Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 7/15/2017 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 7/15/2017

Posted by Gabby Velasquez Sunday, July 16, 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 GFW'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 Great Balls of Fire

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women's Championship match)

An ongoing trend within Raw's women's division is putting on good, fast-paced matches in spite of booking instead of because of it. Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss utilized rumored real-life heat between them to add another layer of drama to what was otherwise supposed to be just another bout, and the women themselves turned it into a fun slugfest that stood out on an otherwise average card.

Though Banks controlled the match early on, Bliss used her mutant arm to turn the tide of the match. Banks rallied several times, but Bliss was relentless in her assault, escaping from a Banks Statement only to leave the ring for a countout loss. Banks, infuriated, attacked Bliss, hitting her with a double knees from the announce table off the stage.

The ending was a bit out of the blue and must have been very disappointing for fans watching live, but I am interested to see what this ends up meaning for Sasha Banks' involvement in the title picture. She's still putting on great matches and is moving merch well, so I see not reason to pull back on her push as things are.

Winner: Sasha Banks
Rating: 3.5/5

WWE Monday Night Raw

Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley

The women of Raw once again got a mere five percent of airtime in the exact same match that was booked the week before. No sign of Emma, no sign of Dana Brooke.

The match itself was fairly standard. Bliss and Jax attempted to keep Bayley and Banks separated and destracted. Banks focused much of her ire on Bliss, while Bayley struggled to maneuver around Jax's tactics. The women kept most of their conflict within the ropes, and Bayley took the pin with a rollup on Bliss.

Word on the street is that WWE is interested in having another Fatal Four-Way for the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam between Banks, Jax, Bayley and Bliss. And while I understand the desire to have as much talent on the card as possible, I think that WWE is making a massive mistake by trying to push an entire division instead of individuals. A division is only as strong as its characters, and when you don't take the time to properly develop characters as individuals and build conflicts with precision, your division feels shallow and the payoff is weak.

Winner: Sasha Banks & Bayley
Rating: 2.5/5

WWE SmackDown

Charlotte & Becky Lynch vs. Natalya & Tamina

Shane McMahon announced a five-way elimination match for Battleground to determine the next challenger to Naomi's title.

Teamwork was the center of this match, as Natalya and Tamina worked to keep Becky Lynch isolated for Flair and Lynch and Flair's friendship helped them thrive as a team. At one point, the heels knocked Flair away and used the distraction to lock Lynch into a Sharpshooter, but Lynch finally tagged Flair in. However, a distraction by Lana allowed Tamina to get a blind tag in and hit a Superkick on Charlotte for the pinfall.

Another week of only one women's match, but this match did a lot to push the ongoing mystery of Lana and Tamina's odd partnership forward while also cementing Lana as one of the most annoying characters on television. Okay, perhaps that is a little harsh, but I digress. I'm intrigued, and curious as to what Naomi will be up to when Battleground comes around.

Winner: Natalya & Tamina
Rating: 2.5/5

GFW Impact Wrestling

Ava Storie vs. Laurel Van Ness

I make a lot of TNA jokes, but I will give them this much: there is a reason this week's episode of Impact pulled in record viewership.

GFW's resident crazy lady Laurel Van Ness faced off against Ava Storie, and looked impressive, showing shades of Su Yung (the indie circuit's resident crazy lady) with her smeared makeup and wild moveset. She scored a win with the Blackout. Enter Grado, who needs to marry someone so that he can stay in the United States (someone call Sandra Bullock!). He proposes, and she...agrees? It was very vague.

Winner: Laurel Van Ness
Rating: 2.5/5

Lucha Underground

Taya Valkyrie vs. Jeremiah Crane

Crane and Valkyrie went to war in a highly physical, stiff match that wonderfully showcased how tough Valkyrie truly is. She received no help from the Worldwide Underground as she faced off against the Lucha Death Machine. Instead, full of confidence bordering on arrogance, she dished out and took wild punishment to and from Crane.

Crane hit her with his around-the-ring canonball (which I have witnessed live, as a little sidenote) , but Valkyrie still managed to nearly secure the win twice, even after she was ambushed by an infuriated and 100 percent DONE Sexy Star, armed with steel knuckles for some sweet, sweet revenge. After the interference, Crane finally had Valkyrie's number, and he eliminated her from the tournament with prejudice.

The sheer physicality of this match made it must-see. I was hooked the entire time. Both wrestlers gave their all and put on a fun and thrilling bout. I also like this darker side of Sexy Star we're seeing. Not everyone can be Wonder Woman and win the day with the power of love. Sexy Star's growing frustration and hint of darkness is definitely something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Winner: Jeremiah Crane
Rating: 4/5


Vanessa Borne vs. Jayme Hachey

Two minutes, and this Mae Young Classic qualifier was in the books. Borne will likely not advance far in the tournament, which is just fine. She is still learning. I hope she takes the chance to learn from the veterans in the tournament such as Kairi Sane or Mercedes Martinez while she has the chance. They have a lot of knowledge to offer.

Winner: Vanessa Borne
Rating: 1/5

WWE Main Event

Mickie James vs. Emma

Mickie James picked up a win her her home state of Virginia over Raw's most underutilized heel: Emma. This match was what it needed to be, with Emma being her usual sultry, cocky self and James using the hometown crowd to her advantage.

Winner: Mickie James
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. Debbie Sharp
Winner: Sammii Jayne

Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment

Match: Aria Blake, Isla Dawn & Su Yung vs. Camilla Kane, Keira Hogan & Priscilla Kelly
Winner: Aria Blake, Isla Dawn & Su Yung

Empire Wrestling Federation

Match: Ruby Raze vs. Martiza
Winner: Ruby Raze

Chaotic Wrestling

Match: Alisha Edwards vs. Delmi Exo
Winner: Alisha Edwards

Taya Valkyrie vs. Jeremiah Crane

Really, was there any other option? Valkyrie and Crane put on a slugfest in their quest to advance in the Cuerto Cup, full of thrilling near-falls and daring spots. And witht he added ambush of Sexy Star, the intensity of the women on Lucha Underground has grown exponentially from the fever pitch it was already at.

Gail Kim

Gail Kim announced her retirement, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't have me feeling emotional. She has been a cornerstone of Impact for years, a reliable athlete and fantastic ambassador for a company that for many years was a better place to be for women's wrestling than WWE. She has a storied career stocked full of accomplishments, and I know GFW fans will miss her. She will retire at the end of the year.

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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