Match Point is an ongoing series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. This edition will focus on the Women’s WarGames match happening at the 2023 edition of WWE Survivor Series.
After many rumors and online speculation, the women’s WarGames match at Survivor Series is set. The newly improved Damage CTRL, now featuring the Kabuki Warriors of Kairi Sane and Asuka, are squaring off with SmackDown’s greatest heroes. Or, more accurately, Bianca Belair and a collection of other women. Shotzi, Charlotte Flair, and Raw’s Becky Lynch make up the remainder of Team Bianca heading into Chicago for one of two wargames matches.
This match has a lower level of intrigue than the men’s match, likely because of that team’s returning mystery participant. While the field may not have been precisely as some predicted, the match will surely deliver for the fans.
— WWE (@WWE) November 18, 2023
Journey to The Women’s WarGames Match
The animosity between these stars started in the buildup to SummerSlam months ago. Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Asuka fought for the WWE Women’s Championship before Damage CTRL cashed in their Money in the Bank contract on Bianca to make IYO SKY the new champion.
From then on, the trio would work together as rivals for shots at the champion SKY. At the same time, the relationship between Bayley and Iyo was on precarious grounds. Sure, they had moments where the team had each other’s back against the likes of Charlotte or Asuka, and they worked as a unit to take out enemies like Shotzi. Still, the tandem (and Dakota Kai when she is healthy) would cause issues for each other with increasing regularity.
After months of the same several challengers stepping up and getting knocked back by Damage CTRL, Bianca returned and earned a match at Crown Jewel, again beating Charlotte and Asuka. During that match, the typical numbers advantage got even more dangerous. To Bayley’s disbelief, Damage CTRL added to their ranks with a returning Kairi Sane joining IYO.
When it looked like SmackDown’s greatest heroes would team up again to take on the new threat, Asuka turned on her frenemies of the last four months. Shotzi made her return for revenge to try and even the odds, and Charlotte made a call to another past rival, Becky Lynch, to help them deal with the traitorous Asuka. With the teams finally, even Nick Aldis made the match official, and the women will face off in WarGames.
An Improved Damage CTRL
Every time they seem to be on the decline, WWE makes fans care about Damage CTRL. The tension between Bayley and IYO started almost immediately after SKY won her cash-in. Before that, though, the squad was going through a rough patch and often questioned Bayley’s leadership. Even with little progression on that side of the story, the team has staved off irrelevancy. The most recent developments have included two new members, Kairi Sane and Asuka.
We have EVERYTHING. https://t.co/f27z6si3bm
— IYO SKY (@Iyo_SkyWWE) November 11, 2023
Adding Asuka and Kairi is a significant improvement to the team. For all her talent, IYO is still a secondary character in her championship reign. That won’t change in this match, but it does mean the match needs more star power on the marquee to meet the talent in the ring.
Bayley aligning with Asuka and the return of Kairi helps to add that intrigue to the team and makes for a unit that balances in-ring ability and intrigue from the fans. The added villains don’t just fill out an obligatory women ‘s Wargames match. It sets the stage for the final phase of the Damage CTRL’s reign.
The Smackdown Resistance
SmackDown’s answer to the dominant Damage CTRL is perhaps the most surprising. Bianca and Charlotte are two of the biggest names on SmackDown and frequent enemies of the heel faction. The addition of Shotzi from down the card and the surprise inclusion of Raw’s Becky Lynch rounds out the team.
Becky is a major star, and after taking on Xia Li on Raw, she has nothing going on for the Survivor Series. It may not make sense in the story. However, getting Lynch on the card is imperative, given her status as a true face of the company. It was explained on SmackDown as Charlotte making a difficult call, which could lead to exciting things down the road to WrestleMania.
Shotzi is less surprising. She is a SmackDown talent and has previous issues with Bayley and IYO from that show. A brief hiatus also adds some heat to her return when she tried to save the more prominent names on team Bianca.
She adds less star power, but that won’t be an issue with all the remaining horsewomen sharing the ring. Shotzi has the greatest upside to impress anyone in this match. She is not a significant return or a former champion. Despite this, she is fighting alongside the brand’s other top stars in what is undoubtedly the co-main event of Survivor Series 2023.
Expectations for The Women’s WarGames Match
WarGames has had some surprising winners, which could still be the case when predicting the men’s match. However, the women seem to be pretty straightforward. The action will be great, of course. IYO SKY has been part of every women’s WarGames match since the concept returned in 2017. Some of her moments from NXT are still featured in WWE’s WarGames footage.
The rest of the women involved have featured as well, with the only exception being Charlotte Flair. The match will need to pull punches to clear the way for the last bout of the night to shine. After fun action, a spot with the horsewomen, and a point where Asuka, IYO, and Kairi team up to form a dominant unit, foreshadowing the future of Damage CTRL, IYO will solidify her status.
A pinfall victory of Shotzi to end the match will make a statement for the newly formed team and keep Iyo and Bayley at a similar level for when Bayley comes back to the light for a shot at the title.
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