IYO SKY Retains WWE Women’s Title and Bianca Belair Returns on SmackDown

The main event of tonight’s SmackDown was a match for the WWE Women’s Championship between IYO SKY and Charlotte Flair, and it was as hard-hitting as you’d expect. Both superstars were on their A-Game throughout the match, though SKY did have a built-in advantage with Bayley and Dakota Kai at ringside, and that definitely came in handy. At several points, Bayley and Kai were instrumental in keeping the match alive, and it was Kai who came in with the most critical move, as she was able to slip SKY the Championship that would knock out Flair long enough to get the win. Things weren’t all good for Damage CTRL though, as after they started attacking Flair, Bianca Belair would make her grand return and deliver a K.O.D. to Bayley, signaling the true return of The EST.

Flair went right for the Figure 8 on SKY, but Sky managed to get away from it and rolled out of the ring. Back from the commercial Flair was in control, but SKY mounted a comeback and got some key help from Bayley, who held Flair’s leg and pulled her out of the ring to the floor. That set up SKY for a big dive into Flair, knocking her hard to the floor.

SKY rolled Flair back in and went up top, hitting a dropkick into a cover, but Flair kicked out quickly. Flair was able to turn things around and slam down the Champion before hitting a big chop in the corner. Flair went for a forearm but SKY evaded and kicked Flair in the leg. SKY jumped up but Flair caught her, and then SKY reversed the move and Flair hit the ground hard. SKY then went for another move but Flair caught her again, and this time she threw SKY face-first into the ring apron.

Back from the commercial, SKY had Flair up on the top rope, and she hit a powerbomb on Flair before going for the cover, but Flair kicked out. SKY charged forward and connected with a knee strike to Flair’s face, but Flair was able to kick out of the ensuing cover attempt. SKY then got Flair to the ground and locked in a submission in the middle of the ring. Flair got free and out of the hold, but then Flair caught SKY and hit a German Suplex.

Both stars got to their feet and Flair hit five chops to the chest in a row, knocking the Champion down. Then Flair caught SKY again and hit a fallaway slam. Flair hit another one right after and got back to her feet. SKY was on the top rope but Flair caught her yet again, and this time Flair carried her up top on her shoulders. Flair then hit a huge fallaway slam and went for the pin, but SKY was still able to kick out.

Bayley and Kai attended to SKY at ringside and the Champ was back on her feet. SKY brought down Flair on the ropes and then launched from the top rope only to get caught by Flair again and put in a submission. SKY had nowhere to go and was locked in a Boston Crab, but SKY countered and avoided a pinfall too. Flair caught SKY with a punch to the face and then went to stomp on SKY’s leg, but Flair looked to injure her knee when she missed.

SKY then pounced and stomped on Flair before going for a moonsault, but Flair caught her with knees and a spear. Flair went right for the pin but Bayley got SKY’s foot on the bottom rope before the three count. Flair was beyond angry and attacked Bayley on the outside. Flair followed Bayley and hit her with chops and then threw her over the announce table. Flair turned her attention to SKY and went for the spear, but she hit the Championship Title that was around SKY’s waist instead. The referee didn’t see it happen because he was being distracted by Kai, who had slipped SKY the Championship while Flair was fighting Bayley at ringside. SKY got rid of the Title before the referee returned and then commenced with the count, giving the pin and the win to SKY.

Damage CTRL then started to deliver a beatdown to Flair in the ring, but that’s when some familiar music hit, signaling the return of Bianca Belair. Belair hasn’t been on WWE TV since Summer Slam, but she returned tonight and attacked Damage CTRL. Belair went to give SKY a K.O.D. but Bayley and Kai managed to get the Champ out of the ring. Belair then grabbed Bayley and hit her with the K.O.D. before checking on Flair. The EST is back, and she is looking to get some revenge on the group that cost her the WWE Women’s Championship.

What did you think of the match and Belair’s return? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Threads @mattaguilarcb!