WWE ROYAL RUMBLE RESULTS: A Woman-A-Plenty Establishment for Contendership, Dominance and Continual Victory (January, 29th 2017)

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Following up the heated clashes at NXT Takeover, it was the main rosters turn only 24 hours later in the Alamodome as WWE brought to us its first main roster PPV of the Year, the Royal Rumble, an event that decides our WrestleMania Main Eventer and our next RAW Women’s Champion. Not only did we have the RAW Women’s Championship up for grabs as said, but for the first time ever 3 women’s matches graced the PPV card as Smackdowns female forces collided when Naomi, Becky Lynch and Nikki Bella took on Natalya, Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and a Returning Mickie James and Sasha Banks faced recent rival, Nia Jax.

First women’s wise on the card is the Smackdown Women’s Tag, the first women’s match on the Kickoff (as this match was moved to the pre show to join Nia vs Sasha later in the week). Entering first are the babyface opposition, beginning with Naomi, then former Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch then Nikki Bella. Entering for the opposing side after (and again separately) are the Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James and fellow veteran Natalya. Speaking of Nat, her issues with Nikki Bella get a lengthy recap, while Naomi recently chasing Alexa Bliss gets zilch…

Speaking of that feud, its Natalya and Nikki starting off the match, and right off the bat, trash talk and mockery towards John Cena ensues, courtesy of former Divas Champion Natalya. She soon pays for these nasty tactics when Nikki slaps her across the face, and already Natalya tries to avoid further altercation with Nikki as she ducks under the ropes, forcing the referee to come between Natalya and a charging Nikki. In fact, Natalya avoids Nikki completely, tagging into the match Alexa Bliss. Bliss stomps her way out of a waistlock, then catching Nikki in her own. Nikki manages to re-apply it, but only for a short time as Bliss’s elbow meets her in the face. Bliss whips Nikki to the ropes, ducking as it may look like Nikki will strike back with running offense, but instead she kicks her. Nikki drives the champs face into her knee, enough to get a near fall.

Naomi tags in next, but only gets a minor load of offense in on Alexa before she scrambles. Natalya steps in, tagged into the match by the champ, nailing a kick to the midsection of Naomi. Natalya sets up a suplex, summoning Alexa in the ring to join, then in runs Becky, then Mickie and Nikki. The babyface squad suplex the heels together in unison. The Heels try to regroup before Becky and Nikki put a temporary stop to this with sneaky baseball slide dropkicks from behind. If that wasn’t enough, Alexa, Mickie and Natalya soon have Naomi crash onto them from above the top rope. The babyfaces celebrate as the heels try and find their footing after being overwhelmed by the opposers momentum.

When we return, representing the respective forces are Natalya and Becky. Natalya is shown delivering a vicious smack to Becky, but Becky gets a measure of revenge with her load of clotheslines, followed with a dropkick and flying firearm, finalized by a springboard sidekick. Natalya rolls out again to regroup but Becky heads to the apron and drops Natalya to the floor with a diving elbow. As Becky celebrates the momentum, Mickie sends her into the barricade, allowing Natalya to take over as the Queen of Harts delivers a Suplex to Becky. Natalya then proceeds to roll Becky into the ring, capturing her in a stretch hold that Becky quickly breaks from via an arm drag. Becky tries to make a desperate leap to Naomi and Nikki, but is caught in the arms of Nattie before she can do so, driven into the heel corner. Natalya tags in Mickie, who is making her main roster in ring return, hammering Becky in the corner with her boot. Mickie chokes Becky against the corner then delivers a lethal kick as she allows the Smackdown Women’s Champ into the match.

Alexa continues with boots to Becky before choking her against the second rope. As the referee squabbles with Alexa following a near breach of the 5 count, Mickie sneaks in a kick to Becky on the apron. Alexa tries to capitalize off the sneaky move with a pin, but Becky kicks out at two. Natalya tags in, sweeping Becky to the mat before continuing with the Cena related taunt. It proves almost costly as Becky rolls up Natalya, getting a near fall. Natalya retaliates with a big clothesline, with another near fall following. Natalya drives Naomi off the apron with an elbow following the delivery of a Michinoku Driver, and the two go at it continually until Alexa runs in on the tag, leading to Becky switching focus. Becky blocks a slam attempt and launches Natalya over to ringside, and as it looks like she may reach Nikki, Natalya has quickly recovered on the outside, dragging Nikki by her foot off the apron. Meanwhile Alexa capitalizes with clubbing blows to the back before escaping a pin attempt by a countering Becky. Becky then makes the needed tag to Naomi, who fires in as she drops herself onto Alexa via the springboard crossbody. She delivers a singular dropkick also to Mickie and Natalya that takes them off the apron before blocking Alexa’s attempt to strike back with a side kick. Naomi nails a spinning clothesline and sit out jawbreaker to Alexa, following with her furious flurry of kicks before trying to pin the champ, not completed as Mickie runs in and kicks the hopeful contender from behind. The Intervention of the fellow women leads to Alexa and Naomi going at it again one on one. Alexa tries to take control with a forearm before Naomi fights back with a kick from the outside. After flooring Alexa, she takes herself to the top turnbuckle and connects with the split leg moonsault for the three count. Becky, Naomi and Nikki win the match.

The Second and last Women’s Match of the pre show sees Nia Jax and Sasha Banks face off for the first time after weeks of Nia one upping Sasha via exploiting her known injury. The Still Popular Professed “Bo$$” Sasha Banks enters first, followed by a glaring and prepped Nia Jax. Once the bell rings, a scowling Sasha charges right at Nia, who scoops her up and drives her over to the ropes. Nia powers out of a headlock by sending Sasha to a corner, but misses her corner splash when Sasha slips out of the corner. Sasha connects on one occasion with double knees, as the second is diverted by Nia. Nia misses a clothesline and Sasha fights back with the scissor chops, trying to arm drag her from the top rope after but ending up in her hands. Nia drives Sasha into that same corner, clobbering her against it afterward. Nia then tosses Sasha to the other side of the ring with ease, knocking her down to the mat with her body seconds after. Sasha is out on the mat as we get to a commercial break.

When we return, Sasha has only just got to her feet, trying to fire back against Nia with elbows but being brought back down again as Nia headbutts her. Sasha tries to tie up Nia in the Bank Statement but Nia easily breaks loose, whipping Sasha to a corner afterward but having her follow up attack diverted when Sasha boots her. Before Sasha can do much else, Nia drags her by her foot to the center of the ring and takes her down. Nia gets to work on the already hurt knee of Sasha with a stretch submission, with Sasha trying to break away with a failed sunset flip. Sasha tries to make her official comeback with knees on the outside after Nia ends up missing Sasha in a previous corner attack that lead to her hitting the corner post shoulder first. Sasha manages to bring the monstrous opponent to the mat back first via double knees from the top rope, though the big move hasnt taken Nia out, as she kicks out of Sashas pin attempt at two. Sasha gets back to her feet despite the damage inflicted to her knee, firing forearms at Nia as she tries returning to a vertical base. Sasha runs the ropes and into a massive Pop Up Samoan Drop from Nia. Sasha is completely out and Nia covers for the three count. Nia wins the match, additionally getting revenge for the attack days before on RAW.

To The Main Card now, and Bayleys shot at the RAW Women’s Title is the shows opener. Per Tradition, the Challenger, of course being Bayley, enters first. Charlotte enters second with an Ice Queen Themed Robe, and with her RAW Women’s Title in hand. Once both are in the ring, JoJo is on hand, introducing Bayley as the Challenger, Charlotte as the Defending Champion, and once that is closed, the one Women’s Title defense of the night can get underway. Charlotte begins by taking down Bayley following a successful waistlock, capturing her in a front face-lock before taking her back down to the mat. Charlotte goes for the cover, but its early on and Bayley has little damage taken, kicking out at one. Charlotte stalls any potential strike back from Bayley with a shoulder block, launching her onto the outside floor afterward. Bayley makes it back to the ring, chucking Charlotte out in a duplication of the Champs last move. After a shoulder tackle above the second rope, Bayley snaps Charlotte against the ropes, then seizing Charlotte while between the ropes to perform a hurricanrana. Bayley doesn’t wait for Charlotte to return to the ring however, setting herself up on the middle turnbuckle and diving onto Charlotte from it. At Last Bayley takes Charlotte to the ring, trying to capitalize on her recent momentum with a pin attempt, one that gets her a near fall to her dismay.

Within seconds, Charlotte has scurried to the outside, but Bayley sees it. Bayley heads outside to take back Charlotte but is sent into the side of the apron then into the steel steps. Charlotte deals more damage by sending Bayleys face into the apron before rolling her back in the ring. Charlotte gets a near fall in the follow up pin attempt, taking out her frustration afterward by thrusting the head of Bayley into the mat. Charlotte pulls a trick out of her former friend Becky’s book with an exploder suplex, which also gets her a near fall on Bayley. Charlotte tries to submit Bayley with a hold applied, but its turned over into a pin attempt, another that Bayley kicks out of. Charlotte hits a knee off the ropes and again gets a near fall on Bayley.

Bayley counters an attempted suplex from Charlotte into a roll up, getting a one count. She looks to try pin Charlotte again via a backslide, but Charlotte prevents herself from falling backward. She separates herself from Bayley via a neckbreaker, taking her out with a big boot, but not fully as Bayley kicks out of the Champs pin attempt at two. Charlotte reverts to a headscissor following up from some headscissor stomps, catapulting Bayley around the ring with her legs after Bayleys attempt to use Charlotte’s shoulders to pin falls flat. Charlotte slaps around Bayley, leading to the contenders anger seeping in. The Fury comes to a head when both are brought to the mat via a double clothesline. Both make it back up within moments, with Charlotte firing a load of her fathers famed chops at Bayley. Bayley retaliates with a second rope arm drag and flying forearm, then floating from the outside and back in to perform a crossbody off the middle turnbuckle. Bayley fires her axe handles at Charlotte then drives her to the mat, taking her time to climb to the top turnbuckle afterward for the next move but switching up the strategy by returning to the ring and stomping down on the champ. Bayley capitalizes with her newest pin attempt, but again its a near fall. One Last Ditch effort is brought from Bayley via the elbow drop, shades of Macho Man, but its not enough to get the championship, as to the NXT Underdogs dismay, Charlotte again kicks out at two.

Charlotte reverses momentum by targeting the knee of Bayley, softening it up for her fathers figure four submission. Bayley manages to counter, only for a short time however, as Charlotte turns herself back over and swiftly bridges into the figure eight. The Ref forces the submission break once its noticed that Charlotte has her hand on the nearby rope. Charlotte heads to the top rope after, going up high for the moonsault that doesn’t connect when Bayley raises her knees to counter it. Bayley goes for the pin, is very close, but Charlotte kicks out again, leading to another near fall result. Bayley fires elbows at Charlotte in a corner, hoisting her up in that same corner. Bayley gets slapped away from the corner by a Cocky Charlotte, and Bayley bounds back onto the second turnbuckle, but Charlotte evades any sort of collision with Bayley again, sending her to the floor. Bayley heads to the apron as she tries to make her way back in to avoid a count out. Charlotte has also paced her way to the apron with some evil intentions, proving so as she connects with Natural Selection. Charlotte darts back in the ring, covers Bayley and pins her. Charlotte Wins, Retaining the RAW Women’s Championship and further extending the known PPV Streak.

(Mickie James, Natalya and Alexa Bliss vs Naomi, Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch; Smackdown Six Woman Tag Team Match 40.53 – 56.09)

(Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax 1.39.18 – 1.48.36)

(Bayley vs Charlotte; RAW Women’s Championship Match)

Thoughts On:
Smackdown Women’s Tag: The Expected Side Won and All Feuds were presented in this match, giving each woman a definitive placement in this match as deserved. My Only Complaint was the lack of importance on Mickie James in this match as she was barely used despite the impact made and reaction given upon her return, making the Smackdown Women’s Title feud one of the most heated on that show. Other than that, pleased with the match, and the right ending took place regarding Naomi pinning Alexa as they are branching out the other angles with future matches, with no contendership status presented in the separate feuds as opposed to Naomi’s where a championship is involved, thus contendership must be established.

Nia/Sasha: Like the previous match, the right person won in my opinion. If Rumble and RAW has taught me anything, its that Sasha is on a losing streak and a path to a heel turn coming out of these losses, therefore if the heel turn makes an impact and evokes spotlight on Banks once again, then these losses wont necessarily hurt, and in turn Nia keeps her own unmentioned PPV streak. Nia is looking dominant right now as she should and i couldn’t be more happier as she needed this after the loss to Bayley that was rather questionable.

Bayley/Charlotte: While some of the booking in this feud has made me not too excited for the feud overall, one cant deny the effort put into this match and the ability to take on the spot of show opener successfully. The Crowd were engaged, the crowd are behind Bayley as expected and the Macho Man tributes from Bayley add to the Pops. But as with every other women’s match on the card, the right person won, considering Charlotte’s streak needs to have an appropriate time and place to be broken.

– Catherine

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