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The week in women's wrestling began on Raw with Charlotte facing Alicia Fox:
Nia Jax was in action as well:
Eva Marie's SmackDown Live debut fell flat once again:
Later on, Becky Lynch and Carmella faced off against Natalya and Alexa Bliss:
The next night on NXT, Carmella, Liv Morgan, and the debuting Nikki Glencross competed against Alexa Bliss and debuting Tough Enough alums Daria Berenato and Mandy Rose:
The following night on Impact Wrestling, Gail Kim and Jade faced each other:
The big weekend in Brooklyn began with NXT Takeover, first with Ember Moon's debut against Billie Kay:
Asuka and Bayley's anticipated rematch took place later on:
Another anticipated rematch took place at SummerSlam, this time between Sasha Banks and Charlotte:
In a huge moment, Nikki Bella made her return and participated in the six-woman tag bout:
And that's the week in a nutshell, and what a week it was! Thoughts:
Happy 50th birthday to former longtime WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia! Hard to believe she's 50, but she did reach that age this past Friday. Lilian's stint as a ring announcer began all the way back in 1999, and she left for the first time back in 2010 after just over a decade. She resurfaced in 2012 and continued on in her role until just a few weeks ago. During her many years in WWE, Lilian was hardly involved in storylines, but the few she did participate in included a feud with Hall of Fame ring announcer Howard Finkel in 2002, and being the object of the late Viscera's affection in 2005. Of course, Lilian was always the babyface in those angles, but I still remember her stating that she had interest in being a heel. Since then, I have wanted Lilian to somehow turn heel, and an idea I had featured a scenario where the evil Lilian feuds with JoJo, another ring announcer, mainly due to Lilian's jealousy of her. I think that Lilian would have been a spectacular villainess if given the chance.
Another belated happy birthday to Eve Torres Gracie, who turned 32 yesterday! Hard to believe that nine years have passed since Eve won WWE's last Diva Search in 2007, and she debuted in 2008 as a backstage interviewer before competing in 2009. Eve won her first Divas Championship in 2010, and added a second reign at the Royal Rumble in 2011. In 2012, Eve turned villainous and went on to capture the title at Night of Champions, becoming WWE's first ever three-time Divas Champion (only AJ Lee would duplicate that feat). Since leaving WWE in January 2013, Eve has delved into the world of acting, beginning with a recurring role as Reyna Flores in El Rey's short-lived series, Matador. She's been playing villainous roles since then, however; appearing as Chancara in Scorpion King 4, and playing Maxima in an episode of Supergirl.
I am still giddy over the NXT TV debuts of Daria Berenato and Mandy Rose! Daria and Mandy participated in last year's Tough Enough competition, with Daria being the first woman officially eliminated, while Mandy finished as the runner up to Sara Lee. Mandy (Amanda Saccomanno) was the lead villainess of the program, as she and Sara Lee basically feuded, and she definitely played her evil role to a T on NXT. Though Daria being a heel is typecasting, IMO, she played the role well. Speaking of Daria, she came out as a gay woman last year on TE, and I read that WWE may plan to instill that into her persona on the main roster, whenever she gets called up. This is due to stories that WWE is interested in featuring a LGBT character on TV. Of course, Daria would have to be a babyface, which I prefer, to avoid WWE being labeled as homophobic--plus they have a partnership with GLAAD.
The high point of this week was, of course, the return of Nikki Bella. Nikki returned last night at SummerSlam after being sidelined from neck surgery and recuperation for ten months, having last competed in October 2015. She filled in for Eva Marie, who received a 30-day suspension for violating the Wellness Policy on Thursday--the second woman in as many days to receive a suspension (Paige, who received hers on her 24th b-day on Wednesday, was the other). Nikki filling the Red Queen's spot means she remains a heel, though I wanted her back as a babyface due to the emotions of her big comeback. With the SD Women's Championship about to be instilled, some say Nikki could become the first champion; others say Naomi or Nattie. I am so happy that Nikki is back in action!
I have to mention Ember Moon (the former Athena in the indies). I was so taken by her look at Takeover; in fact by her entire entrance. Nearly everything centered on the blood moon; her name, her titantron, and (as the pic shows) her red eyes. I've seen vampire, demon, and even zombie gimmicks in wrestling, but I think this is the first time I've seen a pseudo-werewolf character, and a female one at that. A joke I had in my mind involved indy wrestler Hania, who calls herself a she-wolf. Before joining WWE, Athena feuded with Hania, and my thought was Hania attacking her made Athena a she-wolf as well. Honestly, I think Beth Phoenix and Tamina would be perfect werewolves, but staying on the subject, I do love Ember Moon and have for a while, and I can't wait to see more of her!
A new week begins tonight with the fallout from Takeover and SummerSlam, and some interesting developments in the Knockouts Division!