This week, the WWE emanates from the United Kingdom even if its Network does not. Paige returns to her homeland to take on former BFF Alicia Fox, another Brit Layla battles Natalya, and on Impact Wrestling Taryn Terrell looks to get some vengeance on Madison Rayne.
Monday Night RAW came from Liverpool this week, and with a hot British crowd to perform in front of, the Divas made use of their limited time on screen. But none received a better reaction than Paige, the Norwich-born lass, who received a hero's welcome back in her home country. The former two-time Diva's Champion would do battle with her former 'bestie' Alicia Fox, who Paige decimated a fortnight ago following a match with AJ Lee.
They were given only a few minutes to work with, as Fox wasted little time going after the woman that assaulted her previously. Paige battled back with knees to the chest, before being kicked off the ring apron. Fox was then able to employ her signature moves, like her impressive Northern Lights suplex and tilt-the-world backbreaker. But, Paige drew on the support of the crowd to hit a superkick, followed by the Ram-Paige to get the win.
In the second match of the night, Divas Champion AJ Lee went up against Brie Bella, although her sister Nikki is the target she is really after. Enslaved Brie has been employed by her sister to distract and attack AJ before Nikki faces her for the title at Survivor Series. Tonight, it is in the form of a match. However, on this occasion the crowd wasn't interested in this bout, and had plenty of reason for that as it lacked in a number of areas.
Of course, the CM Punk chants are unnecessary and getting on my nerves every match that passes with AJ in it. But, Brie looked a little sloppy with her kicks and basic moves, whilst AJ didn't liven it up anymore herself. Despite one nice reversal into a tornado DDT, this was highly forgettable, with AJ winning with the Black Widow. Nikki attacked the champ post-match, hitting the Rack Attack before hoisting the title over her head, and then aggressively forcing Brie to open the ropes for her grand exit.
Main Event gave another chance to see Alicia Fox in action, this time against Cameron. If this didn't seem like much on paper, that's because in reality, it was just as bad. Cameron just doesn't have the ability at this point to put on a compelling performance, no matter how entertaining she may be on Total Divas. Her kicks, timing and moves were all off-key, and Fox didn't exactly shine either with the little offense she provided.
The poor quality was summed up by the persistent 'boring' chants, and the ending. Cameron was slow getting back to her feet, leaving Fox waiting to hit her move, and an awkward misstep resulted in a typical roll-up victory rather than the Scissors Kick that was likely intended. Really poor match that would not feature on a highlight reel anytime soon.
When the Divas stumble this week, it seems odd to look forward to TNA for the best in women's wrestling at the moment. But after last episodes stellar match between Knockouts' Champion Havok and Gail Kim, things are looking up for the company in this area. And another decent two matches featuring the Knockouts helped bolster that opinion of the division, as they continue to step up their game.
The first bout was between Taryn Terrell and Madison Rayne. A fortnight ago, Rayne assaulted partner Terrell at the end of their match, leaving her easy pickings for the Beautiful People. Tonight, the blonde looked for revenge against the Queen Bee. This was a decent match, with Rayne carrying the majority as the heel, preening after every move she hit and making lazy pin attempts. Terrell has impressed a lot of people with her skill and willingness to take hefty bumps, and this was no different. She could improve on her forearms strikes, but other than that she is a strong package. She picked up the victory with a running cutter after Rayne had attempted every dirty trick to score the win. After the match, we learned from Kurt Angle that Terrell would compete for the title against Havok and Gail Kim.
In the night's later match, the Beautiful People joined up with Jesse Godderz and DJ Z to battle the Menagerie in a 4-on-3 handicap elimination match. Rebel has shown promise in her earlier matches with the more experienced Angelina Love and Velvet Sky, with great flexibility and athleticism. But, a more pressing matter for the Beautiful People was the presence of Crazy Steve, who caused Love to be rolled-up by Rebel after he spanked her backside. But, Love returned to help eliminate Rebel by spraying her eyes, allowing Sky to hit the In Yo' Face. But Steve was back, forcing a liplock on Sky in pinning her, before winning the match for his team by hitting a tornado DDT on Jesse for the victory.
Also, one should not overlook the work of the deranged Brittany in the past couple of months. Since developing the character of a manipulative psycho to lure Samuel Shaw on her side, she has been showing a lot of potential. In fact the only thing she hasn't been showing is her tongue, as it has been firmly stuck down Shaw's throat. But despite her interference, she couldn't help Shaw defeat Gunner this week in a street fight.
NXT continues to be the ideal spot for great divas action in WWE, even though this week's edition was somewhat overshadowed by some of the excellent action surrounding its ladies match. Sasha Banks has been on great form since becoming the number one contender for Charlotte's NXT Women's title. With Becky Lynch now at her side, she would look to maintain momentum in her quest for the belt at the expense of Alexa Bliss. With the division impressing and expanding down at Full Sail, Bliss will need to perform in order to keep up with the best.
This match wasn't bad, but with the recent offerings, it wasn't the most memorable either. Banks was in control from the outset, using her range of kicks, knees and slaps to knock down Bliss and humiliate her rival. Bliss was given some offense, showing some of her athletic potential with a nice sunset flip bomb on Banks. But, the Boss rightly picked up another victory on her road to the upcoming championship match, forcing Bliss to tap out to the Bank Statement. A good match for both, but I would have preferred Bliss to get some more time to perform.
On the Blue Brand this week featured a match between a couple of the most experienced divas on the roster, Natalya and Layla. These ladies have battled with and against each other over the last five years, and they are two of the most polished performers among the divas. Of course, Natalya has had more issues with fellow Total Diva Summer Rae, but she will suffice with beating down her buddy Layla instead.
Their experience and talent is apparent throughout the match, as they begin with some clean chain wrestling. Then, Layla raises the ante with a slap to the face, before kicking Natalya to the outside, which the Canadian almost gets counted out for. Layla uses her leg strength with a body scissors and headlock, forcing Natalya to battle out of it. Natalya then fought back with a low dropkick that Layla just kicks out of, before the Brit sends her opponent once more to ringside. But Natalya fights back, taking the opportunity to slap Summer and send Layla into her rival, before causing her to tap out to the Sharpshooter. A solid match from the two divas to end the week.
Although my obligation is to bring a report of the ladies of wrestling, I felt quite hesitant about this TNA One Night Only event. You may think this is odd, as it would surely be completely up my street due to all the matches being Knockout matches, but there were three reasons making me want to avoid it. Firstly, this occurred months ago, so bears nothing on storylines and I already knew all the winners. Second, not all the non-Knockouts competing were great performers. And thirdly, its lack of involvement with the TV tapings makes it hard to become invested with the show.
So, due to the number of matches and the disillusionment I have with the One Night Only concept in its current form, I will keep this review brief. Of the non-Knockouts competing, Karlee Perez, Veda Scott and Havok (this was before she signed permanently) got big reactions from the crowd due to their performances elsewhere (Perez in WWE, Scott in ROH, and Havok in CZW). Most matches ranged from adequate to strong, with Scott vs Gail Kim and Mia Yim vs Brittany particularly impressing. But in the end Madison Rayne took the title of Queen of TNA, defeating Angelina Love in the final match of the gauntlet match.
So there you have it, the breakdown for the week in women's wrestling. What were some of your favorite and least favorite moments from these women? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!