WWE Monday Night Raw
Nia Jax vs. Rachel Levy
For the third week in a row, Nia Jax came out to destroy a local enhancement talent. Byron Saxton interviewed Rachel Levy, who put on a pretty good, enthusiastic promo about why she thought she could hold her own to Nia Jax. Byron looked unconvinced and that proved correct, as Jax laid Levy out with ease. From the lock up, she threw Levy down to the mat, putting her up on the ropes and knocking her down to the floor. In a really bright moment in the match, Jax gave us a line full of character, telling the referee to "count her out, she's dead." She decided she wasn't quite done with Levy though, pulling her back into the ring for the pin. Again, the match did its job and started to give us a glimpse into who Jax is, but I'm still looking for more.
Winner: Nia Jax
Charlotte vs. Alicia Fox (with Sasha Banks on Commentary)
In a backstage promo, Dana Brooke apologized to Charlotte for losing the match against Sasha Banks the week before. Charlotte appeared to dump Brooke for failing her, threatening to ask Stephanie McMahon to find her a new assistant. I'm not really sure why that's Stephanie's job, but that's the story. Down in the ring, Banks came out to join the commentary team and watch Charlotte's match against Alicia Fox.
From the lock up there was solid chain wrestling, with even some offense Fox's end. Rather than approach it as a squash match, Charlotte had to fight for the win a little bit, which was a good move for her character. Charlotte dominates the majority of the match, with the occasional reversal from Fox. On commentary, Banks flips between her supremely confident anti-hero persona, telling Saxton he's not invited to her after party and slightly more babyface tendencies. After hitting Natural Selection for the pin, Charlotte beckons Banks to the ring. Banks walks up, unafraid, and gets in the ring to confront Charlotte. Brooke runs in from the side, her breakup with Charlotte would appear to be a trick, and the off distraction Charlotte puts Banks in the figure 8. Charlotte is relentless with the lock, causing Banks to tap and the officials have to tear the two apart. Charlotte leaves the ring to chants of "Charlotte sucks," and looks like a nasty villain who just might get the better of the fan favorite on Sunday. This match served her well.
WWE SmackDownNaomi vs. Eva Marie
Naomi's scheduled in-ring debut on SmackDown came with a remix to her theme, new glow in the dark gear, and a new dance heavy entrance. She got the crowd riled up and would appear to be working face at the moment. Eva Marie's fantastic new entrance package
Winner: No match
Rating: No rating (but a big round of applause for the character building)
Carmella/Becky Lynch vs. Natalya/Alexa Bliss
The tag team match starts off with Carmella and Natalya, as these two fought last week and Carmella picked up a surprising victory. She gets in a few forearms and a very decent spinning head scissor, complete with her signature moonwalk. However, Natalya gets the better of her in a take down and Alexa Bliss helps with the double team attack. Bliss ties her up in a rear chin lock but it is reversed by Carmella who manages to crawl to Becky Lynch for the hot tag.
Off of the tag, Lynch is fired up and gets in a springboard side kick, followed by a series of strikes and her shouting her catch phrase. From the corner, she gets the Bexsploder and her and Natalya run the ropes, crashing into one another. That's Eva Marie's cue, who has arrived and is ready to compete. During her lengthy entrance, a disgruntled Naomi interrupts, chasing her around and eventually into the ring. There's some commotion, and off of the distraction Lynch rolls Natalya up into the Dis-Arm-Her and causes the tap.
The match showed personality from each and every participant, and Bliss particularly stood out with her old school heel tactics. While it was less physically impressive than others, it utilized the talent incredibly well and built excitement for their match at SummerSlam.
Winner: Carmella and Becky Lynch
TNA Impact Wrestling
Gail Kim vs. Jade
Backstage, Maria basks in her evil plan to put dominant Knockout Jade in Gail Kim's way. When Jade pushes back against Maria's corruption, Maria threatens that she won't get another shot at the Knockout Championship if she loses this match. In an interview Kim explains how much respect she has for Jade.
The two lock up, and are evenly matched for most of the segment. Both are incredibly impressive competitors, leading to back and forth spots and reversals. After driving Jade out of the ring, Kim jumps off of the ropes and onto her opponent and the two crash through the barricade. Jade manages to catch her, throws the both of them down to the floor, and they return to the ring.
Kim goes to the top rope for a cross body but Jade gets out of the way. She tries a moonsualt off the middle rope, but Kim also moves out of the way. Gail manages to get Eat Defeat, but when she goes for the pin is pulled out of the ring. Sienna attacks her, leaving her on the floor, and then attacks Jade too, hitting the Silencer. It was a good match, technically very impressive, but felt a little underwhelming compared to the stakes that were set up. Narratively it was lacking, no gestures to communicate their friendship or the fight they'd be willing to go through for that title shot.
Maria announces that Gail Kim lost the match up and therefore is not able to challenge for the Knockouts Championship.
Winner: Gail Kim (DQ)
Liv Morgan/ Carmella/ Nikki Glencross vs. Alexa Bliss/ Mandy Rose/ Daria Berenato
This six woman tag had one purpose in mind: to prove that the women's division of NXT is self replenishing. It worked. In probably their last match on NXT, veterans Alexa Bliss and Carmella lead their teams of newcomers. The match included the debuts of Nikki Glencross, previously known as Nikki Storm, and Tough Enough contestants (but not winners) Daria Berenato and Mandy Rose. It was a big match that needed to impress to continue the NXT legacy of the very best female competition.
From the entrances, the presentation was all around solid, though Berenato's MMA gimmick could veer into corny. Bliss looked fantastic as a ringleader, and after she gets some experience on the main roster, that'd be a well suited role for her. She starts the match cockily against indie darling Glencross, but is quickly driven from the ring and puts in Berenato in her place. The heels work a tag-heavy strategy, getting a hard hit or two in before tagging out. It serves them well for most of the match, particularly Berenato whose background seems to lend to a powerful moveset. This includes a nasty submission hold on Morgan, who makes an impressive effort to reverse, as well as a spear to Gelncross that had shades of Charlotte.
Although Bliss seemed to keep her team in line and her strategy was working for most of the match, Carmella manages to sneak in on the less experienced Rose. She pulls her into the Code of Silence, and Rose taps. Though she, Morgan and Berenato are green, and Glencross has yet to be established at NXT, this match went far to show potential. As Bliss' and Carmella's swan song, it was something to be proud of, and we'll surely see them butt heads again at SmackDown.
Winner: The team of Carmella, Nikki Glencross, and Liv Morgan
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: Carmella/Becky Lynch vs. Natalya/Alexa Bliss
WOMAN OF THE WEEK: Alexa Bliss