count.

Mickie James pushed Fox into Mahal and knocked him off the apron. Mahal clearly wanted no part of Bobby Lashley but James got to him and tagged him in anyway.

Fox came back in when Lashley went for the delayed vertical suplex, and she and James met in the middle. Lio Rush and Sunil Singh had an encounter at ringside which saw Singh laid out Mahal chasing Rush through the ring. Rush escaped, Mahal wasn’t so lucky.

Bobby Lashley pinned Jinder Mahal after a delayed vertical suplex.

Backstage, Mahal and Fox argued, and Fox tried to get Mahal to fire Sunil Singh.

 

Carmella and R-Truth vs Asuka and The Miz

Interesting dynamic in this match. People love Asuka and love to hate Miz, but on the other team, it’s the other way round. It meant that the crowd were cheering for Asuka and Miz when she was in the ring, but booing them when he was.

It looked like Asuka and Carmella would start things off, but Miz tagged himself in before they even locked up. R-Truth made him regret it in the early going. He called a dance break when Miz was down, and Asuka joined in. Miz got annoyed said he had the greatest moonwalk, then proceeded to walk like he was in zero gravity. R-Truth was unimpressed and kicked him in the face so hard he rolled out of the ring.

Carmella managed to throw Asuka out next to her partner then she and Truth faked a double suicide dive. Miz showed his true colours by shoving Asuka in front of him but Truth and Carmella just moonwalked away then did the splits.

Asuka and Miz argued on the outside, although Asuka was mainly screaming at him in Japanese while Miz failed to get back in the ring. R-Truth had to chase him back and Miz capitalised while Truth was getting back in himself.

Asuka slaps Carmella

Eventually, they tagged out pretty much simultaneously, and it was up to the women to finish it off. Asuka had the upper hand, even getting two from a hip attack, but Carmella dodged a dropkick and earned herself a moment to recover. She launched herself at Asuka in the corner, but Miz pulled Asuka clear. A follow-up shining wizard from Asuka only got her another two-count.

Miz got involved again when Carmella tried to pin Asuka off a superkick. He dragged Carmella off her by the foot, then caught the superkick she tried to throw at him. There was a split second of ‘where do we go from here’ looks before R-Truth stepped in and smacked Miz on his partner’s behalf.

Carmella nearly rolled Asuka up after pushing her into Miz to knock him off the apron. She only got two, but she did get to superkick Miz when he was getting up, and some would call that a win in itself.

It was the closest she’d get to a win because seconds later she was tapping out in the Asuka Lock.

 

 

Next week Bayley and Finn Balor (B n B) face Alicia Fox and Jinder Mahal (Mahalicia), and Lana and Rusev (Ravishing Rusev Day) face Naomi and Jimmy Uso (Day One Glow).

 

 

Super Show-Down – Preview and Predictions

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair

Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins vs The Riott Squad

Asuka and Naomi vs The IIconics

 

It’s hard to predict how these matches are going to go with the go home shows yet to take place, but we’ll give it a go.

It’s possible there will be one or more matches to the card in the next week. Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Carmella are all featured on the poster, but not currently listed on the preview. Banks is injured, so it’s unlikely she’ll take part. Mind you, Bray Wyatt is on the poster as well and no-one’s seen him for weeks.

 

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair

Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair

This feud should be going at least as far as Evolution, if not beyond. Becky Lynch has taken every opportunity to beat down, put down, and humiliate her former best friend since she attacked her at SummerSlam.

If they gave the belt back to Flair now, how would that effect Lynch? Would she fall apart or would her rage increase? It would be interesting to see, but I don’t think we’re going to. Becky Lynch has done a great job with this run so far and I think (hope) it continues until at least Evolution. I’m not a fan of passing the title back and forth, so I’d really like Lynch to keep it at least a bit longer. I’m not necessarily expecting a clean finish though.

Whatever happens with the result, this has got a good chance of being the match of the night.

Prediction: Becky Lynch

 

Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins vs The Riott Squad

Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins vs The Riott Squad

This match is currently in question due to Liv Morgan’s injury. So far WWE have very carefully avoided using the word concussion. If she has one, she’s out.

Providing the match goes ahead as planned, the Morgan injury could still have an effect. It’s been widely reported that Ruby Riott and Sarah Logan were less than happy with Brie Bella for the incident. Riott doubly so as she also got clocked on the nose in that match. They could take that anger and use it to fuel a rage and revenge filled match. That would be great except for one thing, Ronda Rousey.

I can see a situation where Brie Bella is isolated and takes a huge amount of punishment from the Riott Squad, but I can’t see them winning. At some point, someone has to either take Rousey out, or she’s going to tag in.

If Rousey tags in, then it’s as good as over. There’s no way WWE will make their prized champion look weak in a non-title tag at a showpiece event. The only way for Riott and friends to gain a victory is to keep Rousey out of the match entirely. But that would deprive the Australian crowd of seeing Rousey do her thing.

The most likely scenario as far as I can see is that The Riott Squad come out looking like the best team, but Rousey ultimately seals the victory.

Prediction: Ronda Rousey and The Bella Twins

 

Asuka and Naomi vs The IIconics

Naomi and Asuka vs The IIconics

Really, this should be an easy decision. Asuka and Naomi are both better wrestlers than Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. However, Super Show-Down is going to be on home turf for the IIconics and that might make a difference.

I hope not. Unsurprisingly, I find the IIconics annoying characters annoying. Sadly, it just makes me want to not watch them, or at least mute them until the bell rings to start the match. Naomi and Asuka are an interesting and slightly odd pairing, but they’re having fun and they’re fun to watch. I still think WWE are building to an announcement of women’s division tag titles, so it makes sense to set alliances up in advance. Also, Asuka has done practically nothing since losing her streak, at least being paired up with Naomi gives her the chance of some kind of storyline.

For those, very fickle, reasons I’m going to predict a glowing victory.

Prediction: Asuka and Naomi

 

 

That’s everything we’ve got for this week. Next week I’ll be back with the build-up to, and results from Super Show-Down, the rest of the action, and hopefully some news about Evolution. For a first-time ‘historic’ event, it’s been woefully underhyped so far.

In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like me to cover or anything you want to discuss, tweet me @manda_why.

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