Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 4/28/2017 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 4/28/2017

Posted by Gabriela Velasquez Friday, April 28, 2017
Welcome to another edition of WOMEN'S WRESTLING WEEKLY—a rundown of the events which have transpired in the world of women's professional wrestling over the past several days not just with the Superstars on WWE programming, but with TNA's Knockouts, Lucha Underground's luchadoras, and even a glimpse at the women on the independent circuit.

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE Monday Night Raw

Dana Brooke vs. Alicia Fox

Recapping Raw will be fun this week, because I saw it in person! Whether that affects how I rank these matches or not remains to be seen. But I wouldn't worry too much.

This match was over before it really started, reminiscent of a Divas match from yesteryear. Or 2013, to be exact. Fox went on the offensive early on, throwing Brooke into the turnbuckle and then hitting her signature Northern Lights Suplex, but Brooke stayed alive, hitting a Michinoku Driver for a rapid pinfall victory. Emma, who had come out to observe the match, congratulated a wary Brooke with an aggressive hug.

Well, on the bright side, WWE is finally givings its women some real storyline development in a non-title feud. That has been a major issue for Raw in particular. However, two women's matches in one show doesn't mean much when one of them is a quick series of moves into a finish. Dana Brooke is still green, but she can last in a match longer than roughly two minutes.

Winner: Dana Brooke
Rating: 1/5

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks

After a masterful promo in which she manipulated the crowd out of their precious "WHAT?" chants, Alexa Bliss was confronted by Bayley and Sasha Banks, who decked Bliss in the face and set up a match between the two would-be challengers.

The match was aggressive early on on Banks' part, but ended int he blink of an eye as Bliss retreated from the ring, giving Banks a win by countout. Frustrating, to be sure, because WWE couldn't seem to find time to let the women wrestle for at least five minutes.

Winner: Sasha Banks
Rating: 1/5


WWE SmackDown

Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women's Championship)

Flair and Naomi exchanged headlocks to start off their face-off, and Naomi took control of the match by planting Flair into the turnbuckle. Flair responded by slamming Naomi onto the floor out of the ring, turning the tide of the match. She kept control for a while, grounding Naomi with a chokehold and then preventing the champion's attempts at regaining momentum from gaining traction. She chopped Naomi into the corner without mercy before Naomi responded with a desperate jawbreaker and her signature high kicks.

Speeding the pace up, Naomi hit a high kick to the face for a near-fall. The two women exchanged blows in the center of the ring and Naomi hit a Rear View, which Charlotte barely kicked out of. Naomi went for a headscissors, but Charlotte reversed it into a powerbomb. Charlotte attempted a moonsault, but Naomi got her knees up for the counter. Nothing more happened, as Carmella, Tamina and Natalya ambushed both women, laying them out to end the segment.

If this is truly a face turn for Charlotte, I hope they go the AJ Styles route and have her change absolutely nothing about her personality. Charlotte is egotistical and merciless, and those qualities are what got her over. Her initial months with WWE were a struggle because she could not connect with crowds as a babyface. As a heel, however, she shines. She and Naomi displayed incredible in-ring chemistry, so hopefully they face off again sooner rather than later.

Winner: No contest
Rating: 3.5/5


TNA Impact Wrestling

Christina Von Eerie vs. Ava Storie (GFW Women's Championship match)

Von Eerie took control of the match early on with a series of kicks and splashes, but Storie fought back with a shot to Von Erie's eyes. Storie couldn't maintain her offense, as Von Eerie soon hit a backstabber  from the ropes for a pinfall victory.

I guess short matches were this week's trend. Nothing about this match really stood out to me, in all honesty, aside from the finish. These two women can obviously go, so I hope they're given more time the next time GFW is showcased on Impact. I think that title matches should be given, at the VERY least, a proper story and ample time to tell it. But whatever. I hope Impact's partnership with GFW gives them the ability to properly showcase its athletes in a manner befitting their talent.

I'm not even going to attempt to tackle the Swoggle thing.

Winner: Christina Von Eerie
Rating: 2/5


WWE NXT

Playtime has begun

Nikki Cross opened NXT with a wildly creepy promo almost daring Ruby Riot to, and I quote, be her friend, and play with her. That's not disturbing at all... anyways, Riot came out, and the two women brawled until officials separated them. A battle royal to determine Asuka's next challenger was also announced.

Cross and Riot have wonderful chemistry. Their characters and styles clash wonderfully, and both women have committed to their characters fully, allowing their feud to feel organic even with their wild personalities. Their growing conflict provides a wonderful fold to the idea of who could possibly defeat Asuka, if anyone.


WWE Total Divas

Ah, yes, my favorite time of the week: reality television. My personal tastes aside, this week's episode of Total Divas turned out to be rather eventful. I've decided to take a different approach to my recaps of this show. If you truly want to know every detail of the episode, I suggest watching it yourself, but I want to examine this clearly scripted reality series from as much of a wrestling lense as possible. So, from here on out the main focus of this recap will be analysis.

In Bella World, Nikki struggles with determining her future in WWE. After not being drafted to SmackDown, her future seems uncertain. And considering all of her outside business ventures and presence in Hollywood now, wrestling is not a necessity for her, so to speak. She even receives an offer to appear on Dancing With the Stars. I, for one, wish she had accepted, but I am happy to see where her heart really lies: with wrestling.

Eva Marie struggles to deal with her father's health, and ends up taking dramatic measures by declaring she will be controlling her father's diet. Her father resists, and Eva has to deal with the fact that she cannot force him to live healthy despite his cancer. It's interesting to see this side of Eva, who can at times come across as entitled on this show and is unimpressive at best in the ring. We forget that, even in shows scripted like Total Divas, these women are all humans with complex lives and relationships.

Lana and Rusev get married once more, this time in a traditional Bulgarian wedding. Lana struggles with adapting to the traditions of his culture, including an Orthodox Church baptism that involves a slight haircut, mostly because he didn't tell her about it in advance. The pair fights. Rusev, throughout the episode, is bothered by the way his wife and the other women treat his culture, as if it is some quirky foreign thing. To Americans, it might seem strange, but for him it's his life. No one likes to see their culture looked down on, even by people we love. However, as is the case for any marriage, the two compromise and Lana ends up enjoying her second wedding.


International Corner:

This section includes recaps of matches from around the world in various lesser-known independent promotions throughout the week.

STARDOM

Match: Kairi Hojo vs. Hana Kimura (Wonder of Stardom Title match)
Winner: Kairi Hojo

Maverick Pro Wrestling

Match: Katarina Leigh vs. Brittany Blake
Winner: Katarina Leigh

Impact Zone Wrestling

Match: Erica vs. Paige Turner (IZW Women's Title match)
Winner: Erica

CMLL

Match: Dalys la Caribena vs. Estrellita (CMLL Women's Title match)
Winner: Dalys la Caribena
Highlights: Best 2 our of 3 falls match

Italian Championship Wrestling

Match: Queen Maya vs. Jokey (ICW Women's Championship match)
Winner: Queen Maya

MATCH OF THE WEEK: 
Naomi vs. Charlotte

Two women who emerged from the WWE Draft eager to make their marks on their respective divisions finally clashed in an evenly-paced, well-matched fight on SmackDown. Naomi is doing better than many predicted as champion, full of charisma and showing more depth in the ring as the weeks fly by. Charlotte, too, is fitting right in on the blue brand. Her character has found revitalization on SmackDown with a fresh crop of rivals. I cannot wait to see where Tuesday nights take these two women next.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK: 
Alexa Bliss

I am making Alexa Bliss my woman of the week for one reason and one reason only: she defeated the "WHAT?" chants. I was in the crowd at Raw in Kansas City, Missouri, and the crowd was determined not to give her an easy time. But she handled them with an ease and attitude I haven't seen in some veterans in the company, shutting the people around me up so decisively I'm still impressed by it days later. Her title shot is well-deserved, and she is adding spirit and fire to Raw's division just as she was meant to.

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!


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THIS POST WRITTEN BY: GABRIELA VELASQUEZ

Gabby Velasquez is the owner of the pro wrestling site Girl Talk With Gabby. You can follow her on Twitter and her podcast on iTunes.

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