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The week in women's wrestling began on Raw with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch competing against Dana Brooke and Charlotte:
The next night on SmackDown Live, Sasha faced Dana and Charlotte in a handicap match:
Bayley and Nia Jax crossed paths one more time on the next night's NXT:
Later that evening on the Ultima Lucha Dos finale, Ivelisse and Taya faced each other:
The "State of the Knockouts" address took place the following evening on Impact Wrestling:
The week ended at Battleground, first with Bayley revealed as Sasha's partner against Charlotte and Dana Brooke:
Later in the evening, the evil Natalya faced off against Becky Lynch:
And that's the week in a nutshell, and what a week it was! Thoughts:
Yes, the least shocking surprise occurred last night, as Bayley was revealed as Sasha's mystery partner at Battleground! Many fans, myself included, expected NXT's most popular female superstar to be promoted as Sasha's partner, as she was #1 on a list that included Paige and Nikki Bella. A main-roster call-up is way overdue, and we should see Bayley permanently on the main roster as soon as after SummerSlam. It is expected that Bayley will get her NXT Women's Championship rematch against Asuka at NXT Takeover: Back to Brooklyn next month, and that should mark the end of Bayley's NXT run. Of course, Bayley and Sasha were bitter opponents at Takeover Brooklyn last year, where Bayley won the title.
The WWE Draft featured three NXT women drafted to the main shows, one of them being Carmella, whose call-up is also overdue. As the screencap shows, Carmella was drafted to SmackDown, as was Alexa Bliss. Nia Jax, the villainous female powerhouse of NXT, was drafted to Raw, which will separate her from Eva Marie, who is now part of the SD roster. Carmella is also separated from Enzo and Cass, who are part of Raw. If they do stay separated, I wouldn't mind a heel turn from Carmella in 2017. I absolutely love Carmella's babyface persona, but there are times where I do miss her villainous persona, which she displayed in her first few months on NXT, even with Enzo and Cass.
Good news everyone! Nikki Bella is cleared to return to the ring! The news broke earlier this past week, as Nikki posted a photo of the WWE Performance Center, calling it her next stop. Nikki has been out of action since last October due to issues with her neck, and it was during her hiatus that Nikki revealed that her finisher, the Rack Attack, caused her problems. Nikki appeared at WrestleMania three months ago and celebrated with the rest of the Total Divas cast after their victory in a five-on-five contest. No word on when exactly she'll return, but I would think it would be after SummerSlam. I also see her returning as a babyface, mainly because the heroines are outnumbered at the moment.
This wild and crazy week also featured Madison Rayne becoming a villainess for the third time in her TNA career, which began back in 2009. The State of the Knockouts address featured Maria Kanellis again putting Gail Kim through the ringer, forcing her to go through the KO roster to get another title shot, all the while promising a handsome reward to whoever takes out Gail. At that moment, the evil Madison attacked Gail from behind and laid her out, while claiming that what she did wasn't personal, and that everyone has to look out for themselves. Madison's appearance was her first in three months, as she's been lost in the shuffle for the past year. Here's hoping that this heel turn gets her somewhere.
The women showed out at Battleground, but out of all of them, the villainous Maryse stood out the most, IMO. Maryse made her entrance donning a sexy black outfit and a silver eye mask as she entered with Miz. I absolutely loved Maryse's look; it fits her so much, not just in character, but just her overall. I have enjoyed seeing Maryse since she came back to WWE in April. I feel like I got a second chance to appreciate Maryse, because I felt that I didn't really do that in her first tenure. Seeing as she'll be part of Total Divas this year, that's a lot of time to enjoy seeing one of my favorite French-Canadians; a close second to Patrick Roy.
A new week begins tonight, and it will be the first shows in the returning Brand Extension. Regarding the Knockouts, Gail Kim will face off against Madison Rayne after what occurred on Impact this past Thursday.