Before I get into this post, we must obviously address the heartbreaking news we heard from Joe last night. The man we all know as Roman Reigns is returning to battle leukemia, a form of cancer that kills 24,000 each year.
I’m sure all of you are wise enough to discern between the on-screen persona and the real man. I’ve had family members who have unfortunately passed away from cancer. Roman, kick cancer’s ass and do what you need to. We’ll be back here waiting to complain needlessly about anything you do when you return.
Now, watching the past couple weeks of WWE programming, you wouldn’t think that a historic first-ever women’s PPV was taking place this Sunday. I suppose that is a microcosm of how women are still viewed. They still aren’t nearly as important as the men. Looking at the card, it’s not difficult to see why. When we think of the first ever historic women’s PPV, I’m sure we were all expecting clashes of women from the past facing women of today, intriguing title matches, and a PPV that feels especially important. Despite that, WWE has botched the booking of this PPV, primarily due to the fact that they have been promoting Crown Jewel at the same time.
What we get out of it is essentially a ho-hum PPV that isn’t horrible on its surface, but leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s get into the specifics of each match.
“Historic” Women’s Battle Royal For Future Women’s Championship Opportunity
The only reason why I put quotation marks around the word “historic” is because that is what WWE is calling this. Make no mistake about it. There is nothing historic about this battle royal. WWE made a big deal out of the battle royal for women at WrestleMania this year by calling it the first ever WrestleMania women’s battle royal. The only difference is that this battle royal will have retired superstars just for name recognition. There’s nothing special or unique about this battle royal, and the only way WWE knows how to book these kinds of matches is to have all of the participants come out and have a practice battle royal one week before. The winner gets a future opportunity, and I’d think that we need to build to a challenger for the winner of the Smackdown Women’s Championship match since we can all assume that feud will end there. That means the easy answer is Asuka. Don’t count out Ember Moon for the RAW brand, though.
Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natayla vs. The Riott Squad
This is highly discouraging and the height of laziness on the part of the booking team. Sasha and Bayley are stalwarts of the women’s revolution and Natalya was a part of what made NXT Women’s wrestling unique to start. Instead of rewarding them with a unique match to make things come full circle, they are stuck with the Riot Squad, a team that Sasha Banks has faced in some variation in 8 tag team matches on RAW this year already. They probably know each other’s family members at this point. Anyways, I’d assume the faces win just because, but this match is totally unimportant, and I always say that if the match can be done on RAW, it shouldn’t be on PPV. Especially a historic PPV as this one. Give the faces the win, but it’s highly discouraging that those who worked hard to make women’s wrestling what it is today are stuck with 2nd hour of RAW type matches.
Winners: Sasha, Bayley and Natalya
Kairi Sane (C) vs. Shayna Baszler – NXT Women’s Championship
Kairi and Shayna are two women that have had quality matches every time they have been in the ring with each other, and I absolutely loved their Brooklyn match as well. Shayna’s ground and pound submission style of wrestling correspond with Kairi’s high-flying acrobatics so well, and they always manage to tell a great story as well. This should be one of the matches that get enough time, and I’m actually expecting this match to steal the show. It makes sense to have Kairi win since she just won the title, but Shayna is always going to make it tough on her. This will be fun.
Winner: Kairi Sane
Becky Lynch (C) vs. Charlotte – Smackdown Women’s Championship (Last Woman Standing)
Becky Lynch has been on an absolute tear in 2018, and I see no end in sight for her in the near future. I loved how they have built this feud, and having Becky attack Charlotte in NXT, the place where this all started was an ingenious move to give this match a deeper dimension to it. I’m not usually a fan of Last Man Standing matches, because the pacing and the frequency with which the referee makes a count can ruin the momentum of the match. But I believe that Charlotte and Becky have the capacity to make it work, and both of them have already shown that they are willing to take some chances. As i stated before, I see no good reason to take the title off of Becky Lynch now that she is red hot, so I have to think that she retains here and moves on to a different challenge to move forward.
Winner: Becky Lynch
Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James
This match is reportedly in some jeopardy because Alexa Bliss had an injury at a live event this past week, but I’ll trust that she can recover in time to make this happen. I was a fan of having Alexa vs. Trish and Lita vs. Mickie in singles matches as opposed to having just another tag team match. I think that may be a way to compensate for the loss of athleticism that Lita and Trish used to have. However, I’m okay with it. The only problem I have here is that the match just doesn’t feel important. It’s pretty obvious that Trish and Lita are going to win, but then what? It’s just another tag team match. Historically significant matches are generally remembered by singles outings, and I did like the idea of Trish facing Alexa because they are both decorated in their accomplishments. Hopefully these four can make something that can hopefully be better than just an average tag team match. The returning legends win here.
Winners: Trish and Lita
Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Nikki Bella – RAW Women’s Championship
Sorry, but I’m not a fan of this main event. Remove the fact that a Bella being in the main event of the first ever women’s exclusive PPV and all the issues that are associated with that. Nikki didn’t even earn a title shot. All she did was attack Ronda from behind. Exactly how does that constitute a women’s title shot? If that’s the case, why hasn’t Sasha Banks or Bayley turn heel already? And you’d think the main event would be some sort of indication of how far the women’s division has come. But instead, it’s going to be a relative newcomer to the brand and a woman who didn’t really influence the change of how we perceive women’s wrestling. This isn’t to say that Nikki is a terrible worker, but I also think it’s fair to say that she’s in a spot that others deserved more than her. In addition, once again, the outcome of this match is pretty predictable. It’s pretty clear that Ronda is winning. I just, I don’t know. I want to be excited, buut there’s nothing here for me.