Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 9/9/2017 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review: 9/9/2017

Posted by Gabby Velasquez Saturday, September 9, 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.

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WWE Mae Young Classic

Abbey Laith vs. Rachel Evers (Round 2 match)

Laith and Evers were the perfect choice to kick off the next round of episodes. The pair clashed wonderfully. Laith is a very expressive character, having a flair for theatricality. Evers is highly physical and intense competitor. Together, the two brought their A-game for a very fast-paced match full of fun spots, including a double dropkick that brought the Full Sail crowd to their feet. Though the match was even throughout, Laith secured a victory with the Alligator Clutch.

Having Evers out so early in the tournament is a shame, but she managed to make a strong impression in just two matches. Laith was a good choice to advance, and NXT officials are undoubtedly thinking that they made a wise choice in signing her.

Winner: Abbey Laith
Rating: 3.5/5

Serena Deeb vs. Piper Niven (Round 2 match)

Serena Deeb's redemption story came to an end as she was handed a defeat by Piper Niven, who toned down the heelishness even against someone as babyface as Serena Deeb. Their match was a story of finishers; each woman needed to hit her finisher, and each woman knew she couldn't give her opponent the chance. The match was short and sweet, but Deeb looked strong in defeat and Niven cemented her status as a fan favorite.

Winner: Piper Niven
Rating: 3.5/5

Mercedes Martinez vs. Princesa Sugehit (Round 2 match)

While this match was a bit stilted at points, it was really cool to see two veterans of the game going at it in a WWE ring. Martinez continued to heel it up, but it was hard to root against her even as Sugehit went on a tear, her classic lucha style contrasting wonderfully with Martinez's stiff strikes.

Martinez came away with the victory, but Sugehit succeeded in making a name for herself in a short amount of time.

Winner: Mercedes Martinez
Rating: 3/5

Kairi Sane vs. Bianca Belair (Round 2 match)

Bianca Belair has been wrestling for less than a year. Her gimmick is beating people up with her hair. She should not be as dominating and fun to watch as she is.

But alas, here we are, and in a match against Japanese sensation Kairi Sane, Bianca Belair is the woman we're talking about, even after she lost. She executed a 450 splash. She carries herself with confidence and her strikes look amazing. Her weaponized hair is convincing and engaging. She's a future star if I've ever seen one.

Sane, the underdog in size and strength, out-maneuvered Belair enough to hit her diving elbow drop for the victory, but Belair needn't concern herself. She won in the way that matters.

Winner: Kairi Sane
Rating: 4/5

Toni Storm vs. Lacey Evans

I'm trying to figure out why I can't really get into Lacey Evans. She's very talented, especially for someone as new to wrestling as she is. Perhaps it's the fact that she can't decide if her gimmick is a soldier, an all-American girl, or Rosie the Riveter. I can't tell what exactly she is, and I don't know how to feel about her.

The match was slow at first, but the finishing sequence was fun. Toni Storm is a credit to her profession, especially for someone who is only 21 years old.

Winner: Toni Storm
Rating: 3/5

Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler (Round 2 match)

Yim and Baszler, without a doubt, tore the house down as the two kickers and strikers put on a hard-hitting, highly competitive match that had the crowd loudly voicing their appreciation.

It was a power struggle, but Baszler came out victorious after escaping an attempted 450 and forcing a submission victory. Yim showed a lot of heart and guts, displaying wonderful intensity even in a losing battle.

Mia Yim may have only survived into the second round, but her journey leaves little to be desired. She's a success story and a survival story. She's a role model with incredible ring skills and many years of magic left in her. I hope WWE takes advantage of her charisma.

Winner: Shayna Baszler
Rating: 3.5/5

Dakota Kai vs. Rhea Ripley (Round 2 match)

Rhea Ripley may have been younger, but she was stronger and had a size advantage over Dakota Kai. However, Dakota Kai's experience and devastating strikes and kicks proved to be too much for the 20-year-old Aussie to overcome. A Coup de Grace from Kai on Ripley while she was strung on the ropes sent the New Zealander to the next round.

Winner: Dakota Kai
Rating: 3/5

Candice LeRae vs. Nicole Savoy (Round 2 match)

Nicole Savoy finally got the chance to show everyone why she's called the Queen of Suplexes as she took on fan-favorite Candice LeRae. She utilized her signature MMA-based arsenal of moves against a fired up LeRae, but even she couldn't overcome Ms. LaRae's Wild Ride. However, the indie star has nothing to be ashamed of.

LeRae continues to be one of the most exciting talents of the Mae Young Classic, to nobody's surprise. WWE has to be watching her very, very closely.

Winner: Candice LeRae
Rating: 3/5

Abbey Laith vs. Mercedes Martinez (Quarterfinal match)

This was the weakest match of the tournament for Laith and Martinez, but the two indie darlings found a rhythm even after a slow start to the match. I think a lot of people expected Martinez to go out swinging here, but WWE surprised us all by investing in the Shimmer veteran instead of Laith, who is already signed.

Laith didn't need the victory to cap off a fantastic tournament. She put on great bouts with Jazzy Gabert and Rachel Evers. Officials are certainly on notice.

Winner: Abbey Laith
Rating: 2.5/5

Shayna Baszler vs. Candice LeRae (Quarterfinal match)

Hear me out: Candice LeRae was never going to win this tournament. She doesn't need to. She's already well-known, and even many more casual fans know who she is. In many ways, she's probably better off in some ways continuing on the indies instead of signing a potential WWE contract.

Hear me out again: This tournament needed a heel. Crowds for events like this aren't prone to booing anyone. However, without a villain, the tournament lacks and ongoing, cohesive story. Also consider this: Shayna Baszler may not wrestle in an exciting, high-flying style, but she can definitely wrestle and has been killing the game on the indies for a while now.

She deserved this victory, and it was the right decision.

Winner: Shayna Baszler
Rating: 3/5

Toni Storm vs. Piper Niven (Quarterfinal match)

Toni Storm and Piper Niven had a ton of fun in this match. Their double bridge into a handshake, the smiles they wore as they fought, everything about this match was fun to watch.

It amazes me how athletic Piper Niven is. She moves with such ease, in a very Keith Lee-esque fashion. She's also got this infectious kind of energy that was on full display against Toni Storm, whose manic intensity is still as fun as ever. However, it was Storm's night, not hers, and Storm won the match with a leg drop from the ropes.

Winner: Toni Storm
Rating: 3.5/5

Dakota Kai vs. Kairi Sane (Quarterfinal match)

Two of the purest babyfaces of the entire tournament did battle, and I give kudos to commentary for making the story of this match Dakota Kai slowing down because of exhaustion. It felt like King of the Ring, where the competitors get weaker as they go on simply because they have put their bodies so much. Taking this story root kept Kai looking strong even in defeat.

Also, can we talk about Sane's wicked Spear? Wow!

Winner: Kairi Sane
Rating: 3.5/5

Shayna Baszler vs. Mercedes Martinez (Semifinal match)

I enjoyed almost everything about this match. The story of it was spotless. Shayna Baszler has denied handshakes to everyone until reaching her Trifecta ally and mentor Mercedes Martinez, who had also denied that same show of respect to her opponents. Both women shook hands before their battle, and boy, what a battle it was.

Commetary emphasized how Baszler and Martinez trained and worked together, so each time Baszler went for one of her signature kicks, Martinez was ready and waiting. Martinez didn't pull any punches, attacking Baszler with even more ferocity than normal. The MMA star was lagging for a majority of the match, struggling under Martinez's experienced offense, but finally managed to pull off a comeback for another submission victory.

Sue me for saying this, but Baszler is the perfect choice. She's a detestable heel with fierce aggression and a great confidence about her. She'll be easy to root against as she knocks people out, wouldn't you say?

Winner: Shayna Baszler
Rating: 4/5

Kairi Sane vs. Toni Storm (Semifinal match)

My two girls from STARDOM battled it out to secure to final spot int he finals, and it was as wonderful as I'd hoped. Toni Storm looked fresh and new against Sane, bringing her trademark physicality to the match as she took on the ever-competitive Kairi Sane.

These two ladies were their usual, highly athletic selves. They went from spot to spot to spot, utilizing hard-hitting, strike centered moves to bring what was certainly an exhausted crowd alive as they fought hard to secure victories. AT one point, Storm caught Sane in what looked like a wildly painful submission, and it looked like she might get it. However, Sane escaped, and her trusty elbow got her the final slot in the finals.

Sane is a star, that much is certain. She and Baszler should put on a, pardon the pun, classic.

Winner: Kairi Sane
Rating: 4/5

WWE Monday Night Raw

Sasha Banks & Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax & Emma

Jax And Bliss' conflict was, fortunately, the central story of this match. Bliss made sure to keep away from Jax as much as possible, and Jax made a point to go after her every chance she got. Meanwhile, Emma was given the opportunity to showcase a lot of aggression, and Banks, even with a reluctant opponent, performed well.

Excellent tag work by Jax and Emma ensured their victory and gave them a spot in the next pay-per-view's title match. Bliss and Banks just couldn't stay on the same page long enough to keep their match one-on-one.

It's a shame that WWE can't seem to tell multiple storylines with all of its Raw women without throwing them all in multi-woman title matches, but it's really cool seeing Emma in a title match. Interestingly enough, this also marks Jax's first title shot on the main roster.

It's anyone's game.

Winner: Emma & Nia Jax
Rating: 3/5

WWE SmackDown

Carmella vs. Natalya

Natalya picked up another win over Ms. Money in the Bank herself after James Ellsworth decided to try and interfere and his plan once again backfired. After, Carmella got infuriated with Ellsworth and finally lost it on him, screaming at him and leaving him int he dust. Later, she kissed him and then slapped him.

It's fine; everything's fine.

Winners: Natalya
Rating: 2/5


Zeda vs. Sonya Deville

Poor Zeda just cannot catch a break. Sonya Deville took no time in forcing the Mae Young Classic competitor to tap with her beautiful armbar in short order.

Deville is full of talent, but NXT doesn't seem to know what they even want to do with her. They're pushing her as their MMA-centric character, but with the arrival of talents like Taynara Conti and Shayna Baszler, what's in store for her? Will they really invest what they should?

Winner: Sonya Deville
Rating: 2.5/5


There's nothing to say about Asuka's reign that hasn't already been said, but I'll say this: I, personally, am glad that Asuka is going to the main roster undefeated. She's a wholly unique creation in modern WWE, and her charisma and skill could quite literally lift Raw's Women's Division to the next level.

Asuka carried NXT on her shoulders for the better part of a year. She's a universally acknowledged star who, regardless of gender, is one of the best in the world.

Thank you, Asuka.

GFW Impact Wrestling

Gail Kim & Allie vs. Sienna & Taryn Terrell

I don't think I've emphasized enough just how loaded GFW's Knockouts division truly is. This week, they got even better.

The heels targeted veteran Gail Kim throughout the match, and with some shenanigans managed to sneak themselves a victory. After the match, they attacked the babyfaces, but a returning Rosemary arrived to come tot heir defense and just be the awesome star that she is. The Knockout cleared the heels away, until Taya Valkyrie arrived.

Valkyrie, whose stellar work on Lucha Underground and around the world has put wrestling fans everywhere on notice, aligned with Sienna and Terrell, establishing herself as a magnificently monstrous heel and setting up a feud with Rosemary. We're in for a treat.
Winners: Sienna & Taryn Terrell
Rating: 3/5

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: Livvii Grace vs. Bea Priestley
Winner: Livvii Grace

Match: Sammii Jayne vs. Leah Owens
Winner: Sammii Jayne


Match: Toni Storm vs. Tam Nakano
Winner: Viper

Match: Io Shirai vs. Konami
Winner: Io Shirai

Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Kris Wolf
Winner: Mayu Iwatani

Shayna Baszler vs. Mercedes Martinez

What can I say? I'm a sucker for the perfect story and highly physical matches. Martinez and Baszler showed the world what makes Shimmer alumnae so great: athleticism and no fear of being unique.

Mercedes Martinez

Sixteen years into an already successful career, and Martinez is still impressing and innovating her game. Seriously, is there anything this woman CAN'T do?

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! Also, come back next week for a full breakdown of the Mae Young Classic's first round of episodes and matches.

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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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