Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #218 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #218

Posted by Gabby Velasquez Monday, February 4, 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 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.

Huge thanks to the incomparable Callum Wiggins for filling in for me last week while I was traveling from Sioux Falls in the polar vortex, but ya girl is back and man, I'm so excited to talk about the Royal Rumble! So let's get down to business (to defeat the Huns) and recap this phenomenal week of women's wrestling!

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE Royal Rumble

Asuka vs. Becky Lynch

In the past, the Royal Rumble would barely be a blip for this column. Oh, how times have changed. First up for the Royal Rumble crowd was the Empress of Tomorrow against The Man, and what a fun, fun match this was. I know some people out there might take issue with Becky Lynch tapping out to Asuka, but me? I ask that everyone remember how Asuka was undefeated at this point one year ago. She was in a marquee WrestleMania match. She's holding the SmackDown Women's Champion. What harm is there in making her strong?

Becky put up one hell of a fight, but in the end Asuka managed to desperately claw her way into the Asuka Lock, and Becky tapped. Perhaps Becky knew she wanted to enter the Rumble and was trying to preserve her strength? A thought to consider.

Winner: Asuka
Rating: 3.5/5

Ronda Rousey vs. Sasha Banks

Sasha Banks, lest we forget, was one of the figureheads of the Women's Evolution, or whatever WWE wants to call it. She is a master storyteller and stellar athlete who has proven time and time again that she can tell a riveting story with just about anyone, including, now, Ronda Rousey.

Despite a valiant effort, Sasha couldn't overcome Rousey's momentum, and tapped to the armbar. After, she flashed the 4HW symbol at Rousey: the very image of defiance.

I respect Rousey's in-ring work, but I'm still not a fan. My issues with her booking are well-documented, so I won't get into it here, but I'll say this: if WWE lets Sasha fall to the wayside again, it's inexcusable.

Winner: Ronda Rousey
Rating: 3/5

Women's Royal Rumble Match

If you want a full, detailed recap of this match, you've come to the wrong place. Thirty women? I won't put you through that. However, I will offer my thoughts on some standout performances:

Ember Moon lasted for a long time, and unfortunately hurt her elbow in the process. This sadly means she'll miss Mania, I assume, so I wish her a speedy recovery and give her huge kudos for such a gutsy performance. She's overdue for something substantial that behooves her charisma and in-ring prowess. Maybe they will bring her to SmackDown when she is ready to come back.

The NXT women who showed up performed admirably. Io Shirai and Kairi Sane were as splashy as ever, and even Kacy Catanzarro showed up in a big way with some very fun feats of athleticism. Rhea Ripley was, well, Rhea Ripley. And man, Candice LeRae was a blast to watch. But my favorite NXT moment was, by far, Io entering and immediately double dropkicking the life out of Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. What an Io thing to do, honestly.

Becky Lynch's surprise entrance was a thrilling moment, and a poignant reminder of how very skilled she is at pulling audiences into her matches. Every interaction with Nia Jax and Charlotte felt like it was world-altering. And the ENDING. Boy, what a thrill ride from the moment Nia was eliminated to Becky's victory celebration. I enjoyed this rumble so much, and I was thrilled to see them rely on upcoming and current talent over returning faces this year.

Winner: Becky Lynch
Rating: 4/5

Men's Royal Rumble match

So, let's talk Nia Jax. Her entry into the Rumble was a cool moment for many reasons: first, the men treated her like the threat she is. Second, she got some eliminations. Third, she showed just how few people understand just how cool intergender wrestling actually is.

Now, on one hand, if it had been up to me, I would have put Candice int his rumble because intergender wrestling is her forte. I also still have some issues with Jax's wrestling style. That said, I still think this was a good step in bringing back the empowerment that can be found in intergender wrestling. It's not abuse, or anything close to it: it's just pure, fun wrestling.

And if your child can't understand when it is and isn't okay to "hit a girl," then maybe you're the problem, not WWE.

Winner: Seth Rollins
Rating: 3.5/5



WWE Monday Night Raw

Nia Jax & Tamina vs. Alexa Bliss & Mickie James

To qualify for the (deep breath) WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber Match, Jax and Tamina faced Jax's familiar foe Alexa Bliss. Say that five times fast, eh? 

Power moves were the decisive factor in this match, and I don't mean Bliss' political power moves. Jax and Tamina rammed into Bliss and James with all of their might, and a double Samoan Drop secured them spots in the Elimination Chamber [insert long name here, I don't want to type it again] match.

Winners: Nia Jax & Tamina
Rating: 2.5/5

Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Dana Brooke

I cannot for the life of me say what makes Natalya and Brooke make sense as tag partners other than being blonde, so that should be a good indicator of what went down in this qualifier. The familiar tag partners won with a schoolboy pin, and that was that.

Winners: Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan
Rating: 2/5

Ronda Rousey vs. Bayley (Raw Women's Championship match)

Ronda cut a promo before being confronted by Bayley, and basically showed that she has no idea how to work a crowd that isn't doing what it's "supposed" to. Bayley emerges and accepts Ronda's open challenge, and we have a match!

Rousey won, of course, though Bayley put up a good fight. The two shook hands after, and then the night got a hell of a lot better, because ENTER BECKY LYNCH!

Lynch and Bayley exchanged a 4HW salute, and Lynch proceeded to verbally eviscerate "Ronnie" all in the name of challenging her for her title at WrestleMania. The crowd lost their minds, and I think I saw God for a moment. Rousey responded with a healthy dose of elitist fury, and walked off to her own music as the crowd chanted for Becky.

Good times, good times. Go Bex.

Winner: Ronda Rousey
Rating: 3/5


WWE SmackDown

Mandy Rose continues to make me feel like I'm lost in an Attitude Era nightmare while running a fever, but let's not focus on THAT aspect of SmackDown.

There was no official match, but Becky and Charlotte DID brawl, and now I am concerned that WWE is going tot ry and force Charlotte into a perfectly phenomenal one-on-one Mania match.

Resist the urge, WWE.


Impact Wrestling

Su Yung & Dark!Allie vs. Jordynne Grace & Kiera Hogan

The feud that keeps on giving continued on this week's Impact, and Su Yung and Allie utilized some clever tactics to try and neutralize Jordynne Grace. Namely, they just teamed up on her and hoped it would work.

Spoiler alert: it didn't.

Despite a powerhouse showing from Grace, whose praises I will sing for all of time, the heels seemed to be gaining the advantage. However, Rosemary pulled some magic tricks and replaced Yung on the apron, frightening Allie enough that Hogan was able to tag herself in to help the embattled Grace and pick up the pinfall victory.

I'm not the only one who was relieved to see Hogan finally get a pin instead of take one, right? Anyways, Rosemary is awesome and i'm so glad to see her pulling her old tricks once more.

Winners: Jordynne Grace & Kiera Hogan
Rating: 2.5/5


WWE NXT

Kairi Sane & Io Shirai vs. Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir

Am I watchinng STARDOM again? This is great!

Kairi Sane and Io Shirai showed the world just how dynamic they are when sharing a ring by taking down wannabe-Horsewomen (I love them, don't get it twisted now) Duke and Shafir in a fun, high-octane match. Shirai set Sane up for her famous elbow drop to secure the victory.

I'll say it now: when Io turns heel on Kairi, it will be a magnificent day indeed.

Winners: Kairi Sane & Io Shirai
Rating: 3/5


WWE Total Divas / Total Bellas / Miz and Mrs

Oh right. I "watch" this.

The only thing I care about is Nikki going out with Artem. He was her Dancing With the Stars partner, and aside from being ridiculously attractive, he's a good friend of hers and also happens to be stupid talented. Dancer bod, too.

I'm sure there's merit to this show. But man, I was watching this on my laptop while daydreaming about football. This is just... not my thing. Hilariously, I notice that Callum also feels the same way. Cheers, mate.


International Corner:

This section includes recaps of matches from around the world in various lesser-known independent promotions throughout the week. This week, I'm spotlighting some of the greatness going down in Japan, since AEW can't seem to realize there's more than Bea to be found there!

STARDOM

Match: Kagetsu vs. Hazuki (World of STARDOM Title match)
Winner: Kagetsu

Tokyo Joshi Pro

Match: Hikari Noa & Natsumi Maki vs. Maki Ito & Raku
Winner: Hikari Noa & Natsumi Maki

World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana

Match: Kaoru Ito & Sareee vs. Rin Kadokura & Tomoko Watanabe
Winner: Kaoru Ito & Sareee

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
The Royal Rumble

This match was full of surprises, thrilling feats of athleticism, and gave the audience the ending we wanted. Who cares if it was predictable? The story, and momentum, demanded that Becky rise to the top, and her victory might be as close to pure, undivided joy in WWE fandom as the company can ever expect to get.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
Becky Lynch

It's her world. We're just living in it.

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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