Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #230 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #230

Posted by Callum Wiggins Sunday, April 28, 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, ROH's Women of Honor, and even a glimpse at the women on the independent circuit.

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

WWE Monday Night Raw

The short…

Is a Women's Right too much for The Man?

The long...

After the Superstar Shake-up completely gutted Raw's Women's Division (made even worse thanks to Zelina Vega following Andrade back to SmackDown Live), this show set about establishing Lacey Evans as the show's next breakout star. Did it succeed? Well, this week was certainly a step in a positive direction. Evans delivered a solid promo against Becky Lynch delivering lessons on how a true lady is far superior to The Man.

Meanwhile, Lynch's promo left a sour taste in my mouth. While her delivery remains excellent, the basis of her promo that Evans "does favors" for the boys in the back is such diva-era bullshit. Is it possible for the writing team to come up with a women's division feud that isn't based around one of the women sleeping her way to a title opportunity? Maybe if they'd actually booked Evans strongly upon her debut rather than have her parade on stage every week, wave and do nothing else, they wouldn't need to resort to such a base level.

Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox

This war of words was followed by Becky Lynch facing the returning Alicia Fox. If this is how WWE plans to flesh out the flailing Raw roster, then we're in for a rough ride. For someone who has been employed with WWE for well over a decade, there's no excuse to why Fox is so non-descript and below average in the ring. Outside of her excellent Northern Lights Suplex, she offers nothing to the table besides headaches to management.

Anyway, Lynch won because of the alternative being pure insanity, and she was then laid out post-match with Evans' Women's Right. Are WWE going to strap a rocket to Evans by making her Raw Women's Champion and end Becky 2 Belts as soon as it began?

Winner: Becky Lynch
Rating: 2/5

Billie Kay vs. Naomi

Speaking of diva-era bullshit, Raw also featured a match between Naomi and Billie Kay that went barely a minute, with Naomi winning via a sunset flip. Not only does this continue The IIconics' losing streak, but didn't really make any sense. Who's going to team with Naomi to go after the Women's Tag Team Championships? Or did they just send Naomi over to Raw with no plan about how they're going to utilize her? Nah, WWE would never do that, right?

Winner: Naomi
Rating: 1/5

WWE SmackDown

The short…

Same old Chart.

The long…

I'll preface this section by stating that if you love women's wrestling, then there was a doozy of a match here that you won't want to miss. However, the result was problematic, and I can't say I wouldn't blame you for having missed SmackDown Live this week when they advertised a face-to-face debate between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. With all the talent on SmackDown after the Shake-up, why is this still the unending formula?

Flair drones on about how she didn't lose the match at WrestleMania and wants her SmackDown Women's Championship match, while Lynch seemingly wanted to be anywhere else other than in a ring with Flair again. Bayley broke the monotony with a great promo getting in Flair's face, slapping the microphone out of her hand and demanding her own title opportunity, leading to a number one contender's match.

Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley

What followed was one of the best TV matches in WWE this year, reaffirming if it had ever been forgotten that Bayley is a great wrestler with the right motivation and opponent. Flair was typically terrific in her role as the heel, while Bayley gutsily fought back to assert herself on her new home.

However, like a great story that ends with the "it was all a dream" trope, this ended with a whimper as Charlotte Flair wins and will receive ANOTHER championship match at Money in the Bank, with Becky 2 Belts pulling double-duty. Flair is an exceptional talent, and I know the angle is that she constantly gets opportunities. Yet this was a great chance to establish Bayley immediately as a reinvigorated star on SmackDown, and most importantly give us fans a much-earned break from the Lynch/Flair saga.

Winner: Charlotte Flair
Rating: 4/5

Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce

That wasn't the only women's action on SmackDown Live, as we had to find time to fit in another IIconics defeat. This was better than the Raw equivalent at least because it was given more time, Peyton Royce is the superior wrestler in their team and Kairi Sane is one of the greatest gifts ever delivered to humanity.

With Asuka and Paige watching on, Sane delivered the InSane Elbow to Royce and picked up her first singles victory on the main roster. For the love of everything pure, please transition the Women's Tag Team Championships to Kairi Sane & Asuka at the earliest possible opportunity. Thanks in advance!

Winner: Kairi Sane
Rating: 2.5/5


The short…

A Baszler beatdown and Candice builds momentum.

The long...

Following last week's main event where Shayna Baszler victimized Kairi Sane and ousted her from NXT, she wasted no time setting her sights on Io Shirai. With the Genius of the Sky delivering a backstage interview about her thoughts on Sane's injuries, Baszler and her Horsewomen struck with ruthless efficiency, setting the wheels in motion for the next Women's Championship feud.

Candice LeRae & Kacy Catanzaro vs. Aaliyah & Vanessa Borne

Back in the ring, a tag team match set up last week saw Candice LeRae recruit Kacy Catanzaro to take on NXT's current resident mean girls Aaliyah & Vanessa Borne. The vindictive heels looked a lot better than the last time I saw them, keeping Catanzaro isolated for a while with some good combinations and stretches. The crowd was also invested because Catanzaro is the archetype small babyface in peril.

When the hot tag to LeRaw was made, she ran wild over both Aaliyah and Borne in a great comeback sequence, ending with her springboard moonsault to secure a convincing victory for the babyfaces.

Winners: Candice LeRae & Kacy Catanzaro
Rating: 2.5/5

Impact Wrestling

The short…

Gym brawls and undead bridesmaids.

The long...

On the final stop before Rebellion, Impact Wrestling built toward the Knockout Championship match by taking a trip to the gym. While Jordynne Grace was building up her strength for her title opportunity, Taya Valkyrie ambushed her while bench-pressing. Grace was able to muster a brief comeback, but Valkyrie's cunning and corner-cutting won out in the end, connecting with a DDT on Grace on top of a weight.

Rosemary vs. Undead Bridesmaid

The only women's match on the show was in conjunction with the bizarre Rosemary and Su Yung feud. Rosemary took on one of Yung's legion of Undead Bridesmaids on this show, who frankly was a significantly better wrestler than Yung, ensuring this was a pretty good match. When the bridesmaid went for the finishing blow, Rosemary spat mist in her eyes and connected with a Spear to win.

Following the match, Rosemary wrapped a chain around the bridesmaid and dragged her unwillingly up the ramp, taking a hostage or souvenir before her and Su Yung do battle soon. Maybe too much of a kidnapping vibe for the babyface side of this feud, but as Rosemary's still reeling from Allie's murder I think we can let it slide.

Winner: Rosemary
Rating: 2.5/5

The Shield's Final Chapter

Bayley & Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad

While this night was dedicated to The Shield's final match together (for now), it also was the site for the end of a more understated stable - The Riott Squad. Although never reaching their fullest potential or achieving tangible success, the trio firmly established themselves as staples of Raw straight out of NXT, realizing a more successful transition than many others making this jump over the years.

And, in fitting fashion based on their booking in the last year or so, The Riott Squad went out with their shoulders planted on the mat to a thrown-together team. Bayley & Ember Moon made this a miserable last stand for the tight-knit trio, winning this match before cementing their moves to SmackDown Live.

Winners: Bayley & Ember Moon
Rating: 2/5

WWE Worlds Collide

The latest Worlds Collide collection of matches saw the women of Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT and NXT UK compete against one another for bragging rights and, in one instance, championship gold.

Candice LeRae vs. Kay Lee Ray

A really strong opener between two excellent performers, as Candice LeRae continues her resurgence and Kay Lee Ray impresses on a bigger stage.

Winner: Candice LeRae
Rating: 3.5/5

Piper Niven vs. Zelina Vega

While this match struggled to hook the crowd due to the small heel against giant babyface dynamic, it was still a solid match and it's great to see Piper Niven in the fold.

Winner: Piper Niven
Rating: 2.5/5

Sonya Deville vs. Io Shirai

It was a big shock that Sonya Deville won here, despite her being the main roster star, and even worse was it was probably the weakest and least captivating match on the show.

Winner: Sonya Deville
Rating: 2.5/5

Toni Storm vs. Nikki Cross vs. Bianca Belair

With the NXT UK Women's Championship on the line, Toni Storm overcame the threats posed by the unpredictable Nikki Cross and the unstoppable Bianca Belair in a very good triple threat main event.

Winner: Toni Storm
Rating: 3.5/5


Following NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm's promo announcing that she will be taking on all challengers after dispatching of former champ Rhea Ripley for the time being, she shared a staredown on the ramp with the newly recruited Kay Lee Ray.

This has the potential to be an awesome feud between two of the UK indies' biggest stars, and KLR maintained her impressive start to life in NXT UK by besting one of NXT's high-potential upstarts in Xia Li.

Winner: Kay Lee Ray
Rating: 2.5/5

International Corner:

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


Match: Alysin Kay vs. Santana Garrett (NWA Women's Championship)
Winner (and new champion): Alysin Kay


Match: The Kris Wolf Retirement Gauntlet, featuring Charli Evans, Erin Angel, Jamie Hayter, Jetta, Jinny, Kay Lee Ray, Killer Kelly, Laura Di Matteo, Martina, Nina Samuels, Rebel Kinney, Rhia O'Reilly, and Viper
Winner: Kris Wolf


Match: Metalica vs. Marcela
Winner: Metalica

Ice Ribbon

Match: 15-Woman Battle Royal
Winner: Miyako Matsumoto

Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley

Even though the result was not desirable and we'll continue to see Charlotte Flair face Becky Lynch for all eternity, this was a great match which could prove a launching pad for Bayley's revival on SmackDown Live and reaffirmed why Charlotte Flair is one of the best women's wrestlers in WWE's storied history.

Candice LeRae

Two wins for Candice LeRae on a packed Wednesday of wrestling makes her the Woman of the Week, as on NXT she and Kacy Catanzaro dispatched of Aaliyah & Vanessa Borne, and then she overcame the challenge of Kay Lee Ray at Worlds Collide.

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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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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