At the Royal Rumble ppv this year we had the winner of the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match Asuka, Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair, Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, oh… and we had Ronda Rousey…, oh and we had Stephanie McMahon. All in or around the ring at the same time to close the show. Women’s Wrestling has officially gone big time.
People will often use buzz phrases; “Divas revolution” this “Women’s evolution” that, but yes when I first watched Women’s wrestling it was essentially bra and panties matches and glorified hair pulling contests contested by glamour models. It has certainly come a long, LONG way, to a point now where I could very comfortably say that I am an avid fan of women’s wrestling and the general quality of the product amongst the array of top female wrestling talent there is in WWE and NXT.
And yes I know… young male liking Women’s wrestling isn’t exactly a shock, but I can genuinely say the physical and aesthetic qualities of the performers wouldn’t interest me to watch their matches in the slightest if the actual match itself wasn’t up to a decent enough standard. And at times women’s wrestling has even stolen the show from the previously untouchable grasp of the men. Take for example the “biggest Wrestlemania of all time”, at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, in front of 100,000* people, the Women’s Championship match was the best match on the entire show!
It was the latest step for Women in WWE, as the old butterfly ridden Divas Championship was retired in favour of a revitalised WWE Women’s Championship. It would be competed for by 3 of WWE’s finest female talents we had seen in many years (one in particular may just be the best we’ve ever seen…).
*Before I begin telling you all about the match, if you’re not aware of them already, please enter “the 4 horsewomen of NXT” into your preferred search engine… Thanks… now let’s talk about this match…*
Becky Lynch enters first. One of the most underrated in ring perfomers in the entire WWE man or woman. Sasha Banks out next, her entrance music performed by her COUSIN Snoop Dogg!!! A massive pop for the Legit Boss, the crowd favourite here for sure. And finally the champ Charlotte accompanied by her Dad… who just so happens to be a 16x world champ and the only 2 time WWE Hall of Famer… Genetically Superior indeed…
The match begins with the 3 participants exchanging a series of moves and pinfall attempts, Charlotte then hitting a great looking big boot to Becky before Sasha hit Charlotte with a Hurricanrana ala her hero Eddie Guerrero. Upon Lynch re-entering the match she disposes of the champion before focusing an attack on the Legit Boss. A focus on Sasha’s arm in preparation of her finisher later down the line maybe?
The exchange between Banks and Lynch is ended when Charlotte drags Sasha to the outside and slams her against the ropes. She’s then thwarted by Becky Lynch whom jumps from the apron to take down the final ever Divas champion. Becky’s momentum continues back in the ring with a DDT on Charlotte that garners a 2 count. Becky is then on the top rope when Charlotte hits a rude awakening for a 2 count of her own. Charlotte, now on top herself, attempts a Figure 4 leg lock on the Irish Lasskicker but it is countered out of. Sasha gets back involved with Charlotte in the corner of the ring, but this is stopped when Lynch launches Sasha to the outside.
Lynch then focuses her attention on Charlotte herself, but to no avail. Charlotte then rolls into a pin attempt but it is reversed by Becky Lynch into an attempted Dis-arm-her submission move. With Lynch seemingly on the verge of the win Ric Flair then jumps on the ring apron to try and distract her but the submission is laterly broken up by Sasha Banks.
As the match draws on Charlotte gets a Figure 4 on Becky, but this is stopped by Sasha Banks as she comes flying down from the top rope with a beautiful frog splash onto them both. She gets a nearfall after a pin attempt on the champion. The Legit Boss then hits a double knees for another 2 count. Is it Sasha’s time to claim the gold?
Becky Lynch then goes for a pin after a great looking pumphandle slam/rock bottom like move on Charlotte that Sasha breaks up. Sasha and Becky then have a really nice exchange of varying types of offensive moves before Lynch performs a tope suicida on Charlotte to the outside. And then with Charlotte and Sasha on the outside of the ring, Becky Lynch delights the Dallas crowd by diving off the top rope onto the ringside Nature Boy after Ric had had a ‘wooooo-off’ with Sasha.
Sasha then throws Charlotte back into the ring but is stopped from going after her by Lynch… and then… Charlotte makes her way to the top rope… and delivers… one of the most beautiful moves I have ever seen… she perfectly executes a moonsault onto her two opponents on the outside of the ring (THIS WAS A BREATHTAKING MOVE)!!!
Glowing in confidence now “my title” screams the champion Charlotte as she then performs a DOUBLE Natural Selection. However she is unsuccessful in 2 pin attempts on both her opponents, much to her frustration. She launches Becky Lynch into the ring post and while attempting a powerbomb type move on Sasha Banks she then finds herself the victim of a dropkick from Lynch off the top rope that ended in an electric chair – dropkick combo that led to a 2 count only for Becky. A Dis-arm-her is stopped by an incoming Banks, who immediately locks in her own submission the Bank Statement. Charlotte enters the fray with a Figure 4 to Sasha, Banks then reverses the pressure of the move until Becky breaks it up…. and breathe…
With all 3 women physically exhausted by their efforts Charlotte unleashes a series of chops to both Banks and Lynch, before Charlotte is beaten on by both for her troubles. Sasha hits a strong forearm to Lynch but then turns into an typically-awesome looking spear from Charlotte. Charlotte is driven into the corner and worked on by Becky, who then finds herself on the top rope with Sasha. Charlotte joins them. All 3 women now in a precarious position. It ends with Sasha strung up as Lynch delivers a Bexploder suplex on Charlotte from the top rope.
Sasha Banks is then able to put the Bank Statement on Becky Lynch before Charlotte throws the Legit Boss to the outside. She then finally locks in her signature finishing move, the exquisite looking Figure 8 submission on a downed Lynch. As Sasha tries to re-enter the ring she is stopped by Ric Flair at ringside who aids his daughter by stopping the only potential stop to her crowning moment,and such Becky’s tap out gives the QUEEN the win. And Charlotte becomes the first holder of the newly established WWE Women’s Championship.
And that was the match. A 15 minute showcase of just some of the strongest array of female WRESTLING talent the WWE has ever seen. And as you all know Women’s wrestling has only gone from strength to strength since then. As Wrestlemania approaches we have a situation where the biggest star in the company is a women, it’s now very possible we have 2 maybe 3 Women’s singles matches on the card of the biggest event on the calendar. None of these meaningless tag matches or gimmick heavy battle royals for the women in WWE at Mania anymore. The road to Wrestlemania is well underway, and the Women’s division will certainly have a big part to play in how it all shapes up. And the aforementioned match at Wrestlemania 32 was where, for this avid fan of women’s wrestling at least, it REALLY all started.