On this edition, a WWE Diva makes a notable return to action, and demonstrates that family is all-important. Also, the NXT Women’s Championship match has its contract signed, The Dollhouse make their in-ring debut as a trio, and a Knockout makes an unexpected live return to TNA.
Nikki Bella vs Naomi
A significantly short segment for the Divas division on the latest episode of RAW. But, it is forgivable due to the impact it will likely have on its future. A match was originally scheduled between Divas Champion Nikki Bella and Naomi, who has been her chief rival of the past month. A victory for Naomi in this non-title match would have pushed her towards another title opportunity. However, she found an alternative means of getting everyone’s attention, with a little help from her family.
With both Nikki and Brie approaching the ring, they were assaulted from behind by Naomi and a returning Tamina Snuka. After eleven months out following a torn ACL, she returned in a big way, helping her cousin-in-law attack the Bella Twins. Following the initial strike, Naomi held up Nikki to suffer a superkick to the chin from Tamina. The daughter of Jimmy Snuka then returned the favor by hoisting Brie up to endure an enziguri from Naomi. This is a shift in the Divas division and very well executed. Expect this feud to keep their segments interesting until Paige returns.
Charlotte vs Emma
NXT gave a great deal more attention to their women than the main shows yet again, as it is very refreshing to see the spotlight shine on their excellent female athletes. This began with the opening contest, as Charlotte battled Emma. Emma has had a significant change in attitude since moving back to developmental, and that has concerned her strained relationship with Bayley. Last week she cost Bayley in her match against Dana Brooke, all in the name of building up her attitude.
Yet, Emma had to be on full alert against the former NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte. I’m very impressed with the parody of her former character she is presenting as a heel, but in the ring the Nature Girl is one of the best around. Emma gains an early advantage with a critical strike to the leg of Charlotte, and that becomes the focal point of her offense. Her callousness and fake smiles to the crowd are such a refreshing change from her stale babyface character, and her assault of Charlotte’s leg was intense, especially a half-crab that almost had her foot touching the back of the second generation diva’s head.
But Charlotte is resilient, even whilst carrying a damaged limb, and is able to return with a vengeance with her father’s patented chops to the chest. A neckbreaker followed by a Spear winds Emma. And, after breaking free of the Aussie’s jackknife cover, a Natural Selection wins it for Charlotte. However, it is the post-match happenings that really caught the eye, as Bayley entered the ring with a fallen Emma. At first, she looks to hug away her troubles, but that proves a ruse, as a Bayley-to-Belly flattens Emma, and Bayley has to be dragged away from her assault by Charlotte.
Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch Contract Signing
Later in the evening on NXT, the contract is signed for the Women’s Championship match coming up at Takeover: Unstoppable. These signings are usually pretty drab and predictable affairs, a point that Dean Ambrose made pretty apparent in SmackDown’s version. But, it was nice to see this amount of attention placed upon the match between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.
Challenger Lynch talks at length about her rise to the top and the challenges that confronted her, and that her passion has been built up by every mistake she has made. It is clear the Irishwoman is placing a lot of significance on this match which is great to see. Banks, being the Boss that she is, remained silent, and pulled out her own personal ink stamp rather than sign the contract herself with a pen. The crowd loved this moment, and it was really original.
Then the traditional brawl commenced, as Banks threw the contract into the face of Lynch and used that distraction to beat her down. These former allies clearly have no love for each other anymore, as the image of Banks standing atop of Lynch’s head on the table whilst hoisting her championship was an amazing visual. Although, it wasn’t the final one, as Lynch battled back, locking in her Fujiwara armbar to make Banks tap out. Will this be the scene come Takeover?
Naomi vs Emma
Emma maintains her double life of her new, aggressive heel on NXT and a kooky babyface on the main shows, as she battles Naomi. Now with Tamina Snuka by her side, Naomi has the full potential to become a major heel in WWE. Whilst I feel Tamina is becoming slightly typecast as a bodyguard after her time with AJ Lee, Naomi is the person the company are pushing at the moment, and rightly so as her new attitude is what I’d consider Kanye West would behave if he was a wrestler.
Naomi’s aggression is brought out from the outset, grabbing Emma by her hair and making the Aussie very acquainted with every turnbuckle. Exchanging words with the referee though allows Emma to respond briefly, although this is quickly curtailed. Naomi looks so comfortable in her new character, with little elements of showing off like nipping-up after a neckbreaker really generating some strong heat.
Emma fights back again with a flurry of pin attempts, with three in a row not enough to eke out a shock win. On the third cover Naomi uses her core strength and flexibility to bend out of it, and soon meets an onrushing Emma with the Rear View to earn the win. But, Naomi’s statement isn’t over, calling her muscle Tamina into the ring. After stomping down their beaten rival, a superkick exclamation mark by Tamina seals a dominant performance for Naomi’s new partnership.
The Dollhouse vs Awesome Kong & Gail Kim
The emergence of the Dollhouse on the scene in TNA has dramatically shifted the environment in the Knockouts division. As indicated in last week’s title match against Brooke, Taryn Terrell now has intimidating support to keep her championship around her waist. Their trio believe fully that they are the dominant force in the company, but their alliance has drawn the ire of a pair of unlikely allies. Gail Kim and Awesome Kong have been deadly rivals for most of their TNA tenures, but have united in a bid to decimate the Dollhouse before they can really begin.
Kim made an emphatic start against Jade, but immediately tensions in her team were evident when Kong tagged herself into the match. Kim quickly returns the favor, causing the pair to square up and tease a brawl of their own. Yet, when they both eye the Dollhouse members, their differences are cast aside as they team up against Jade and Marti Belle. Terrell meanwhile remains glued to the apron, only getting involved with a cheap shot to the back of Kim that hands her side the advantage.
The crazed expressions and mannerisms of all the Dollhouse are really something to behold, as their unique aggression isolates Kim. The former Knockout’s Champion breaks out an attempt at victory with an Octopus Stretch, but again Terrell makes a rare move into the ring to break it up. However, when Marti attempts a similar move on Kong, she gets tossed away into the path of a Kim clothesline. This allowed the tag to be made to Kong, the giant flooring Terrell and setting her up for an Implant Buster.
The interference of Jade and Marti Belle curtailed Kong’s wrath, as Kim re-entered the fray with a missile dropkick on Terrell. Yet, in spite of an Implant Buster sending Jade out, the champ was able to capitalize on an attempted Eat De-Feet on Marti to roll-up Kim for a Dollhouse victory. Nevertheless, they weren’t celebrating long, as Kim and Kong took out their frustrations by destroying Marti after the match, showing this rivalry is far from over.
Velvet Sky Returns
Angelina Love made her way to the ring, and talked about how fans had been bugging her all week with questions about the BroMans breaking up or the Dollhouse. Love said that those things did not register with her, and that she was there to talk about herself and her accomplishments. Her preening was cut short though by the presence of an old friend. Velvet Sky was stood in the audience, her first appearance in TNA since she was “fired” following a Feast of Fired match. And her look had dramatically altered, with denim jacket, tattoos and bold, colored streaks in her hair.
Love discussed how the look was quite daring, and seemed very enthusiastic to the idea of reforming the Beautiful People. She hugged her tightly, but Sky just stared her down emotionlessly. This angered Love, who retracted and said that without her, Sky was nothing. This prompted the returning Knockout to spear her former partner to the canvas, and then screaming wildly as she choked Love with her own hair. This is a new, aggressive Velvet Sky, and a feud with Love should prove an intriguing clash with a lot of history.
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!