WWE Roadblock: End of the Line
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (30 Minute Iron Man RAW Women's Championship match)
For the final time (for a few months, let's be honest), Charlotte and Sasha Banks faced off for the red and white title they've exchanged over the past several months.
After a staredown lasting half a minute, the pair began to chain wrestle, putting each other in headlocks, chinlocks, wristlocks, the whole shebang. Things got more physical as Charlotte reversed an attempted double knees with a firm shoulder lock. Banks locked in the Banks Statement, but Charlotte escaped out of the ring, recovering with wild eyes. Back in the ring, the second generation star attempted to pin Banks with a briding schoolboy, but Banks escaped.
Banks took control, throwing Charlotte out of the ring yet again and hitting her with a nailbiting suicide dive. Charlotte responded by flinging her face-first into the steel steps at ringside. Her pin attempt failed. Charlotte continued beating Banks down, but Banks would not give up a pin. Banks attempted to rally, but Flair hit Natural Selection for a near-fall. It took a second, diving Natural Selection to win Charlotte the first fall a whopping twenty minutes into the match.
Charlotte went for another pin, but Banks fought back, locking her into a side cradle to even the score 1-1. The two continued to exchange signatures; Charlotte landed a wicked big boot and a moonsault before Banks got her caught in the Banks Statement, forcing her the tap to put Banks ahead 2-1. This put Charlotte into overdrive, and the challenger began a cruel assault on Banks' knee before locking in a Figure Four and keeping it in until Banks tapped with seconds left on the clock, sending the match into overtime.
The desperation clear in both of their faces, the two continued fighting. Charlotte hit a dropkick, attacking Banks with an attempted slam before Banks reversed into a small package. Charlotte escaped, and Banks attempted a Banks Statement before her knee gave out. Charlotte locked int he Figure Four and finally got a weakened Banks to tap when she bridged into the Figure Eight.
I find it almost comical how fans complained at every step of Sasha and Charlotte's feud, only to be completely drawn into their story by the consistent quality of their matches. This match was brutal, a true clash of wills and a story of physical dominance. I'm disappointed to see Sasha once again lose the belt, and knowing that Charlotte is going to continue to dominate programming is a bit draining, but the truth is clear. Charlotte is a reliable champion, and WWE doesn't want to turn Sasha Banks heel. Here's hoping that as both women enter new storylines, other Superstars get the chance to shine.
Little Girls, Little Girls...
Sasha Banks emerged fresh off her heartbreaking loss to Charlotte with a crutch helping her walk and a mic in hand. In the ring, she said that she didn't much feel like a Boss anymore and asked Charlotte to come out so she could congratulate her.
However, instead of Charlotte, Nia Jax came out, stalking over to Sasha and circling her like a hungry shark. Jax called Banks a weak little girl and attacked her, flinging her around like a ragdoll and kicking her crutch away from her. She picked up the crutch, but ended up just throwing it away and walking out, a job well done.
Jax and Banks just barely missed each other in NXT. This feud is fresh and finally introduces an intriguing secondary storyline for RAW's Women's Division that can draw fans in and elevate a new talent at the same time.
Charlotte vs. Bayley
Charlotte cut a promo, calling herself the greatest of all time before being interrupted by Bayley, who said that though her feud with Sasha Banks would go down as possibly the greatest women's feud of all time, but now it was her time. Charlotte called Bayley the lowest of the Horsewomen, and a match was made.
The match started off slowly, with some mild chain wrestling. Bayley managed to wrestle Charlotte to the ground, but the champion powered out. Bayley got a hint of momentum, but Charlotte cut her off with headscissors. Charlotte's methodical pace, however, wasn't enough to keep the scrappy underdog down, and Bayley managed to just barely pin Charlotte with a backslide.
Bayley has the potential to be the biggest babyface in all of WWE. She is charismatic, dynamic in the ring and marketable as anyone. She and Charlotte have a storied history, including a feud back in NXT, so building on that and exploring the differences betweent heir characters will be vital.
Nikki's Attacker Revealed
Well, the cat is out of the bag, folks. Natalya is the one who attacked Nikki Bella! No goofy surprise returns here, just the obvious answer we knew all along. Natalya let Bella have it, too, delivering a scathing promo where she called Nikki Bella someone who got everything she had because of her beauty and said everything about her was fake. It was strongly delivered. I just hope fans remember who the heel is here.
Alexa Bliss vs. La Lynchadora
This match was over in an instant, and not for the reason many believed it would be. Alexa Bliss was forced to face a masked woman in a tacky blue bodysuit and high-waisted red underpants (for lack of a better descriptor). The luchadora had a flabbergasted Bliss caught in an armbar before long and had her tapping.
Of course, this luchador was revealed to be none other than Becky Lynch. Lynch and Bliss' dynamic is very unique. Their energies mesh well, and Bliss is making the most of her time as SmackDown's Women's Champion.
Winner: La Luchadora
Johnny Mundo vs. Sexy Star (Lucha Underground Championship cage match)
With the Worldwide Underground banned from ringside, Johnny Mundo defended his title against his nemesis Sexy Star inside a steel cage. The match began as volatile as anyone would expect, with Mundo spitting in Star's face and her responding with a simple slap. Mundo goaded Star into a test of strength that he won, but she bounced him into the ropes and attempted to escape.
She didn't of course. He crashed her against the cage, but she managed to land a hurricarana and dropkick. She tried scaling the cage again, but Mundo caught her and the two brawled on the top rope. Mundo hit a backbreaker for a near-fall and took control from there, ramming Star headfirst into the cage and tossing her around the ring. Thinking he got her, he tried to escape the cage but Star caught him, bringing him down for a leg drop.
She tried to escape again, but Mundo grabbed her leg. In response, she hit a crossbody from the top of the cage. She went back up the structure and Mundo followed her. The two brawled at the cage's top before returning to the ropes. Mundo then tore Star's mask off her face, and used the stolen time to scale the cage and escape.
I say it every time, but Sexy Star is dynamite.
Winner: Johnny Mundo
Billie Kay vs. Daria Berenato
Berenato took on one of her former tag parters after being abandoned mid-match weeks prior. Berenato started off strong, slamming Kay with a series of jabs and strikes perfectly suited to her MMA-inspired character. Peyton Royce stepped in, pulling Kay out of the ring and retreating up the ramp. Berenato, undeterred, shrugged and pursued, nailing Royce with a stiff forearm and bringing Kay back to the ring. However, Royce managed to slam Berenato into the apron, and Kay hit her big boot for the victory. After the match, Kay and Royce cut a promo declaring themselves Asuka's biggest and next threat.
Daria Berenato's unique look and moveset were the highlight of this segment. Though slightly inconsistent in the ring, she fought with believable intensity and showed incredible potential. She will undoubtably be a key player for NXT in 2017.
Kay and Royce, meanwhile, remain reliable int he ring However, their characters could use some majoy fleshing out. They speak witht he same slow, infuriating cadence as Charlotte, and while the RAW Women's Champion has managed to tone it down, these two are a bit unbearable. Hopefully, their stellar ring work will continue to make up for it.
Winner: Billie Kay
WWE Total Divas
Trinity is nervous on the set of The Marine 5. She wants to do the best job she can. The Social Outcasts comfort her with humor. Later on, Maryse tells Trinity that she can relate and offers to hang out with her after filming. Trinity is unsure if she wants that. The two ending up going to a trapeze class together. Trinity films her action scene and it goes well.
Meanwhile, in Bella-land, Nikki and Brie decide to test their dogs' IQs. Brie and Bryan's dog passes with flying colors twice, though Nikki has her doubts about the test, especially after her dog fails spectacularly. This inspires the twins to take IQ tests. I encourage everyone to watch this for yourselves...for reasons. Brie scores a 99 and Nikki scores 113. Yowzah.
In Baltimore, soon-to-be-newlyweds Rusev and Lana line dance in a bar. The pair joke about having a Nashville-themed wedding, but Lana really likes the idea, for invitations at least. Renee Young tells Lana that she thinks the idea is a bit much since their wedding will be on a beach. Rusev and Lana have an adorable country-themed photoshoot and Rusev surprises Lana with a framed photo from it.
Also in Baltimore, Natalya is proud to be at the forefront of the Women's Division as clips of a match that was definitely NOT on RAW play. She talks about her family and the importance of its legacy to her. She then gets a call from her distraught sister Jenni, who feels at sea after becoming jobless. Nattie convinces her to host a cooking class, which is attended by Titus O'Neil, Big E and Fandango, who has game with the ladies. The class goes well until it's revealed that Nattie bribed everyone into coming. Later, Jenni has a breakdown with Nattie, but the two make up.
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
WOMAN OF THE WEEK: Charlotte