Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up: WWE Draft Results, Knockouts Knockdown Preview, Trish Adora Signs With ROH
Photo Credit: WWE
Women’s wrestling continues to draw: the WWE Draft shocks the world, IMPACT previews Knockouts Knockdown, Trish Adora signs with Ring of Honor, and more! Let’s break it down in this week’s edition of Women’s Wrestling Wrap-Up!
WWE Draft Results: Brand Swaps, NXT Call-ups, Tag Team Splits & More
The 2021 WWE Draft is now officially concluded. Tag teams were split, NXT superstars were called up, champions switched brands, and for the first time ever, Carmella is officially a RAW Superstar. Let’s break it down.
WWE recently held their annual draft on the October 1st edition of Smackdown, and followed up on the October 4th episode of RAW, with many shakeups and roster additions for their women’s divisions. It was noted that these draft changes will not take effect until October 22nd, the night after WWE’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view. In addition, any undrafted superstars become free agents, where they then get to choose what brand they will be on. At the end of the draft, four women were accordingly left undrafted, with their brand fate still yet to be determined.
It should be noted that three of the four female competitors left undrafted are inactive. Former Smackdown Women’s Champion, Bayley, is sidelined with an ACL injury that she sustained in July prior to Money in the Bank. Former RAW Women’s Champion, Asuka, has also been out of action for the last few months, due to a possible injury after recently being seen in an arm brace. RAW superstar, Lacey Evans, has been on maternity leave since announcing her pregnancy back in February. Perhaps the most shocking omission in the draft, however, is Eva Marie, who returned to WWE this past summer and assumed feuds with Alexa Bliss, Naomi, and most recently, Doudrop on the RAW brand. As of this writing, Eva Marie is considered a free agent, so it will be interesting to see which brand she turns up on next.
In terms of the official draft picks, RAW has acquired fourteen women superstars, while Smackdown currently stands at ten. Here are Monday Night RAW’s and Friday Night Smackdown’s official selections for the women’s division in the 2021 WWE Draft:
- Smackdown Women’s Champion – Becky Lynch
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Nikki A.S.H. & Rhea Ripley
- Bianca Belair
- Alexa Bliss
- Dana Brooke
- Liv Morgan
- Nia Jax
- Mia Yim
- Tegan Nox
- Zelina Vega
- RAW Women’s Champion – Charlotte Flair
- Sasha Banks
- Shayna Baszler
- Toni Storm
- Xia Li
The most glaring change to come out of the draft was definitely the trading of brands for each major women’s champion. Charlotte Flair, who holds the RAW Women’s Championship, and Becky Lynch, who carries the Smackdown Women’s Championship, will be switching shows and their roster swaps leave questions looming around their championship statuses. A similar situation occurred last year for the Smackdown and Raw Tag Team Champions, the New Day and the Street Profits, where each team swapped brands while simultaneously holding their former brand’s respective tag team championships. To resolve the matter, each team simply swapped championships with the other to coincide with each of their new brands.
The Street Profits traded their RAW Tag Team Championships for Smackdown’s titles, and the New Day became the new RAW Tag Team Champions in turn for their former Smackdown Tag Team Titles. So, one could hypothesize that the same solution may resolve the complications created for Flair and Lynch. Flair could become the Smackdown Women’s Champion, while Lynch could once again hold the RAW Women’s Championship she vacated last year. However, there is also another possibility.
Draft changes don’t formally go into effect until after Crown Jewel, where Becky Lynch defends her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks in a highly competitive triple threat match. As a result, there’s a probability that Lynch may not even arrive at Monday Night RAW with a championship afterward. Belair was also drafted to the red brand, but Banks will remain on Friday Night Smackdown following this match, so it’s entirely possible that Banks could recapture the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Crown Jewel to more easily sort out these championship matters. Similarly, it’s also entirely possible that Charlotte Flair could also lose her RAW Women’s Championship before the draft selections go into full effect. Nothing is for certain in the landscape of WWE, but it will be interesting to see how the solution to these complications is presented to us in the upcoming weeks.
— WWE (@WWE) October 2, 2021
— WWE (@WWE) October 5, 2021
Speaking of complications, the women’s tag team division has dwindled down immensely to possibly only two teams: the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H., and Carmella and Zelina Vega–who have formed an alliance in recent weeks. The WWE Draft resulted in the breakup of multiple tag teams, including former champions, Natalya and Tamina, and the recently formed team of Tegan Nox and Shotzi Blackheart–who achieved multiple victories over the former champions. Former tag team champions, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler officially broke their alliance over the course of recent months, and Eva Marie and Doudrop also split their partnership after a post-match confrontation at SummerSlam. In total, four teams have been eradicated over the course of two months, whether by breakup or via brand split, leaving the main roster women’s tag team division to only two teams. It will be interesting to see how WWE reshapes this division going forward with this new landscape and the addition of a few NXT call-ups.
Three NXT call-ups were made in this year’s draft, all assigned to the blue brand of Smackdown. Firstly, Aliyah moves up after competing in multiple main roster dark matches the last few months. Aliyah signed to NXT in 2015, making her television debut in January 2016 in a battle royal, before achieving her first televised singles match against Carmella in April of the same year. Aliyah was last seen on NXT turning on the Robert Stone Brand after a loss to Kacy Catanzaro and Kayden Carter. Secondly, B-Fab of Hit Row was also drafted to Smackdown. B-Fab signed with WWE in August of 2019, competing in multiple live event matches before reemerging onto the NXT scene earlier this year, with a new ring name and a new stable called Hit Row. Lastly, NXT’s Xia Li moves to Smackdown as well. Li first appeared in the inaugural Mae Young Classic in 2017, before returning to the second tournament in 2018. Li would also compete in the 2019 and 2020 Women’s Royal Rumble match, before introducing a new character the following year at the beginning of 2021 and joining the Tian Sha–a strong, heel stable. Xia Li, B-Fab, and Aliyah will now join the ranks of the Smackdown roster later this month alongside veterans like Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Banks.
On the RAW side of the draft, Mia Yim returns to Monday Night RAW after being absent from competition since December of 2020. Yim, formerly under the name of Reckoning, was last seen as a part of Retribution, a stable led by Ali that disbanded earlier this year. Reckoning is no more, but “The Head Baddie In Charge” is officially back as Mia Yim, ready to rock on RAW.
#WWERAW Time to bring the ruckus..
— The HBIC (@MiaYim) October 5, 2021
Additionally, Carmella is now officially a member of the red brand for the first time in her career. “The Most Beautiful Woman In WWE” made her main roster debut in the 2016 WWE Draft as the last overall pick, designated to the Smackdown brand. There, she won Money in the Bank twice, captured the Smackdown Women’s Championship, won the Mixed Match Challenge, and won the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal in 2019, and has consistently remained on the blue brand for the last five years, until now. What will this former Smackdown Women’s Champion bring to the table now that she’s finally on the red brand?
— WWE (@WWE) October 5, 2021
The WWE Draft may be over, but viewers still have a few weeks before everything is officially put into place. We will be seeing some new faces, and we may even see new champions by then. Nevertheless, many eyes will be focused on WWE and hope the company capitalizes on this new shuffle of talent and rebuilds its reduced women’s tag team division.
RELATED: WWE RAW Results (10/4/21)
IMPACT Knockouts Knockdown Preview
IMPACT Wrestling will be airing their Knockouts Knockdown special this Saturday, October 9th, with a plethora of women’s wrestling action. IMPACT Hall of Famer, Gail Kim, previously confirmed that IMPACT Wrestling is bringing back its all-Knockouts event: The Knockouts Knockdown, for the first time in four years. The event will air on IMPACT Plus and IMPACT Ultimate Insiders on YouTube. IMPACT previously held Knockouts Knockdown events from 2013-2016, and 2017 where it was last held in Orlando, Florida.
#KnockoutsKnockdown is a celebration of their legacy both past and present.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 25, 2021
As announced, IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo will defend her title against a mystery competitor at the event. In addition, the IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions Havok and Rosemary, collectively known as Decay, are also set to defend their championships against The Influence, Tenille Dashwood and Madison Rayne. The main event of the special will feature a Monster’s Ball match in honor of Daffney (real name Shannon Spruill)–who was one of the first two women to compete in a Monster’s Ball against Taylor Wilde. The competitors of this matchup have yet to be announced.
Gail Kim also recently announced an eight-woman, one-night tournament for Knockouts Knockdown, where the winner will earn a future title opportunity for the Impact Knockouts Championship. Four IMPACT Wrestling Knockouts will be facing off against four of the top women’s competitors from around the world in this tournament. As of this writing, all eight participants have been confirmed:
- Mercedes Martinez
- Lady Frost
- Renee Michelle
- Chelsea Green
- Tasha Steelz
- Jamie Senegal
- Rachael Ellering
- Brandi Lauren
IMPACT also announced the announce team for Knockouts Knockdown, featuring Melissa Santos, Veda Scott, and Mickie James.
Here is your #KnockoutsKnockdown announce team!
Ring Announcer: @ThisIsMelSantos
Color Analyst: @MickieJames
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 26, 2021
WrestleZone will keep you updated on this event as more details become available.
Trish Adora Signs With Ring Of Honor
Trish Adora is now officially a part of the Ring of Honor family. After Adora defeated Sumie Sakai on last week’s episode of Women’s Division Wednesday, Maria Kanellis-Bennett announced that Adora had signed a contract with ROH. Adora now joins Rok-C, Miranda Alize, and Max The Impaler as official members in the women’s division after making her Ring of Honor debut in May. Also the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Championship, Adora impressed many over the past year, ranking #44 on the PWI 500, the highest-ranked woman on the list.
Ring Of Honor released the following statement on Trish Adora’s signing:
Ring of Honor is pleased to announce that “The Afro-Punk’ Trish Adora has signed with the company.
The announcement was made by ROH Board of Directors member Maria Kanellis-Bennett during this week’s episode of Women’s Division Wednesday following Adora’s victory over former Women of Honor World Champion Sumie Sakai.
Adora, the reigning Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Champion, made it to the semifinals of the ROH Women’s World Title Tournament, scoring wins over Marti Belle and Allysin Kay before losing to Miranda Alize.
An Army veteran, Adora made her pro wrestling debut in 2016 and has trained at the Team 3D Academy and also with Jonathan Gresham and The World Famous CB.
Independent star Kayla Sparks recently joined A Wrestling Gal to discuss her recent appearances at AEW, her love for Chyna, being a pride fighter in the LGBTQ community, her upcoming “Against The Ropes” television series, her return to pro wrestling, and much more.
ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C chatted with Spencer Love of Love Wrestling about her recent championship win, wrestling Killer Kelly, Maria Kanellis, and more!
Former RPW Women’s Champion Janai Kai appeared on Bell To Belles to discuss UWFi Rules, coming out of the COVID stupor, tag team wrestling, and more!
SDW Women’s Champion Miranda Gordy recently spoke with Marks With Mics about growing up in the wrestling industry, NWA Empowerrr, future goals, carrying on her family name, and more.
Former PWWA Champion Shazza McKenzie joined Women’s Wrestling Talk to talk about what has changed in the industry, the next generation of Australian wrestlers, what she will do once lockdown is over, and more.
Ring of Honor star Maria Kanellis chatted with the Battleground Podcast about the stacked women’s division in Ring of Honor, where she hopes to see the women’s division in 5 years, her time in WWE, if she could create an all women’s supershow who would she book and much more!
Former MLW talent Salina De La Renta and MLW Backstage Correspondent Alicia Atout recently appeared on Fightful to discuss their wrestling match, living together, talks with WWE, and more.
WWE NXT Superstar Mandy Rose recently spoke with DAZN News about returning to NXT, her Newfound Confidence, changing her hair color, the Celebrity Ryder Cup, and more.
“The Hot Mess” Chelsea Green appeared on Busted Open Radio to discuss her Green With Envy podcast, her post-WWE life in pro wrestling, NWA and more.
Independent Star Jazzy Yang chatted with Lucha Libre Online about NWA Empowerrr, her training, the creation of the FreeBabes, and more.
WOMEN’S WRESTLING RESULTS
Major League Wrestling: Fightland 2021
- Nicole Savoy defeated Holidead
- The Sea Stars (Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo) defeat Willow Nightingale & Zoey Skye
Pro-Wrestling EVE: Beers, Brawls & Bad Ass B*****s!
- Lana Austin defeated Ava White
- Debbie Keitel vs. Deborah Dahmer – No Contest
- Nightshade defeated Gaya Glass
- Charlie Morgan & Jetta defeat The Uprising (Rhia O’Reilly & Skye Smitson)
- Clementine & Martina defeat Alexxis Falcon & Amira Blair
- Alex Windsor vs. Emersyn Jayne – Time Limit Draw (20:00)
- EVE International Title: Kasey (c) defeated Chantal Jordan