Last week, we saw a shift in the RAW women’s division with Mickie James making a big impression and moving up the food chain. This week, we’ll see if she can maintain her position at the front of the line for the RAW Women’s Championship. Also, what about the rest of the women? There’s still unrest amongst the division as each woman jockeys for position…
First up, we see Mickie James backstage walking past Emma and Alicia Fox – whom are giggling together. They tell Mickie that she’s been left a gift in her dressing room, which turns out to be a walking zimmer frame. Clearly annoyed, Mickie throws it and heads right to who she thinks gave her the unwanted ‘gift’. She bolts to RAW Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss’ dressing room… only for Nia Jax to answer the door instead (I guess they’re friends now? After all that… really?). She tells Mickie that if she wants to get to Alexa, then she needs to go through her first. Mickie accepts the challenge and the first match for the night is set, Mickie James will take on Nia Jax in singles action.
Before the match, Alexa Bliss joins ringside and views the match. Much like their other encounters, it’s a bit of a one-sided affair with Nia Jax dominating most of the match. Each time Mickie musters up some striking offence, she gets knocked right down. It’s only until the very end of the match when it seems that the tide of the match will change, when Mickie manages to hit a tornado DDT from the top turnbuckle. Mickie attempts to go for the pin, but Alexa runs in to break up the pin. She throws Mickie out of the ring as the referee calls for the disqualification finish.
Alexa attempts to cause more damage to Mickie, but ends up getting thrown into the ring barricade! Nia is still too dazed to defend her friend (I guess they’re friends now) and Mickie has a smile on her face as she’s one-upped the Champion.
Backstage, Charly Caruso (slightly dressed like a tribute to Ivory in the Right To Censor) interviews Mickie, who says that she’d love the chance to become the RAW Women’s Champion. Coincidentally, RAW General Manager Kurt Angle walks by and reveals that Mickie James will challenge Alexa Bliss for the RAW Women’s Championship at Tables, Ladders and Chairs!
Later on in the night, we’re treated to another tag match with besties Sasha Banks and Bayley taking on the team of Emma and… Alicia Fox! During an entrance ident, Emma mentions that she’s teaming with someone who appreciates how she started the women’s revolution. Thing is, the fact that these two appeared earlier on in the episode ruined the surprise… if it was meant to be one? Either way, I’m glad to see Foxy is out to join our Australian stunner.
This tag match takes a more traditional approach with both of the faces looking strong before the break, but then with heels working over Sasha Banks for the majority of the match. Sasha seems to pick up a tough knock to her jaw which causes her mouth to bleed throughout the match. The match works its way up to the inevitable hot tag from Bayley who runs through her usual signature offence.
Alicia takes the brunt of the damage and reaches out to tag Emma. However, Emma jumps off the apron and rejects the tag. A confused Alicia looks on as Emma walks away wanting nothing to do with her. Bayley sees the opportunity and nails a Bayley-to-belly for the victory! Bayley checks on Sasha, while Alicia looks on annoyed at Emma.
We are also treated to another Asuka promo, this time featuring comments from the likes of Bayley, Carmella and Charlotte Flair talking about how dominant she has been. She’s coming guys, just a couple weeks to go!
Finally, all the women on the RAW roster (including Dana Brooke) join Dana Warrior, wife of Hall of Famer Ultimate Warrior, in awarding custom RAW Women’s Championship title belts to breast cancer survivors Dianne Primavera, Julie Zaveral and Sherri Goldstein.
Thoughts: If I’m honest, tonight’s action really bored me – and the main parts that caused that was the in-ring content. Now, we all know how far the WWE have come with allocating time to the women and being treated to 2 decent length matches and a backstage segment was nothing but a dream a couple years ago. However, I felt that both matches really dragged and it just made me think back to the Golden Era.
As someone who became a fan in that period, the women had half the time that the women get now, but they used all of that time to their advantage. I felt that all that action we got tonight, could have been shaved by a good 15 minutes. The Nia/Mickie match was very drawn out and I’m slowly noticing that Nia is more of a ‘big show player’, since her PPV work is miles more interesting than her weekly TV work. Mickie perked up with strikes and offence so many times in that match, that when she did finally get the upper hand the crowd were drained out. Same thing goes for the tag match, the heels were working on Sasha for so long that the crowd just drained.
Now, I’m definitely not discrediting these girls as workers, since we know that they are more than capable of using that time properly. These are small weekly matches that we’ll probably forget after a couple months, but it really credits girls like Trish Stratus, Victoria or Molly Holly who had half the time, but still managed to tell that same story. If they are going to give the women more time, then I’d just like to see a little more umph added to these weekly matches as they are slowly going for the samey-feel tag matches – which are slowly going to be detrimental to the division. Since there are a lot of active women in the division at the moment, they are running a real risk if they continue to throw everyone in these matches just to get them on TV.
In regards to storyline development, it is a bit annoying to see Mickie James being poked at for something personal, but I guess it is better than another ‘this is my dream’ storyline. Also, seeing Alicia get involved was nice to see (especially after reading that article saying that she’s embarrassed about her career), but I would have loved if she had gone psycho and had an outburst that she’s known for. Mickie is shining on RAW, and Natalya is champ on Smackdown – Foxy deserves her chance like those veterans!
Here’s to hoping Mickie VS Alexa spices up a bit, I’m annoyed that Nia and Alexa are now friends again but hopefully this adds a strong dynamic for Mickie to become the underdog babyface she’s known for. As for the other floaters, it’s interesting to see if they have a plan for Alicia/Emma but for now it kind of just seemed like a way for Sasha and Bayley to get on TV…
Did you enjoy last night’s matches? Are you happy Mickie is taking on Alexa at TLC? What did you think of Emma turning on Alicia? You know what to do in the comments section!