WWE Monday Night Raw
Nia Jax vs. Sarah Pierce
Nia Jax isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Pierce got in a dropkick, which failed to affect Jax in any way before falling to Jax's Samoan Drop. Following the match, Jax called out Bayley, reminding everyone that she's still got her eyes on the Raw Women's Championship.
Winner: Nia Jax
Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks
Before the match, Bayley came to the ring, title in hand, but was soon confronted by Stephanie McMahon, who pointed out Sasha Banks' interference in her title match the previous week and demanded that Bayley relinquish her title. Bayley hesitated, and Banks came to the ring to encourage her friend to keep her title. Charlotte joined the fray, and after Bayley decided to keep her title, Banks challenged Charlotte to a match for old times' sake.
Charlotte controlled the match early on, wearing Banks down with predictably practiced ease. Banks turned the match back in her favor with a roll-up, planting Charlotte face-first onto the matt when the second-generation star attempted a powerslam. Dana Brooke attempted to run down to the ring and break things up, but Bayley caught her on the ramp, allowing Banks to lock in the Banks Statement for the submission.
This was a clever way to possibly set up a Fatal Four Way for WrestleMania. If Charlotte's pay-per-view streak continues at Fastlane (and there is no reason it shouldn't), then Banks having a win over her puts her solidly into the title picture, and also plants seeds for a rift between her and Bayley. A Sasha Banks heel turn is coming, and I have a feeling it will be sooner rather than later.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch (SmackDown Women's Championship match)
Naomi's knee injury proved to be worse than originally thought by officials, and the popular Superstar was forced to relinquish her championship in SmackDown's opening segment. It's a real shame for both Naomi and WWE. Naomi's journey to the title was long and fraught with challenges, and her win was a pure feel-good moment. Unfortunately like Finn Balor, she suffered an injury in the climax of her journey. Hopefully, she heals in time for WrestleMania. If not, that title will be on her shoulders again someday.
Bliss did not even give Naomi the chance to get backstage before demanding her spot in the title scene. General Manager Daniel Bryan obliged her, and announced Becky Lynch would be her opponent.
Lynch held an early advantage in the match, but Bliss regained her bearings after rolling out of the ring. Lynch responded with a forearm and a kick which nearly got her the victory. However, Bliss responded with a throat shot while the referee was distracting, rolling Lynch up and grabbing her by the tights for the pinfall victory. She celebrated with Mickie James, who taunted Lynch before being chased off.
The match seemed a bit rushed, but the outcome made up for it. Bliss is the best choice to carry the title with Naomi on the sidelines. Lynch established the title, and now it is helping build Bliss into the cunning villain she was always meant to be.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya (Falls Count Anywhere match)
A fitting end (?) to an at times uneven feud had Nikki Bella and Natalya battle around the arena in what felt like a backstage brawl you would play on WWE 2K17. After a brief exchange of strikes and a two-count for Bella, the women made their way out of the ring, where Bella attempted to retrieve a table before being knocked down by Natalya. Bella managed, however, to get her hands on a kendo stick, and unloaded on Natalya with it. That attack was only good for a two-count, and Bella sent Natalya into the equipment table. The two teased a superplex off the barricade, but Bella escaped peril and hit a roundhouse kick off the barricade. Natalya responded by flinging her into the barricade and the fight made its way to the entrance ramp, where Natalya hit a suplex. The women brawled into the backstage area, and Natalya sent Nikki crashing into Maryse. Back in the arena, the scorned Maryse broke up Nikki's Fearless lock by attacking her with a pipe, and Natalya covered her for the win as the Miz dragged his wife away.
For many years, these two skilled athletes wasted away in a struggling division, and many fans blamed them for Creative's lackluster and at times offensive booking of their division. However, these two women proved that when given the chance, they can craft a fun match, even if it was a bit of a spotfest. Nikki/Maryse looks to be a go, so I am curious to see how Maryse will fit into a much more physical and technical division. I wish them the best of luck.
TNA Impact WrestlingThe Best. Wedding. Ever.
TNA is at its best when it stops taking itself seriously and embraces the wild mix of outrageous characters and storylines that have turned it into a surprisingly entertaining hotbed of meme-worthy moments. TNA did so with its beautiful, entertaining disaster of a wedding on this week's Impact.
Braxton Sutter made his way down the aisle looking very resigned along with a very drunk Mike Bennett. Spud was the flower child and Aron Rex was, well, in a massive fur coat. The bridal party, Maria and Sienna, wore bright blue. Laurel Van Ness entered next, looking glamorous as ever. Maria introduced the wedding as the second-greatest wedding of all time and called out Allie: the ring bearer. Allie came out, also dressed in a vivid blue, and Braxton Sutter looked shell-shocked. Maria berated Allie, calling her dress ugly. The ceremony began, and the crowd chanted, "WE OBJECT!"
Maria rushed the ceremony along, and Van Ness delivered beautifully obnoxious vows praising her own wealth. Sutter skipped his own vows, and when the time for objections came, Maria tried to skip it, and tripped Allie as she walked to deliver the rings. Sutter looked increasingly disturbed throughout, and when the time came to say, "I do," he said, "I'm really sorry but I don't."
He completely and thoroughly rejected Laurel, proclaiming he was in love with somebody else: Allie. Sutter revealed Maria's blackmail, threatening to fire Allie if he didn't begin seeing Laurel. Infuriated, Maria fired Allie, who quit. The women mobbed Allie, and Sutter took down Bennett. Allie took down Maria, and Brooke came to her aid as Robbie came to Sutter's. And finally, in the middle of the ring, Allie and Braxton Sutter kissed.
Wrestling is wonderful.
Elsewhere on the show, Jade called out Knockouts Champion Rosemary and challenged her to a Last Knockout Standing match. One last battle. Rosemary accepted.
Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Liv Morgan
Peyton Royce used Billie Kay to her full advantage, and her friend helped her evade a slash out of the ring by Ember Moon, leaving the eager Liv Morgan to suffer the effects. Royce took advantage, flinging Moon into the steel steps. Moon and Morgan teamed up to take Royce out before bringing the fight to each other. Peyton Royce came back into the fold, going for a superplex on Morgan before Moon turned it into a sunset powerbomb. Morgan sent Moon out of the ring, but Royce took advantage, pinning her for the chance to probably die by Asuka's hand sometime soon.
Winner: Peyton Royce
This section includes recaps of matches from around the world in various lesser-known independent promotions throughout the week.
Premiere Wrestling Xperience
Match: Su Yung vs. Taeler Hendrix
Winner: Su Yung
Match: Toni Storm vs. Konami
Winner: Toni Storm
NOVA Pro Wrestling
Match: Veda Scott vs. Jordynne Grace
Winner: Veda Scott
MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
Nikki Bella vs. Natalya
In a week where SmackDown's women dominated the show's two-hour broadcast was dominated by its women, Natalya and Nikki Bella put on a standout brawl that showed that the only things that held them back was booking. Their Falls Count Anywhere match was physical, wild and everything a match that chaotic ought to be.
WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
What a wonderful journey Allie has taken us on for the past several months. The wedding segment was one of the most entertaining wrestling segments in recent memory, right up there with Raw's Festival of Friendship. The crowd was absolutely and completely engaged not only in the wedding itself, but in every single character involved in the wedding: Laurel, Maria, Braxton, even Aron Rex. Allie was the heart of the segment, acting out her character's transformation so convincingly I forgot that I was watching a wrestling show. It was entertainment magic, and Allie's journey made it magical.
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!