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 including some other companies as well, Smark Out Moment attempts to keep you up to date on all things going on with the ladies of the ring.
This edition features Paige looking to build momentum in her pursuit of Nikki Bella’s Divas Championship, the much-anticipated collision between Awesome Kong and Havok at Lockdown, and Bayley and Becky Lynch prepare for Takeover: Rival with a match opposite one another.
Paige vs. Alicia Fox
The first Divas match of the week focused in on the hunt for the Divas Championship, as number one contender Paige looked to build momentum at the expense of fellow Total Diva Alicia Fox. On the past episode of SmackDown, Paige endured a backstage beating by the Bella Twins after being announced as Nikki’s next challenger. With the malicious twins sitting on commentary (sigh) would they look to get involved to inflict some more damage on the British diva?
In a typically short amount of time afforded to the two ladies, they looked to get a fair amount done. Both quickly fell to the outside, with Paige taking the opportunity to scream at the Bellas. This allowed Fox to gain the upperhand when action returned to the ring, exploiting her powerful kicks and the flexibility of her Northern Lights Suplex to consistently keep Paige down. However, when Fox connected with her tilt-the-world backbreaker, Paige was able to roll through her pin attempt and score the win.
Her celebrations would not last long though, as the taunting of the Bellas outside distracted Paige enough to give Fox the opportunity to assault her opponent from behind. She placed Paige in a painful submission hold, yanking on her arms and both legs in her back. This left the pale Brit prone to the Bellas, who slathered Paige’s abs with tanning spray, a reference that she could use some more color. Of course, Paige will be concentrating on adding some color to her waist very soon in the form of the pink Divas Championship.
Carmella vs. Emma
Carmella, the Queen of Staten Island, certainly has the charisma on the microphone of both her buddies Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, but her in-ring talents currently tend more towards the former. Her undefeated start to her time in NXT came to a shuddering halt a few weeks ago, as the popular Blue Pants secured a shock victory. And this week she takes on a lady that made her name in the developmental territory, the bubbly Aussie Emma, who will likely be relishing a chance to return to Full Sail after a dreadfully uneventful time on the main roster.
This match however does very little to reaffirm that Carmella has what it takes between the ropes, or that Emma is not heading towards the exit door within the next year. Carmella does have a great deal of charisma, and that comes across in spades during her performances. She has that aspect down, but in terms of actual moves and ability to construct a compelling match, she has a great deal to learn. Emma wasn’t at her best either, although they weren’t exactly afforded a great deal of time to perform. Following the Dil-Emma, the Aussie got caught in Carmella’s Yoga inspired headscissors, giving her the submission victory.
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
With NXT Takeover: Rival less than a week away, one of the biggest matches of the night is bound to be the Fatal Four-Way match for the NXT Women’s Championship. The champion Charlotte faces the toughest test of her reign so far, as she faces three hungry and determined challengers in the form of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley. The latter two square off tonight in their own personal feud, that stretches back to when Lynch turned on Bayley to side with Banks. Which of these two has built momentum heading into the big event next Wednesday?
In a decent showing for both ladies, the most impressive aspect being the concentration on Bayley’s leg injury, and that carrying the burden of the story in the ring. Lynch’s assault was relentless and not repetitive, as she rapidly attacked Bayley’s leg with relentless fervor. But, another excellent aspect was Bayley calling upon her newfound aggression to turn the tables on Lynch, and focused her own revenge attack on Lynch’s leg. It may not be as flashy as flying headscissors or fifty flips from the top rope, but as far as in-ring storytelling goes it was a good path to venture into.
At the conclusion, Banks made her way out to ringside, and surprisingly threw Lynch back into the ring when she was recuperating on the outside. This led directly to Bayley connecting with the Belly-to-Bayley for the win. Banks didn’t seem to be too displeased with the result, and got in the face of her supposed BAE ally, only to be shoved on her backside by the Irishwoman. Charlotte came out at the end of the segment to stare down her three rivals, the NXT creative team having done an excellent job building the animosity between all the participants.
Brie Bella vs. Summer Rae
Whilst Nikki Bella decides to rest up in preparation of her title defense at Fast Lane, it is left to her sister Brie to carry the load in the ring. On Main Event, she would have to contend with the long legs of Summer Rae. The dancer might not be seen as the greatest threat when it comes to in-ring competition, she could still spring a surprise if underestimated.
Again, although by no means a classic, this match had a few things going for it in terms of quality. Brie Bella has become a very polished competitor, and carried the bulk of this match. It was the little things that impressed me most, like Brie kicking the legs away from Summer and concentrating her assault on that body part. Brie was acting like a ring general, and showing a great deal of confidence in every move she applied. The main issue was that Summer was not given a great deal of opportunity to get into the action, one attempt at a roundhouse kick blocked and Brie scored the easy win with the Bella Buster.
Paige vs. Alicia Fox
In a rematch of RAW’s encounter, Paige once again battles Alicia Fox, this time with the Bellas lurking backstage rather than around ringside. The British diva will likely still be stinging from Fox’s part in her humiliating tanning session on Monday night, and this is clearly the case as she wastes little time jumping on the her opponent and raining down punches. A straight kick to the face and Paige continues her assault with more vicious punches and forearms, until Fox is able to battle back with a backbreaker.
Following this was a dangerous looking spot where Fox essentially sideslammed Paige through the middle ropes onto the ringside floor, so kudos to Paige for withstanding such a hard fall. Fox maintained control with a nice Northern Lights suplex. But, Paige brings back the fight with a trifecta of clotheslines to Fox, and then another straight kick to the face. This leaves Fox prone on the mat, and Paige locks in her devastating PTO submission hold, and it isn’t long before she is forced to tap out to her former BFF. Paige maintains her winning run heading into Fast Lane, and is looking very capable of ending Nikki Bella’s reign atop the divas division.
Summer Rae & Cameron vs. Emma & Naomi
Superstars has surprised me in recent weeks with a few decent divas matches to its credit, even the ones involving Cameron. This slightly less popular platform seems to have given her the opportunity to develop her skills without the critical eye of the majority of fans watching RAW or SmackDown. In the early going she trades slaps with former Funkydactyl partner Naomi, before getting up close and personal with her opponents booty. Eventually, Cameron is able to regain command by hanging Naomi across the top rope, making tags to Summer Rae to keep the athletic Naomi grounded.
One very positive aspect was the crowd chanting to get Emma into the match, showing the popularity of the kooky Aussie has not waned with her lack of appearances on the main shows. But Naomi remains under pressure from Summer and Cameron, the latter connecting with a splash in the corner. But, Naomi uses her flexible legs to battle her opponent away, making a much-needed and popular tag to Emma. She locks in the Dil-Emma to Summer, followed by a running kick to the face, only for Cameron to make the save. Emma battles back against their attempted double-team, Naomi and Cameron knocking themselves down at ringside. Emma ascended the second turnbuckle, only to be thrown shoulder first onto the top rope, and one spin kick later she was defeated by Summer and Cameron, a rare victory for the pair in a solid match.
Awesome Kong vs. Havok
A match that has been building rapidly ever since the return of the monstrous Awesome Kong to TNA, this Knockouts Match might as well be considered a clash of the titans. Havok has run roughshod over the Knockouts division since her debut last year, quickly claiming the championship and decimating any opponent in her path. Although she would lose the gold in a Triple Threat match to Taryn Terrell, she has been the dominant force since her arrival. That was until a month ago, when the most dominant Knockout in the company’s history made her return, and Kong placed Havok in her sights.
Although the clash was set to take place inside the confines of the Lockdown steel cage, both huge ladies took the action initially to the ramp. This allowed Havok to gain initial control, smashing Kong into the outside of the cage around ringside and into the steel steps. She then demonstrates her immense strength by hoisting the massive Kong into a bearhug, but is thrown away by the Amazing one for her troubles. Action then shifts to the ring, and after butting heads in the center, the fists are flying and Havok knocks Kong down to the canvas with a huge boot.
After Kong kicks out of a pin attempt following a leg drop, she and Havok trade attempts at chokeslams on their rival. Kong then attempts her Implant Buster, but Havok slams her back into the turnbuckle. This pressure doesn’t last long, as Havok charges towards her opponent, yet only connects head first with the steel surroundings. Havok connects with a Harlot Slayer, but Kong is straight back to her feet with a chokeslam of her own. Kong ascends the turnbuckle, only to be halted by Havok who stands on the top rope and lands kicks to the head, until Kong blocks and sends her flying with one armed powerbomb. A huge splash from the second rope later, and Kong makes a winning return to Impact Wrestling after a very physical encounter.
Brooke Tessmacher vs. Robbie E
In a slightly more light-hearted but personal affair, Brooke Tessmacher defeated her ex-boyfriend Robbie E in an Amazing Race. After a few obstacles including scaling the cage and escaping the confines, Brooke was clearly in front. But, Robbie pushed her off the ramp in petty fashion, and then attempted to pose for a selfie in victory. However, Brooke took a baseball bat to his nether regions, likely the closest Robbie will ever get with Brooke ever again, and knocked him down to secure her victory that won’t live long in the memory, but was fun while it lasted.
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!