Well it's the first week of 2012 which could mean that it's the last time we ever see the first Raw, Smackdown, NXT or Impact for the new year. I'll be honest, the year has started off better times than this but let's have a look at how the women have started to shape their respective divisions for the next year.
Raw - Eve & Kelly Kelly vs The Bella Twins:
It's actually been a while since we've had this match but it still felt predictable, not to mention complete filler while Beth is being left off TV. I'm annoyed that something as simple as a facial injury justifies leaving her off since she can still appear in backstage segments and promos. But WWE does do short build-ups better than long term ones so we likely wouldn't be getting much if she was on TV anyway. This match was longer than what we have been getting in a while though I would have preferred to nix one of the entrances to allow more time. All the moves were done well enough though the ending was sloppy. It would have been much simpler for Nikki to hit an X-Factor rather than an iffy looking small package. Good to see the heels win to switch things up. I'm reaching but any chance this could be building towards the Tag Team titles being reinstated? As an aside the backstage segments were all fun and the girls sounded very natural. 6/10
NXT - Maxine vs Kaitlyn:
Another match that gets Raw/Smackdown time and that's just not acceptable. What we saw was fine but for the NXT standard it's ridiculously short and therefore prevented me from enjoying it too much. Both Kaitlyn and Maxine continue to improve whenever they step into the ring and this match demonstrated that. There's not much else I can say except it was all over way too soon and these two have shown they can produce great stuff at more time. Good that Maxine earned herself a win at last. Anyway I look forward to the eventual wedding on the 100th episode because WWE always do them much better than Eastenders and Coronation Street. 4/10
Impact - ODB/Eric Young:
Eric Young is a legend. He is just brilliant and therefore him and ODB together is just pure comedy gold. The segment in the women's locker room was hilarious and thank the lord someone finally caged The Beast. I was laughing so hard it hurt to breathe afterwards. Perhaps if things don't work out with ODB then he can move onto Madison as well and do a little love triangle.
Gail Kim & Madison Rayne* vs Mickie James & Traci Brooks (Knockouts Tag Team Championships):
I enjoyed the segment that came before this match as it gave it some form of importance other than making it seem like a random title defence. Maybe it was unintentional but the whole thing was hilarious. Oh, TNA, making women dive bomb each other in swimming pools ;). The match itself was pretty good and I liked all the fire the faces were showing at the start. Solid enough action all around though I think Traci needs new gear. As I've said before, once Gail is done with Mickie I'd love to see her get a proper one-on-one feud with Traci because they could do good things with it. And next week I'd like to see the likes of Velvet, Winter, Angelina etc back on TV. 6.5/10
FCW - Audrey Marie vs Aksana vs AJ:
A triple-threat non-title match? Doesn't make much sense and watching it didn't make sense either considering how much time Aksana spent out of the ring. The interaction between Audrey and AJ was good enough though Audrey definitely works better with Naomi and Aksana. Speaking of the Lithuanian, I wish she could have had more spots in the match because she was just the odd one out who only really broke up pins and got a couple of hits in. That being said triple threats are hard to do and it's the sort of thing you just have to watch over and that will help you improve. The bulldog from AJ was really well done and I liked the ending sequence. 6/10
Smackdown - Natalya vs Tamina:
Just who is the face here? Is either of them a face? I guess this was more anticipated when the Usos were feuding with the Hart Dynasty but I get the feeling it would have been better. I don't want to call Tamina useless because she has done alright in the past but this sucked. There was hardly any time too but neither of them did anything to make it exciting or must-see to be honest. The splash looked fine but not enough to make it satisfying. I was hoping when I saw the little video packages that we'd see a long match but hope dashed as is typical with Smackdown lately. This does seem like the start of a face turn for Natalya, which I'm not exactly thrilled about since I'd prefer a Beth/Nattie rivalry with her as the heel and Beth as the face. Hopefully WWE's negative continuity comes into play again. 2/10
Not the best week to start off the year though hopefully towards the Royal Rumble we can get some development and announce a title match for it. I'd like Alicia and Beth to get a good build up because they deserve it. Here's hoping Gail will end her feud with Mickie and move onto someone else as well. Plus we have a wedding to look forward to on the 100th episode of NXT.