It’s been a hot women’s wrestling summer thus far: Chelsea Green arrives in ROH, IMPACT announces Slammiversary matchups, Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair win an ESPY, MLW shapes their women’s division, and much more! Let’s break it down in this week’s Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up!
ROH Women’s Championship Tournament Brackets Announced; Chelsea Green Debuts
The brackets are in. During Ring of Honor’s Best in the World pay-per-view this past weekend, Maria Kanellis-Bennett revealed the official ROH World Women’s Championship Tournament bracket and unveiled the new championship. It was also revealed that Lenny Leonard will be commentating the upcoming tournament.
The tournament will reportedly kick off on July 30th on Ring of Honor television; the official bracket is as follows:
- Miranda Alize vs. Alex Gracia
- Mazzerati vs. Nicole Savoy
- Allysin Kay vs. Willow Nightingale
- Marti Belle vs. Trish Adora
- Sumie Sakai vs. Rok-C
- Mandy Leon vs. TBD
- Max The Impaler vs. Holidead
- Angelina Love receives a first round bye
If Quinn McKay can beat Mandy Leon on ROH Wrestling the weekend of July 16, she will earn the final spot in the tournament, and take on Leon in the first round. Leon was originally scheduled to face Vita VonStarr in the opening round, but VonStarr was taken out of the tournament for attacking Matt Taven a few weeks ago mid-match on Ring of Honor television.
The finals of the championship tournament will be showcased at ROH’s Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view in September, where the inaugural women’s champion will be crowned.
But the competitors in this tournament aren’t the only ones who have their sights set on this new championship, as former IMPACT and WWE star Chelsea Green shocked audiences when she appeared at the Best in the World pay-per-view.
"This is what freedom looks like!"@ImChelseaGreen is in @ringofhonor!!!#ROHBITW
Order it on #FITE: https://t.co/i0ZlcsPc3E pic.twitter.com/nrVqxbHovN
— FITE (@FiteTV) July 12, 2021
This appearance marked Green’s official debut in Ring of Honor territory. She revealed that though she’s not cleared to wrestle yet, she is set on achieving everything her previous place of employment told her she couldn’t do. Green proclaimed that in one month’s time, she will join the other competitors in the ROH women’s division, in quest of championship gold. However, due to her injury, Green will not be competing in the upcoming ROH Women’s World Championship Tournament.
Related: Chelsea Green Explains How She Got Out Of Her WWE Non-Compete Early, How Her Ring Of Honor Debut Happened
Deonna Purrazzo Mystery Opponent Announced For Slammiversary; Knockout’s Tag Team Championships On the Line
IMPACT Wrestling’s 17th annual Slammiversary pay-per-view is taking shape. In weeks past, Knockout’s Champion Deonna Purrazzo has persistently asked for new competition ahead this summer’s event. Her challenge has finally been answered, but we still don’t know who that opponent is.
On last week’s edition of IMPACT Wrestling, producer Gail Kim announced that Purrazzo will defending her Knockout’s Championship on July 17th at Slammiversary against a mystery opponent.
.@gailkimITSME has announced that @DeonnaPurrazzo will defend her title against a MYSTERY OPPONENT at #Slammiversary on July 17th! #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/VSV1FEjEck
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 9, 2021
This lead many to speculate as to who Purrazzo’s opponent could possibly be. It is worth noting that throughout the last few months, IMPACT has teased the return of former Knockouts Chelsea Green and Mickie James. With Green now seemingly locked into Ring of Honor, and Slammiversary ironically taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, it would not be too far off to possibly see James answering the call or making an appearance at IMPACT’s upcoming pay-per-view. The identity of Purrazzo’s mystery opponent has yet to be revealed, but with Slammiversary conveniently placed after a few non-compete clauses are up, fans are highly anticipating this specific matchup.
In addition to Deonna Purrazzo putting her Knockout’s Championship on the line, it was announced that Knockouts Tag Team Champions Fire N’ Flava will also be defending their championships against Havok and Rosemary on July 17th at Slammiversary.
Speaking of IMPACT, Lady Frost also made her IMPACT Wrestling debut last week on the July 8th episode. After Deonna Purrazzo declared herself as the greatest Knockouts Champion ever, she laid down an open challenge for any competitor to step up to her. This challenge was accepted by independent wrestling star, Lady Frost. While Frost fell short in her debut, Purrazzo further demonstrated her dominance by gaining the victory via submission.
.@RealLadyFrost has answered @DeonnaPurrazzo's open challenge making her IMPACT debut! #IMPACTonAXSTV pic.twitter.com/0VQ3xinEtH
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 9, 2021
Money in the Bank Changes And Additions: Bayley Out On Injury, Liv Morgan & Natalya In Women’s MITB Match
WWE’s upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view has undergone several changes and announced a few additions over the last few days. As first reported by WWE, former Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley unfortunately sustained a knee injury while training at the WWE Performance Center, which means she has been removed from her previously scheduled “I Quit” match against Bianca Belair and will be expected out of action for approximately nine months.
BREAKING NEWS: @itsBayleyWWE has suffered an injury while training and will be out approximately nine months.
A replacement for her match against @BiancaBelairWWE at #MITB will be announced tonight on #SmackDown.https://t.co/qLsf8KTHNp
— WWE (@WWE) July 9, 2021
Related: Bayley Suffers Injury While Training, Expected To Miss Nine Months (Updated)
Due to Bayley’s injury, WWE official Sonya Deville revealed Bianca Belair’s new challenger for her Smackdown Women’s Championship: former 2-time Money in the Bank winner and former Smackdown Women’s Champion, Carmella. In addition, instead of defending her championship at Money in the Bank, Belair will now set her title on the line against Carmella on the July 16th episode of Smackdown in Houston, Texas at WWE’s first official show back in front of a live audience.
With Carmella now receiving a Smackdown Women’s Championship match opportunity, her Money In The Bank spot was declared vacant, but was quickly filled by Smackdown talent, Liv Morgan.
With news of @itsBayleyWWE’s injury, @WWE Official @SonyaDevilleWWE announced that @CarmellaWWE will challenge @BiancaBelairWWE and that @YaOnlyLivvOnce will be in the #MITB #LadderMatch. #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/gNUoqTrzeZ
— WWE (@WWE) July 12, 2021
Following Liv Morgan’s addition to the Women’s Money In the Bank match, Sonya Deville took to twitter to announce the 7th official entrant in the upcoming ladder match: Natalya.
With all the changes and challengers for #MITB and #Smackdown, I will be the one to establish some consistency for this Sunday and there is NO ONE more consistent than 1/2 of our @WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions… @natbynature. Nattie, welcome to the MITB Ladder Match!
— Daria/Sonya Deville (@SonyaDevilleWWE) July 12, 2021
As of this writing, seven women have been announced for their respective Money In The Bank match, scheduled to take place this Sunday:
- Alexa Bliss
- Nikki A.S.H. (fka Nikki Cross)
- Zelina Vega
- Liv Morgan
This officially leaves one spot open, that is yet to claimed or announced. Fans have speculated the possible in-ring returns of Sonya Deville, Becky Lynch or possibly even Sasha Banks, but no official decision has been confirmed. With Money In The Bank looming very near, the 8th and final competitor will likely be announced shortly.
WrestleZone will keep you updates as more details available.
Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart Make Smackdown Debuts; Toni Storm “Coming Soon”
The Smackdown women’s division has a few new additions to their roster.
Last Friday evening, WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Natalya and Tamina were slated to face a mystery team in a non-title match. Announced as “Shotzi and Nox”, out through the curtain emerged the team of Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart, riding Blackheart’s signature tank for the official debut on the blue brand.
WAIT A MINUTE!! WE KNOW THAT TANK!!!@ShotziWWE & @TeganNoxWWE_ have arrived on #SmackDown! pic.twitter.com/2JgfVfwsE2
— WWE (@WWE) July 10, 2021
The four competitors fought briefly, before Shotzi pinned Natalya after hitting the Ball Pit.
Nox had previously returned at NXT’s Great American Bash last week, after missing almost of year of in-ring action due to an ACL injury. Blackheart had previously been teaming with Ember Moon on NXT television, after capturing the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships earlier this year.
According to PWInsider, Nox and Blackheart have been officially called up full-time and will continue working on the SmackDown brand.
Related: Shotzi Blackheart And Tegan Nox Debut On WWE SmackDown, Defeat Natalya & Tamina
The NXT callups didn’t stop there though. Friday Night Smackdown will also soon embark on “Toni Time.”
A vignette aired last Friday, teasing Toni Storm’s imminent debut to the blue brand. It is now confirmed that Storm is “coming soon” to Smackdown.
TONI TIME IS COMING TO #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/tY3zMPB28F
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) July 10, 2021
RELATED: Toni Storm’s Move To WWE SmackDown ‘Coming Soon’, Teased In New Vignette
MLW Begins To Shape Women’s Division
Last week, Major League Wrestling announced that they will be introducing their own women’s division this summer, spearheaded by the co-founder of SHIMMER, Dave Prazak. SHIMMER is famously known as one of the most distinguished all-women’s promotions in the United States.
MLW followed up with this news by providing a press release, which included a promise from Prazak that more women will be featured on MLW programming:
“The addition of more women to MLW events in the future will only add to the wonderful variety already featured as part of the MLW product,” he stated.
A few days after this was announced, Major League Wrestling taped its Battle Riot III event in Phildelphia, which is set to air July 24th. At the event, four SHIMMER superstars appeared in women’s division competition. Willow Nightingale faced Ashley Vox, while Brittany Blake faced Delmi Exo.
Exo and Vox are collectively known as the Sea Stars, and they are the current SHIMMER Tag Team Champions. Both have recently made appearances for IMPACT Wrestling and All Elite Wrestling. Nightingale is currently a part of ROH’s Women’s Championship Tournament and has competed on AEW Dark & Elevation in months past. Blake is the current WSU World Champion, and recently wrestled at SHINE.
RELATED: Dave Prazak Signs With MLW To Help Launch Their Women’s Division
Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks Win ESPY Award For Best WWE Moment
The 2021 ESPY Awards took place this past Saturday, with two female superstars making history, once again!
Smackdown Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair, and Sasha Banks won the ESPY for Best WWE Moment for their iconic battle at WrestleMania 37 back in April.
WWE released the following statement on the event:
“Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks just made history… again!
In a category that also featured Belair and Edge’s Royal Rumble Match victories, as well as Bad Bunny’s incredible in-ring debut, it was the epic WrestleMania main event between The EST of WWE and The Boss for the SmackDown Women’s Championship that won the ESPY Award for Best WWE Moment.
As the first Black women to battle in a WrestleMania main event, they joined Roman Reigns, who won the same award in 2019 for his inspirational return after battling leukemia.
Congratulations to SmackDown Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and “The Boss” Sasha Banks on a history-making and award-winning performance!”
Belair and Banks became the first Black women to headline WrestleMania back on April 7th, in an epic match where Belair defeated Banks to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship. That historic moment is deserving of this honor.
THE ESPYS.@ESPYS @wwe @espn pic.twitter.com/EtPpxxp5js
— Bianca Belair (@BiancaBelairWWE) July 11, 2021
It’s Boss Time! #ESPYs2021 pic.twitter.com/7zSbMaaHdf
— Mercedes Moné Varnado (@MercedesVarnado) July 11, 2021
RELATED: Bianca Belair Designed Her ESPYs Dress Herself, Wins ESPY Award For Best WWE Moment
New AAW Women’s Champion Crowned; Skye Blue & Hyan Compete In Intense “I Quit” Match
Last weekend, AAW Wrestling crowned a new champion at their United We Stand event. Allysin Kay defeated Kris Statlander to became the new AAW Women’s Champion.
NEW AAW WOMEN’S CHAMPION
?: @cameraguygimmik pic.twitter.com/IkGBktPvXw
— AAW Wrestling (@AAWPro) July 10, 2021
Kay is one of wrestling’s hottest commodities right now, as she announced her free agent status earlier this year. She is also part of ROH’s upcoming Women’s Championship tournament, slated to begin filming soon.
Also on the United We Stand card was “The Renaissance Woman”, Hyan vs Skye Blue in an “I Quit” match, where Blue emerged victorious.
Even with interference from La Sociedad Borricua & being attacked from behind at the start of the match, Skye Blue was able to conquer Hyan & make her say the words “I Quit!”
Order the replay on @FiteTV: https://t.co/FZ5IbZReVc
? : @cameraguygimmik pic.twitter.com/poK7IPlxw3
— AAW Wrestling (@AAWPro) July 10, 2021
Hyan was recently featured on ROH’s Women Division Wednesday, while Skye Blue has been making a name for herself on NWA programming as of late.
Read More: Hyan Explains How ‘The Tudors’ And ‘Legend Of Zelda’ Have Inspired Her Ring Gear
New Texas Pro Wrestling Announces Texas Grand Prix
Late Sunday evening, New Texas Pro Wrestling took to twitter to announce their upcoming Texas Grand Prix Women’s Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, August 28th on IWTV.
We are proud to announce the first ever Texas Grand Prix Women’s Tournament ?
August 28 • Houston • 2PM
*8 Women Single Elimination Tournament*
? All #TXGP Tickets drop this Thursday at 7PM pic.twitter.com/7YQxNkTmrK
— New Texas Pro Wrestling (@NewTexasPW) July 12, 2021
No entrants have officially been announced as of this writing, but this event is sure to provide spectacular talent and performances.
BACW Makes History
BACW Wrestling recently made history by hosting the first ever 30-minute Iron Woman Match between two African American Women! BACW’s own Tootie Lynn battled the “Afro-Punk”, Trish Adora in an epic match, sanctioned by Mike Outlaw. Adora would emerge victorious in the final moments, forcing Lynn to tap out and round out the match with a close, 1-0 victory.
The entire match can be viewed below:
“The Bubblegum Princess”, Alexia Nicole recently joined Spencer Love of Love Wrestling to discuss her shoulder surgery, taking part in Backyard Pro Wrestling, Josh Alexander, Taylor Wilde, the Canadian wrestling scene, and more.
Former Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley spoke with METRO UK to discuss the return of fans, a possible match with Michael Cole, NXT Takeover: London, and more.
Former WWE Women’s Champion Melina also recently joined METRO UK and spoke on being able to work with Mickie James, the National Wrestling Alliance, the current state of women’s wrestling, and more.
Battle Arts Academy Women’s Champion, Bianca Carelli recently appeared on A Wrestling Gal podcast, talking about her positive mindset, her role models in life, breaking through glass ceilings in pageants (and wrestling), hosting Walk Thru ‘N’ Try, and much more.
Former WWE star, Chelsea Green recently spoke with Those Wrestling Girls to discuss her recent WWE release, how women are treated in wrestling, history with other wrestling promotions, her big goals moving forward, and more!
IMPACT Wrestling Backstage Correspondent, Gia Miller, appeared on Wilde On to discuss her wrestling training, entrance themes, Ace Austin, and more.
Miller also recently spoke with WrestleZone about her on-air and in-ring career, training, Slammiversary and more.
“The Gold Standard”, Ruthie Jay spoke with O-Face Wrestling about the inspiration to her character, her training, her WrestleMania dream match, and more.
IMPACT Knockout Taylor Wilde recently joined the Wrestling Perspective Podcast to discuss her return to wrestling, the evolution of women’s wrestling, her dream matches, and more.
Independent star Skyler Orion chatted with the Hot Tag Hooligans about her career, training with the likes of Ace Austin, interests outside of wrestling and more.
WWE RAW talent Eva Marie spoke with TV Insider about her return to WWE, her hair color change, the impact of Total Divas, her alliance Doudrop, and more.
WWR+, July 18th – Pain for Pleasure
ONE WEEK AWAYhttps://t.co/5lB8jxX0wv#PainForPleasure
? @themeganbayne ? @davienne__
? @TrishAdora202 ? @ashley_damboise
? @w_nightingale_ ? @TinaSanAntonio
? @TheRileyShepard ? @KaiaMcK
? @Outfielders_HM ? @thehighers_
➕ @itsvedatime @ashley__vox @DelmiExo & more pic.twitter.com/KxPeTW3dxU
— Beyond Wrestling (@beyondwrestling) July 11, 2021