While women’s wrestling has improved exponentially in recent years, its booking in major promotions has tended to suffer from major flaws.

The WWE seems incapable of booking more than one simple women’s program at a time, and they are usually overrun with melodrama and ‘crazy woman’ clichés. Women of Honor doesn’t really count but that isn’t very good and who could forget PROGRESS and their trope of the women always wrestling second.

Although no one is watching Impact Wrestling, even if some people will insist on getting very mad online in arguing the opposite, the promotion continually seem to have worked out the very simple art of booking multiple storylines involving female wrestlers at once. Shocking really, isn’t it?

At Cali Combat this week, a fairly middling show highlighted by good production values and very average wrestling, five separate storylines involving female wrestlers were advanced in some fashion.

Taya Valkyrie made a statement about her closing in on becoming the longest-reigning Knockouts champion in company history. She has promised a new opponent in Mexico and now the obvious direction for Bound for Glory is a match with recent acquisition Tenille Dashwood, who was featured in a vignette this week.

Madison Rayne’s issues with Jordynne Grace and Rosemary were continued in a somewhat trite and tropey backstage segment but one that presumably sets up a big tag team match for the coming weeks.

Jessicka Havok beat Alisha Edwards in a squash match, giving her some momentum ahead of her inevitable showdown with Su Yung. That match feels as though it will be heading for a spot on that Bound for Glory card, probably in a stipulation match of some form, while the post-match angle this week offered some continuation to the frankly dreadful angle involving Alisha, Ace Austin and Eddie Edwards.

Then, in the main event, Tessa Blanchard came to the aid of Tommy Dreamer as he was being beaten down post-match by Sami Callihan. Blanchard and Callihan’s long-running issues look as though they will continue until at least Chicago in October, and the show closed with Jake Crist and Callihan laying out the former Knockouts champion, adding more heat to those two and giving some more babyface fuel to Blanchard.

Not all of those stories will work for everyone, I mean not all of them work for me (the Havok/Yung stuff with screaming and shouting in tongues is firmly filed under ‘hokey S***’), but they are separate, self-contained and largely avoid overplayed wrestling tropes. They also, refreshingly, all have clear and obvious pay-offs in terms of matches and outcomes. You have two matches seemingly set for the PPV in October and then whatever Blanchard is doing.

No one may be watching Impact Wrestling, but at least they seem to have cracked the eternal problem of how to book female wrestlers well in a major organisation – book them like you would any other talent and let the stories run their course.

The Week in Review

  • As aforementioned, the production values on this week’s show seemed good and an upgrade on some other recent tapings. You could tell it was the building CWFH use for TV as it seemed a little better set up for it lighting-wise than say Las Vegas and Mississauga previously.
  • The Michael Elgin/Rhino match was slow but fine and the non-finish wasn’t too contrived which was a pleasant surprise.
  • The North got another title defense and looked good in doing so and their next PPV challengers seem certain to be Rich Swann and Willie Mack after Swann lost his X-Division title rematch and Mack beat Trey Miguel.
  • Glad to see Jake Crist has had a bit of a makeover with new gear, a new logo and a platinum-blonde hair dye. He looked a bit shindie before but looked much more appropriate for a singles champion this week.
  • The Desi Farm Squad skits were certainly a thing.
  • Ken Shamrock. Moose. Why?
  • Next week Impact heads to Mexico and on the slate at present are: Elgin vs Rhino Falls Count Anywhere, Taya defending the Knockouts title and an X-Division four way match involving Trey, TJP, Golden Magic and Taurus.

Well, until next time…