WWE Monday Night Raw
Charlotte Flair vs. Dana Brooke
Brooke dominated the match early on, taking on her former mentor with a flurry of strike-centered offense. Charlotte seemed overwhelmed by the fervor with which Brooke attacked. However, it was over as soon as it started, and Charlotte got a sudden win with a big boot.
I know that they are attempting to build Charlotte for WrestleMania without having her clash with her opponents for the event, but throwing away a rivalry like the one she has built with Brooke is a massive waste and shortsighted. Brooke looked excellent in the match, if a little stiff. She is making excellent progress, and WWE will certainly need her to step up as a good undercard face, especially if Sasha Banks turns heel.
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
For a No DQ match, this match was awfully tame. Bayley went on the offensive early on with a flurry of strikes as she attempted to wear Jax down on the turnbuckle, but Jax threw her off. Jax sent Bayley into the barricade and continued a hard-hitting attack in the ring. Jax continued using brute strength to wear the champ down, and survived a comeback by Bayley to pin her after a Samoan Drop, earning her a place on the WrestleMania card.
I suppose there really was no other way to plausibly put Nia Jax in the title match, but I do hate seeing the champion eat a clean pin. I also don't understand what the purpose of the No DQ stipulation was if they weren't going to take full advantage of it. That being said, the RAW women never fail to deliver when it counts, and I'm sure their bout will be a highlight.
Winner: Nia Jax
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella
Elsewhere int he women's division, Nikki Bella planted Tyler Breeze, who was dressed up AS Nikki Bella. Take that as you will.
Becky Lynch got a slight hint of offense in before Carmella retreated, but before the match could truly happen, Natalya ran in and clocked Carmella, ending the match in a disqualification. Mickie James emerged to make the save, and then Alexa Bliss joined the mayhem to close the segment in a massive brawl.
It's a shame the women of SmackDown, who are usually given more time and story than a mere brawl, were relegated to such a throwaway segment. However, each has a very clear focus heading into WrestleMania. Surprises await.
Winner: No contest
TNA Impact Wrestling
Rebel vs. OBD
After attempting to ambush OBD before the match, Rebel took early control, but OBD gained momentum when she dodged a crossbody and hit Rebel with a series of clotheslines. Rebel grew frustrated with the referee, and threatened to slap him, but he caught her arm and kissed her against her will. OBD took advantage, kissing the referee, and got the win over Rebel.
I cannot believe I have to point out, in 2017, that kissing a woman against her will in any place or situation is sexual assault. It's that simple. This segment featured very little wrestling and a lot of the kind of ridiculous, lackluster storytelling that sent TNA down the drain in the first place.
Later, the mysterious "she" promoted throughout the episode as returning to Impact was revealed to be Karen Jarrett. Yeah.
Asuka vs. Priscilla Zuniga
"This is your fate," Asuka warned Ember Moon right before she kicked Zuniga in the head. Asuka was a force of nature during the match, gleefully beating down the newcomer and refusing to pin her until she sent a real, bloody message to her challenger.After a hip attack and a suplex, Asuka (mercifully) applied the Asuka lock for the submission and kept it in longer than she needed to. She cut a promo in Japanese and declared, "NO ECLIPSE!"
Asuka is a beast in every sense of the word. Her growing confidence and lust for violence adds a fascinating depth to a match where heel and face roles will not exactly exist. Asuka's heelish tendencies and her almost casual disregard for Ember Moon adds a delicious depth to her character. Her clash with NXT's war goddess will be unforgettable.
Start a riot
The woman formerly known as Heidi Lovelace made her NXT debut as she rushed to the aid of Tye Dillinger, Roderick Strong and No Way Jose against SAnitY, specifically Nikki Cross. In a promo after her debut she promised to show Cross what crazy really looks like.
Riot is a phenomenally talented wrestler with an explosive in-ring style, and Nikki Cross is the perfect first opponent for the indie darling as she is introduced to the wider WWE audience. While both women would benefit greatly from a win, their eventual clash should be a blast and their rivalry will be wonderful. Their characters are very defined, which helps writers book a very clear story.
This section includes recaps of matches from around the world in various lesser-known independent promotions throughout the week.
American Combat Wrestling
Match: Mila Naniki vs. Aspyn Rose
Winner: Mila Naniki
Match: Io Shirai vs. Kairi Hojo (World of Stardom Championship match)
Winner: Io Shirai
Match: Bea Priestley vs. Tessa Blanchard (WCPW Women's Championship match)
Winner: Bea Priestley
Premier Championship Wrestling
Match: Angel Dust vs. Thunderkitty
Winner: Angel Dust
MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
Bayley vs. Nia Jax
I'm going to be honest here: this week was disappointing in terms of television. The matches were short at best and downright offensive at worst. However, Nia Jax and Bayley continued their ongoing saga of monster versus underdog, and they told a heartbreaking and terrifying story as Jax dominated the fan favorite. The match was clunky and did not properly utilize the gimmick, but the women worked with what they could.
WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
One year ago, Nia Jax was working hard to climb the ladder in NXT. Now, she has a match for the Raw Women's Championship at the biggest wrestling event in the world. She improves every time she steps into the ring, and her monstrous moveset combined with her growing comfort with herself and her character is making her someone to watch closely throughout 2017.
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!