Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #228 – WrestleMania 35 Special Recap | Smark Out Moment
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.

Okay, everyone, how are you nursing those WrestleMania hangovers? I watched it with my best friends and my boyfriend last night in what has become a very precious annual tradition for me, and I can honestly say I had a ton of fun. We  started to lose some energy near the end, but the hype around Becky was too strong, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. As a whole, Mania was as much fun as a 7-hour show could hope to be. It was a blast, and the wrestlers really did go all out. Cramming this into a normal recap wouldn't do it justice, so here goes: a special Mania WWW. Enjoy!

logo for Divas Debrief Women Wrestlers weekly rundown

Women's Battle Royal

The competitors

Asuka, Candice LeRae, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Kairi Sane, Lana, Liv Morgan, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Maria Kanellis, Mickie James, Naomi, Nikki Cross, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Zelina Vega

The results

It was awesome to see Lillian Garcia back for WrestleMania, first off. Now, onto the Battle Royal.

These things are, by nature, controlled chaos, so to recap these I just latched onto the notes that I took throughout the match:

  • Ember Moon is back! Seemed a little anticlimactic if you ask me, she was just kind of... there, but it's awesome that she's back in the ring! Dare I dream to see her put in a one-on-one program on Raw or SmackDown?
  • Asuka is still underutilized. Sure, she was one of the final remaining superstars in the match, but still. Can you imagine hearing one year ago that she would be on the Mania preshow?
  • NXT's women are very, VERY over. I hope Kairi takes next year's pirate Mania by, hehe, storm next year.
  • Riott Squad, damn. These three wreaked absolute havoc as a unit in this match. Sarah Logan almost won the thing, for goodness' sake. What a pleasant surprise after the way they were used as cannon fodder for the Becky/Charlotte/Ronda feud.
  • Dana Brooke! She's over too!

It was a fun match, but that shouldn't surprise anyone who knows how talented this division is when given the chance to show out.

Grade: C+


Women's Tag Team Championship Fatal Four-Way

The competitors

Bayley & Sasha Banks, Billie Kay & Peyton Royce, Nia Jax & Tamina and Natalya & Beth Phoenix

The results

I can't pretend to have been super invested in this match beyond wanting to see the IIconics have a breakout match, and. Well.

I got what I wanted.

This was a more subdued match, but it had a lot of very well-placed spots that showcased each team's personalities well. Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter on Bayley and Sasha... at the same time. Nia Jax teased a move off the top rope, which was immediately foiled by Phoenix. Sasha hit a meteora on both Divas of Doom, and Bayley took a monster Glam Slam from mid-air, only for the IIconics to steal the pin and titles both.

Here's the thing: Billie Kay and Peyton Royce have been with WWE for a long freaking time. And they've been good for a long time too. Their chemistry and work ethic cannot be denied. They are the very definition of what a tag team should be. I'm so thrilled for them, and seeing them get their WrestleMania moment got even this cynic a little misty-eyed.

I'm not concerned about Sasha Banks and Bayley... yet. Half of me wants them to start challenging becky and Charlotte. Dare I dream to see all four horsewomen as singles stars once more?

Also, can Paige do commentary all of the time? Her enthusiasm was infectious.

Grade: B-


Winner-Takes-All Raw & SmackDown Women's Championship Match

The competitors

Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch

The results

Before this match began, I turned to my boyfriend and very honestly said, "I might cry." I'm so unbelievably proud of how far the women of this company have risen. I remember those 30-second throwaway matches, the afterthought feuds. I remember looking at WWE and marveling at how a company in the 21st century could be so unconvinced that its women were worth investing time and energy in. Now, as many of you who read this column every week know, WWE still has a long way to go. Its creative team is overwhelmingly male, and that shows in the way the feuds are often written. It struggles with utilizing women of color, especially black women. It hasn't figured out how to build multiple women at once.

But, damn, my friends. We're here. Women main-evented WrestleMania, and the match was incredible. It was brutally physical; you could tell that all three weren't holding back at all. The spots were well-positioned and the action felt grandiose. Watching it for a second time, without the weight of 7 hours of content on my brain, I enjoyed it even more. It was a damn good match.

So, for the elephant in the room: the finish. I've seen a lot of journalists I trust say that it wasn't planned to end with a crucifix pin off a reversal, which... I mean, good, I guess. If that was the planned finish, mega yikes. But here's the thing: Becky still won. I would have preferred a no-brained submission finish with not an inkling of controversy, yes, but the result remains the right one.

Nobody deserves that moment more than Becky Lynch. I hope she savored it.

Grade: A



MATCH OF THE NIGHT:
Rousey vs. Flair vs. Lynch

Honestly, was there any other option?

WOMAN OF THE NIGHT:
Becky Lynch

I repeat: was there really any other option?

So there you have it, the breakdown for WrestleMania. 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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