WWE Monday Night Raw
Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke
Sasha Banks had a lot to lose and even more to gain going into the sole women's match of August 8's Monday Night RAW. With what viewers have been given in recent weeks, the last thing to be expected was what amounted to a two-minute squash match.
Banks dominated Brooke, both in skill and in the match itself. Brooke's only offense was a cheap shot to the back while Banks was distracted before the Boss took over, driving Brooke into the mat with double knees to the ribs from the second rope and pinning her while Charlotte was incapacitated from an earlier strike.
Brooke is clearly not ready, skill-wise, for main roster lights. She's stiff in the ring and still has the tendency to over-act. If she keeps putting on subpar performances, the spotlight may very well find someone else soon enough.
Banks looked fierce and made the most of her short match, emerging looking dominant and every bit the champion she promised to be. It's a shame that WWE couldn't find more time in their three hours (most of which were less than satisfactory) to let their women work. But now, Banks and Charlotte will do battle without Brooke's interference, promising an instant classic. WWE seems to remember its women's skill just in time for pay-per-views nowadays.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Becky Lynch vs. Alexa Bliss
Originally advertised as the "spectacular" debut of Eva Marie, the original matchup of Becky Lynch vs. Marie never even took place. After her lengthy entrance, Marie's ring gear malfunctioned, the top strap breaking, and she rushed backstage as the referee deemed her unable to compete. A frustrated Lynch asked if there was anyone who actually wanted to wrestle her, and Alexa Bliss answered the call, looking to make a name for herself on her birthday.
Bliss took control int he early stages of the match, grabbing Lynch by the hair and stomping on her with her trademark sneer. She went for several pins, growing more and more furious as Lynch continually kicked out. Lynch finally gained momentum with a series of vicious clotheslines, looking to be mounting a comeback, until the ring went red.
Eva Marie's music played and the redheaded Superstar emerged, declaring herself ready for her match, and the distraction allowed Bliss to hit Twisted Bliss for the pinfall victory.
Bliss rocked her debut, looking every bit the vicious spitfire she was down in NXT. Her condescending and fierce attitude was reflected well in her unforgiving offense. Lynch also shined, building up more and more sympathy and growing into the biggest babyface on SmackDown period. Her losses are not concerning nor have they weakened her: she is destined for greatness and is well on her way there.
Eva Marie remains controversial as ever. On one hand, her character is heel brilliance, drawing massive levels of heat from the audience with her insincerity and over lack of passion for wrestling. Marie walks with an infuriating confidence, knowing exactly what she is doing while playing clueless the whole time. Their delay of her in-ring debut covers her weaknesses and plays to her strengths. On the other hand, her obvious lack of in-ring talent despite years of training at the Performance Center begs the question: does she truly deserve the spotlight she is getting? Only time will tell.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
TNA Impact Wrestling
Gail Kim vs. Marti Bell (No DQ match)
Kim and Bell first fought on the ramp, exchanging suplexes and strikes galore, with neither Knockout being able to gain full control of the match. Before Kim could make her way to the ring, Allie appeared, grabbing her by the leg. Bell took advantage, throwing Kim into the guardrail, and went for a Pedigree, which Kim managed to reverse. Kim hit the blockbuster off the second rope, but Bell kicked out.
Kim ascended the ropes again, but Maria knocked her off, handing her apprentice Allie Bell's weapon, an imposing black hit stick. Allie did not want to get involved, but Maria forced her in. Kim caught Allie as she was about to attack, throwing her into Bell before rolling her up for the victory. After the match, Maria and Allie beat down Kim, but Jade arrived to make the save. A furious Maria announced Kim and Jade would be facing off next week.
Kim's journey back into title contention is an entertaining one for sure, but the excellent work by Bell cannot be overlooked. It's great seeing TNA's women being given the chance to fight in No DQ matches and the like. They certainly seem to be up to the challenge.
Winner: Gail Kim
The season 3 trailer was released this week, featuring several of its female roster members. With Sexy Star announcing the retirement of her character, it looks like we will all be left wondering who will rise up to take her place in the upcoming season.
Contract Signing for the NXT Women's Championship
Bayley and NXT Women's Champion Asuka's rivalry continued to deepen after last week's obliteration of Aliyah at the hands of Asuka. Bayley declared that for her, the "Asuka mystique" was gone, saying she would take back her title in the same place she won it the previous year. Asuka simply stated that Bayley does not have what it takes to defeat her. She declared her respect for Bayley, and offered her hand, but Bayley refused to be coddled, telling her that if she didn't want this signing to end up like her last one, she would use her hand to sign to contract and get ready for the fight of her life in Brooklyn.
The unsmiling side of Bayley is absolutely enthralling. She is more focused than ever before. Asuka is equally enchanting, her unbreakable confidence clashing wonderfully with Bayley's heart. Their feud is not built on animosity or jealousy or around the attention of a man; it is a simple rivalry based on the desire to be the best. Without even trading blows, they made more of an impact than any of WWE's other Superstars. Their match is sure to be unforgettable.
WWE would be wise to try this on their main roster.
Billie Kay vs. Liv Morgan
The buildup for NXT's newest femme fatale continued as Billie Kay took on budding fan favorite Liv Morgan. Kay took control early on and did not relent, taking morgan out with the same graceful ease she showed in last week's bout.
Billie Kay's new look and attitude is very intriguing. Where she goes and how she is developed will truly determine how high she can climb the rankings in NXT. Liv Morgan looked impressive even in defeat, gaining the audience's favor with her undeniable charisma. The future of NXT's Women's Division is looking bright indeed.
Winner: Billie Kay
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!
MATCH OF THE WEEK: Gail Kim vs. Marti Bell
WOMAN OF THE WEEK: Bayley & Asuka