Lots of exciting news has developed over the last week in women’s wrestling: WWE announces surprise in the Royal Rumble, Mickie James and Deonna Purrazzo go to war in a Texas Death Match, Jade Cargill becomes the inaugural TBS Champion, and much more! Let’s break it down in this week’s edition of Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up!
Women’s Royal Rumble Entrants Announced
Last Friday on Smackdown, WWE revealed some of the entrants ahead of this year’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
To the shock of the WWE universe, a large crop of the talent were announced for the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble during a video package on last week’s edition of Smackdown. In addition, Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair declared that she would even enter the match, in hopes of hand-selecting her WrestleMania opponent should she win the match.
— WWE (@WWE) January 8, 2022
With the addition of Flair, the announced line-up rounded out to nineteen competitors as of Friday. Among the card is many current roster members, including the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Carmella and Zelina Vega, Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H, Natalya, and more. In an interesting move by WWE though, seven former WWE superstars were also announced as surprise entrants.
Lita, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Summer Rae, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, and Mickie James were also added to the Women’s Royal Rumble.
WWE Hall of Famer Lita previously competed in the 2018 Royal Rumble as entrant #5, while also competing in a tag team match with Trish Stratus at Evolution later that year. The Bella Twins last competed in 2018. Nikki Bella challenged Ronda Rousey for the RAW Women’s Championship at Evolution, while Brie Bella engaged in a Mixed Tag Match with Daniel Bryan at Hell In A Cell against Miz and Maryse. Since then, both Bellas have become mothers: Nikki welcoming her first child, and Brie giving birth to her second in 2020.
Summer Rae returns to WWE for the first time since 2016. Michelle McCool returns for the first time since 2018, last competing in the Evolution Battle Royal and 2018 Royal Rumble. Similarly, Kelly Kelly returns after previously competing in the 2018 and 2020 Royal Rumbles.
Perhaps the most shocking entrant in the lineup was the news that IMPACT Knockouts Champion Mickie James was among the announcements. Pat McAfee even addressed James as the current IMPACT Knockouts Champion on commentary. With the entrance of Mickie James in the Royal Rumble, it appears that WWE and IMPACT Wrestling have teamed up to bring forth a forbidden door opportunity, and fans are wondering if it’s the first of many.
— WWE (@WWE) January 8, 2022
James recently defeated Deonna Purrazzo at Hard To Kill over the weekend to retain the Knockouts Championship. Now, she definitively walks into the Royal Rumble as a champion from outside of WWE. Her placement in the Royal Rumble is still unknown, but with the simultaneous addition of Charlotte Flair, James isn’t the only singles champion in the match.
Officially, the following have been announced for the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble:
- Rhea Ripley
- Nikki A.S.H.
- Nikki Bella
- Brie Bella
- Michelle McCool
- Dana Brooke
- Queen Zelina
- Kelly Kelly
- Summer Rae
- Shayna Baszler
- Mickie James
- Charlotte Flair
Bianca Belair and Liv Morgan will likely join the fray as well, after losing a triple threat match last night on Monday Night RAW. There, Doudrop emerged victorious, earning herself a RAW Women’s Championship title opportunity at the Royal Rumble against Becky Lynch.
Former Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks is reportedly out of the Royal Rumble due to a foot injury. Subsequently, Banks will miss approximately six to eight weeks of in-ring action, which rules her out of any Royal Rumble appearance.
BREAKING: @SashaBanksWWE is expected to be out of action for 6-8 weeks after suffering a foot injury Sunday evening at a WWE Live! event in Fayetteville, NC.https://t.co/4jdY3YvWEM pic.twitter.com/JJkYiceRLs
— WWE (@WWE) January 8, 2022
Other potential Royal Rumble entrants include Asuka, who was last seen in Money In The Bank last year. Bayley could possibly make her in-ring return after being sidelined with a knee injury last summer. Additionally, Lacey Evans appeared in last year’s Royal Rumble before announcing her real-life pregnancy a few weeks later. Xia Li has not been formally announced yet, but she is currently assigned to the Smackdown brand, and does have previous experience in the Rumble settings.
Alexa Bliss returned to RAW on Monday, but her Royal Rumble status is still unknown at this time. Assuming Belair and Morgan join the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble, that leaves 9 spots open for potential returns and NXT talent. NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose has competed in all four Royal Rumbles so far, while Dakota Kai has competed in two. Io Shirai has previously competed in the 2019 Royal Rumble as well.
Nevertheless, the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble is already stacked with talent, so it will be interesting to see what other surprises WWE has up their sleeve for the upcoming January 29th pay-per-view in St. Louis.
IMPACT Knockouts Make History At Hard To Kill
The IMPACT Knockouts made history over the weekend at Hard To Kill 2022.
Firstly, six women opened the main card with the first-ever Knockouts Ultimate X Match. Chelsea Green, Lady Frost, Tasha Steelz, Rosemary, Jordynne Grace, and Alisha competed to receive a future Knockouts Championship title opportunity. Havok appeared at ringside to assist Rosemary, while Savannah Evans also accompanied her ally, Tasha Steelz.
In the end, Chelsea Green and Tasha Steelz battled for custody of the X, until Steelz gained possession of it and fell to the mat to secure the victory. Steelz now goes on to face Knockouts World Champion Mickie James for a future title shot.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 11, 2022
Closing out the show in the first-ever Knockouts Championship PPV Main Event in IMPACT history, Knockouts World Champion Mickie James battled rival Deonna Purrazzo in a heated Texas Death Match.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 9, 2022
Per the official rules, after a three-count pinfall or submission is achieved, the opponent who succumbed to the fall then had until the referee’s ten count to stand up. If the opponent failed to do so, they lost the match. Sitting closely in the front row, Ring of Honor Women’s Champion Rok-C watched on. Rok-C will be taking on Deonna Purrazzo in a future winner takes all title match, so Purrazzo wasn’t too pleased to her future foe.
The violence and carnage soon ensued, with the introduction of chairs, thumbtacks, a gold club, and even a guitar, which James inscribed with “Hardcore Country”. Blood would start to trickle from both opponents, most notably from the forehead of Mickie James. Matthew Rehwoldt later appeared to aid Purrazzo in beating a ten count, which James quickly countered with a top rope dive onto both foes. Purrazzo then placed a table near the corner turnbuckle, delivering a nasty Queen’s Gambit onto James through the table. James barely escaped the ten count after, but somehow managed to regain her footing.
James would soon follow up by smashing her mighty guitar over the head of Matthew Rehwoldt, then soon delivering a vicious Mick Kick and DDT to gain the pinfall on Purrazzo. To further secure the victory, Mickie began burying Purrazzo with various weapons and debris. “The Virtuosa” was then unable to make it make to her feet, so Mickie James retains.
In the final moment of Hard To Kill, James proudly sat in a chair, looking down at the destruction and her fallen opponent. IMPACT noted that James will now walk into the WWE Royal Rumble as the Knockouts World Champion on January 29th.
Jade Cargill Wins TBS Championship
Last week on AEW Dynamite, Jade Cargill made history after defeating Ruby Soho.
Not only did Cargill extend her undefeated streak, but she is now the first-ever TBS Champion. Cargill previously defeated the Red Velvet and Thunder Rosa before meeting Ruby Soho in the finals of the TBS Championship Tournament. Soho rose above the likes of Kris Statlander and Nyla Rose to reach the finals.
Through some distraction of Mercedes Martinez and Thunder Rosa, neither opponent was able to keep each other down for long. After some back and forth action, Cargill finally landed a massive Jaded to earn the pinfall on Soho.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 6, 2022
Jade Cargill now reigns as the inaugural TBS Champion and receives her first taste at singles gold in AEW… but who will be her first challenger?
Independent star Ziggy Haim chatted with A Wrestling Gal about proud accomplishments of 2021, character building in pro wrestling and television, our mutual love of Law & Order: SVU, maximalist TikTok and much more.
“The Man-Made Monstress” Kelsey Raegan appeared on Let’s Get Cereal to discuss growing up, training to wrestle, comfort foods, tattoos, music, mythology and more.
Former Ring of Honor star Vita VonStarr joined One Stop Wrestling to talk about working with ROH, training with Cheeseburger and Sumie Sakai, lucha libre, her Mount Rushmore of wrestling, Danhausen, and more!
AEW Women’s World Champion Britt Baker appeared on In The Kliq podcast to discuss CM Punk calling her a pillar of AEW, her Lights Out Match with Thunder Rosa, the Forbidden Door for the AEW Women’s Division, and more.
Warrior Wrestling Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa appeared on Oral Sessions With Renee Paquette to discuss how she went from a social worker to one of the hottest commodities in AEW, how she almost ended up in WWE as a ref, why she wants the respect that Britt Baker got from their Lights Out match last year, and more.
RAW Superstar Liv Morgan joined My Mom’s Basement With Robbie Fox to talk about her recent feud with Becky Lynch, working the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match in 2018, her favorite sets of gear she’s ever worn, what she thought of the final season of Game of Thrones, and more
Former RPW Women’s Champion Janai Kai spoke with the ADHDivas Podcast about her experience at AEW, debuting at Ring of Honor, preparing for TERMINUS, and more
Pro Wrestling EVE: Revolt, Resist, And Riot
- Lana Austin defeats Ivy
- Rhio defeats Deborah Dahmer
- Jetta defeats The AVA
- Alexxis Falcon defeats Chantal Jordan
- Skye Smitson defeats Amira Blair
- EVE International Title #1 Contendership: Laura Di Matteo defeats Charlie Morgan
- EVE Title Riot And Bleed Death: Emersyn Jayne (c) defeats Charli Evans
Pro Wrestling EVE: F*ck It, We’re Going Out
- EVE Championship Round Robin #1: Emersyn Jayne (c) defeats Chantal Jordan
- The AVA defeats Deborah Dahmer
- Charli Evans defeats Skye Smitson
- Round Robin #2: Rhio defeats Chantal Jordan
- Laura Di Matteo defeats Livvii Grace
- Jetta defeats Alexxis Falcon
- EVE Title Round Robin #3: Emersyn Jayne (c) defeats Rhio