This edition is the build up to WWE Fast Lane, as Paige continues to build momentum in her pursuit of the Divas Championship of Nikki Bella. Also, Sasha Banks competes in her first match as NXT Women’s Champion, the ladies of Lucha Underground give the men a run for their money, and Taryn Terrell defends her Knockout’s Championship against Angelina Love.
Paige vs Summer Rae
It was a case of schoolgirl pranks played in front of a live audience on RAW, as the Bella Twins played some mind games with Paige before the Divas Championship match at Fast Lane. Prior to Paige’s match with Summer Rae, Nikki and Brie stole her ring attire from the Divas locker room, leaving the Brit in nothing but a towel. Fortunately, some wandering Rose Buds were in the vicinity, allowing Paige to liberate one of their outfits, meaning she battled Summer wearing a bright pink dress.
Summer seemed to find the whole situation hilarious, but this only served to spur Paige on with an aggressive assault of the blonde dancer. It was an interesting site to see the equivalent of a goth Alice in Wonderland relentlessly thrusting knees into the chest of Summer. It actually turned into a decent match, despite its typical brevity, with Paige mainly dominant as Summer attempted to exploit a mistake. However, I have become somewhat disillusioned of the standard pattern of Summer matches, which involves a roundhouse kick near-fall, then a submission hold before losing. This occurred here, as Paige locked her in the PTO to force the tap out.
After the match, the Bella Twins came out to the stage, likely looking to mock Paige for her silly attire that they caused her to wear. But, Paige immediately cuts them off, stating that she doesn’t need an outfit to make her look good. And at Fast Lane, she will be looking even better when she adds the Divas Championship to her apparel. Has the Bellas’ attempts at mind games only served to strengthen Paige’s resolve?
Jimmy Uso & Naomi vs Tyson Kidd & Natalya
Later in the evening, a mixed tag team match took to the stage, as husbands and wives would battle each other in the build up to Fast Lane’s Tag Team Championship match. On one side was the combination of Jimmy Uso and Naomi, and facing them were Tyson Kidd and Natalya. Of course, one couple seems to be on the better page more often than not, but so far Kidd and his partner Cesaro have gotten the better of the Usos on most occasions.
However, in this match, Kidd seemed to have no interest in getting involved with his opponent at Fast Lane, as he immediately tagged out of the action, leaving Naomi and Natalya to perform the brunt of the work in this match. Of course, this isn’t too much of a problem, as they are two of the most athletically gifted performers on the divas division. They perform some solid chain wrestling, with Kidd refusing to get involved in the match for long, until Natalya takes control by dropping Naomi on her backside, running up her back and scoring a dropkick. However, a reversal of the Sharpshooter leads to trading pin attempts, eventually handing Naomi a victory, much to the chagrin of Cesaro and the absent Kidd.
Ivelisse vs Angelico
One of the unique selling points of Lucha Underground is the manner in which the women on the roster are placed on an equal footing with the men. This episode demonstrated that fact explicitly, as two of the company’s best female athletes took on male counterparts and more than held their own. Firstly, Ivelisse decided that she would take the place of her boyfriend Son of Havoc in his scheduled match against Angelico. It seemed her opponent did not take this change of schedule seriously early in the bout, but that would come to bite him in the end.
After attempts to get some romance going with Ivelisse, her range of kicks and strikes eventually begin to take an effect on Angelico, knocking him back on a number of occasions. An excellent spot was her walking the top rope, springing off into a hurricanrana, showing that she should only be taken lightly at your own peril. Angelico responds by throwing her in the air, sending Ivelisse crashing face first on the mat. With the referee checking on her, Son of Havoc got involved with a kick to the face, sending Angelico falling over Ivelisse, as she capitalizes with a pinfall victory.
Sexy Star, Pimpinela & Mascarita vs The Crew
In the second match involving a female participant, this was a six-person street fight, where weapons were not only allowed but encouraged. Facing the Crew was a ‘unique’ trio of competitors, Sexy Star, Pimpinela and Mascarita. However, this did not remain a six-person affair for long, as the Crew systematically picked apart each of their opponents. Pimpinela is first to be ruled inactive, soon followed by Mascarita. This leaves Sexy Star, already the victim of a significant beating, alone in a 3-on-1 situation.
Sexy did not hold back despite the difficult odds, battling with all three members of the crew and taking them down a few times for good measure. This included a tornado DDT off the apron to the floor on Bael, and a hurricanrana from the top rope on Mr. Cisco. There were a few botched spots within this battle though which cannot be ignored, including a misapplied neckbreaker. Eventually, Sexy is the victim of a three-man mugging, bleeding from the mouth as she desperately tries to hold on. Yet, the presence of Big Ryck in the crowd briefly distracts the Crew long enough for Sexy to pull off the shock victory with a roll-up.
Sasha Banks vs ‘Blue Pants’ Leva Bates
Fresh off an amazing four-way match at Takeover: Rival, there is a new Boss on top of the division. Sasha Banks finally captured the NXT Women’s Championship after months of attempts, providing some excellent entertainment in matches with Charlotte over the belt. With the additional opponents of Bayley and Becky Lynch to contend with, Banks was able to secure the victory and become only the title’s third ever holder. On this edition of NXT, she competed in her first match as champion, against the cult figure of Blue Pants, known on the independent scene as Leva Bates.
This match wasn’t exactly much to shout about, due to it simply being a squash for the impressive Banks. After offering Bates the easy way out and being caught out by some early pin attempts, Banks quickly assumed control, dropping both knees across her prone opponent in the corner. However, she did not take the opportunity to pin her there, lifting her head off the canvas during the cover. Locking Bates in the Bank Statement crossface, it wasn’t long before she was tapping out and Banks was able to stand victorious with her championship belt.
Paige vs Cameron
Paige took another opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum in her pursuit of the Divas Championship on SmackDown when she battled Cameron. The Bella Twins were sitting on commentary, which has never exactly been their forte, to witness Sunday’s opponent first-hand take on the self-obsessed diva. Cameron began in her typically brash fashion, shoving Paige in the face. But she quickly realized that the last thing you’d want to do is anger the Anti-Diva.
Paige as per usual is the dominant force in this match, taking control of the majority of the offense with punches and knees to the chest. However, when a momentary glance is made towards the Bella sisters at ringside, Cameron capitalizes with a DDT. Credit where it is due, she has shown improvement in the ring recently, although compared to a match with Naomi from a few months back it could barely get anyway worse. And as I criticized Summer Rae for the standard pattern of her matches recently, I have the same problem with Paige also, whose body of matches for the past month has been three clotheslines, running dropkick, straight kick to the face, and PTO. Paige scores the expected victory.
Taryn Terrell vs Angelina Love (TNA Knockout’s Championship)
Taryn Terrell has been nothing short of a fighting champion since capturing her first Knockout’s Championship, defending it often and successfully. This week though she would be battling the most decorated champion in TNA’s history in Angelina Love. Flanked by her following of the Bromans, Love would be confident of winning the belt for a seventh time. And she made these intentions clear early on, attacking Terrell before the bell, knocking her over the top rope onto the floor.
This led to a Samoan drop by Love on Terrell, dropping the champion hard onto the floor. But, it was always going to take more than that to defeat the gutsy champ, as Terrell battles back with her quick, high-risk offense. I have been extremely impressed with her run as champion, as she has demonstrated a lot of skill, and whatever she lacks in technique she more than makes up for with a desire to push the envelope. Love could not put her away with the Botox Injection, and Terrell responded with her jumping cutter to retain her title. A decent match, but pretty short.
After retaining her title, Terrell was not given much opportunity to celebrate as she was confronted with Awesome Kong. The giant amazon stared down the blonde bombshell, who showed no fear of this giant threat in front of her. Guts only got her so far on this occasion, as after exchanging blows, Kong was able to knock her down and connect with the Implant Buster. As she stood clutching the title, Gail Kim made her way out to confront Kong. These two’s storied history came to the forefront as they respectfully stared each other down, Kong eventually exited, leaving a potential renewal of their rivalry in the offing.
Also, although not competing in a match herself, this episode of Impact Wrestling featured the return of Mickie James, a former Knockout’s Champion. However, her reasons for being on the show did not concern the title, but to address Bram’s actions towards her real life fiancée and father of her son, Magnus. She stated that Bram knows he isn’t anything close to the man Magnus is, and slapped him hard across the face when the unstable Brit attempted to intimidate her. Referees came out to contain Bram and prevent anything regrettable from happening, but will James return to confront him again for what he did to Magnus?
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!