It’s almost hard to believe that we’re here. Over the years, women’s wrestling has been up and down (ok mostly down) in WWE with a long history of treating the women as sideshow attractions who were lucky to get three minutes a week. Things have gotten a little better over the last few years though, and now we’re coming up on a full women’s pay per view. There’s a lot of good stuff on the show, and that makes for an interesting card. Let’s get to it.

Bayley/Sasha Banks/Natalya vs. Riott Squad

I’m not sure what it says that Banks and Bayley could only make it onto this show by continuing their eternal feud with the Riott Squad. It isn’t so much that the feud has been bad but it’s gone on for so many months with nothing changing that you wonder what the point is in having it continue. Oh and now Natalya is there, because that’s the spark of life that an already dead feud needs.

I’ll take the Squad here, as the division is going to need some strong names built up to challenge the champ going forward. Ruby Riott may not be the biggest star in the world but she’s someone who could be built up for a Royal Rumble title shot and that’s more than you could say for most of the women here. Maybe Banks, but really this should be about getting the Squad some momentum back so the leader can look stronger in the future.

Sasha Banks vs. Ruby Riott: Raw, Oct. 22, 2018

Mae Young Classic Finals: Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai

This is one that I keep going back and forth on as you really could pick either side and have a strong case. Shirai was the big signing of this year’s tournament and the kind of star that doesn’t come around all that often. At the same time though, Storm is the kind of person that doesn’t come around very often and could be the focal point of the division for a very, very long time. There’s no bad way to go there.

I’ll go with Storm though, as Shirai doesn’t need any kind of a win to come off like the huge star. Storm came close to winning the tournament last year and another loss in the clutch would hurt her. She’s also likely to be a big part of the NXT UK division and having her start off with a big win to help establish the women’s division over there would be a good idea. You could go either way here, but I’ll take Storm as she needs the win a little more.

Toni Storm vs. Meiko Satomura - Semifinal Match: Mae Young Classic, Oct. 24, 2018

NXT Women’s Title: Kairi Sane(c) vs. Shayna Baszler

If I was confused by the previous one, I’m downright not sure here. These two have been feuding since last year’s Mae Young Classic and that’s the kind of feud that could be blown off here. Sane is definitely growing into a top star and someone that could be a featured piece of the division for a long time but Baszler is awesome in her own right and it wouldn’t shock me to see her get the title back.

That being said, I think Sane retains here because Baszler is ready to move up to the main roster. As mentioned earlier, they’re going to need some challengers for the Raw Women’s Title and who better to challenge Ronda Rousey than a fellow former UFC fighter? Sane can move on and face one of the half dozen challengers that exist down in NXT, with Bianca Belair near the top of the list. Sane retains here, mainly because there’s nothing left for Baszler down in NXT.

Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler take their rivalry to a new phase at WWE Evolution

Battle Royal

This is a case where it’s hard to say for sure who is going to win because there’s a good chance of a bunch of surprise entrants. The lineup is pretty awful for the most part as several of the legends are likely to have quick cameos before leaving, such as Torrie Wilson who has no business in a match like this (or a match at all) in the first place. Then you have the names who are actual realistic winners….all four of them or so.

I’ll go with Asuka winning here, which is probably more false hope than anything else. You really just have her, Nia Jax, Ember Moon and Naomi as realistic winners. We’ve been there with Jax for a good chunk of the year, Moon has no momentum, and Naomi has been floating around for months. That being said, the same was true of Naomi going into the WrestleMania battle royal. I’ll take Asuka and kind of hope for the best, as there’s always the chance that someone gets this to set up a one off title match which isn’t exactly interesting.

Nia Jax vs. Ember Moon vs. Dana Brooke vs. Tamina - Fatal 4-Way Match: Raw, Oct. 22, 2018

Trish Stratus/Lita vs. Alicia Fox/Mickie James

Alas, this one took a big hit when Alexa Bliss was held out due to what seems to be a concussion. The whole story was build on Bliss being a jerk to the legends and now there’s nothing for her to do other than stand around at ringside. Fox is the logical replacement but egads what a downgrade that sucks the life out of the match. James vs. Stratus would have been better in this spot, but I get why they went with the tag route instead.

Of course I’m going with the legends as there’s no reason to go with Fox and James. The whole point of this is to showcase Stratus and Lita and there’s nothing wrong with that. Fox can take the pin and we can set up Bliss vs. Stratus down the line. The wrestling isn’t the main focus here and that’s fine. Odds are the legends are going to be a little rusty, but the fans aren’t likely to care in the first place. Just let them have fun and do their thing, which should be fine.

Mickie James & Alicia Fox brawl with Trish Stratus and Lita: Raw, Oct. 22, 2018

SmackDown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch(c) vs. Charlotte

Last Woman Standing. I’m not sure what to make of this one as the feud has been going on for several months now and this feels like it should be the blowoff, but but I’m not sure it WWE is ready to wrap it up just yet. Lynch has been on a roll and there’s a real argument that this should headline the show, but neither of them are on a reality show and therefore it wouldn’t make sense to feature them on a show that has been purchased no matter what is closing it out.

I’ll go with Lynch retaining here, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go to a draw so they can have ONE MORE MATCH, probably at Tables, Ladders And Chairs. In theory Lynch should win here and hold the title for a long time, but WWE loves putting the title on Charlotte. In theory they need to build her back up for a showdown with Rousey at WrestleMania, but that’s what the women’s Royal Rumble is fr. Lynch should win here, but watch out for that draw.

Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch brawl at WWE Performance Center: SmackDown LIVE, Oct. 23, 2018

Raw Women’s Title: Ronda Rousey(c) vs. Nikki Bella

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t want to see this match. I can’t stand the Bella Twins for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that I get sick of hearing about how they’re legends and made the term Diva mean something, when they’re only legends in WWE’s minds and a few generations before them did more for the term than they could ever hope to. I could go on for another few hours about the two of them but I think you get the idea.

Normally I’d say OF COURSE Rousey retains here, but I’ll settle for she retains in theory, as you never can tell when WWE might decide to push the heck out of the Bellas all over again. There’s no reason this match should go longer than about four minutes but I’m sure the power of the Bellas will be more than enough to balance out the real life female fighter, because the Bellas are known for their martial arts abilities. I mean, Nikki is undefeated against shirts that she tears during her stripper entrance on the way to the ring that has apparently inspired millions of girls (inspired them to do what to be determined).

Ronda Rousey & Nikki Bella come face-to-face for Women's Title Contract Signing: Raw, Oct. 22, 2018

Overall Thoughts

I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of this show when it was announced and the build up to it hasn’t done me any favors. The matches are mostly just there and the main event makes my head hurt for a variety of reasons. You can also pen in Stephanie McMahon coming out to bless the show or talk about how they all did it together, which is of course code for “I did this and make sure to get my good side for the news piece about it.” The show sounds like a cool idea on paper, but as usual, WWE has taken away a lot of the fun involved and turned it into just another show that may or may not exceed some limited expectations.

Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2003 Smackdown Reviews.

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