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Raw Redux (November 10th, 2014): Paige Basks in Home Country Glory

The UK national anthem is God Save The Queen yet after last night’s Monday Night Raw, it is me who needs saving after the four Queens in particular took the proverbial ball, ran with it and absolutely blew my socks off!

Hello Diva Dirt readers! Its Jack here and I am massively excited to recap last night’s Raw as we are back to getting two matches and we received some golden backstage segments and mic time – fantastic stuff! The four aforementioned Queens that stole the show for me last night were Lana, Nikki Bella, Paige and of course, Stephanie McMahon. We’ll get to why these four were on fire last night very shortly.

In addition to the presence of their Royal Highnesses, other Divas to make appearances were Alicia Fox, AJ Lee and Brie Bella, the latter of whom squared off against each other! Alicia was involved in a match with her former bestie-turned-rival, Paige and well, as you can expect, that one was rough!

Enough chatting, let’s get down to business!

The first segment of the night features our Diva in Charge, Stephanie McMahon. She gets the fans irate right off the bat by waving royally like the real Queen of England. Don’t be mocking Lizzy now Steph, she’ll get her corgis on you! Unfortunately for the Corgis, Mark Henry is on Team Authority so he’ll no doubt eat them.

Dressed in black to match her black heart, Stephanie and The Authority make their way to the ring before Steph takes to the mic. She suggests she should use God Save The Queen as her new entrance music – just when I’ve grown to like ‘Welcome to The Queendom’. Maybe if Steph could get Iggy Azalea to do a rap then it would be more fitting to match her previous themes. Actually knowing WWE, they aren’t ones to hire relevant guest stars. No doubt they’d get Azealia Banks.

After HHH keeps Daniel Bryan relevant, Stephanie resumes control of the microphone and her words cut like a profound knife. “We all know harsh reality is better than false hope.” Words of a true prophet. She starts buttering up Ryback which is the only downfall to this segment as he makes me want to vomit. Such a terrible character. At least Stephanie is owning this segment with her intensity.

John Cena calls Stephanie a wanker (British swearing for you!) and calls Mark Henry a sell-out Sexual Chocolate. LOL. Fair play to Cena here! Ryback then beats Cena up and I’m genuinely impressed. Not with Ryback but the booking. Didn’t see that one coming!

Speaking of not seeing something coming, was I expecting to see Alicia Fox vs Paige so soon? Not quite, yet I’m fine with it. These two have greater chemistry than Marie Curie and radiation. Alicia is already in the ring, which I’m guessing will mean she loses. However, last time these two faced off in the UK, I believe Alicia had a jobber entrance and shocked the world with a win. Will lightning strike twice?

After Paige makes her triumphant return to the UK to a major reaction (and she’s also wearing that awesome new tee that I desperately want!), the match gets underway. Right off the bat, Alicia brings the aggressions as she tackles Paige to the match like a panther. Brutal and I’m loving it! Paige keeps the sheer intensity going as she counters with some seriously rough knees to the face. Just when I thought things couldn’t get anymore nasty looking, Alicia fires back with a massive big boot to Paige, knocking her to the arena floor. I am salivating and Cole and King are hyping the girls amazingly.

After tossing Paige back into the ring, Alicia gets her submission on, latching a chinlock around before employing one of her usual suspects, the Northern Lights suplex for two. Alicia then utilises a bow and arrow style submission that ends in a faux-Curb Stomp. Alicia declares that ‘this is her house’ as we witness an appearance from another of her old pals, the devastating tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.

Alicia tries to hit another backbreaker yet Paige counters and gets a two count. Paige then ducks Alicia’s clothesline attempt and kicks her face off with a thrust kick. Paige lets Alicia and everyone know that, in fact, this is her house and she then hits Rampaige for the win. Short and sweet and Paige actually won in her hometown this time – woohoo!

Our next segment sees two major stars of the mic collide. Hold onto your porn star award that you use as a fake microphone Chyna – and your hats everyone else – as Stephanie and Lana are about to exchange words. *takes a deep breath*

Wait, did Stephanie just call Lana a stuck-up Russian twit? Someone pass me the defibrillator for I think I’m dying! Stephanie says that they can scratch each other’s backs and I urge all of you dirty minded folk to get your minds out of the gutter! Loved that segment. “There’s no politics in wrestling.” Oh the irony!

Our next segment involves Hunter and Steph getting all lovely dovey. Pass me the sick bag!

As Stephanie alluded to earlier, the next segment is Lana’s United States Title victory ceremony. Oh, and Rusev is there too alongside some random stooges. Lana says that it is so ironic that Rusev has become US Champion and then she mocks the British crowd, claiming that if it wasn’t for Russia, they would be speaking German. Angela Merkel, I am certainly not.

Lana stands in silence looking absolutely astounding as a guy with a really bad accent takes to the mic. He’s working the facial expressions though. The randomer reads a message from Vladimir Putin which bores me to death. More irony as really, Vladimir Putin couldn’t give two shits about Lana and Rusev. Their flag drops and then Sheamus interrupts the pretty lame party. Where was the naked Twister?

We next see Queen Stephanie backstage yet again, once again with Lana and Rusev. Lana accepts Steph’s offer of joining Team Authority. Although amicable-ish, Stephanie gets fierce again, declaring that she doesn’t give a damn about what Vladimir Putin wants, what matters is what she wants. Chills!

It’s time for our second match of the night now as Brie Bella faces off against WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee. Brie hilariously has to come to the ring using Nikki’s music and Nikki poses in-front of Brie for the entire entrance. Can we just talk about Nikki for a second though? She is so bloody sexy, it is unreal. Neysus damn you, John Cena.

We see a recap of earlier in the day and Nikki’s character is shining so bloody bright. Brie is dressed like a chauffeur and it’s hilarious.

Brie starts the match strong with a headlock and shoulder block yet AJ quickly gets back in the swing of things with a stiff running elbow. Brie fights back just as quickly as AJ did, kneeing AJ in the gut and then delivering one to the face. Brie’s moveset may be generic and the screaming may be annoying, yet that running knee is a really cool looking move.

After a near fall, Brie and her horrible looking trousers mount AJ and generically hit her head repeatedly against the mat. Brie works over her butterfly-emblazoned foe in the corner as Nikki hilariously talks trash. Brie pics AJ up, yet Nikki’s mouthing off proves too much of a distraction and AJ hits a sloppy spinning DDT. Fair play to Brie, she shrugs the damage off quickly and she decks AJ with a missile dropkick. Unluckily though, the dangerous champion retaliates big style out of nowhere. She clocks Brie with some knees to the face and then gets into the Black Widow via a crucifix position for the win.

After the match, AJ hasn’t even relinquished her submission and Nikki Bella is assaulting her. Nikki even gets time to talk trash to Brie – which is absolutely brilliant – as she attacks AJ. Nikki then shows off her power, snapping AJ with the Rack Attack. Last week, Brie delivered Nikki’s message. This week, Nikki definitely delivered one herself.

Our penultimate Stephanie sighting of the night comes when she gives Team Authority a pep talk. She says that it’s not just her career on the line, it’s the livelihoods of all 5 of the team. She looks at Kane and says “think of your families”. Weird. If anyone should be thinking of their family, it’s Mark Henry and his hand son!

The final segment of the night sees Stephanie and HHH watch the chaos in the ring from backstage as Ryback has left Team Authority (another swerve!) and it is unsure where his loyalties lie. The next minute, Stephanie is gasping as Dolph Ziggler is thrown unconcious into the office. Luke Harper is then seen and he tells The Authority that he is a team player. Stephanie’s shocked face turns into a snarl as Team Authority is full once again.

Thoughts: Tonight’s Raw was really mixed for me. First off, the fact it was in the UK reminded me that the last WWE event I went to was headlined by an Eddie Guerrero main event. Yeah, I havem’t saw a show live in a while and always leave it too late to get good tickets!

Regarding the actual show, we saw some excellent character portrayals at the detriment of the in-ring work.

The better of the matches was most definitely Paige and Alicia’s match. It was hard-hitting, aggressive and as fluid as it could possibly be, yet it was waaayyy too short. That starting sequence leading to Paige being kicked in the face though was absolutely lovely. Paige was looking mighty fine too!

As for Brie vs AJ, the match was so bland. AJ, yet again, has proved she has regressed in the ring and loves to work as little as possible. Whilst I liked the unique was she locked in the Black Widow, everything else about the match was as dull as dishwater. Brie’s attire is absolutely horrible and the dead crowd didn’t help.

Thankfully, Nikki was the saving grace. Her character is coming on leaps and bounds – I’m really impressed. I also liked the backstage segment. I have seen people complain that the segment wasn’t portrayed as ‘live on Raw’ yet it didn’t need to be. Being available on the app earlier in the day makes perfect sense to me and puts across more strongly the fact that Brie is supposed to be Nikki’s assistant ’24/7′. It was short and sweet yet is did exactly what it needed to do. It’s a struggle to have Nikki feuding with two people as her rivalry with AJ isn’t exciting at all yet at least WWE are trying.

As for the mistresses of the mic, Lana and Stephanie were amazing. Lana was incredible tonight more so because of how she looked as opposed to her mic work, but yet again, she was solid and dependable as always. Stephanie killed it last night. Whether it be mocking Daniel Bryan or Lana or showing vulnerability backstage with HHH, Steph nailed every segment. Good job to the A+ Authority member!

That’s it for this week folks. Next week, Grumpy Cat is hosting Raw and I honestly dread to think what WWE will have going on around the cat. I’m hoping for it to interact with Ron Simmons. Please make it happen WWE! If that does not happen, I may have to shout “DAMN!”

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