On this edition, the WWE Divas revolution continues to take shape, with the gang warfare between the three trios across all their programming this week. This includes a triple threat match at WWE Battleground, as Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Brie Bella fight to show who the dominant unit is. Over on NXT, two returns take place, with Eva Marie restarting her wrestling career and Bayley looking to takeover, whilst Taryn Terrell his chasing back the Knockout’s Championship on Impact Wrestling.
More Members For Team Bella?
With the Divas Revolution in full effect and gang warfare established between three trios of women, Team Bella have begun to take an interest in recruiting more of the locker room to their cause. A series of tweets over the past week have been directed towards Divas from both the main roster and NXT over joining their team against Team BAD and the Divas of Tomorrow. These include Bayley, Natalya and Emma, and creates more intrigue as to how widespread this revolution will grip the Divas division.
Who saw our victory on #SmackDown last night?! @NatbyNature u want 2 rock a red top w/the words #TeamBella on it?!?! pic.twitter.com/I1eajT7Ysr— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) July 24, 2015
Sunny Bashes Latest Main Roster DivasHey @EmmaWWE Wanna catch a flight 2 LA & join #TeamBella tonight?! 😊🙏👯 Have a nice red shirt waiting for you! #WWELA pic.twitter.com/tFdGNlsVeR— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) July 25, 2015
On a less positive note, WWE Hall of Famer and former Diva Sunny, real name Tammy Sytch, has taken to Facebook to criticize the arrival of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch to the main roster. Sunny stated that all three ladies were unattractive, and that they were not entertaining in the ring like everyone thinks they are. She supplemented these claims by stating that true Divas don’t wrestle, and should instead leave that to the men, and praised Lana for sticking to that valet role.
In a busier news week, I probably wouldn’t have given any credence to these ramblings of a talentless, attention-seeking has-been that sells sexual favors over Skype. It’s just a signal to continue to support this revolution and improvement of women’s wrestling, as Charlotte, Banks and Lynch among numerous others are making the Divas exciting and inspirational.
Total Divas Recap
This latest episode of Total Divas was once again utterly dominated by Eva Marie and the heat she has with the rest of the Divas over WrestleMania weekend. In a discussion with Nikki Bella, Eva outright said that she couldn’t wait to take the Divas Championship from her so she could instill a more welcoming environment in the locker room, something she felt was lacking. Of course, conflict in reality television is to be expected so it’s hard to take this seriously. Nevertheless, it seemed to rock Nikki significantly before her tag match on the Grandest Stage.
On the remainder of the show, Paige was a nervous wreck before stepping out for her first ever WrestleMania match, Natalya is given the honor of inducting former Women’s Champion Alundra Blayze into the Hall of Fame, and Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan find out that they are fertile enough to move forward with plans to have children.
Charlotte vs Brie Bella vs Sasha Banks
In an unannounced match at WWE Battleground, the Divas Revolution kicked off in style and showed this will not be just a flash in the pan. Following the brawl on last week’s RAW that electrified the WWE fans, three representatives from the warring teams were given the chance to build on this in a triple threat bout. It would be Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Brie Bella, and they certainly didn’t buckle under the spotlight placed on them.
There were high spots, including both Banks and Charlotte flying through the ropes onto all the Divas at ringside. Banks was brash and aggressive in her maneuvers, and Charlotte was excellent at playing off the crowd emotions and hitting big moves at the right time. Brie, who could have been lost in the shuffle of the new Divas, performed exceptionally well to keep up with them also, demonstrating her excellent improvement between the ropes in recent years. It wasn’t the greatest match I’ve seen featuring any of these three, but it still was unquestionably one of the night’s better encounters, which is a huge positive step in the right direction.
Charlotte secured the victory by forcing Brie to tap out, which was the ideal conclusion to the contest. The Nature Girl is probably going to be pushed the hardest at first due to her family lineage as well as her excellent capabilities. And Brie is established enough to take the loss and not be hurt, and if Team Bella had won it could have lessened the impact of the revolution the other teams are trying to push forward. Overall, great match, correct finish.
Charlotte vs Brie Bella
RAW maintained this enhancement of the Divas lot in WWE with two matches on the prime time show, another situation that would be considered ridiculous a few months ago when they were rarely given more than five minutes overall. In a rematch from Battleground, Brie Bella would be looking to get revenge on Charlotte forcing her to submit on the PPV. I have always been high on Brie’s wrestling acumen, and this would prove to be another example of that in a very good encounter.
Brie was in control early on, after Charlotte missed a slingshot dive over the top rope on her opponent. The additions to her move-set in homage to her husband Daniel Bryan have blended well, and they suit her style. She’s very technically sound and fluid, which paired well with Charlotte in this clash. As for the genetically superior Diva, her uncanny strength and size allowed her to manhandle Brie at a moment’s notice, which is a characteristic not all the current roster could live up to.
I was a little disappointed with the ending, as the distraction from Nikki and Brie then completely failing to capitalize made Team Bella look even weaker. It is fine for them to lose to show the revolution has momentum, but they shouldn’t be overlooked entirely. Charlotte wins the same way as on Sunday night, locking in the Figure-Eight to force Brie’s submission. One other facet to take away is that Brie is clearly a natural babyface obligated to work as a heel due to her sister, as the pops she gets during matches are noticeable to say the least.
Sasha Banks & Naomi vs Paige & Becky Lynch
The second clash saw Team BAD attempt to get in on the action, as Sasha Banks and Naomi paired up to battle Paige and Becky Lynch. This was the Irishwoman’s debut, and she was given plenty of opportunity to impress. However, this overall contest was slightly marred throughout, for as much as I’m pleased about their in-ring improvement, the Bella Twins on commentary just put me off immediately and make me struggle to enjoy the match itself.
Amidst all the action, seeing Paige in the same ring as Sasha Banks was something I’d been looking forward to for a while. It seemed the perfect way to renew and freshen up the Brit, who seemed to be going through the motions in previous bouts, but was definitely stepping up her game to keep on par with the fresh talent. Naomi too was emphatic, showing off both her aggression and athleticism to assume control against Lynch. It seems the introduction of the NXT athletes has encouraged the established Divas division to boost their own performances, which is a great thing going forward.
All four were given plenty of time to perform, and Lynch really got the crowd invested as she desperately sought the hot tag from Paige. When that tag did come, Paige cleaned house, explosively dismantling Naomi before setting her in position for the PTO. Banks interrupted however, and a brief distraction from Tamina led to the Anti-Diva to get dropped onto the ropes. Banks entered the fray, and forced Paige to tap out to the Bank Statement, in a sign of a changing of the guard at the top of the Divas pecking order.
Eva Marie vs Cassie
Not to be outdone by RAW, NXT produced two women’s matches of their own. With three of their most talented female performers being swiftly promoted to the main roster, now is the opportunity for some new young stars to get noticed and capture the attention of the fans. One who does already have attention, if not for all of the right reasons, is Eva Marie. She made her return to wrestling on NXT in her bid to prove she can be a true wrestler, after years of criticism for her performances since her debut in WWE.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe Eva’s first match back against Cassie will convince too many people of this. She looked great, the red robe really suited her, and many in the crowd got behind her in support. However, after seeing some of her training sessions with Brian Kendrick, I expected a little more. Eva hit a nice suplex and her selling has improved, and I didn’t go into this looking for moonsaults and hurricanranas.
Nevertheless, some of her maneuvers looked clumsy and mundane, especially a splash in the corner which looked completely ineffective. The match wasn’t great, and that certainly doesn’t fall entirely on Eva, as Cassie also didn’t set the world on fire with her performance. Her kicks, though unique, often were misplaced and appeared weak. In the end, this was a battle between two athletes still learning the ropes and who’ll hopefully improve over time, but Eva’s victory after adopting Sliced Bread (which she calls Sliced Red) was a nice touch.
Bayley vs Emma
From two women still honing their craft, the second women’s contest of the night featured two athletes with plenty of experience and character. Both Bayley and Emma are two of my favorite all-around Divas in WWE today. Emma’s shift to a condescending egomaniac has done wonders for her character, and has made her interesting again. As for Bayley, whilst she isn’t as technically gifted in the ring as the likes of Charlotte and Sasha Banks, she has the perfect entrance, look and personality of a babyface, and I’m very happy to see her competing again.
Unsurprisingly, this was a very successful battle between both ladies, and definitely a contender for match of the week. Bayley has introduced more intensity into her in-ring style in recent months, making her a threat beyond her happy-go-lucky personality outside of it. This means she can get fierce without losing her loveable charm, whilst Emma continues to play the dastardly heel to perfection. She targeted Bayley’s hand, still taped up following the injury she suffered a few months back, contorting in various stretches to weaken her rival.
Bayley’s comeback from this was fluid and got the fans on their feet, chanting her name as she connected with a flying reverse elbow. Dana Brooke, whilst quite grating on the ear drums, played a solid supporting role for Emma before being kicked out. This led to Bayley returning with a victory following the Bayley-2-Belly. She then announced her intention to become NXT Women’s Champion, and to prove she is the best. To that end, Bayley challenged Charlotte to a match in order to show how far she’s come in NXT.
Taryn Terrell Demands Knockout’s Championship Rematch
Whilst watching a full episode of TNA is becoming somewhat of a joke considering how many old clips they have placed in recent episodes to compensate for lawsuits, at least the Knockout Division remains strong. Last week, the emergence of Gail Kim from the shadows was enough to aid Brooke Tessmacher in winning the Knockout’s Championship, and end the tyranny of Dollhouse matriarch Taryn Terrell. Suffice to say when the blonde former champ entered the arena on this night, she wasn’t in the greatest of moods.
Terrell screamed into the microphone as her, Jade and Marti Belle entered the ring, stating Kim had already been destroyed by the Dollhouse and that she wanted her title back. New champ Brooke took a chance to revel in her success, saying the fans are now happy to see her with the belt after all the shortcuts Terrell took to keep it. Brooke then challenged her irate rival to come and get the belt for herself, which the Dollhouse leader looked set to do.
But, the lights again went out, and as Terrell looked back when they returned, Kim was in the ring, locked in a cage with Jade and Marti. Kim proceeded to beat them both to a pulp, throwing them into every side of steel imaginable, with Brooke hunting down Terrell at ringside. The blonde escaped to the stage, whilst the champion and Kim celebrated another success at embarrassing the Dollhouse.
The Bella Twins vs Sasha Banks & Naomi
After succeeding against Paige and Becky Lynch on RAW, Sasha Banks and Naomi looked to continue to dominate when paired against the Bella Twins on SmackDown. It is quite interesting that Nikki and Brie have adopted the role of tweeners in this three-way feud, as they maintain a significant amount of popularity within the WWE Universe. This was also a rare opportunity to see the Divas Champion and NXT Women’s Champion go head-to-head in the same ring.
Nikki, who has been noticeably absent from in-ring action since this revolution started, began the match with Naomi, and took the wind her quick opponent with a hard spinebuster. The Bella Twins showed strong teamwork with a double flapjack to Naomi, but soon she was able to get the Boss into the fray to the delight of many in the audience. However, she was also worked over by her more experienced rivals, and it required an unnoticed superkick from Tamina on the outside to Brie to definitively switch the momentum over to Team BAD.
The crowd were firmly in support of Brie as she was beaten down by both Naomi and Banks, who are forging a fluid partnership quickly in their alliance. Their sit-out bomb/running slap combo is particularly nice. Both work the crowd impeccably as heels, whilst Brie played off the emotional support. Nikki came in like a house on fire when she finally got the hot tag, clearing house until Banks broke up her Rack Attack attempt on Naomi. Brie and Alicia Fox dealt with Tamina at ringside to ensure she had no further interference by slamming her into the barricade. Nikki ducked the Rear View and hit her finisher at the second time of asking to register the first win for Team Bella in this locker room war. Really impressive showing by both teams.
The Divas revolution continues to pick up steam, and fans of women’s wrestling are certainly reaping the benefits. Every Divas match on main WWE programming this week was very good, especially the tag team clashes, which makes me both curious and excited about what will take place at SummerSlam between all of these impressive ladies.
NXT strikes me as a little bit more of an issue though. Whilst Bayley pushing herself to the top is an ideal scenario, and I’m very much looking forward to her upcoming match against Charlotte, I feel the developmental territory is going through a period of transition. After losing so much talent to the main roster in one fell swoop, names like Carmella, Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke and Eva Marie will have to step into their huge boots, which I don’t think any of them are yet capable of doing currently. So expect a few wayward months whilst these competitors continue to find their feet.
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!