Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #194 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #194

Posted by Callum Wiggins Sunday, August 12, 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.

Women's Wrestling Weekly Smark Out Moment WWE

Before we get into the full week in women's wrestling, you may have heard of a little thing called the Mae Young Classic. It will be coming to your WWE Network playlist pretty soon, and this week all 32 women were announced in a Parade of Champions ceremony.

With names like Io Shirai, Toni Storm, Mia Yim, Ashley (Madison) Rayne, Kaitlyn, Mercedes Martinez and more involved in the tournament, it should be another must-watch event. We won't give any results of the tapings here, but if you're impatient about them out, you can check out our Mae Young Classic spoilers.


WWE Monday Night Raw


Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan

No, you're not reading last week's edition of Women's Wrestling Weekly - they actually booked this match yet again. Not that it was a bad match - the opening action between Sasha Banks and Liv Morgan was a little clunky, but then the match found its rhythm and the crowd was very invested when Bayley was in peril. Sarah Logan in particular caught my eye for her vast improvement recently, although I could do without Michael Cole's constant references to her Viking heritage - I'm watching Raw, not Thor (unfortunately).

Banks makes the hot tag and some good double-team offense by the Boss 'N Hug Connection makes it seem like we're in for a repeat of last week's result too. However, the much-needed return of Ruby Riott causes the distraction, as Logan rolls up Banks for the victory.

Okay match, nothing spectacular, but I'm delighted that Riott's return has come so soon - she had been producing standout matches prior to her injury, and hope this continues now she's back on TV.

Winners: Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan
Rating: 2/5 (knocked .5 off due to the repeated match and BS finish)


Ronda Rousey vs. Alicia Fox

I've watched this match numerous times, and I'm still not sure what I think about it. I could have done with Alexa Bliss and Alicia Fox's meandering promo at the start, and this match probably should have been a couple of minutes shorter. Ronda Rousey is incredibly talented in the ring for her level of experience (this was her first-ever match on Raw after all), but some of her offense here missed the mark, and could have caused some real damage if Fox wasn't as experienced as she is.

However, it still presented Rousey as the badass she should be heading into SummerSlam. Fox bumped like crazy for her, taking punches, getting thrown into the barricade, repeated judo throws and more. Rousey's character work was also on point, as she stared down Bliss at ringside as she locked in the armbar, forcing Fox to tap immediately. Kudos to Bliss as well, selling that as if her life was flashing before her eyes.

The post-match interview and "attack" by Bliss on Rousey was awkward as hell, but overall I think this was a successful segment, presenting Bliss as the cowardly, desperate heel looking to gain any advantage over the more dominant challenger for her championship.

Winner: Ronda Rousey
Rating: 3/5


WWE SmackDown


Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. Billie Kay & Peyton Royce

Last week, Charlotte Flair earned a spot in the SummerSlam SmackDown Women's Championship match at SummerSlam, visibly frustrating poor Becky Lynch, who saw her one-on-one opportunity become a Triple Threat. But, the best friends would put that difference aside for this match against the Iconics, with Carmella on commentary (at least that keeps her out of the ring).

Before getting into the match, I have to discuss the talking surrounding this, as Flair and Lynch shared an awkward discussion before and after the match of looking to SummerSlam but staying best friends (alluding to a future match against Sasha Banks and Bayley). Then the Iconics' mocked their opponents on the ramp, eliciting well-deserved "boring" chants from the crowd. Their shtick can be entertaining on occasion, but I think we see enough talking on WWE's main shows that the crowd (and me) just wanted to see some action.

When the bell rung, the action they were craving was brief. Again, it wasn't horrible, but as incredibly short, the ad break completely cut out any heat the Iconics gained on Flair, before the babyfaces took control. Flair's moonsault took out both Aussies, before the Figure-Eight caused Peyton Royce to tap out.

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
Rating: 2.5/5


Zelina Vega vs. Lana

Oh my god, it's another rematch this week, aren't we blessed? The feud between Lana and the Rusev Day brigade against the Tranquilo Twosome of Zelina Vega and Andrade Almas has been entertaining, but there is no hiding Lana's lack of in-ring experience. Her improvement is obvious and encouraging, but there's no escaping some fundamental flaws - those might have been the worst elbow drops I've ever seen in this match.

Of course, Vega wasn't faultless either, and she has no excuses for that - if you're going to club someone in the back, put a little force behind it. But, it was an improvement on last week's effort, including the ringside rumbles as Rusev and Almas took swings at each other.

Then, a wild Aiden English appeared to spear Almas into the ring apron, but this inadvertently caused Lana to fall from the turnbuckle. This left her open to the running knees by Vega and the pinfall. Another bad Rusev Day for the trio - now a mixed tag has been signed for SummerSlam, maybe they can find a happy ending.

Winner: Zelina Vega
Rating: 2/5


Impact Wrestling


Tessa Blanchard vs. Alisha Edwards

Tessa Blanchard might as well be made out of money, because that's exactly what she is (as it's Impact Wrestling I guess that would all be in Canadian Dollars?). Blanchard came into this match with Alisha Edwards looking like a star, and caught the crowd's attention immediately with an impressive press slam on her smaller opponent.

This was a strong showing for Blanchard, her strikes and power moves looking impactful, while a few hope spots for Alisha kept things competitive. I particularly enjoyed Blanchard showing off her biceps to the referee - you don't mess with muscles like those! After a short comeback by Alisha, Blanchard scored the win with a spinebuster and Hammerlock DDT.

After the match, Blanchard cut a fiery promo calling out Allie, who will be challenging Su Yung for the Knockouts Championship next week. It can't be too long before the belt finds its way around the waist of Impact Wrestling's diamond.

Winner: Tessa Blanchard
Rating: 3.5/5

Also, for our hot-blooded readers, Scarlett Bordeaux will be launching "The Smoke Show" next week. Hopefully, the smoke doesn't block the screen that much during this segment (or set off the sprinklers for that matter).


Lucha Underground


There were many luchadoras in action on our latest visit to Lucha Underground's temple, and it proved a great show for we fans of women's wrestling.

The standout match was undoubtedly Mariposa challenging Dragon Azteca Jr. for the Gift of the Gods Championship. I thought this was a really competitive, fun match - Mariposa is unquestionably one of the strongest women's wrestlers on their roster, so watching her throw around Azteca (with a few shots to the groin sprinkled in) was fun.

Despite kicking out of a 450 splash and landing her Butterfly Effect finisher, Mariposa was unable to wrestle away the gold as Azteca caught her in a unique pinning cradle.

Earlier in the night, Ivelisse had teamed with new kid on the block XO Lishus in a losing effort to Jack Evans and Joey Ryan. The self-proclaimed Baddest Bitch in Lucha Underground was in great form as well in this match, mixing it up regularly with her male counterparts, including plenty of strong kicks - her sequences with Evans were particularly good, and I wouldn't mind seeing a singles match between them down the line.

Finally, a feel-good ending for Lucha Underground. Taya and the Worldwide Underground finally vanquished Kobra Moon and the Lizard Tribe in an Eight-Person Tag, which led to Drago being freed from Moon's clutches after a fast-paced, fun showing. But the big story came after the bell, as Johnny Mundo popped the question to Taya, who accepted joyfully and they paraded around the ring like a modern-day Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth.

And who says romance and wrestling can't mix? Oh yeah, everyone who's watched this past season of Total Bellas...

WWE NXT


Taynara Conti vs. Vanessa Borne

The winner of this match would earn the final spot in the Mae Young Classic, and in a shock to many, the Brazilian Taynara Conti defeated Vanessa Borne. Conti has been virtually MIA since her appearance in the WrestleMania battle royal, while Borne has been more heavily featured on NXT TV.

Perhaps the international appeal of Conti played a factor in this decision, but regardless, on the strength of this showing, neither women would likely have been getting far in the MYC.

It's important to remember that NXT is WWE's development territory, especially when they've produced so many brilliant women's matches over the years. But this match was as developmental as they come - they kept to the basics, a lot of rest holds and screaming, particularly by Conti. The Brazilian's strikes towards the end looked good, but the goodwill was washed away by a poor spinning slam for the victory. C-, but showing signs of improvement.

Winner: Taynara Conti
Rating: 1.5/5


Nikki Cross vs. Amber Nova

The opening match against NXT was a competitive enhancement match between Nikki Cross and Amber Nova. Some of you might remember Nova from her stint in Impact Wrestling last year, and she looked pretty impressive in this match here, keeping up with Cross and demonstrating some great athleticism. Definitely could have seen her as a contender for the Mae Young Classic.

Closing stretch of the match is all Nikki Cross, and therefore all awesome. Out of control strikes, a flying crossbody and finishing off with the Purge. While I can never tire of seeing Cross unleashing hell on opponents in NXT, what is the point of her occasionally defeating jobbers there when SAnitY are on the main roster begging for something, or someone, to liven up their already stale act? Cross could take SmackDown over in a hurry.

Winner: Nikki Cross
Rating: 2.5/5

WWE Total Divas / Total Bellas / Miz and Mrs


Miz and Mrs

Thank the maker that Total Bellas ended last week, so I'm only drafted in to watch Miz and Mrs. It was my first time watching an episode and, as far as obviously-scripted reality show bullshit goes, I found it thoroughly entertaining.

For both being such great heels in wrestling, both Miz and Maryse come across as so incredibly likable, real and in love on the show, when compared to say the robotic, tenderless relationship of one John Cena and Nikki Bella.

Personal highlights include Maryse's face while eating that $600 truffle pasta, Miz's face after realizing it was $600 truffle pasta, Mama Maryse falling asleep during baby CPR lessons, and their dog Moca constantly drinking water while Maryse was explaining to Miz that she needed to have a Caesarean due to her previous back surgery.

Overall, it was a fun way to spend 30 minutes, and I'm almost tempted to watch previous episodes and see the rest of the series. Not enough to actually do it, but for a reality show that's as close as I'm ever going to get.


International Corner


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

STARDOM

Match: JAN (Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora) vs. Shiki Shibusawa, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano (Artist of Stardom Championships)
Winners: Jungle Kyona, Kaori Yoneyama & Natsuko Tora

World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana

Match: CRYSIS (Ayako Sato & Jaguar Yokota) vs. Kaoru Ito & Sareee
Winners: Ayako Sato & Jaguar Yokota

Tokyo Joshi Pro

Match: Mizuki & Yuka Sakazaki vs. Hyper Misao & Shoko Nakajima (Yeah! Metcha Tag Tournament 2018 Summer Final)
Winners: Mizuki & Yuka Sakazaki

CMLL

Match: La Jarochita, Marcela & Mystique vs. Dalys la Caribena, La Amapola & Reyna Isis
Winners: La Jarochita, Marcela & Mystique

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Tessa Blanchard vs. Alisha Edwards


This was an excellent showcase for Tessa Blanchard, who is arguably the fastest rising women's wrestler in North America right now. Her power and presence radiated throughout the match, while Alisha Edwards showed her improvement with some nice bumps and quick, crisp offense. Plus, the promo from Blanchard going after Allie after was straight fire, and I'm sure Becky Lynch would agree!

WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
Tessa Blanchard


Yep, I'm taking my opportunity to wax lyrical and jump aboard the Tessa Blanchard boat, but she has total star potential and is living up to it on a weekly basis. When she inevitably captures the Knockouts Championship, she could and should hold it for a very, very long time.

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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