Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #179 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #179

Posted by Gabriela Velasquez Monday, April 16, 2018
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 Impact Wrestling's Knockouts, Lucha Underground's luchadoras, and even a glimpse at the women on the independent circuit.

Happy WrestleMania hangover week!

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE WrestleMania

Women's Battle Royal

Between the tension between Sasha Banks and Bayley, the incredible fun of seeing Naomi succeed at WrestleMania and the thrilling performances of the six women representing NXT, this Battle Royal had a lot to talk about. Kairi Sane was a thrill as always, hitting her trademark elbow for a big pop, and the fun conflict between Banks and Bayley, who threw out her former friend only to be eliminated by Naomi, was a highlight.

Winner: Naomi
Rating: 3/5

Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that Ronda Rousey greatly exceeded my expectations. The crowd enjoyed her, and she carried herself with a wonderful level of intensity. Also, she deadlifted Triple H.

Just...just think on that for a bit.

I was very excited to see WWE embracing the heart of what makes intergender wrestling so thrilling to watch. Ronda was presented as a warrior who wasn't the least bit afraid of Triple H or McMahon. Gender was irrelevant. She was presented as both of their equal, and once she tapped out Stephanie, there was no question that she is destined for big things in WWE.

Winner: Bayley
Rating: 2/5

Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women's Championship match)

We've already discussed my issues with the booking of the build to this match, but I won't pretend that the payoff was both empowering and fantastic. It could still have been equally, if not more, so without the body-shaming, 'Mean Girls'-esque plot, but I digress.

Nia Jax felt like a star from the moment she entered to a roaring applause from the Mania crowd. She was smiling, determined, and once she was in the ring, she was fiery. She beat Bliss and Mickie James both with a wholly satisfying level of righteous fury and championship-level ambition. When she won, earning her first ever championship, her joy was infectious, and her moment int he sun felt wholly earned.

I'm so excited to see what she does next.

Winner: Nia Jax
Rating: 3.5/5

Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women's Championship match)

I saved this one for last because, in my opinion, it should have been the main event of WrestleMania. Yeah, I said it. It was the best match of the night, broke Asuka's historic streak, and solidified Charlotte as the face of WWE's Women's Division for the foreseeable future.

The match was physical, character-driven, and centered on nothing more than each woman's desire to be the best. it was almost a surreal sight; both were treated like stars from the moment their music hit. The atmosphere was electric and the action was thrilling. Asuka and Charlotte both fought with their unique blends of raw strength and technical submissions, but int he end, Charlotte's Figure Eight finally ended Asuka's undefeated streak.

On one hand, I'm sad to see Asuka lose. But on the other, I'm relieved it was to Charlotte, and I think she now has a lot more open to her story-wise without the weight of that streak on her shoulders. Both women are bound to have fantastic years, and after matches like that, I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them main-eventing Mania next year.

Winner: Charlotte Flair
Rating: 4.5/5


WWE Monday Night Raw

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James vs. Nia Jax & Ember Moon

Okay, wow. Just...wow. After an incredible battle with Shayna Baszler at NXT TakeOver, Ember Moon has finally made her debut on the main roster, and boy, the moment was just breathtaking.

Nia Jax emerged to a huge pop, title proudly on display over her shoulder. She was soon interrupted by Bliss and James, who called her a bully and berated her for not having a partner. Jax then proceeded to introduce Ember Moon herself, whose electrifying entrance was only the start of an exciting, albeit quick, debut match that elevated both her and our new champion.

Winner: Nia Jax & Ember Moon
Rating: 3/5

Sasha Banks vs. Mandy Rose

Sasha Banks in short but exciting matches after Mania is practically a tradition now, so this was no surprise to anyone. What was a surprise, however, was seeing Mandy Rose pick up the victory over Banks after tricking Bayley into clobbering her at ringside.

After, Bayley left, shocked at what happened, and Sasha marched away, furious.

Winner: Mandy Rose
Rating: 2/5

A New Paige

After Bayley and Sasha left, Paige took to the mic to officially announce her retirement from wrestling in an emotional speech that reminded us all of how impactful she had been in such a short amount of time. It's such a shame she didn't have more time to blaze a path int he ring, but she's left her mark, and that mark will impact women in WWE for years to come.

Winner: Bayley
Rating: 2/5


WWE SmackDown

Naomi vs. Natalya

Naomi's regained a lot of momentum by winning the WrestleMania Battle Royal, but Natalya won't let that slide. She wants the spotlight and the glory. All that said, it didn't exactly pan out as Nattie hoped. Naomi won a pretty quick match with her split-legged moonsault.

It will be interesting to see if both of these women remain on SmackDown following next week's Shakeup. Both have potential on Raw, but their presence on SmackDown feels like a mainstay. They can succeed anywhere.

Oh, and in other news, Paige is SmackDown's new manager. Hell yeah.

Winner: Natalya
Rating: 2.5/5

Carmella is MONEY

Oh, man. A ton of major things happened in one segment, and I want to do each thing credit. So let's discuss, shall we? First off, Charlotte, in all of her golden glory, came out to celebrate her retention at WrestleMania. She called her match with Asuka an honor, and wondered who would be next.

Enter the Iconics: Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. At long last, NXT's resident workhorse heel duo is on the main roster, ready to wreak havoc and provide some depth to a small women's division that was losing steam as feuds grew stale. The two beat Charlotte down without mercy, and who was there to cash in on the opportunity?

Who else? Carmella. Miss Money in the Bank took advantage of the champ's weakened state and cashed in after what felt like an eternity of waiting for the referee to ring the damn bell already! She won her "match" and became the woman to dethrone a shell-shocked Charlotte. The moment was exactly what it should have been, thrilling and conniving and completely perfect. Carmella's heel work has been phenomenal since her SmackDown debut. Welcome to the champions club, Ms. Fabulous. Let's see what you've got.

Winner: Carmella
Rating: 3/5


WWE NXT

Kairi Sane vs. Lacey Evans

Lacey Evans continues to grow in her physical heel role, and she seems to be flourishing in it. Her strength-based striking style provided a wonderful foil to Kairi's swift and athletic style. She beat down the charismatic babyface with gusto, but in the end Sane had too much spunk and fight for her to conquer. One insane elbow was enough to pick up the victory for Sane.

Winner: Kairi Sane
Rating: 2.5/5


Impact Wrestling

Rosemary vs. Taya Valkyrie

Man, I could watch these two fight forever. They're so different, but they complement each other fantastically.

In a highly physical match that involved tables, ladders and chairs, Rosemary and Valkyrie put on a fun bout that didn't have to rely ont he weapons themselves to be exciting. They built to the spots well, and the finisher, a piledrive through a table, was stunning. Rosemary picked up the win, and I cannot wait to see where this conflict takes them next.

Winner: Rosemary
Rating: 2.5/5


International Corner:

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

Pro-Wrestling: EVE

Match: Sammii Jayne vs. Erin Angel
Winner: Sammii Jayne

STARDOM

Match: Io Shirai & Kagetsu vs. Mayu Iwatani
Winner: Io Shirai & Kagetsu

SHIMMER

Match: Nicole Savoy vs. Cheerleader Melissa (Shimmer Championship match)
Winner: Nicole Savoy

RISE

Match: Delilah Doom vs. Deonna Purrazzo (Phoenix of RISE championship match)
Winner: Delilah Doom

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Charlotte vs. Asuka

In a bout that surpassed even AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura's, Charlotte and Asuka made a case for letting women headline event he biggest pay-per-view of the year. They told a wonderful story of ambition, competition and passion for their craft that had the Mania audience on their feet by the match's stunning end.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
Carmella

Once just a hype woman for Enzo and Cass, Carmella has now surpassed her counterparts in both charisma and success. Her historic Money in the Bank reign has ended with a successful cash-in, and she sits atop the mountain on SmackDown, hoisting her first ever championship belt above her head in victory. This week belongs to her.



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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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