|And that’s why Becky Lynch is THE MAN.
Evolution was, in many ways, the ultimate expression of women’s wrestling in WWE. It made up for a startling lack of support and attention by the brand through hard work and solid in-ring storytelling.
I mean, for fuck’s sake, they didn’t even give women the LED ringposts or the regular TV thick barricades. It was like a goddamned house show setup. But the wrestling was gooood.
Trish Stratus and Lita vs. Alexa Bliss and Mickie James: Trish and Lita will win.
And they did. This was fine. It did what it was supposed to do - pop the crowd, give a couple of Legends a moment to shine, and make everyone feel good. Was it a clinic? Nope. Those come later. (1/1)
Women’s Battle Royal (Shot at Championship): Naomi, Ember Moon, and Carmella.
SO CLOSE. Ember Moon almost won, but in a bit of a shocker, they gave it to Nia Jax, violating battle royal tradition. I’m glad she won, even though she won a loss to Ronda Rousey either before or after Survivor Series. Probably after, since doing it before would mean paying more than 20 minutes of attention to the women’s division every Raw. (1/2)
Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm, Mae Young Classic Finals: I’m picking Toni Storm to win.
And so she did. Great match. I maybe would have given Shirai a finisher for Storm to kick out of but as a showcase for both wrestlers, you couldn’t ask for much more. (2/3)
Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya vs. The Riott Squad: Faces win.
Hooray, the faces won! I will say, for a throwaway, largely meaningless match you could have seen on Raw at any point in the past month, this was surprisingly good, because they gave it time and everyone involved kept things moving. (3/4)
Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT Championship): Baszler regains the belt.
This was a tough call, but I got lucky. I do think Sane needs the callup after this - she’s had two runs with the belt and there’s no juice left in the feud now, but it didn’t happen this week. Were it not for two other performers, this would have been the match of the night. Just crazy intense. (4/5)
Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Smackdown Championship): Charlotte gets the belt back.
I’ve never been happier to be wrong. In a year chock full of Last X Standing matches, this ranks up there with Gargano/Ciampa, with a more satisfying ending. Becky Lynch is a huge star right now and her not-quite-a-heel persona is the most watchable thing on WWE TV. And on Twitter. Kudos all around. (4/6)
Nikki Bella vs. Ronda Rousey (Raw Championship) Rousey’ll retain.
And she did and it was fine. Couldn’t follow either of the matches that preceded it, but if you take away that factor and figure in who was involved, it was pretty good. Rousey and Lynch go on to face each other at Survivor Series, and while I don’t think there’s a chance Lynch will win clean, I’ll settle for some kind of bogus finish and a beatdown. I probably won’t get that either. (5/7).