RAW 07/16/18: Banks ready for love?

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This weekend, our RAW Superstars took it to the ‘extreme’ with RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss retaining her Championship against her longtime friend-turned-rival, Nia Jax. However, all eyes were on the suspended Ronda Rousey, who would be sitting ringside and playing a vital role in the match’s outcome. While Bliss walked away with her title, the target was still definitely left on her back and things would continue to develop on RAW.

Also developing on RAW was the latest in the Sasha Banks and Bayley drama. RAW General Manager Kurt Angle catches up with Bayley backstage, who admits that the counseling sessions were a failure. As a result, Angle sets up a match with Bayley having to team up against Sasha Banks to take on the team of Dana Brooke and Alicia Fox… but if they can’t get along, then one of them will be traded to SmackDown.

The match isn’t a memorable one, I mean both Brooke and Fox are given the ‘jobber entrance’. Towards the end of the match, Bayley started to get double teamed by Fox and Brooke, which causes Banks to come to the rescue. She throws Brooke into the ring barricade, then hits Fox against the ring apron, then takes them both out with a double crossbody… which weirdly causes the referee to call for a disqualification. Banks storms up the ramp, while Bayley looks on confused.

Backstage, Bayley catches up with Banks and before they can have another argument, Banks confesses that she ‘loves’ Bayley… boy… scroll down to read my thoughts on this.

RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss is out next accompanied her ally Mickie James. Much like we’ve seen in the past, Bliss addresses her PPV victory, this week saying that the Bliss/Jax rivalry has ended. She goes on to gloat that she has defeated every woman in the locker room… which gets the crowd to chant for Ronda Rousey. Like a moth to a flame, Rousey appears from the crowd, but she is still suspended until Wednesday.

Bliss and James try to make a run for it, but Rousey cuts them off at the stage. Rousey manages to catch James and hits her with a slam, but before she can do more damage Bliss carries her to safety. However, Rousey isn’t done as she charges down the ramp and dives into James, Bliss and a pile of referees. Rousey turns her attention to Bliss, dragging her to the ring and getting her in position for an armbar… until Kurt Angle runs out and tells her to stop.

James manages to drag Bliss out of the ring, while Angle addresses Rousey. RAW Constable Baron Corbin comes out to tell Angle to reprimand Rousey for violating her suspension, so Angle adds another week to it. Corbin doesn’t agree with the decision, so threatens to call Stephanie McMahon… but Angle has his phone and makes a match. Ronda Rousey will get to face Alexa Bliss at Summerslam for the RAW Women’s Championship!

Next up, we see Sarah Logan with Liv Morgan taking on their recent rival Ember Moon. Can’t say this was a thrilling match and it seems that this was mainly done to put over Logan’s new gimmick where she’s now going back to her viking roots… evident with some new facepaint. Again, my thoughts on this below. I do like Logan’s style of wrestling, as she outpowered Moon throughout the match. Eventually, Morgan causes a distraction, allowing Logan to knock moon off the top rope and get the pinfall. Sarah Logan wins her first match and Ember Moon’s first loss on RAW!

Backstage, the duo continue their celebrations!

Thoughts: Now I really really hate doing negative reviews, but it really says a lot when the RAW women have so much time allocated to them and have three programs going on… and I’m not invested in any of them.

Let’s start with the small fry, Ember Moon VS The Riott Squad. The reason why I’m not invested here is because none of these women have a purpose on the roster at the moment. They should be working with established talent, not with each other. Plus, I don’t know where they got this whole viking thing from as well? Sarah was fine with the whole country schtick, so I don’t get why they thought sticking some paint on her would be groundbreaking? I just don’t see what this program is going to do for any of these women except make them a pissbreak if I’m honest. Sure you would say Ember will bring someone to even the odds… but I can’t even say that would be a good decision.

Where do we go next, I say we’ll go to the Bliss and Rousey feud. I mean, it says a lot when the most interesting thing about Extreme Rules was Mickie James. Do you know how much it irritates me to see this legend standing there on the side while Alexa does these promos? Today would have been perfect for James to just hit a spinning backfist on her and get back into the title scene. It’s even more annoying knowing these two were literally feuding a couple months ago, but you know what I’ll deal with it.

The main reason I’m not invested in this feud is because the idea of Bliss VS Rousey doesn’t entertain me one bit. We’ll just see Bliss running away throughout the whole match, with James doing all the bumping… just like WrestleMania 34, just like Money In The Bank, just like Extreme Rules. I do like Alexa Bliss, but she’s at the forefront and her ring work is declining and it’s only getting worse and we can see the online resentment is growing. She’s not going to get the Roman Reigns treatment, but she’s not going to be as reputable if she keeps putting on these basic matches that are slowly regressing the division. Yes, I said it, these really standard Championship matches, while she’s involved, are really making things take a step back. I’m not saying she needs to go out there and risk it all, but I can’t say a single one of her title defences this year have been worth more than 2 stars.

Finally, we have Sasha and Bayley… I jokingly said their storyline was taking a pseudo-lesbian route and judging by this week, I guess we’ve gone full lesbian. Now again, we could be jumping the gun… but it seemed pretty much implied with Sasha talking about emotions. Sigh… I’m pretty sure a lot of the IWC sighed along with me when Sasha uttered those words.

The WWE have a terrible past of showing LGBT representation and that’s something that doesn’t change overnight. It’s either going to get incredibly corny or it’s going to turn out quite distasteful, I mean if this is going to turn into a match then is this teaching the audience that lesbians can’t get along and need to resort to feuding with each other? Either way, this isn’t the kind of feud that needed a soap drama style angle like this too, which is prime reason why I’m not invested. They’ve got a format that worked between these two, but their slow build, poor segments and corny character development make this look like a fresh steak that someone has seasoned with sugar by accident. It’s just going down a soft route that is completely taking away from what this program should have delivered for both themselves and the division as a whole, since we all know any match with Alexa isn’t going to be 5*.

Right now, I am completely disinterested in RAW and I’m sure this has been apparent in my last few reviews. We have all the right talent and all the right pieces, but they are all in the completely wrong places. Nia Jax shouldn’t be face, Alexa shouldn’t be Champion, Natalya shouldn’t even be on RAW tbf, Alicia Fox shouldn’t have been brought back yet, Sarah Logan shouldn’t need to be a viking… I just can’t at the state of the division right now.

Are you interested in RAW’s developments after Extreme Rules? Are you looking forward to Ronda VS Alexa? What did you think of WWE giving Alicia and Dana a chance to finally wrestle? Sound off in that comment section!