Welcome to this week’s round up of the action from WWE’s women’s divisions. WrestleMania week is almost upon us, and tensions are running high across all three brands. No PPVs to discuss this week, so let’s get straight on with RAW.
Sasha Banks def Dana Brooke
Bayley def Nia Jax
Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke
Bayley accompanied Sasha Banks to the ring, to nullify the influence of Charlotte Flair in Brooke’s corner.
Ridiculously fast match, won by Banks from a roll-up with a hint of a handful of tights. But this segment was never about the match.
After the match finished, and Sasha Banks left the ring, Charlotte Flair grabbed a mic. She told Dana Brooke she is a disgrace, she doesn’t deserve to be by her side, she’s not riding her coat tails to WrestleMania, and that she’s getting rid of her. Finally, after all these months, Dana Brooke hit her, and hit her, and hit her, like she never wanted to stop.
A shocked Charlotte Flair scrabbled away and sat on the ramp while Dana Brooke screamed at her to get into the ring so they could go some more. Flair retreated and Dana Brooke stood in the ring still shouting after her, to end the segment.
Nia Jax interrupted a office segment with Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon to say that she thought she should be in the women’s title match at WrestleMania. Stephanie McMahon gave her a match, that night, against Bayley to appease her.
Sasha Banks and Bayley talked backstage about Nia Jax. After reassuring Bayley that Jax is beatable, Banks put the seeds of doubt in Bayley’s head by telling her not to worry about the haters who think she’s not championship material.
Bayley vs Nia Jax
Nia Jax throws people around while they try, largely unsuccessfully, to fight back. That is the basic story of every Nia Jax match. It’s not a criticism, she has a fighting style which compliments her stature and that’s great. Bayley managed to tie Jax up in the ropes a couple of times, and used that to her advantage, but it was only a temporary advantage.
Bayley won the match via disqualification, which just gave Jax free rein to destroy her. She hung her up in the corner and inflicted some damage, then dragged her out of the ring and threw her into the barricade.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jax added to the WrestleMania match. If she isn’t then interference is a distinct possibility. And if Jax doesn’t interfere then Dana Brooke may become a factor. There ae a nice number of variables for this match already. I was hoping for a one on one title match, but as I can’t have that at least it’s likely to be interesting.
Becky Lynch def Natalya
Mickie James def Alexa Bliss
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
This match came about after Natalya turned on Becky Lynch while they were teaming together against Alexa Bliss and Mickie James last week. We’re really into the issues of such small rosters now. Tt isn’t that long ago that Becky Lynch and Natalya had a run of matches, but we’ve circled back to it already. Anything can happen around WrestleMania season though, and there are plenty of rumours circulating about redrafts and additions.
This match was decent. The upside of repeated matches is that they women get confident and comfortable with each other in the ring, not that it’s ever been a problem for these two, they have great chemistry. Natalya probably had the better of the offence, but it did her no good. Becky Lynch caught her in the Dis-Arm-Her, and Natalya tapped out.
After the match Carmella appeared and kicked them both in the head.
Miz TV was a segment this week. In order to give their WrestleMania match a bit more depth, Maryse went into a long diatribe about Nikki Bella stabbing her in the back and blocked her from being on the original Total Divas cast. Eventually, Nikki Bella and John Cena came to the ring and answered her accusations, by saying it was all lies. Nikki offered to settle it in the ring but, for some reason, Miz declined on her behalf. Daniel Bryan came out and confirmed the mixed tag match for WrestleMania that we’ve all known about for weeks.
Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James
This match was a result of Mickie James kicking Alexa Bliss after the tag match last week. James was upset the Bliss had stolen the glory in the match, and that she’d denied they had a deal promising Jmaes a title shot at ‘Mania. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good a match as I expected it to be. Something didn’t really click, it all felt a bit stilted and disjointed. It happens I guess. It wasn’t a terribly long match either. I think I’d have liked to have seen a bit more build between the two before they met in the ring. Mickie James won with the Mick-kick.
On Talking Smack Mickie James said she was disappointed in Alexa Bliss, because they’d had a deal that she would get a title shot at ‘Mania, but Bliss backed out because she knew James would beat her. She knows there are no real friends in wrestling, but she wasn’t expecting Bliss to turn so soon. Carmella came to the table, followed by Natalya and then Becky Lynch. Essentially they all had the same thing to say, that they’re going to win at WrestleMania. Finally, Alexa Bliss joined the, by now very crowded, table. She blamed Daniel Bryan for the chaos, and it all broke down into insults before everyone was cleared out.
Nikki Cross def Macey Estrella
One punch in the face. That is the sum total of the offence Macey Estrella got in this match.
Five times in a row Cross delivered a swinging neck-breaker, while being encouraged by Eric Young, without covering Estrella for the pin. She finally covered her after the sixth one, and put her out of her misery. I love the way NXT have built Nikki Cross. She looks deranged and almost indestructible, and it’s still early days for her.
Post-match, SAnitY were attacked by No Way Jose and Tye Dillinger, but quickly turned the tables. Cross got involved by jumping on Dillinger’s back, but her main job during SAnitY beat-downs seems to be watch, laugh and taunt.
On the show this week there was also a video package for Asuka vs Ember Moon. The majority of the video was dedicated to Asuka, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it formed the basis of her introduction to the main roster. She has apparently appeared at main roster house shows recently, usually a fairly predictable sign she is on her way up soon. It’s long overdue, and it’s the best thing for the NXT women’s division. Her record breaking title run has been excellent, but she’s been elevated to a point where none of the other women, except Ember Moon and perhaps Nikki Cross, even look like credible opponents. With Moon as champ after WrestleMania weekend, as it looks likely to be, the division will feel much more of a level playing field. Ember Moon is undefeated, but she hasn’t been given quite as much of an air of invincibility.
There was no women’s action on Main Event this week.
That’s it for another week. Next week we’ll be previewing NXT TakeOver Orlando, and really starting to look ahead to WrestleMania. And, of course, I’ll round up all the other action from WWE’s women’s divisions. In the meantime, if there is anything you’d like me to cover, or anything you want to discuss, tweet me @manda_why