WWE Hell in a CellBayley vs. Dana Brooke
In a rematch from their bout earlier this month, Bayley takes on Dana Brooke at Hell in a Cell.Bayley shoves Dana Brooke and smashes her head into a turnbuckle for a quick cover. Dana kicks out and tosses Bayley into the corner, which leads the two to go back and forth for a few minutes. Execution on Dana's end is still struggling, but she gets to show her flexibility with two gymnastic moves to Bayley in the corner. She knocks Bayley down with a Clothesline and targets the bad shoulder. Bayley fights back and kicks her down with a low Dropkick. Using her left arm, she builds up momentum, hits a suplex, a low running clothesline, and a corkscrew elbow. After two attempts she hits Bayley to Belly for the victory. It was a fine match that accomplished what it needed to, but Dana's learning curve is still concerning.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women's Championship
The first women's Hell in a Cell match was also the first WWE major pay-per-view event to be properly main evented by female competitors. They opened with WrestleMania-esque entrances and let Sasha Banks and Charlotte stand in the ring as the cell lowered in what was truly an awe-inspiring moment. Charlotte gets a cheap shot on Sasha, Pushing her out of the cell before the match starts. A brawl leads them to tease going up to the top of the cell, but instead, Sasha is powerbombed through the announce table and appears to not be able to compete. It takes a while and is a little messy, but eventually they go to announce that Sasha has to forfeit, at which point she jumps off of the stretcher and attacks Charlotte in the ring. There were mixed responses to this, but ultimately it set up a good story of Sasha being mentally, though perhaps not physically, tougher than Charlotte.
Charlotte is relentless on Sasha's lower back with aggressive spots and the two use the cell well, including an early Monkey Flip into it. Sasha continues to fight back and kick out, no matter what Charlotte throws at her. Sasha locks in an early Bank Statement but Charlotte lifts her up and dumps her outside the ring. Charlotte takes a steel chair into the ring, but Sasha hits a Baseball Slide into the cell and then a Suicide Dive straight into it. They do well to use the cell to elevate their spots without necessarily sacrificing their health. Charlotte fights back, regaining her momentum, and shouts at Sasha to respect her while striking her weakened opinion. Again, Sasha comes back every time, even if just for a few moves. The majority of the match is steady in terms of execution. Some spots look better than others. However, there's no shortage of hard-hitting moves, making it look violent and making sure to utilize the cell. Sasha hits the double knees to Charlotte off of the links of the cell to gain back some momentum. In homage to Eddie Guerrero, Sasha hits the Triple Verticals and a beautiful Frog Splash from the top rope. It's still enough. Sasha goes straight for the Bank Statement but Charlotte escapes. As Sasha is wrapping Charlotte up in the corner for the double knees, she decides to put the chair underneath her to increase the impact. They could've transitioned that into a Bank Statement which Charlotte tapped to, and there wouldn't be much to take away from this match.
Instead, Sasha goes for a cover and Charlotte has enough to kick out, which leads her to go for a table from under the ring. That's where the execution starts to suffer. These women, especially the 5'3 Sasha, are not as heavy as the men and had trouble getting the tables to break. Charlotte slips on the first table spot, and falls almost gently down to it. They get in one last really great move, with Sasha breaking out of the Figure 8 by hitting her repeatedly with a chair. The finish comes after two unfortunate table spots, neither of which manages to break the table. Charlotte hits Natural Selection and pins her for a count of three. In was deflating, not because there was a lack of excitement in the match on the whole, but because it was so abrupt.
The storytelling from the start was really well done, and probably the best of the night in that sense. The issue is that after all of that, with Sasha coming back from everything Charlotte hit her with, it seems unbelievable that she would get bested that simply. If they were going to go with a Charlotte victory, Sasha needed some sort of last stand to complete the story. Despite the unfortunate finish, however, they still put on a great match that will be remembered for ages.
WWE Monday Night Raw
Returning to the ring with her throne bearers, Charlotte addressed a variety of women in the WWE. She took sole credit for the history-making match at Hell in a Cell. Later though, she gave respect to Sasha, who was out selling the beating she took in Boston. Charlotte then announces that she will be captain of the Raw women's Survivor Series team but worries about Bayley being a weak link. When Bayley comes out, she congratulates Charlotte on making history but says that she never wants to be a champion like her. Charlotte decides to test Bayley by putting her in a match with Nia Jax
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
As is usually the case in Nia Jax's matches, it starts with her tossing Bayley around. Bayley manages to get a little back by targeting Nia's arm and wrapping her up in the ropes. Nia picks Bayley up to a Shoulder Breaker and tosses her across the ring. Bayley kicks her off from the corner and smashes her head against the turnbuckle. Nia goes for a Bear Hug but Bayley reverses it into a guillotine. With a bit more momentum, Bayley prepares to hit a signature move, but is knocked down by Nia and hit by the Samoan Drop for the pin.
Winner: Nia Jax
Alexa Bliss and Carmella vs. Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella
Carmell and Nikki Bella start the match, but Carmella dodges and rolls out the ring to tag Alexa Bliss in instead. Alexa gets in some offense but is Drop Kicked by Nikki and then by Becky. Becky unloads on Carmella with "straight fire" and hits a Springboard Side Kick in the corner into a backpress for the pin. Alexa breaks it up. Later, Becky has a cover on Alexa but is distracted by Carmella, Alexa surprises her with a DDT for the pin. While I really enjoy Alexa using the DDT as a finisher, the match was over in the blink of an eye, and the issue of Nikki being named captain over SmackDown Women's Champion Becky was not addressed at all.
Alexa and Carmella then cut a promo calling out their opponents at Survivor Series as well as Becky Lynch. Alexa sets up their match next week in Glasgow really well and though she's young and inexperienced, she feels credible enough to take down Becky.
Winner: Alexa Bliss and Carmella
TNA Impact Wrestling
Brandi Rhodes promo
Brandi Rhodes makes a solo appearance to thank the fans for their support of her husband. She talks about how much her and Cody have been through together in their three years of marriage and calls out Bobby Lashley. He will find out what kind of man Cody Rhodes is, she says, and he'll wish he had put him down and out.
Maria Kanellis-Bennet interrupts with her enforcer Sienna. She offers Brandi the opportunity to join her "lady squad" rather than riding on her husband's coattails. After she brings up the fact that Brandi changed her last name, the newest Knockout is aggravated and tells her that the name Rhodes carries legacy and demands respect, which means she doesn't need anything from Maria. Sienna steps to Brandi who fights back, but is ultimately laid out by the AK47.
WWE Total Bellas
What didn't this episode cover? There must have been at least 5 or 6 storylines happening at once. Brie leaves the bachelorette party early to go take care of Bryan in Phoenix, where he admits he was hoping there was still a chance he would wrestle again. John and Nikki talk about their dog Winston, who John clearly thinks is too much responsibility. JJ helps Nikki realize that she's used Winston as a stand-in baby as John is against having children. Their mother, Kathy, prepares for her wedding, but Johnny reveals to JJ and Nikki that she found a lump in her breast a few weeks ago. It looks like that will be the main storyline of next week's season finale. In addition to all of that, there were several small storylines, including JJ and Lauren's future baby, Brie and Nikki's relationship, Kathy's body image, and a male stripper to top it all off.
Now that the major arc has run its course, it feels like they're struggling to fill 45 minutes of programming every week. There's really no reason why this couldn't have just been a part of Total Divas, were the Bellas dominate screen time anyway. I still applaud their bravery with talking about Bryan's difficulties, but maybe Total Divas could learn from it.
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
WOMEN OF THE WEEK: Sasha Banks and Charlotte