This week’s SmackDown kicked off with an incredible match between the SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks facing Bayley in a rematch from Hell in a Cell. There is certainly a reason why they don’t give these two a one-on-one match very often and that is because when they do, they kill it. This match was no exception.
They gave this match a lot of time which it needed. It seemingly may be the last time for a while the two fight as it seems like Carmella will be Banks’ next opponent. We will get to Carmella’s return in a moment.
Sasha Banks defeats Bayley to retain the SmackDown Women’s Title
As for the match itself, they did a good job of making many people think that Banks wasn’t going to retain yet again. She is a five-time RAW Women’s Champion and she hasn’t held that title for more than 30-days. Bayley knows this and played with the mind of the champion last week to make this rematch. She feels she is better to face Asuka at SummerSlam over Banks.
Heading into the match it could have gone a few ways. It could have been the disqualification as we saw before Hell in a Cell or even a count-out. The better option is what we got. A hard-hitting bout with a clean ending. Banks ends up retaining the title cleanly in the middle of the ring with the Bank Statement, much like she did to win the title two weeks ago.
Between near falls and spots like the one shown below is why this match was a nice bookend to their feud. And let’s not forget that Bayley even tried to get Banks to tap out to her own Bank Statement. I won’t lie, I was nervous.
Now let’s go over what happened after the match. As Banks was celebrating up the ramp to the stage, she was attacked from behind by a returning Carmella. Carmella was revealed as the mystery woman in the vignettes that aired for weeks. There were several more weeks since she was revealed and hadn’t made her return. They mentioned last week she would appear this week and she did by delivering a kick to the head of the champ. She then delivered an X-factor on the stage.
Carmella has certified herself as the next opponent for Banks. This will more than likely carry us until the Royal Rumble where whoever wins that may challenge Banks at WrestleMania (if it goes that route). My guess? It will be Bianca Belair.
The second match of the night was a qualifier to decide the second member of Team SmackDown in the traditional five-on-five match at Survivor Series. With the tagline of “best of the best” it is only fitting that Bianca Belair became the first member of team blue. This week, Ruby Riott earned her spot
She defeated Zelina Vega and Natalya in a Triple Threat. This was Natalya’s second time trying to qualify as she has been upset that she hasn’t been added to the team. Will she get a third shot next week? Probably.
You can click here to read the rest of what happened during this match.
Lastly, we had Billie Kay in a backstage segment. Kay lost in a Triple Threat last week and did not go on to Survivor Series. She has picked up a gimmick where she is backstage trying to show off her headshot and resume. It was actually rather comical with The Street Profits as she focused on the fact she is a former RAW Superstar. Angelo Dawkins reminded her that they were on RAW at the same time. What I will say is at least Billie is still being used on television and hasn’t disappeared.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers:
WINNERS: Sasha Banks & Bayley
This was a fantastic match to what I feel wraps everything up for these two for time being. The near falls, the drama, everything. Perfect. Banks winning in the center of the ring, perfect. I am so ready to see them move on from here, but I am thankful that they put together a couple of fantastic matches during their feud. I just wish it was in front of a live crowd!
WINNER: Ruby Riott
A big win here for Ruby. She said in a WWE Exclusive that the past two years haven’t gone her way for Survivor Series. Two years ago she and Natalya got into a fight and they both lost their shot on the team. Last year she was out with her surgery. This year she is ready to have her first experience. Her and her tag team partner Liv Morgan intend on strengthing the blue brand and I love to see it. Liv will most likely qualify next week. I would be surprised if she wasn’t added to the team. The other two I think will round out the team is Bayley and maybe Natalya after a fourth try.
She’s BACK! Finally! She will serve as a good challenge for Sasha at this time. I don’t expect her to win the title, but I feel as though she will be a nice transition away from Bayley. Personally, it would have been better if they didn’t say she was going to be back this week. If they kept that quiet, it would have been more of a surprise. If things go the way I would like, Carmella will feud with Sasha to the Royal Rumble. Bianca will win the Rumble and go on to face Banks at WrestleMania.
Poor Nattie. The idea is rather comical though that she is the “Best of All Time” but keeps getting the short end of the stick. I fully expect to see her in these qualifying matches until she either wins or doesn’t.
My continuous thought is they need at least 2 or 3 more women on the blue brand. If Rhea or Io would get moved over it would strengthen that group of women. I wouldn’t mind a team moving over also so that it can strengthen the tag division, although I have lost faith in that ever happening.
What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.