On this edition, Naomi hopes her recent change in attitude pushes her towards her first Divas Championship reign, Bayley’s match with newcomer Dana Brooke attracts some unwanted attention, and Taryn Terrell builds on her shock heel turn with the Dollhouse by defending her Knockouts title against Brooke Tessmacher.
Nikki Bella vs Naomi (WWE Divas Championship)
Although not the match that was originally designated for Extreme Rules, Naomi was determined to take advantage of her new attitude and momentum to steal the Divas Championship away from Nikki Bella. Her swift heel turn included taking out Paige after she had been named the challenger, and introduced both a vicious nature and vastly different entrance for this title opportunity. Nikki, thrust into the role of babyface without any build, would have a significant trial on her hands to maintain her near six-month reign.
Early on, Naomi’s newfound intensity and desire to be taken seriously pushed her into the ascendancy. She toyed with Nikki in an attempt to get in her head, and shifted between a flagrant egomaniac and vicious snarl in her demeanor. However, the crowd did not buy into this in a big way, and I can’t entirely blame them for that. Both Bella Twins have been thrown into a babyface role after months of being the top heels, and nothing has been done to instill fan empathy towards them. They worked hard to get their attention, but it was mostly in vein.
This was an okay match, but will likely be forgotten for its quality in the very near future. There just was nothing particularly standout or memorable about the performances or story they created, yet was perfectly serviceable as a wrestling bout. Following a strong climax of traded signature maneuvers, Brie inserted herself into the action with a kick to Naomi’s head whilst the referee was distracted. One Rack Attack later and the Divas Championship remained securely attached to Nikki’s waist for another day.
Naomi vs Brie Bella
As a result of her interference in the championship encounter, Brie would be the one to tangle with an irate Naomi on RAW. Prior to locking up, Naomi would stick her nose into Brie’s business when she gave an interview about her husband Daniel Bryan’s medical condition. The defeated challenger last night stated bluntly that nobody cared about Brie or her husband, adding some more intensity to their match in a simple but effective manner.
In which is often the case, this heel role has allowed Naomi more creative freedom, and she fits the role of a heel like a glove. Brie to her credit was always good as a plucky underdog, a role that she never should have departed so soon in my opinion. The initial explosion of aggression due to Naomi’s backstage interjection started the match on the right foot, before Naomi asserted control with a crafty, confident beat down.
I enjoy that Naomi applies her moveset with more viciousness and an arrogant panache that really expands on her happy-go-lucky fan favorite. It makes for a more compelling encounter, as you are wondering what she is going to do next. Brie managed to evoke a greater positive reaction from the audience than Nikki did in the championship match, as she has always been the better babyface of the two. But, whilst the overall match was good, the finish kind of sullied it, due to being a quick small package out of nowhere to hand Naomi a victory.
Dana Brooke vs Bayley
Dana Brooke made a decent first impression in her initial NXT bow against Blue Pants a couple of weeks ago. But this is a significant step up in competition in the form of Bayley. The huggable diva was unable to become number one contender for Sasha Banks’ NXT Women’s Championship last week, and was desperate to bounce back with a victory. But, there would be no better way for the self-professed Total Diva to make a name for herself than a victory over one of the most established names in the division.
Brooke’s style is still pretty green and generic at the moment, but it certainly looks effective. I won’t begrudge a person who is still learning this early in their career, and her self-absorbed personality has plenty of upsides. Bayley’s popularity and reputation is already secure, and she did a good job of selling her opponent. It wasn’t the most incredible match of her career, but the performance certainly helped keep up Brooke’s early momentum.
At the climax, Bayley was in full control through splashing Brooke in the corner, and was setting up for a reverse elbow from the middle rope. But, she was stopped dead in her tracks by the sound of her entrance music, as Emma walked down the stage adorned in her shirt and headbands. The distraction of the Aussie taunting her saw Bayley caught by Brooke with the Samoan Driver, handing the newest Diva an impressive scalp. However, the real story is the feud between Bayley and Emma, which should prove a compelling side-feud in NXT’s women’s division.
Becky Lynch vs Sarah Dawson
However, the most prevalent story in the division at the moment is Becky Lynch’s pursuit of the NXT Women’s Championship. After winning a Triple Threat match last week against Charlotte and Bayley, she will be the next person to battle the Boss for the belt. Despite their previous alliance, the full-blooded Irishwoman would have no qualms of tearing Sasha Banks apart in order to earn her first title reign at Takeover: Unstoppable.
This warm-up match against independent wrestler Sarah Dawson was little more than an exhibition of Lynch’s aggression and torturous submissions. Besides a few pin attempts, Dawson provided little offense, and the rest was a showcase of the redhead beating down her opponent with relative ease. After working out of a schoolgirl roll-up, Lynch locked in a seated Fujiwara armbar, the pressure quickly becoming too much for Dawson as she submitted. An impressive victory, but she will need to work a lot harder to dethrone Banks on May 20.
Nikki Bella vs Cameron
Divas Champion Nikki Bella did not respond too kindly to Cameron talking trash about Brie Bella’s defeat and humiliation by Naomi. This led to a match between the pair on SmackDown, which could be a chance for Cameron to step up in the title picture. But, it was clear from the outset that Nikki was the general in the ring, tossing Cameron around with some basic mat wrestling. It is no longer worth constantly reminding people of her improvement as she is simply a strong wrestler.
However, a mistake handed Cameron the upper hand, as Nikki missed a springboard kick from the corner. The champion’s knee appeared to take the brunt of that damage, and Cameron did not hesitate to hurl insults and taunts in the direction of Nikki due to this. Although, this control was not to last long, as the champ fought back with clotheslines, followed by a connected kick from the corner.
Cameron survived that, but she made her biggest mistake by slapping Nikki hard across the face. By taking her time in celebrating that fine accomplishment, the powerful champion landed a forearm smash. That seemed to shut Cameron up for once, and led to the Rack Attack and a win for Nikki. A decent match, but again nothing really to get too excited about.
Taryn Terrell vs Brooke Tessmacher (TNA Knockouts Championship)
TNA’s Night of Knockouts last week was one of major revelations in that division, as Taryn Terrell shocked everyone in her title defense against Awesome Kong. The recent arrivals the Dollhouse revealed their allegiance to the Knockouts Champion, helping her defeat Kong after their own bizarre impact. This surprise heel turn led to the collective’s first outing as a trio on Impact, as Jade and Marti Belle accompanied Terrell for the challenge of Brooke Tessmacher, who won a Fatal Four-Way to earn a shot at the belt.
The early exchanges are dominated by Brooke, as she knocks the champion off her game with clotheslines, neckbreakers and aerial offense. However, now that she has her Dolls by her side, Terrell was able to gain the advantage when Marti distracted the referee, allowing Jade to trip her up. Terrell’s change in attitude was clear to witness, as she rubbed Brooke’s face into the canvass and slapped her around with a crazed look of wrath and arrogance. She took opportunities to celebrate her dominance of Brooke with the Dollhouse whenever possible.
Brooke’s reprieve came when Terrell missed a crossbody attempt from the top rope, giving her the chance to fire back with her fast-paced offense. A facebuster from the second rope earned a near-fall as the momentum was decisively swinging in the Texan’s favor. The Dollhouse looked to pull the champion out for safety, but only experienced a diving Brooke for their troubles. Yet, it was eventually the numbers game that caught up to the challenger, as another distraction allowed Jade to push her from the top rope, and Terrell finished her off with a Cutter.
The victory was followed by the signature of the Dollhouse, as Terrell dropped a jawbreaker in the mouth of the fallen Brooke as the trio celebrated her triumph. These were cut short though by the emergence of Gail Kim, who was both bemused and disappointed by the new attitude displayed by Terrell. This did not seem to faze the champion, who made it clear the Dollhouse had the numeric advantage over Kim. So, the former champ pulled a bombshell of her own, aligning with Awesome Kong, as they will pursue the quick demolition of the Dollhouse.
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!