Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #226 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #226

Posted by Gabby Velasquez Sunday, March 31, 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.

Deep breaths, everyone. WrestleMania is nearly upon us, and that means there's a LOT to cover in this week's column. Life... death. That sort of thing you'd always expect in a wrestling article. Let's dive in!

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE Monday Night Raw

The short...

Charlotte's heel work remains undefeated while Beth Phoenix is out here partying like it's 2009.

The long...

We opened Raw with a Beat the Clock Challenge, an odd concept that essentially assures us of the victors beforehand. The stakes here? Just... bragging rights, I guess? Anyways, after WWE made it official that Rousey, Lynch and Charlotte would main-event WrestleMania, the first women to do so, they celebrated with a weird gimmick match. On brand. But hey, Rousey called them out on it and I chuckled. Rousey dropped the mic (literally, in the figurative sense it was quite grating to watch)... several times, before Becky Lynch saved us all, coming out and calling Rousey a weirdo (which only works because it's Becky). And because there's a formula to this, Charlotte came out to take credit for the main event being a main event.

Rousey set the standard against Sarah Logan at 1:25, and Flair was unable to beat it against Ruby Riott, but Lynch beat Rousey's time with seven seconds to spare against Liv Morgan. As far as opening segments go, this was solid. Charlotte is the best heel in this feud and it's not even close. She is a master heel, and I maintain that any babyface run for her will always feel flat simply because of how good at being a bitch she is. Rousey is... trying, but WWE has embraced her annoying nature and that's the best they can do. Her mainstream appeal is still strong, and her booking has kept her looking unbeatable. Becky is Becky, enough said.

Sasha Banks took on Natalya to build up whatever weirdness has developed between them. Both women were flanked by their partners. This was a decent match, featuring a very well-executed crawl from the middle of the ring to the ropes from Banks while locked in the Sharpshooter. I'm unsurprised that she's maintained her knack for using drama well in her matches. This match never got a real finish, however, as none other than Nia Jax and Tamina crashed the party. That crash didn't take, however, as Beth Phoenix hit Tamina with a whopper of a Glam Slam.

She's, uh, definitely still got it. Damn.

Grade: B+


WWE SmackDown

The short...

WWE might never be ready for Asuka.

The long...

Let's talk about the Empress of Tomorrow, shall we?

We all know what she's done in WWE. She was undefeated for 914 days, being built on NXT as the kind of monster who only dropped a title because she had decided to move on and up in the world. She won the first women's Royal Rumble match. But let's not even talk about her WWE accomplishments. She's produced her own wrestling events in Japan, worked for countless companies around the world ranging from SHIMMER to DDT Pro-Wrestling. She's a force of nature, and fans have long clamored for her to receive the treatment from WWE that someone of her stature deserves.

Well. Too bad, says WWE, because only one women's feud can be treated with dignity at a time, it seems.

To start, Asuka and Charlotte's match for the SmackDown Women's Championship was phenomenal. These two have the kind of chemistry that warranted a one-on-one Mania match just one year ago, and they are both fantastic workers. Charlotte, however, seems to have Asuka's number, taking her title with a Figure Eight to the fury of fans all around and, it seems, a good portion of the WWE locker room.

Look, I understand the logic of wanting the first-ever women's main event to feel as big as possible. I get that WWE hadn't properly built anyone to challenge Asuka at Mania, and whatever match they would have given her would have likely been short. But this is indicative of WWE's troubling treatment of its female champions of color the second they get hot. It shouldn't be that difficult to give Asuka or Naomi something significant, especially when they've proven their ability to draw interest. Instead, we just get a battle royal.

Do better, WWE. No excuses this time.

Grade: B


WWE NXT

The short...

Shayna Baszler runs NXT and nobody, it seems, can tell her no.

The long...

Fresh faces, let's go! Kacy Catanzaro and Lacey Lane took on Aliyah and Vanessa Borne on this week's NXT in a short but fun match that, you guessed it, never ended. Not really. Not long into the match, Baszler and Co. arrived to wreak havoc, and wreak havoc they did. Catanzaro put up an impressive fight, but this all ended with a now-familiar sight: Baszler standing ont he commentary desk, title thrust in the air, warning us that this wasn't stopping anytime soon.

No WWE video this week, so enjoy Rhea Ripley seeing snow for the first time!

Grade: B-


Impact Wrestling

The short...

Oh my god, so much Knockouts content this week, someone revive me... wait, maybe that was a poor choice of words.

The long...

Christ, Impact. When you commit to women's wrestling you just... go for it, don't you? Let's see how to cover everything that went down this week.

Glenn Gilbertti got to be Scarlett Bordeaux's first opponent, and she made him pay for being, well, a human dirtbag. He inflicted some damage on her, but she got the upper hand to roll him up for the victory after an impressive display of resilience. Am I feeling more feminist by watching her wrestle? Huh, I should re-examine my personal biases.

Elsewhere, Tessa Blanchard came out to the ring demanding her apology from Gail Kim for costing her the Knockouts Championship. Gail Kim came out, but not with an apology. Instead, she said that she's resigning from Impact management, but not to walk into the sunset. Nope, Gail Kim is coming out of retirement just to beat Tessa Blanchard down! Mmmm, yes, this is the content I crave. Kim then decided to show some of what she had in mind, raining clotheslines on her until the latter fled. Finally, Jordynne Grace took on Taya Valkyrie for the Knockouts Championship! This match was everything I wanted it to be, and featured some pretty sick moonsaults, but ended with Johnny Impact running in the take his wife away (for "health" reasons), leading to a countout victory and no title for Grace.

Now, time to tackle THAT THING that also took place this week. Yes, I mean Allie literally dying. I don't think any description can do it justice, so I'll link the video below, and just discuss it here.

I have never seen someone die on a wrestling show before. Not while I've been watching. Therefore, I have nothing to compare this to. I can, however, say without a shadow of a doubt that I was not expecting this. Yes, Allie has signed with AEW, but death? My goodness. It feels fitting, in a way, considering how downright fantastical and weird this storyline became, to have Allie fade away into nothingness in Rosemary's arms, but also, like... man. Death. What a time to be. Um. Alive.

Grade: A


International Corner:

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

Tokyo Joshi Pro

Match: Misao & Sakisama vs. Miu Watanabe & Yuna Manase
Winners: Misao & Sakisama

Ice Ribbon

Match: Asahi, Ibuki Hoshi & Tsukushi vs. Maya Yukihi, Risa Sera & Suzu Suzuki
Winners: Asahi, Ibuki Hoshi & Tsukushi

RISE

Match: Mercedes Martinex vs. Kylie Rae (Phoenix of RISE Championship no-ropes submission match)
Winner: Kylie Rae

RevPro Wrestling

Match: Jamie Hayter vs. Yuu
Winner: Jamie Hayter

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair

Despite my qualms with the ending, there's no doubt this match killed. It oozed physicality and grit, the kind that only comes from the thrill and intensity of being evenly matched for once. Nobody, no matter how subpar the booking, can claim that these two can't put on clinics together.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
Rosemary

It's a pretty tall order to ask someone to act out a death scene, but if anyone could bring the emotion required, it's Rosemary. I've long waxed poetic about her commitment to her character and how much of a joy it is to see her perform, but this was next level. You could feel her emotion, and it made what could have been a simply ridiculous segment ring poignant.

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: GABRIELA VELASQUEZ

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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