It’s the home straight to WWE’s second biggest event of the year Summerslam and following Bayley’s injury, everyone is still waiting to see who will challenge Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship. After last week’s double set of triple threats, two women stood at the front of the race. This week, we would find out who would win the race so let’s see with this week’s RAW Redux.

Before RAW, our hometown girl and one of the challengers Sasha Banks discusses her nerves ahead of tonight’s match. Not only is she competing for herself and not only is she taking part in her hometown, but she’s ready to defend her friend’s honour too after her best friend Bayley was injured at the hands of her opponent, Nia Jax.

Nia Jax makes her way to the ring first, her regular stern look means that she’s down to inflict damage like she usually does. Sasha is out next to a rapturous hometown crowd, she’s clearly out to reverse the ‘hometown’ curse. Before the match starts, the self-proclaimed ‘Goddess’ of the WWE, Alexa Bliss, makes her way to sit on a special podium ringside to see which of these women will challenge her at Summerslam.

It’s not Sasha’s first rodeo and as always she’s straight in with the strikes… but bad move as Nia runs into Sasha to ground her before the match has even started. When we come back from the first break, Nia is still firmly in control and this is certified when Nia catches Sasha’s attempt to do a hurricanrana takedown on the outside and she swings her into the barricade.

She throws her back into the ring and ragdolls Sasha even more. After a hair biel, Nia goes for her signature leg drop – 1.. 2.. No! Sasha barely manages to lift her shoulder up. This only angers the monster, who hoists up Sasha into the chicken wing that injured Bayley. However, Sasha counters it into a roll up! 1.. 2.. No! Nia’s definitely not ready to go down yet, but Sasha has found an opening and attempts to go for a standing Banks Statement that she used a couple of weeks back to win the Gauntlet match.

Nia’s learned some new tricks though and counters the move, hitting her Samoan Drop on Sasha Banks! 1.. 2.. Sasha barely gets her hand to the bottom rope to stop the count. Nia’s anger has now turned to frustration and she hoists up Sasha to hit another Samoan Drop. it should be all over, but The Boss is able to roll out of the ring and buy herself more time! Nia misses an elbow drop and the playing field has started to open up.

When we come back from the second commercial break, Nia Jax has Sasha seated on the top turnbuckle and climbs up to attempt a Superplex. She can’t seem to overpower Sasha, and the scrappy Sasha starts reigning in with elbow shots to keep Nia exposed on the middle buckle. Sasha attempts a Sunset Flip into a Powerbomb, but there’s no way she can lift the 200lb+ Nia, so she hits her with a shot to the back of her knee. This causes Nia to get trapped in the ropes and a prime target for Sasha to hit her signature double knees! She can only get a 2 count, but is finally to get on the offence… until she runs into Nia’s boot in the corner.

A cocky Nia goes to pick up Sasha, but she’s rolled into the Banks Statement in the centre of the ring! Nia manages to power her way to the rope, but Sasha quickly changes arm to prevent Nia from reaching. The new locked in submission isn’t so tight which allows Nia to get up to her feet and pick up Sasha, but Sasha delivers one more counter into a swinging DDT and she locks in the Banks Statement one more time in the middle of the ring! After a brief struggle, Nia Jax is forced to tap out and a worn down Sasha finally gets to celebrate a hometown victory. Sasha Banks is going to Summerslam!

Meanwhile, the RAW Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss is still watching on and has a confident smirk on her face as she watches Sasha celebrate. While Sasha taunts that she’s going for her fourth Championship win, Little Miss Bliss simple stays seated, still looks confident and raises her title proudly. It’s The Boss VS The Goddess at the Biggest Summer Party of the Year!

Alexa Bliss remains confident during a Fallout interview, saying that she’s not worried as it’s not the first time Sasha has challenged for her title and even wishes her luck for their future encounter.

Later on in the show, Emma is seen backstage complaining to Mickie James that she’s still not been given a fair chance (which I agree with!) despite being the one to ‘start the women’s revolution’ and even references her ‘#GiveEmmaAChance’ hashtag. Although, Mickie is quick to remind her that Emma was the one that tapped out and lost her match last week. So, Mickie decides to give Emma another chance… to take on a 6-time WWE Women’s Champion in herself, instead of complaining on social media.

Emma is already in the ring and Mickie has just finished making her entrance when this match gets underway. After their encounters on Main Event, it seems like this will be the dealbreaker between these two after they are both 1-1.

From the start of the match, the two are very evenly matched in their initial lock-up but it’s Mickie who is able to get the early offence in with her traditionally quick and plucky offence. Things take a turn when Emma knocks Mickie off the top rope, causing Mickie to fall to the outside. Emma is then able to show off her classic mean streak, locking in a full nelson submission, hitting clubbing blows on Mickie and a double arm suplex.

Mickie tries to get some offence in again and climbs the ropes, only to get yanked off again. There seems to be a sloppy exchange with Emma trying to get a couple pins in, but to no avail. She hoists up Mickie one more time for a scoop slam, but Mickie is able to counter out and finish off Emma with her signature spinning Mick Kick to get the victory over Emma. It looks like Emma is still looking for her break, while Mickie certifies why she’s still on the top of her game!

Backstage, Emma is still not happy. She claims that she wasn’t ready for the challenge and continues to voice her envy at women like Sasha Banks and Nia Jax getting their chance while she struggles.

Thoughts: First off, let me apologise for the last of the RAW Redux last week! It’s Summer time, I gotta get a break sometime too you know! However, I’m back so it’s time to cue my music! Now, y’all know that I’m not the biggest Nia Jax fan, but I thought she killed it this week. I’d honestly say that it was probably her best match since joining the main roster and has finally revitalised my interest in her. New moves, just looking more confident and looking more dangerous – it just worked! You add that to the hometown hot crowd and it made for a really good match.

Say what you want about Sasha’s matches since her NXT days, but you can’t deny that her matches have always had a strong level of story-telling and character building. Sure this isn’t the first time that these two have ever had a match, but you couple this with the earlier segments of Sasha wanting to impress her hometown and wanting to avenge her friend – it’s a traditional Hero tale. Seeing her overcome the Monster for an actual reason made us invested.

I was very worried thinking that they’d have Alexa run in and cause an interference, but having her sit ringside and stay mute was perfect. It’s an interesting one because no one is seeing her as a coward and seeing her remain so confident suggests that she’s got something planned, so whether it’s an angry Nia Jax or another trick… I’m looking forward to their next encounter. Once again, all eyes are going to be on Alexa Bliss and her wrestling skills to see if she can prove the doubters wrong.

Speaking of tricks, I’m going to take an early prediction and guess that a certain Emma and her frustration may end up in the title scene sometime soon. While her booking has sucked, turning it into an angle might be that revitalisation that she needs. To be fair, she doesn’t really have a gimmick and so being this spurned heel that just gets more and more frustrated might be interesting and turn her into the most interesting heel character.

The match with Mickie on the other hand… was a bit of a disappointment. Sure it was short, had no backing and took the death slot on the card, but something just felt very off – especially towards the end of the match. I’m a Mickie fan and I was definitely happy to see her not do the job for a change, so here’s to hoping this leads to a neat little mini-push on the side. I guess we shall see once that Summerslam dust settles…

Are you happy that Sasha Banks is going to Summerslam? Would you prefer if Nia Jax won? How do you feel about Emma losing once again? You know what to do in the comments below!