Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 6/4/2017 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 6/4/2017

Posted by Callum Wiggins Sunday, June 4, 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

Believe it or not, there was actually no women's match at all on Monday Night Raw this week. And people wonder why Nia Jax took to Twitter to complain about how SmackDown utilizes its women's roster better. Honestly, with a show lasting three hours long, you should be able to find enough time for one women's match on every show, and especially in this era it's frankly inexcusable not to have one featured.

Rich Swann w/ Sasha Banks vs. Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox

Instead, our first glimpse of one of Raw's premier women's athletes was when Alicia Fox accompanied Noam Dar to the ring for the latest match in his never-ending feud with Rich Swann. Not to be outdone, Swann invited a partner of his own to watch his back - Sasha Banks. Banks and Fox have been trading victories in the past month so this made sense, but it felt rather odd that both would take the role of managers for this show, particularly as the same exact match took place on 205 Live the very next day.

As for the match, Rich Swann picked up the win after Sasha Banks prevented Alicia Fox from interfering. Banks and Swann then shared a dance in the middle of the ring which woke the crowd up somewhat from this lacklustre segment. It was fine and builds into their mixed tag team match at Extreme Rules, but hopefully both Banks and Fox can move onto something more meaningful in the following weeks.

Winner: Rich Swann w/ Sasha Banks
Rating: 2.5/5


Bayley: This Is Your Life

Sadly, I now have to talk about the Raw Women's Championship feud. Normally that would be a great thing, as Alexa Bliss is one of my favorite performers in WWE right now and Bayley, while the victim of haphazard booking in recent weeks, is still immensely popular. But, in what can only be described as the worst segment of WWE television in 2017 and arguably the worst in at least five years, Bliss hosted 'Bayley: This Is Your Life'.

This is a skit that has only been successfully pulled off once in WWE history, when it involved The Rock and Mick Foley, two of the most charismatic talkers of all time. Alexa Bliss is one of the greatest promos in the women's division, but this segment was doomed from the beginning. She proceeded to present imaginative possessions of Bayley's, like a doll she still plays with, an award for sportsmanship and her yearbook, which claimed she was voted 'Most Likely to Apologize'.

Bliss then turned to blasts from Bayley's past, more accurately described of three people in serious need of acting coaches. Mrs. Flapper, Bayley's former teacher, talked about how her father used to sit in class with her as she would be too upset to leave her parents. Her former best friend Tracy described how Bayley was a pushover and people stopped being friends with her because she wanted to watch wrestling all the time. And her ex-boyfriend Phil recalled nearly kissing Bayley's father on a date, before revealing he only dated her to get close to Tracy, which ended with both making out as the audience begged for the pain to stop.

About ten minutes too late to save this sinking ship, Bayley came out to attack Bliss, before motioning to grab the kendo stick on a pole, the gimmick aspect of their title match at Extreme Rules. However, Bliss cut her off as she climbed, before grabbing another cane from under the memorabilia table and striking Bayley hard to stand tall heading into the PPV.

I can't adequately put into words how bad this segment was. In one fell swoop it utterly killed the crowd, insulted the intelligence of wrestling fans worldwide and demolished Bayley's credibility. Bliss tried her best to rescue this, but she was fighting a losing battle. This trope that Bayley is a child and can't be taken seriously is becoming old very fast, and will eventually turn her from the female John Cena (as she should be) to an afterthought. She is going to need some serious rehabilitation regardless of the result against Alexa Bliss in order to present her as the aspirational performer she was in NXT.

Winner: Nobody
Rating: 0/5


WWE SmackDown Live

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Carmella vs. Tamina

After weeks of faction warfare on SmackDown Live between The Welcoming Committee and the alliance of Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women's Champion Naomi, the title took center stage on this show. A 5-way elimination match was arranged to determine the number one contender for Naomi's championship at Money in the Bank, presenting several intriguing options for the upcoming PPV. Would the Welcoming Committee be able to coexist and use the numbers game to their advantage? Could Charlotte resume her pursuit of the crown she has sought since arriving on the Blue Brand.

We did not find the answer to these questions, but that didn't make what happened any less exciting. Before the bell was rung, all five women started brawling, Becky and Carmella dropping to ringside while Natalya and Tamina double-teamed Charlotte. This was the beginning of a chaotic free-for-all, with brutal bumps and high-risk maneuvers aplenty. My highlights included Becky Lynch running the barricade to clothesline Carmella, Charlotte's picture perfect moonsault to Natalya and Tamina on the floor, and the exclamation point of Charlotte's powerbomb on Natalya through the announce table.

With the match never officially starting and all five women battered and broken around ringside, Shane McMahon came out to address the title situation. Personally, I'm getting a little tired of seeing Shane's constant presence in the women's division - authority figures don't constantly talk about how other divisions are awesome and deserve our attention, they do that one their own. This segment was excellent enough without Shane having to tell us how great it was. Still, he announced that there would be the first-ever Women's Money in the Bank Ladder match at the upcoming PPV, featuring all five of the women in this match.

If this brawl is any indication of the risks these superstars will take in the ladder match, we could be in for a classic. However, it does raise a number of questions: will Naomi defend her championship at Money in the Bank, and if so against who? Is there room for the soon-to-debut Lana in the match? Or, will a certain superstar from NXT be called-up to make this an even six, such as Asuka or Ember Moon? One thing's for certain, I'm definitely excited to see how this match plays out on June 18.

Winner: No Contest
Rating: 4/5


TNA Impact Wrestling

Allie vs. Amber Nova

Allie has in short order become one of the most endearing wrestlers out there as her self-doubt in the ring is gradually replaced with confidence. Partially due to the support of boyfriend (and real-life husband) Braxton Sutter and her bizarre alliance with TNA Knockouts Champion Rosemary, Allie has been finding her feet more between the ropes. In a non-kayfabe sense, the former Cherry Bomb has show quite an adeptness for portraying a virtually untrained wrestler despite her years of experience.

Oddly enough, Allie's opponent in this match was someone who is new to the wrestling business. Amber Nova only debuted in CWE in April 2016, but was presented as the more experienced competitor in her first foray into the Impact Zone. Nova was in control the majority of this match, including a unique maneuver of wrapping Allie in a headscissors to pull her repeatedly into the turnbuckle. Allie would summon her resolve however and score the unlikely victory with a 'Death Allie Driver'. Nothing special in all honesty, but told the story of Allie as an underdog still learning the ropes. She celebrated like she had just won a title with Sutter, and it will be interesting to follow how her story progresses.

Winner: Allie
Rating: 2.5/5


Lucha Underground

Lucha Underground returned on Wednesday night, but sadly no luchadoras were in action as the entire episode was devoted to the All Night Long match between Johnny Mundo and The Mack for the Lucha Underground Championship. Sexy Star did appear to help even the odds for The Mack when Mundo's allies made an appearance, but we'll have to wait for future episodes to see her in the ring, along with the likes of Ivelisse, Mariposa, Kobra Moon, Taya, Black Lotus and Catrina. It's going to be an intriguing second-half of Season 3.


WWE NXT

NXT was also bereft of women's wrestling this week, but there were a couple of talking points worth mentioning. Firstly, in a taped segment with the Iconic duo of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, Ember Moon was cleared to compete following her recent injury. Also, it was announced there would be a rematch from Takeover: Chicago for the NXT Women's Championship, as Asuka defends against Nikki Cross and Ruby Riot in a Triple Threat elimination match. I was slightly disappointed with their clash in Chicago, so hopefully this highlights the undeniable ability of all three of these women.

International Corner:

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

Tokyo Joshi Pro: AT THIS TIME, GET EXCITED IN SHINJUKU!

Match: Nodoka-oneesan vs. Marika Kobashi
Winner: Nodoka-oneesan

Match: Itoh Maki vs. Azusa Takigawa
Winner: Double Countout

Match: Miyu Yamashita vs. Mizuki
Winner: Miyu Yamashita

Match: Yuna Manase vs. Nonoko
Winner: Yuna Manase

Match: Syoko Nakajima vs. Reika Saiki
Winner: Syoko Nakajima

Match: Rika Tatsumi & Maho Kurone vs. Saki-nami & Martha
Winner: Tatsumi & Kurone

Match: Tokyo Princess of Princess Champion Yuu vs. Yuka Sakazaki
Winner: Yuka Sakazaki

Stardom

Match: Ruaka vs Hanan
Winner: Hanan

Match: Hana Kimura vs Rebel
Winner: Hana Kimura

Match: Mayu Iwatani & Hetzza vs Jungle Kyona & Natsuko Tora
Winner: Kyona & Tora

Match: Artist of Stardom Champions Kairi Hojo, Hiromi Mimura & Konami vs Io Shirai, HZK & AZM
Winner: Shirai, HZK & AZM

This was believed to be Kairi Hojo's final match with Stardom before she signs with WWE.

WCPW: Fight Back

Match: Viper w/ Bea Priestley vs. Kay Lee Ray
Winner: Kay Lee Ray

Women of Honor

Match: Jessie Brooks & Tasha Steelz vs Gabby Ortiz & Sumie Sakai
Winner: Ortiz & Sakai


Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL)

Match: La Silueta, Marcela & Skadi vs. Dalys la Caribena, La Comandante & La Seductora
Winner: La Silueta, Marcela & Skadi

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Viper vs Kay Lee Ray (WCPW) 

In a week bereft of women's wrestling on Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT, it was left to the independent promotions and Impact Wrestling to help women's wrestling lovers find their fix. While Allie's victory over Amber Nova progressed their story well, out of the matches I witnessed the one that stood out most was the classic storytelling of the gutsy Kay Lee Ray overcoming the behemoth Viper at WCPW Fight Back, guaranteeing her a title match against Bea Priestley in the near future.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK: 
Kairi Hojo

Kairi Hojo left Stardom with a bang in her final show with the organization, wrestling both a six-woman tag in the show's main event before partaking in ten one-minute time limit matches against every other woman on the show. Most of these ended in a draw or her defeat, but it was a good send-off for one of the most talented women's wrestlers in the world. Let's hope she follows in Asuka's footsteps and brings the same intensity when she arrives in WWE as it is highly rumored she will be soon.

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: CALLUM WIGGINS

Callum Wiggins hails from Essex in the United Kingdom. He recently graduated from the University of York with a degree in History and has been a fan of professional wrestling since 2002. Outside of wrestling, he is also a fan of Arsenal FC and enjoys video games, darts, and Formula One. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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