Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #227 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #227

Posted by Gabby Velasquez Saturday, April 6, 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.

Alright, world! We're in the final stretch on the road to WrestleMania, and that means... well, a lot of safe matches that won't injure anyone and a ton of storytelling to make sure we're as hyped as possible for the first woman-headlined WrestleMania. Naturally, some strategies work better than others.

This week is a special double whammy. I'll have NXT: TakeOver results and opinions posted below, and then on Monday I'll have my Mania special review up! Then, this weekend you'll get my Raw and SmackDown After Mania recaps. That's a lot of content. I'm fine. It's fine. Help. Now, let's dive in, shall we?

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE Monday Night Raw

The short...

Driver roll up the partition please...

The long...

Our first glimpse of the women's division on Monday was a wallop of a tag match between *inhale* Bayley, Sasha Banks, Natalya and Beth Phoenix and Nia Jax, Tamina, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. *exhale* Yep, tag matches between future foes to show discord! Hope you like that trope, because WWE used it in spades on Monday. This match was pretty cut and dry: they don't work together perfectly, Nia and Tamina don't want to do any of the heavy lifting because, honestly, why should they? Beth Phoenix got the last laugh by hitting yet another wonderful Glam Slam on poor Peyton Royce.

I'm fine with this match, honestly. It didn't convince me that WWE is going to let these women tear the house down, but it does give me faith that these women can put together something enjoyable. So... yay, I guess? Team Horsewomen.

Stephanie announced early in the show that the Mania main event would be a winner takes all match: both the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships would be on the line. Which... cool, but if this leads to title unification, I'm not sure how i feel about it. I like that there is twice the opportunity for women in the company now, even if the pool of talent is a bit small for substantial, prolonged storytelling.

Our go-home taste of that main event came, inexplicably, in the middle of the show, which...whatever. Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch had to team up against the Riott Squad, and they weren't allowed to attack each other during the match. Rousey picked up the win, and as soon as the bell rang, the women threw hands. Security, then cops, came to tear the women off each other, and dragged the brawlers backstage. However, they made the mistake of putting them in the same car... and carnage ensued. Rousey somehow managed to drive a car into Charlotte's while handcuffed, she kicked out a glass window going after Bex... it was wild. It went on a bit long, but ce'st la vie.

Grade: A-


WWE SmackDown

The short...

WWE both has too many and not enough women and my brain hurts.

The long...

So, the easy part of this recap is saying that the IIconics cut a promo. Now, as for the cluster$%*@ intergender tag stresser...

Asuka, Carmella, Naomi and Nikki Cross teamed up with R-Truth, the Hardy Boyz and Heavy Machinery to take on Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Zelina Vega, Lana, Rusev, Andrade Almas, EC3 and the Club in a "WWE doesn't know what to do with us and life is sad" match. It didn't really have an ending, so... yay, wrestling?

On the bright side, freshly jailbroken Becky Lynch cut an awesome promo, which you can catch below!

Grade: B-


WWE NXT

The short...

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

The long...

In the go-home NXT before what's sure to be a memorable TakeOver, Kairi Sane and Bianca Belair faced off in a match that was a lot of fun to watch. I think that part of what made this so enjoyable for me was the amount of ego and charisma these two threw at each other. The story of this match was clear: they were mocking each other's signature movements, pushing each other to see who would snap, daring each other to go further, faster, more intense.

It looked for a second that Belair might have gotten the best of Sane, but then, you guessed it, Shayna and her Horsewomen ran in and went on the attack. Io Shirai emerged to help her good pirate friend, and naturally, chaos broke out. Sweet, beautiful chaos. The entire women's roster joined the fray soon enough, but it was Io Shirai who took to the skies and stood tall to close the segment out.

Following normal WWE storytelling beats, this *might* mean that she won't be hoisting the strap come next week, but WWE's found itself in a win-win-win-win scenario. All of these women can carry the division. It just depends on the direction they want to go in.

Grade: B-


Impact Wrestling

The short...

Tessa has a death wish.

The long...

Madison Rayne returned to the Impact ring to take on Jordynne Grace for a shot at the Knockouts Championship, but the thrill of her return was not enough to keep down Grace, who won handily and was instantly blindsided by none other than Champ Taya Valkyrie. Grace put up a fight, but lost advantage due to distractions from Johnny Impact. Brian Cage had to come out and even the odds to run off Valkyrie and her husband.

Elsewhere, Tessa Blanchard said that Gail Kim was only a legend in bra and panties matches, which... yowzah. I can't wait for Kim to mess up her face, and i mean that in the best way. This feud rocks.

Grade: C+


NXT TakeOver: New York

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...

What an incredible showing from all four women. This match has been built very well, making each woman out to be a threat in their own way. We all knew Kairi's dynamic style and perseverance would make her a viable challenger, that Io's high-flying striking ability would rear its head, and that Bianca Belair was the ultimate wildcard. These women, along with an ever-dominant Shayna Baszler, did not disappoint.

Belair has had to deal with a lot of undeserved hate throughout her run because of the fact that she's a black woman who knows her worth and is unabashed about it, and that scares people. But here's the thing: nobody can doubt how much she belongs in the spotlight after that performance. She bench-pressed Shirai and Sane like it was a side hobby. She stood in a ring with two of the best women Joshi has produced in a long time, with the NXT Women's Champion, and she looked like she belonged.

I liked the dynamic between Sane and Shirai in this. We know how deep their bond runs, but they were fighting for the same thing, and they did not hold back. They squared off briefly, Shirai broke up one of Sane's pins... when one of them inevitably turns heel on the other, it will be magnificent.

And Shayna... can anyone touch her? Seriously. She's faced everyone, run roughshod over NXT for months and she's still standing. She took advantage of a whopper of a KOD from Belair on Shirai and Sane to lock in the Kirufida Clutch on Belair to retain her title, and now all that remains to be seen is:

Can anyone stop her?



Grade: A+


International Corner:

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

SHIMMER

Match: Nicole Savoy vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto (SHIMMER Title match)
Winners: Nicole Savoy

WrestleCon 

Match: Tracy Smothers vs. Su Yung
Winners: Tracy Smothers

STARDOM

Match: Momo Watanabe vs. Utami Hayashishita (Wonder of STARDOM Title match)
Winner: Momo Watanabe

Battle Club Pro

Match: Aerial Monroe vs. Daviennevs. Thunder Rosa
Winner: Aerial Monroe

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
NXT Women's Championship match

What a slugfest, my friends. This match was one of MANY amazing matches that took place on Friday night, and it stood right up there with the rest of the card. Each competitor came to play, and the result was a match that, while maintaining the status quo, left everyone with no doubt that NXT's women's division is in the best of hands.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
Shayna Baszler

Well, well. NXT's best bully is still on her podium. Got a problem with it? Too bad, because dominance doesn't care about your feelings.

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, and we'll see you this Monday for our special WrestleMania Women's Wrestling Weekly!



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