Women’s wrestling has had quite a clash of champions over the last week: Deonna Purrazzo challenges Rok-C following her performance at ROH Final Battle, former champions announced in the first-ever Knockouts Ultimate X match, WWE announces their first-ever NIL recruits, and much more. Let’s break it down in this week’s edition of Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up!
ROH Final Battle: A Clash Of Champions
Ring of Honor presented its Final Battle pay-per-view over the weekend, with huge implications for women’s wrestling.
Taking place from Baltimore, Maryland, Final Battle marked the final event for ROH before the promotion heads into a hiatus. The card featured two women’s matches, including a six-woman tag team match between Miranda Alize & The Allure and Chelsea Green & The Hex. Additionally, Rok-C defended her Ring of Honor Women’s World Championship against Willow.
Miranda Alize and The Allure would take the fight to Chelsea Green, Allysin Kay, and Marti Belle. In the end, Mandy Leon landed an Astral Projection on Marti Belle to earn the victory.
Later in the evening, the ROH Women’s World Championship was on the line. Heading into the matchup, champion Rok-C remained undefeated with a 9-0 record in Ring of Honor. However, the heart of Willow was on full display throughout this matchup.
Rok-C and Willow certainly battled it out for the ROH Women’s Championship, causing an early stalemate. Rok-C eventually gained control with a sharp sequence of an Angle Slam followed by a hurricanrana. Willow fought back with a powerful slam, but it wasn’t enough. In the closing moments, Rok-C managed to land a Code Rok to gain the pinfall and the victory over Willow. Therefore, Rok-C retains her championship and remains undefeated in Ring of Honor.
Before Rok-C could celebrate her victory, she was met by a surprising face. Reina De Reinas Champion and former IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo shocked the audience by making her return to Ring of Honor this past Saturday, as she stood toe to toe with Rok-C. Purrazzo came with a clear message for the ROH Women’s Champion.
Purrazzo declared that Rok-C had something that belonged to her: the Ring of Honor Women’s World Championship. Moreover, Purrazzo is slated to face Mickie James for the IMPACT Knockouts World Championship at Hard to Kill on January 8th, which Purrazzo planned to regain. After winning back her gold, Purrazzo offered up a challenge to the young women’s champion, in the form of a Winner Takes All Match.
Intently, Rok-C accepts the challenge.
The time and place for this future Winner takes All Match has yet to be determined. With Ring of Honor now set to take a hiatus, one might assume that now is the time for “The Prodigy” to finally set foot into the IMPACT Zone?
Additionally, Deonna Purrazzo still has to go through IMPACT Knockouts Champion, Mickie James at Hard To Kill on January 8th. Purrazzo is also seemingly in line to face Taya Valkyrie for the Reina De Reinas Championship, after Valkyrie recently returned to AAA with a challenge for Purrazzo.
Rok-C previously faced Deonna Purrazzo last April, where she fell short in her pursuit of the Knockouts Championship. Nevertheless, this is definitely a highly anticipated future matchup between two of the most respected champions today.
— ROH – Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) December 12, 2021
Participants Named For Knockouts Ultimate X Match
Last week on Impact Wrestling, the six competitors were finally revealed for the first-ever Knockouts Ultimate X Match, scheduled for Hard To Kill on Saturday, January 8th. IMPACT Hall of Famer and producer Gail Kim made the official announcement, and the official participants are as follows:
- Jordynne Grace (Digital Media Champion)
- Lady Frost
- Tasha Steelz
- Chelsea Green
- Rachael Ellering
The winner of this Ultimate X Match will receive a future title shot at the IMPACT Knockouts Championship. The current champion, Mickie James, is slated to defend her championship against former champion, Deonna Purrazzo, at Hard To Kill as well.
Jordynne Grace heads into this matchup as IMPACT’s first triple crown Knockout, as a former Knockouts Champion, Knockouts Tag Team Champion, and the current Digital Media Champion. Rosemary and Chelsea Green also represent as former Knockouts Champions. Meanwhile, Rachael Ellering and Tasha Steelz enter the match as former Knockouts Tag Team Champions.
Lady Frost walks into this match as the newest signed Knockout, after making her IMPACT Wrestling debut earlier this summer.
FIRST TIME EVER!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) December 12, 2021
STARDOM Scheduled To Be Part Of Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night 2
New Japan Pro Wrestling recently announced that STARDOM will be a part of Wrestle Kingdom again.
According to their official statement:
Wrestle Kingdom 16 night two on January 5 2022 will see the best of STARDOM compete in a special matchup.
This marks the fifth time STARDOM has been a part of NJPW events. January 4 2020 and January 5 2021 saw STARDOM showcase matches for live crowds in the Tokyo Dome, while September 4 & 5 saw kickoff matches at Wrestle Grand Slam in MetLife Dome.
January 4, 2020 marked the first time STARDOM presented itself at Wrestle Kingdom 14. That night, Arisa Hoshiki and Mayu Iwatani squared off with Hana Kimura and Giulia. The following year on January 5, Maika, Natsupoi and Himeka took on Saya Kamitani, Azumi and World of STARDOM Champion, Utami Hayashishita. The next night on night two, Mayu Iwatani and Tam Nakano partnered to take on Giulia and Syuri.
Currently, Utami Hayashishita reigns as the World of Stardom Champion with an impressive run of 394 days and counting at the time of this writing. She also recently ranked number two on this year’s PWI Women’s 150 list.
Syuri currently holds the SWA World Championship for Stardom, and won the 2021 5-Star Grand Prix. Additionally, she ranked number seven on the PWI Women’s 150 list.
WWE Reveals Inaugural ‘NIL’ Recruits
WWE recently announced fifteen new collegiate athlete recruits. Within the fifteen, six women are included within the inaugural NIL class.
WWE released the following statement, regarding the introduction of their NIL program:
WWE has unveiled 15 college athletes who will be among the first to participate in the company’s newly formed NIL (Name, Image & Likeness) program that provides a clear pathway from collegiate athletics to WWE.
The inaugural “Next In Line” class includes athletes from 13 universities, seven NCAA conferences and four sports. In addition to the United States, the class includes representation from myriad countries spanning from Canada and Nigeria. The following 15 athletes join Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson in WWE’s first-of-its-kind NIL program….
WWE’s NIL program was announced last week following the NCAA’s historic new policy that took effect on July 1, 2021, which has ushered in the NIL era, allowing college athletes the ability to monetize their name, image and likeness. The comprehensive program serves to recruit and develop potential future Superstars and further enhances WWE’s talent development process through collaborative partnerships with college athletes from diverse athletic backgrounds.
All athlete partnerships will feature access to the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Fla., in addition to resources across the organization, including brand building, media training, communications, live event promotion, creative writing and community relations. Upon completion of the NIL program, select athletes may earn an exclusive opportunity to be offered a WWE contract.
Amongst the new recruits, twin sisters Haley and Hanna Cavinder of Gilbert, Arizona come in from Fresno State University, as 5-foot-6 basketball players.
— WWE Recruit (@WWERecruit) December 8, 2021
Additionally, the following female athletes also joined the inaugural NIL class:
- Aleeya Hutchins of Toronto, Canada, a 5-foot-5 track & field athlete from Wake Forest University
- Lexi Gordon of Fort Worth, Texas, a 6-foot basketball player from Duke University
- Riley White of Hoover, Ala., a 5-foot-6 track & field athlete from the University of Alabama
- Masai Russel of Potomac, Md., a 5-foot-5 track & field athlete from the University of Kentucky
— WWE Recruit (@WWERecruit) December 8, 2021
IMPACT Knockouts Champion Mickie James chatted with Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture about her year in wrestling, being released from WWE, running an all-women’s show, returning to IMPACT Wrestling, goals for 2022 and more.
Reina De Reinas Champion Deonna Purrazzo spoke with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful about winning her first Knockouts Championship, Steve Maclin getting a chance in IMPACT, the forbidden door, and much more.
CCW Champion KiLynn King joined In & Out The Locker Room to talk about early inspirations, her childhood dream of “becoming Wonder Woman”, The Universe’s role in her wrestling journey, goals for the future, and more.
Ring of Honor star Trish Adora spoke with Samira of WrestlingNewsCo about ROH Final Battle, debuting at AEW Dark Elevation against Riho, being the highest women ranked in PWI’s 500, dating, and more.
Warrior Wrestling Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa chatted with Candace Cordelia of Pro Wrestling Illustrated about her career, promoting women’s wrestling, training her son to wrestle, her complicated relationship with David Lagreca, and more.
IMPACT Wrestling producer Gail Kim appeared on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette to discuss becoming an IMPACT producer, old WWE Diva photoshoots, being married to a famous chef, and much more.
Independent star Kolbe Max appeared on A Wrestling Gal to discuss team bonding with Judi Hendrix, Chemical X, nostalgic Nickelodeon & Disney shows, wrestling Chelsea Green, the origins of the Killjoy moniker, and much more.