Each week, DIVAS DEBRIEF runs down the events that transpired in women's professional wrestling from the past couple of days. From the WWE Divas to the TNA Knockouts, the NXT newcomers and the upstarts at Lucha Underground, Smark Out Moment attempts to keep you up to date on all things going on with the ladies of the ring.
This week, Natalya continues to have issues with her husband’s interactions with the Bella Twins, Charlotte and Sasha Banks take their thrilling rivalry to Main Event, and NXT witnesses the exciting return of Blue Pants.
RAW witnessed the continuation of Natalya’s feud with the Bella Twins, when she took on Divas Champion Nikki in singles action. Accompanied by her rather selfish husband Tyson Kidd and Brie Bella in the corner of her sister, the Queen of Harts made her intentions for the title clear last week. Hoisting the Butterfly Belt aloft after a post-match attack on Nikki, a victory in this non-title match would undoubtedly place her in pole position for a championship opportunity in the near future.
However, if such a championship match was as short as this affair, it likely wouldn’t send many of the fans home happy. It started off well with both divas taking each other down with fists flying, their animosity clearly demonstrated. Natalya sent Nikki to the ring apron with her discus clothesline, and in a carbon copy of last week, the Canadian kicked the champ to ringside. Except this time she didn’t fall to the floor, but found the waiting arms of Tyson Kidd. Kidd placed her down gently as Nikki expressed her gratitude, but their discussion didn’t last long as an irate Natalya landed a baseball slide.
A jealousy-fuelled Natalya threw Nikki back into the ring, but her attention was once again diverted to ringside, as Brie confronted Kidd for his actions. This allowed Nikki to connect with a hard forearm, followed by the Rack Attack to earn a quick victory. Hopefully when these two meet with the title on the line (as that seems to be the most logical direction), it will be a slightly longer contest, as Nikki has grown immensely as a performer and Natalya is one of the most technically gifted wrestlers among the divas.
Later on in the evening, Naomi played a key role in the Tag Team Championship match between the Usos and the Miz and Damien Mizdow. In a backstage segment she appeared to have grown closer to the A-Lister, thanking him for his help in spreading her name around. But, this proved a clever ploy to throw the champion off his game, as she confirmed her allegiance to her husband and brother-in-law when they captured the titles. The Miz’s romantic overtures failed to reap any rewards and Naomi proved where her loyalties lie.
The fans that tuned into Main Event were lucky to witness a glimpse into the bright future of the Divas division, as NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte took on long-term rival Sasha Banks. These two ladies have gotten a huge number of people talking about the potential they have shown down in NXT, with many pinning their hopes on both rescuing the women’s division from the obscurity it has endured in the past few years. No longer satisfied with being the traditional bathroom break filler match, both of these athletes are determined to have fans take them seriously, and it shows.
Although this match was some way shorter than the epics that they performed in the prior month, it was still a satisfying taste of things to come. The crowd seemed to be particularly fond of Charlotte, but as the match wore on also got behind Banks, demonstrating that the fans are definitely excited by what they are going to bring to the division. Charlotte’s chops looked good and drew a reaction comparable to her father Ric Flair. Banks responded with her catty attitude and physical approach, battering Charlotte with strikes at every opportunity, openly taunting the audience and her opponent in the process.
The action sped up after Charlotte escaped a vicious submission hold by Banks, connecting with her hangman’s neckbreaker, followed by the somersault senton. Banks returned the favor with a neckbreaker of her own, but got carried away with her trash-talking, as her wheelbarrow was countered into a sit-out facebuster. Left on her knees clutching her damaged face, Charlotte connected with Natural Selection to score her third consecutive victory over her arch-rival. Will Banks ever be able to conquer the Nature Girl with the strap on the line? All I can say is I’d happily watch these two battle a hundred times to see whether it happens.
The end of this week in women’s wrestling comes from NXT, as a match and confrontation took place down at Full Sail University. Up first was a match for the Princess of Staten Island, Carmella. Accompanied by her cohorts Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, her unbeaten start to her career was put to the test once more against the popular ‘Blue Pants’ Leva Bates. The crowd have really gotten behind the independent star, who has gotten over due to her Cassady-sung entrance theme and her odd attire. They cheered her name from the moment she entered the arena to the end of this segment.
The match was unsurprisingly brief, with Carmella getting in the vast majority of offense. It was limited to some hair pulling and forearms, but was an exposition of her adeptness as a heel rather than the goofy faces Amore and Cassady are. She is certainly strong on the microphone and has shown some in-ring potential in her few matches. In the end, some undesired cheerleading from Amore on the apron distracted Carmella enough to open her up for a small package from Blue Pants, earning her a victory that raised the roof off the arena. Carmella was left to wallow in her first defeat, desperate to get her claws into Amore for his part in the loss.
Later in the evening, Charlotte was out in the ring to conduct an interview with Devin Taylor. The crowd, still delighted from the earlier events began chanting ‘Blue Pants’, only to be shut down by the Women’s Champion. Charlotte can certainly carry being a face or a heel, but her shutting up of the audience was taken in good humor. She goes onto say that NXT was her home and the center for the revolution of women’s wrestling, as if it really needed to be said. This was shortly interrupted by Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch surrounding the ring and the champion. But, before they could overrun Charlotte, Natalya stepped out to protect her fellow second-generation diva, hugging her in the ring as the hyenas scarper.
The only question is whether this was a purely altruistic act by Natalya, or if she will expect something in return? After being the one who initially lost the championship match to Charlotte that began her illustrious reign, could the Canadian be the ideal opponent to take it from the Nature Girl?
*Neither Impact Wrestling nor Lucha Underground aired this week, and there was no Divas match on SmackDown.
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!