This week, AJ Lee keeps up her pursuit of the Divas Champion Nikki Bella, Naomi attracts more questionable attention from the Miz, and Charlotte and Sasha Banks blow the roof off of Full Sail University with a stunning contest.
The Slammy Awards and their annual celebrations came to RAW, and shared the go-home show for Sunday’s TLC PPV. But, before that event another would be taking place exclusively on the WWE Network, and that was NXT Takeover: R Evolution. In order to generate hype for that event, NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte was given her full WWE debut, when she faces the woman she defeated for her title, Natalya.
However, the match that they put on likely did little to attract more fans to the event. It was by no means a slight on their performances, but instead they were given so little time to work that it was never going to be the memorable debut Charlotte would have dreamed about. She was able to display some of her charisma and strength, and a few knife-edge chops that her father made famous. But, as soon as it started Natalya caught her in the Sharpshooter, which was reversed into a Figure-Four Leglock attempt, which led to Natalya winning with a small package.
Many would likely roll their eyes at this result. If Natalya had been in the middle of a push or was soon fighting for the Divas Championship, this would have made sense. But, even if many did not agree with Natalya going over Charlotte before R Evolution, it would have been redeemed somewhat with a solid match. If this is what the Nature Girl has to look forward to when she makes it onto the main roster, then she can stay on NXT for as long as possible.
Yet, this wasn’t the only short Divas match on RAW this week, a phrase that will likely surprise nobody. After beating Paige and both Bella Twins to the Slammy Award for Diva of the Year, AJ Lee looked to build on that momentum in her match with Summer Rae. With her match for the Divas Championship against Nikki Bella at TLC likely in the forefront of her mind, she spent the majority of this match on the back foot.
Summer looked better than she has done in a while, but that is likely due to the length of the match and being able to throw AJ about the ring. Still, any improvement is better than nothing, and hopefully this is the beginning of an upturn for her. However, she was unlikely to get anything against the petite Diva tonight, as she was soon caught in the Black Widow for a submission defeat. As far as AJ as Diva of the Year goes, her status as a babyface in a sea of heels made her victory almost inevitable. Still, with the manner in which she burst onto the scene in 2014, it would have been great to see Paige get some recognition for her efforts.
Another week, another clip show for TNA as they await their move to Destination America. Still, you can find a few of their better Knockout matches in this 2014 compilation, with the debut of Havok and her classic encounters with Gail Kim. Hopefully, these will return with the rest of the TNA ladies in the near future, and I can finally start appraising their work again.
Lucha Underground enters only its second week in Divas Debrief, and they reward me with no female wrestling action at all on this edition. On a positive note, it does appear as though Sexy Star’s feud with Chavo Guerrero is far from over, as she announced that a wrestler is coming back to help her battle the legendary performer. What tricks does she have under her mask?
Finally, we arrive at the NXT segment, which always lifts my spirits, but this week in particular was such a highlight. On a show that was topped from head to toe with amazing matches, including Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship and Kevin Owens’ debut, it was a worry that the women’s match would be lost in the shuffle. But when it came to that match, few people would have expected the classic showing the combatants would produce.
NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte battled her former BFF, now nemesis Sasha Banks with the title on the line, and tore the house down. Seriously, this was impressive. From the outset, the pair aggressively went after each other, trading blows and chops, Banks constantly mocking and taunting her rival with her father’s ‘Woo!’ But, Charlotte would demonstrate her own charisma and power by constantly battling back when the Boss took the initiative.
It was full of highlights, including Banks hitting a suicide dive onto Charlotte, the champion reversing a figure-four headlock into an electric chair, and Charlotte landing on her feet from a top-rope moonsault attempt and turning it into a senton. The battle was back-and-forth, with the momentum trading constantly, and the fans responded with chants of ‘This is Awesome’ and ‘This is Wrestling’ in recognition of their efforts.
In the end, Charlotte reversed an attempted superplex, and returned with her Natural Selection finisher from the top rope to conclude a fantastic match. These two showed what the ladies of NXT can achieve if given the time and platform, and if this is a sign of the future, then roll on 2015. And even in defeat, Sasha Banks looked incredible as the heel in this match, as she continues to demonstrate that she is one of the most polished women’s wrestlers in America today.
SmackDown was the final stop on the WWE train towards TLC, and after AJ Lee dominated RAW with her Slammy win and victory over Summer Rae, it was up to Divas Champion Nikki Bella to respond. Accompanied once more by her faithful sister Brie for reasons still yet to be fully explained, she battled Alicia Fox, a diva that has proven consistently competent but has flipped between face and heel so much it is hard to give her any chance tonight.
And that proves to be the case, as despite showing some good athleticism and flexibility in her performance, Fox is no match for the power of Nikki. Nikki carries herself very well as a heel, taunting the crowd at every opportunity and tooting her own horn whilst throwing Fox around the ring. These powerful moves end up the Foxy one’s undoing, as she falls to a hard elbow to the face, followed by the Rack Attack to give the champion a much-needed victory.
After the match, Nikki and Brie celebrated with her championship, then deciding to use this as a chance to send a message to AJ Lee who had once again been on commentary. Lifting the fallen Fox for a second time and dropping her with another Rack Attack to add an exclamation point to her victory, Nikki revels in her performance before retreating to the back. The Divas Champion will be tested a great deal more thoroughly by AJ on Sunday, but will Brie once more tip the scales in her sister’s favor?
In other news, Naomi continued to be caught in between the acting advice afforded to her by the Miz and her husband Jimmy Uso. Whilst this has been built around adding fire to their upcoming Tag Team Title match, it is a good way to give her some more exposure on television, even if it is more as a prop device than anything else.
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!