Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #240 | Smark Out Moment

Women's Wrestling Weekly Recap & Review #240

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Saturday, August 17, 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

NXT TakeOver: Toronto II

Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae

This match was quite simply incredible. Io Shirai has been one of the best female wrestlers for a number of years, but in facing Candice LeRae she showed everyone why she is held in such high regard.

Shirai was prepared to not only make herself look as dominant as possible, but she gave LeRae a platform to show just how good she is as a wrestler. It is hard for LeRae to shake the tag of Mrs Johnny Wrestling, but she has always been a good wrestler in her own right.

Shirai hit LeRae with everything but the kitchen sink in this match, such as her patented Moonsault and Spanish Fly, however LeRae showed her resilience in kicking out every time, something that drove Shirai mad. Heel Shirai is so much more expressive, and it allows fans to feel more emotionally invested.

The finish of the match came when Shirai used a Koji Clutch variation on LeRae, and continuing with the narrative of LeRae displaying a high level of resilience, this led to Shirai winning by submission as LeRae passed out.

This contest was everything I had hoped for and exceeded my expectations. Both women were incredible, and they fully lived up to the expectations of a TakeOver match.

Winner: Io Shirai
Rating: 5/5


Shayna Baszler vs Mia Yim

I was eagerly anticipating this match more than Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae, however Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim were unable to live up to expectations, which is a real shame.

The NXT Women’s Championship was on the line, with the feeling going into the match that Baszler would be dropping the championship to Yim. Baszler has been a great champion, but the general consensus is her character is stale, and the NXT women’s division could benefit from a fresh champion.

As ever, Baszler dominated the early part of the match with Yim only able to get in brief moments of offense. This changed mid match as Yim was able to take control, however Baszler was yet again able to eek out a victory through a Figure Four Choke Hold and retain the championship.

The glaring issue with this match is how Yim never felt like a realistic winner, with the crowd failing to believe that she would win. The quality of the match was great, but with a lack of intensity and crowd investment it felt lacking. Baszler is a perfectly serviceable champion, but a new direction is needed to reinvigorate the division.

Winner: Shayna Baszler
Rating: 3/5


WWE SummerSlam

Becky Lynch vs Natalya

To have Natalya competing for the Raw Women’s Championship in 2019 is a concern, as it speaks volumes to how thin the women's division currently is. Despite this, Natalya was booked perfectly in the lead up to SummerSlam to at least create some believability she may win. The submission stipulation benefitted her in addition to being in front of a raucous Canadian crowd.

The match was well worked, with Natalya getting in a decent amount of offense against Becky Lynch. At one point she locked in the Sharpshooter in the centre of the ring and it appeared Lynch would tap, but the Sharpshooter was countered into the Disarm Her. This was telegraphed on Raw a few weeks ago when footage was shown of Natalya training to counter the Disarm Her, therefore Lynch would have been suitably concerned to train to learn how to counter the Sharpshooter.

As Lynch won with the Disarm Her, it solidified her as the pinnacle of the Raw women’s division. This match also showed that Lynch is capable of performing well in different match types, with wrestlers elevating their performances when competing against her.

Winner: Becky Lynch
Rating: 3.5/5


Charlotte vs Trish Stratus

This is a true dream match, however with only a few weeks to build to it, there isn't as much interest and intrigue as there should be. Additionally, Trish Stratus revealed this would be her final match which indicated Charlotte would win. Despite these struggles, the match was an interesting mix of old school and new school.

Charlotte dominated large portions of this match, as she rightly should, displaying exactly why she is considered the pinnacle of the SmackDown women's division. Stratus more than held her own in the match and even hit the Chick Kick and a Stratusfaction for near falls, but Charlotte powered through and slapped on the Figure Four, before transitioning to the deadly Figure Eight and making Stratus submit.

Form is temporary whilst class is permanent, and Stratus showed she still has class and the ability to put on a great match. Many of the women on the roster could learn a lesson from Stratus, and no doubt those watching would have been inspired by Charlotte's sheer talent and the enduring class of Stratus. This match was entertaining and was arguably the best women's match of the evening.

Winner: Charlotte
Rating: 3.5/5


Bayley vs Ember Moon

Ember Moon’s struggles in recent weeks led to the SummerSlam crowd struggling to invest in this match. Bayley is a fan favourite, but the lack of a credible challenger really hurt.

Moon was able to take control at many times during this match, however the losses and draws she has sustained over the past few weeks removed any threat she would have posed to Bayley. Moon is an incredible wrestler and showed in NXT she is the real deal, but her transition to the main roster has been a protracted struggle, which has no clear resolution in sight.

After a fair match which was back and forth, Bayley hit an Avalanche Bayley to Belly to retain the championship. Her reign was never seriously under threat, although both women put in a serviceable effort. I hope Bayley can move forward with a feud that has real heat to it.

Winner: Bayley
Rating: 2/5


Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The IIconics

The IIconics received their rematch at SummerSlam, despite the fact in storyline, former champions are not entitled to an immediate rematch. However, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross have already established themselves as arguably better champions and entered the match as the clear favourites.

The quality of the match was poor, but this was to be expected with a match involving The IIconics as they favour character over tangible skill. Cross was able to dominate most of the match, with Bliss ending the match with a Twisted Bliss on Peyton Royce for the pinfall.

Despite the poor quality of the match, it was amazing to see the Women’s Tag Team Championships being highlighted at arguably the second biggest show of the year. I have every faith that Bliss and Cross can elevate the championships to new heights.

Winner: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Rating: 2/5


WWE Monday Night Raw

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs The Kabuki Warriors

The Women’s Tag Team Championships already feel more prestigious in the hands of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, and facing The Kabuki Warriors for the championships on Raw only adds to the importance of the championships.

The Kabuki Warriors managed to control portions of the match by isolating Cross, with Kairi Sane in particular standing out. Bliss managed to turn the tide of the match by taking out Asuka and hitting Twisted Bliss on Sane for the pinfall.

To have this match as the penultimate match of the night shows the faith in not only Bliss and Cross, but the women’s tag division as a whole. This match was great and was better than the Women’s Tag Team Championship match at SummerSlam.

Winner: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
Rating: 3/5


Honourable Mention: Sasha Banks Returns!

Sasha Banks returned to Raw this week, and judging by the reaction of the fans, it was not a minute too soon. Banks returned to a raucous applause and initially appeared to comfort Natalya, only to turn heel and destroy her in the ring. Becky Lynch came to the ring to save Natalya, only to be brutalised by Banks with a chair. This seemingly positions Banks as Lynch's next opponent for the Raw Women's Championship, and it will be a match that fans will eagerly look forward to. Banks looks reinvigorated, and this can only benefit the women's division.


WWE SmackDown

Charlotte vs Ember Moon

It was telling that Ember Moon didn't even receive a televised entrance which continues the theme of her losing all credibility, however she did perform well in this match. Charlotte dominated this match, and it is believed she is being positioned as Bayley's next challenger.

Moon had her moments to shine in the match, such as hitting a Codebreaker for a 2 count, however Charlotte powered through and was able to follow up a Running Big Boot with the Figure Eight for the submission. Charlotte continues to be a cornerstone of the SmackDown women's division, with Moon likely to be lost in the shuffle which is a shame.

Winner: Charlotte
Rating: 2/5


Impact Wrestling

Madison Rayne & Kiera Hogan vs Alexia Nicole & Jordynne Grace

This match was a great change from recent weeks where female wrestlers have been competing in intergender matches, however the match felt lacking in some areas. The wrestling was solid, with Kiera Hogan a particular standout for the way she dominated the match.

The finish of the match came when Madison Rayne hit Cross Rayne on Alexia Nicole for the pinfall, however the action was not over as Rayne and Hogan continued to attack Jordynne Grace, prompting Rosemary to hit the ring and make the save. The post match angle was fun and sets up a number of possible matches in the near future.

Winner: Madison Rayne & Kiera Hogan
Rating: 2/5

WWE NXT UK

Isla Dawn vs Nina Samuels

Isla Dawn is a talent I have high hopes for, and in this match she had her full potential on display. With a series of knee strikes and suplexes, she was able to respond to Nina Samuel’s dominance. Samuels was able to use knee strikes of her own and work her ground game well, keeping Dawn from gaining enough momentum to turn the match in her favour.

The finish of the match came when Samuels followed up a number of strikes with the Ushigoroshi for the pinfall. A fun little sprint, this match allowed more talent to be highlighted than the usual slew of NXT UK female stars, and with any luck they will be able to build upon this performance and become regular performers.

Winner: Nina Samuels
Rating: 2.5/5

WWE NXT

This week’s episode of NXT focused on the Breakout Tournament final, therefore there were no women’s matches. However, highlight packages were shown of the amazing women's matches at NXT TakeOver: Toronto II.

WWE Main Event

Lacey Evans vs Dana Brooke

Lacey Evans appears to have settled into her Main Event role alongside fellow regular Dana Brooke. This is not necessarily a bad thing as Evans needs to improve her overall style, however this match was not interesting in the slightest.

The biggest problem here is that despite wrestling each other on a semi-regular basis, the match felt very similar to their previous encounters, with Brooke hitting her Cartwheel Splash before missing with the Handspring Back Elbow. This allowed Lacey to finish the match off with a Women's Right. Hopefully these two will shake it up the next time they face each other. I cannot recommend checking this match out unless you are a die hard fan of either wrestler.

Winner: Lacey Evans
Rating: 1/5

MATCH OF THE WEEK:
Io Shirai vs Candice LeRae

This match was sheer perfection. Io Shirai showed why she is one of the most talented women's wrestlers, whilst Candice LeRae showed she is a great wrestler in her own right. This match is certainly a candidate for the best NXT women's match of the year, if not the best women's match of the year.

WOMAN OF THE WEEK:
Io Shirai

Io Shirai is quite simply one of the best wrestlers in the world today, and she contributed to one of the best matches at NXT TakeOver: Toronto II. Heel Shirai has been a breath of fresh air in NXT, and she should now be positioned as the woman to dethrone Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women's Championship.

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: DALLAS ALLSOPP

Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.

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