TNA Bound for Glory
Gail Kim vs. Maria Kanellis-Bennett
Backstage at Bound for Glory, Maria Kanellis-Bennett and her husband Mike Bennett interrupt Gail Kim's husband. She says this night is about her, and that she is the greatest Knockout of all time, with Mike adding she's the greatest female wrestler ever.
Gail Kim is inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, becoming the first Knockout in history to do so. A video package of all of Gail's accomplishments, including becoming the first ever Knockout Champion, is played and she gives an acceptance speech thanking her friends, fans, and family.
Prior to the Knockouts Championship match, Maria came out and said she was not able to compete due to her broken hand. Allie corrected her saying that she was able to compete and the two of them bickered for a moment before Maria slapped Gail in the face. Once the bell rung, Maria and Gail square off for about 5 minutes, starting with a chase around the ring. Maria mostly grounds and pounds Gail, trying for some early covers with no luck. She throws her hand brace out of the ring and throws Gail to the floor, though all of the moves seem weak to take out such an accomplished wrestler. She dives into the corner and Gail moves out of the way, then Maria does the same. She goes for a pin off of a Spinebuster but Gail kicks out.
Mike appears on the apron and throws Maria the brace, she runs at Gail who responds with a big boot from the corner. As Gail goes to the top rope, Mike tries to swat at her but she kicks him off and he's taken away. She misses the jump, rolls through, and is hit by Maria with the brace, which bares the question why she even took it off in the first place. Still, Gail kicks out, and Maria yells at Allie to give her the brace, which again, she threw out of the ring herself not a minute ago. Allie overshoots the throw, Gail catches it and offers it to Maria before throwing it out of the ring. Gail regains momentum off of Maria's distractedness and wraps her up in the Ringpost Figure 4. She hits Eat-da-Feet and becomes a 6th time Knock Outs Champion. It surprising lacked a sense of stacks or drama for the biggest show of the year and the technicality was nothing special.
Winner: Gail Kim
WWE Monday Night Raw
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women's Championship
At the beginning of Monday Night Raw, it was announced that the main event would be Sasha Banks challenging Raw Women's Champion Charlotte for the championship. It marked was the first time women main evented Raw in over a decade, when Lita and Trish Stratus fought for their Women's Championship. The match was built over the course of the night, including a video package that brought the history of this rivalry all the way back to NXT. In a backstage segment, Bayley and Sasha hugged it out, showing that Clash of Champions was behind them. Sasha still struggles a bit with the backstage promos, but Bayley shone, and it carried over to a later segment with Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Dana pushed Bayley too far and ended up getting thrown into a production crate. It took her out of the picture for the main event, and Sasha was able to capitalize.
From the start, it had a big match presentation. It was clear that both ladies took the match seriously and wanted to give it all they had, even though the match itself last less than fifteen minutes bell to bell. Sasha started off with a Suicide Dive within the first minute and neither of them held back the big spots. Charlotte dragged Sasha down from the top rope, hitting her injured back against the turnbuckle. She then targeted the lower back, throwing her against the barricade and punching it. Charlotte even went so far as to pull Sasha's hair when she was tied up in the rope, bending her body violently and the spot made an impact.
Charlotte covered Sasha multiple times, and Sasha kicked out every time. She hit The Boss with a backbreaker and sent her into the corner. Sasha continued to fight back from whatever Charlotte hit her with, including several big boots. She almost managed to get a pin herself after flying at Charlotte with double knees, but couldn't lock it in fast enough and Charlotte kicked out. They spilled out of the ring again, and Charlotte, with the most jaw dropping moment of the night, hit a huge Corkscrew Moonsault from the top rope. It seemed like Sasha was done for as Charlotte hit Natural Selection, but not only did Sasha kick out, she kicked out and managed to get herself to run the ropes, hit a hurricanrana and lock in the Bank Statement. Charlotte tapped out and Sasha Banks became a two time Raw Women's Champion.
These two always go all out with their aggressive spots together, and there are some who find it to overwhelm the match with less than stunning execution. While their eyes might've been bigger than their stomachs in this match, their stomachs are still pretty big. It held up against the average Raw main event. I still find myself waiting for them to have a solid match of the year candidate, but that might still be yet to come. There are rumors they might have their blow off match in the first ever female Hell in a Cell match, and Monday night they proved they can deliver.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Alexa Bliss vs Nikki Bella/ Alexa Bliss and Carmella vs. Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch
The originally set match pitted Alexa Bliss against Nikki Bella while Carmella talked some trash on commentary. Alexa fights out of some early offense by Nikki, but the veteran is clearly more prepared. That plants seeds of Alexa's inexperience that Becky Lynch could use Sunday at No Mercy. Nikki sends Alexa out of the ring, and Carmella takes the opportunity to try to distract her by calling her a "thirsty Kardashian wannabe." It backfires, however, as Nikki throws Alexa into Carmella at commentary. Offended, Carmella runs into the ring and starts beating on Nikki, causing a DQ. As Carmella and Alexa gang up on Nikki, Becky comes to the rescue and a impromptu tag team match is made.
Alexa and Nikki continue their story from earlier, with Nikki getting a veteran's offense on the younger Alexa. She's crafty, however, and manages to slide out of a bad situation against almost any competitor. Alexa tags in Carmella who, while still having a long way to go technically, understands the story and her role. Against both of her opponents, Nikki shows her experience, rolling out of the way and letting Carmella distract herself by screaming insults. Becky gets a hot tag and starts to take out both Carmella and Bliss. A brawl breaks out and Carmella superkicks Becky, but is speared by Nikki. The two end up chasing each other all the way out of the arena, leaving Becky vulnerable to Alexa's Twisted Bliss off the top rope. It was a good match with a great finish.
Winner: Alexa Bliss and Carmella
TNA Impact Wrestling
Sienna vs Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship
Before the bell even rings, Sienna sends Allie into Gail Kim to gain an early advantage. Gail goes on the offensive but Sienna catches her and rams her into the ringpost. She tosses Gail back into the ring and throws her into the post a few more times. She attempts a cover and Gail kicks out. Sienna goes for the AK47 but Gail gets out of it. She manages to mount some offense, building up momentum for a big spot. Her hurricanrana is caught by Sienna and she's slammed face-first into the mat. Another cover and another kick out, Sienna runs at Gail who surprises her with a roll up to retain the Knockouts Championship. The match only felt half over when the pin occurred, and given how much time Gail spent playing defense, it hardly felt earned.
After the match, Sienna attacks Gail and is suddenly aided by Laurel Van Ness, Maria Kanellis-Bennett, and Allie. They beat her up to teach her a lesson and Maria tells her that she will have her rematch in a no DQ match. She then orders Allie to slap her. When Allie refuses, she slaps Gail herself and tells her there is nothing that will stop her from taking back the title and ending Gail's career.
Winner: Gail Kim
Ivelisse vs. Mariposia w/ Marty Martinez
Early out of the bell, Ivelisse is thrown to the ground by Mariposia and taunted. Ivelisse responds by locking up again and throwing her opponent to the side. Both women run at each other and Ivelisse hits her with a Russian Arm Drag and a Clothesline. Trapping her in the corner, she rolls Mariposia over her. A brutal kick to each leg and one to the face gives Ivelisse the clear advantage. Marty grabs her ankle to give Mariposia a moment to get up, and she capitalizes by pulling Ivelisse down by the hair. Marty is overcome with joy as Mariposia stomps on her. Mariposia lifts her up for a big slam down to the mat and continues the beat down. Ivelisse fights back with elbows, but it's not quite enough, as Mariposia responds with some chops of her own.
It looks like Mariposia is going for a cover, but instead she ops to wrap Ivelisse up in a very painful looking Modified Kondo Clutch. While she manages to get to the ropes, the damage is done. Mariposia drives a knee into the back of her neck before beating her down again. While the referee is distracted, Marty aids by choking Ivelisse against the turnbuckle. She makes one last stand against Mariposia, though she's clearly hurting, and manages a spinning elbow to knock her to the ground. She even gets a Crossbody off of the corner to try to cover Mariposia, but when she goes for a Chokehold, she's slammed down. Ivelisse counters the Butterfly Effect and fights out of a fireman's carry. However, her charge at Mariposia is countered into a Samoan Drop.
Another attempt at the Butterfly Effect is countered, and Ivelisse gets a Sunset Flip Powerbomb for a victory over Mariposia. The match had several impressive spots, though it was heavy on the counters. Despite the style of Lucha Underground, the story was believable and told well.
Peyton Royce vs. Danielle Kamella
Peyton Royce was accompanied by Billie Kay for this match-up. The pair seem to be moving into the "mean girl duo" that NXT likes to keep around to terrorize the baby faces in the division. Although it's starting to feel a bit played out, and no one can be the BFFs, this might give Auska some competition.
The bell rings and Peyton locks up with Danielle, quickly slamming her to the mat. Danielle fights back and goes for a quick cover, Peyton kicks out. Danielle gets some momentum and fields offense for a minute, but Peyton comes back with a Roundhouse Kick into an unsuccessful cover. Peyton proceeds to trap Danielle in the corner with an impressive show of flexibility before tying her up in a Rear Chin Lock submission. Danielle fights through and cartwheels into a Back Elbow, but Peyton reverse the attempted suplex and gets a suplex of her own, which she bridges into a pin for the victory.
Both women looked strong, and although Billie Kay didn't get involved, chances are they'll start running through the division together. One of them will be the next to take on Auska for the title, and she'll have the best showing in that match since Bayley.
Winner: Peyton Royce
WWE Total Bellas
The brand new E! reality show about the Bella Twins opened up with what might've been the funniest scene in reality history: John Cena laying down the law of the land to a mortified Brie and Bryan Danielson. Admittedly, the interactions of John and Bryan have always been some of the best parts of Total Divas, and that's magnified in this new show. Brie and Bryan move into John and Nikki's guest house, and most of the first episode revolves around John's list of house rules. It's more akin to an Airbnb house manual than a couple of simple requests, and their family members have difficulty following. Brie and Bryan show up to dinner without shoes, Josie bites John, and no one makes their bed. Most of the drama is petty, but it's an entertaining kind of petty.
We still have the produced feeling of the original show, like with the Downton Abbey-esque formal dinners. At the same time, because there's a specific story, the way the story is presented is slightly different and it feels just a bit more grounded. A lot of comparisons have been made to the 2003 cult show Arrested Development, and that may be why the spinoff is more endearing. It's a show about a family thrown into the ridiculous situation and trying to get through it together. While it may never be quality storytelling, it's a fun time and- often times unwittingly- hilarious.
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: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women's Championship
WOMAN OF THE WEEK: Sasha Banks