Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #217 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #217

Posted by Callum Wiggins Saturday, January 26, 2019
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. From WWE's Superstars and Impact Wrestling's Knockouts, to the Women of Honor and top female talent across the globe on the independent circuit, enjoy this breakdown of the women ruling the ring right now.

With Gabby Velasquez away this week, it's down to me Callum Wiggins to pick up the baton and run with it. Look forward to having you along for the ride!

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE Monday Night Raw

A Moment of Bliss… and a Brawl

With the second-ever Women's Royal Rumble looming, every Raw Superstar was aiming to establish themselves as the alpha female heading into this pivotal match. Although, as none of them are Becky Lynch and Charlotte, it was pretty much a hopeless case for them.

The latest edition of A Moment of Bliss (which redefines how long a 'moment' can feel) saw Alexa Bliss interview Nia Jax about the threat she poses in the Royal Rumble, before they were interrupted by Ember Moon, Alicia Fox, Mickie James and eventually most of the Raw women's locker room.

This devolved into a backstage brawl because of course it did. The most notable news from this segment was the announcement that Alexa Bliss will be back in the ring at Royal Rumble, with Lacey Evans also announcing her entry. Can't say I'm dancing with glee at The Goddess' in-ring return, but I'm glad she's healthy again after several injuries. Plus, you can never count her out in a big match situation - those backstage always seem to have big plans for Bliss.


Ronda Rousey & Natalya vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley

Before I get into this match pitting the two competitors in the upcoming Raw Women's Championship Match and their best friends in tag team action, I have to talk about these pre-match promos. I swear Ronda Rousey must consult a thesaurus anytime she speaks to find the most confusing way to get across her point of view. Sasha Banks' was a much more coherent speech, continuing to fuel the animosity between both Superstars.

The tag team match itself was fine, if a bit lacking in any real heat. Because this was two babyface teams, the audience seemed unable (or unwilling) to pick a side. Personally I felt Banks and Bayley were erring more on the heel side, especially with Banks cheap-shotting Rousey at the start. But, from the glimpses we got of what Rousey and Banks can do together, there is plenty of promise for their Royal Rumble encounter.

Banks reversed a Natalya powerbomb (and fought through a widely viewed wardrobe malfunction that we won't dwell on here) and locked the Canadian in the Bank Statement to get the win for her team.

Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley
Rating: 2.5/5


WWE SmackDown Live

The Man & The Empress Lock Horns

For the second week running, The Man Becky Lynch opened the show, cutting a promo how she's the biggest star in wrestling today and is destined to main event WrestleMania (as if we didn't already know). She was interrupted by SmackDown Women's Champion Asuka, seemingly looking for a warm-up before their title match at Royal Rumble.

Things got interesting when Charlotte Flair arrived. Playing the role of a vindictive puppet master, Flair spoke about winning the Royal Rumble match and that she has the number of every single woman competing for a women's championship on Sunday. This was a strong promo by The Queen as you can't really say she's wrong - she has made statements against all four of her prospective WrestleMania opponents.

Flair's interjection lit a fire under Asuka, leading her to assault Lynch around ringside, with the Lass Kicker getting the upper-hand by throwing the champ over the announce table. The fighting continued behind the scenes, promising a fiery fight between two top-tier wrestlers at Royal Rumble.


Mandy Rose vs. Naomi

Trading a hotel room floor for the ring this week, Naomi looked to exact her revenge on the vindictive Mandy Rose. After Rose sought to wreck Naomi's marriage in last week's utterly horrendous segment with Jimmy Uso, surely the babyface would overcome the villainess, put her in her place and build her momentum for the Royal Rumble match, right?

Well no, because apparently this feud must continue. Although Naomi attacked first up the entrance ramp and showed a more aggressive side to her character, Rose had an ace up her sleeve in the form of Sonya Deville's interference. Her distraction allowed Rose to slam Naomi into the ring post and pin her, much to the delight of Corey Graves.

The match was hampered by much of it being missed for a commercial break, while there were several sloppy spots and weak strikes towards the end, leading to that screwy and fairly contrived finishing sequence.

Winner: Mandy Rose
Rating: 2/5


WWE NXT

Kairi Sane & Io Shirai vs. Amber Nova & Tanea Brooks

Now Joey Ryan and Candice LeRae are no longer together on the independent circuit, I think we've found the new World's Cutest Tag Team. But don't let those looks fool you - Kairi Sane and Io Shirai's hard-hitting, acrobatic style could make a huge splash in the upcoming WWE Women's Tag Team Championship scene.

This squash match against Amber Nova and Tanea Brooks (better known for her run as Rebel in Impact Wrestling) was a strong showcase of their chemistry together. It was a fun sprint, with Io Shirai impressive with backflips, 619s and springboards, while their finishing sequence was both Sane and Shirai assisting each other with their signature moves, the In-Sane Elbow and the Moonsault.

Afterwards, they were confronted by Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir backstage, sowing the seeds for what will hopefully be another fun tag team match soon.

Winners: Kairi Sane & Io Shirai
Rating: 3.5/5

Alongside this, NXT also provided a typically fantastic video package for the Shayna Baszler vs Bianca Belair Women's Championship match at TakeOver: Phoenix. Incredibly excited for this match, title vs undefeated streak.


NXT UK

Nina Samuels vs. Lana Austin

I'm a big fan of Lana Austin's work on the independent scene - it's a mix of very talented wrestling ability and stuff that would make Jim Cornette have a coronary, which is a great blend for my tastes. But I can't say I was enamored with this match with Nina Samuels on NXT UK.

It was pretty short, Samuels and Austin didn't have great chemistry, and Austin was restricted without some of her comedic and lewd in-ring characteristics. Plus, commentary wouldn't stop going on about Austin being a mother of three - I'm not saying don't mention, but once every minute or two is a little overkill. It wasn't terrible and the crowd was behind Austin throughout, but there were much better examples of women in action this week.

Nina Samuels scored the victory following the Prima Donna.

Winner: Nina Samuels
Rating: 2/5

Impact Wrestling

Taya Valkyrie vs. Keyra

In her first match since becoming Knockouts Champion, Taya Valkyrie returned to Mexico for a competitive match against Keyra, a luchadora signed to AAA. Keyra attacked Valkyrie during her entrance to gain the advantage, but as time passed the champion recovered and asserted her presence in the match.

This was given a decent chunk of time as both competitors were given the chance to perform. One spot of note was a fierce dropkick by Keyra to a seated Valkyrie in the corner - looked as though she'd be cleaning bits of her opponent's face from her boots for weeks. But, the champion retaliated with a Curb Stomp and modified STF for the submission victory.

After this winning return, Valkyrie welcomed all challengers for her title, starting with the former champion, Tessa Blanchard.

Winner: Taya Valkyrie
Rating: 3/5


Also, we're counting down the days until Scarlett Bordeaux brings sexy back to professional wrestling, with a provocative training video. Remember everyone before you start training that bananas are a rich source of Vitamin B6 and potassium.


Total Divas / Total Bellas / Miz & Mrs

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate reality TV bullshit? Well, that feeling gets even worse when The Bella Twins are involved. And, judging by how the ratings for Total Bellas and Total Divas have plummeted in the last couple of seasons, I'm guessing I'm not alone in tuning out on this attention-seeking behavior.

So, I'm not going to subject myself to watching this show in its entirety or subject you the reader with a comprehensive review, but a couple of cliff notes you can take away are:

  • Brie Bella is still feeling insecure about the size of her boobs and goes to see a plastic surgeon about it
  • SummerSlam takes place and The Bellas talk about their admiration for Ronda Rousey and their upcoming storyline with her
  • Nikki Bella continues to date men that are considerably younger than her - nothing wrong with that of course, but as they're making that a point on the show I might as well do the same here
  • Their stepsister Maya indicated an interested in becoming a model, while her father would like her to become a WWE Superstar. It is in her blood as the daughter of Johnny Ace, but if she does decide to enter the ring I would avoid taking lessons from Brie...



International Corner:

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

Women of Wrestling Superheroes: Episode 2

Match: Princess Aussie vs. Siren The Voodoo Doll
Winner: Princess Aussie

Match: Jessie Jones vs. Azteca
Winner: Jessie Jones

Match: Tessa Blanchard vs. The Beverly Hills Babe
Winner: Tessa Blanchard

Progress: Chapter 83

Match: Nina Samuels vs. Laura Di Matteo
Winner: Nina Samuels

Ice Ribbon #937

Match: Matsuya Uno vs. Miyako Matsumoto
Winner: Matasuya Uno

Match: Lovely Butchers vs. Risa Sera & Suzu Suzuki
Winners: Lovely Butchers

Match: Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi vs. Giulia & Maya Yukihi
Winners: Tsukasa Fujimoto & Tsukushi

Match: Maika Ozaki vs. Tequila Saya
Winner: Maika Ozaki

MATCH OF THE WEEK: 
Kairi Sane & Io Shirai vs. Amber Nova & Tanea Brooks

A fun sprint of a tag team squash match which hinted at the fantastic potential that Kairi Sane and Io Shirai could have as a unit, while giving a shine on NXT to some former Impact Wrestling Knockouts.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK: 
Sasha Banks

While few sane people will give Sasha Banks a prayer against Ronda Rousey for the Raw Women's Championship at Royal Rumble, she has at least been presented more as a top-tier talent in the feud leading to this title opportunity, capped off with a win on Monday night's main event over Rousey and Natalya.

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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AUTHOR OF THIS POST: 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. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter.

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