Last night on Raw, four Divas were in the spotlight as a new #1 Contender to Charlotte‘s WWE Divas Championship was cemented. Becky Lynch, Brie Bella, Paige and Sasha Banks clashed in a Fatal-4-Way match for the right to face Miss Flair for the silver and pink bling at Survivor Series. And of course, there was a Tower of Doom. It was a four corners match, what did you guys expect?!
First up, the idol that is Stephanie McMahon makes an appearance. She interrupts a war of words between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to announce that their WWE Title match will take place at Survivor Series. I’m actually so looking forward to this match.
Summer Rae is the next Diva in the limelight, accompanying her new beau Tyler Breeze to the ringside area. They sit in their ‘VIP Section’ seating area until Tyler distracts Dolph Ziggler, who then loses to Kevin Owens. After the match, Breeze decimates Ziggler yet again.
Hell appears to have frozen over next as none other than Becky Lynch got a much needed chance to show off her mic skills in a backstage interview with Renee Young. Becky jokes that the only B in PCB was Paige. She means Paige is a bitch guys. Funny how Summer Rae can call Rusev a bastard but Becky can’t call Paige a bitch. The ‘Lass Kicker’ says that although she hasn’t been sat at home with a tub of ice cream watching Two Broke Girls to cheer herself up, her attack from Paige last week was definitely an eye-opener.
Brie Bella enters the shot, telling Becky that she doesn’t need to worry about clashing with her best chum Charlotte. Brie says she will be winning the Fatal-4-Way, not Charlotte’s wacky sidekick. Becky takes that ‘insult’ as a compliment, branding Brie a “pathetic doormat”. Mrs Danielson walks off furious and Becky and Renee have a bit of banter. God I am loving that they are letting Renee show more personality.
Sasha Banks is in the spotlight next, and she is interviewed backstage by JoJo. I am still desperate to see JoJo wrestle – #MakeItHappen. Anyway, JoJo asks Sasha whether she feels any anxiety going into her match. Sasha tells JoJo that she is really cute, but seriously, what is her question? JoJo says that was her question, and she thought Sasha may be under pressure to deliver because the fans have been chanting for her for weeks. Sasha says to just look at her, that’s why the fans want to see her. She tells JoJo that she always delivers, and she wants Charlotte to keep one eye open. This was everything.
Following entrances (the fuq is Becky wearing?), the match begins. The bout starts with Brie taking Becky down before the former and Sasha Banks get into a shoving fest. Paige watches from the corner as the announcers explain that all teammates of the Divas in the ring have been banned from ringside… despite the match being a NO DQ match. Ok then.
Becky decks Brie and Sasha with a double dropkick before dropping Paige with a judo throw. Becky mounts her friend turned foe and pummels her with fists to the face until Sasha gets involved. Becky makes quick work of Sasha, taking her down with successive armdrags. Sasha fights back with a kick to the gut, and then her and Brie tussle until Sasha turns her attention back to Becky. Becky beats on Sasha with a dragon screw and a trifecta of leg drops until both her and The Boss get a taste of Brie Mode.
After Brie flies off the middle rope with a missile dropkick, she rams her knee straight into the jaws of both of the recent NXT graduates. Unfortunately for Brie, she is then decapitated by a stiff kick from Paige. Paige doesn’t have time to capitalise on her handiwork however, as Brie rolls outside the ring and Becky attacks Paige anyway. Paige hilariously calls Becky “a stupid cow”, prompting Becky to rugby tackle her outside the ring! Paige then does her best Adele impression and says Hello to the barricade.
The action is thick and fast on the outside, as Paige managed to retaliate by launching Becky into the steel steps. Brie then whacks Paige across her bracket, keeping her down for the time being. Brie and Sasha then mix things up, with Sasha puncturing Brie with her patented double knees. Sasha hits a #LegitBoss running slap to Brie and follows that up with a kick and some trash talking for Paige.
Brie turns the tide following that moment, draping Sasha throat first on the second rope. Brie connects with a bulldog shortly after, but her luck runs out when she visits the dropkick well too many times. Her second attempt at a missile dropkick misses and Brie crashes to the mat. Paige punches Becky outside before trying to take advantage of Brie’s mishap. Sasha breaks up the pin attempt before commercials roll.
Back from the break and Brie is knocking everyone all over the shop with quick-fire kicks. She clouts Sasha with a couple before crippling Becky with more. Paige tries her luck too, but Brie gives her the same treatment. Brie then slams Becky face first with the Bella Buster, but Paige breaks up what could have easily been a match winning moment. Paige continues her attempt to gain back the momentum by dumping Becky to the floor and smashing Brie’s face in with a running knee. I think momentum is back on her side.
The four ladies then get this absolutely dead crowd on their feet with an impressive Tower of Doom. Sadly, it isn’t as impressive as I would have liked considering it was a standard set-up and we see one of these in every bloody multi-Diva instance!
Becky makes the best of the aftermath, dropping Paige and Brie with clotheslines and jumping calf kicks! She bounds at Paige with a springboard kick to the head before launching her with a T-bone suplex. Brie becomes accustomed to suplex treatment too as Becky throws her with a pumphandle suplex. Becky then locks in the DisArmHer, a move I feel like I haven’t seen for about 4 years!
Sasha also has a submission on her mind, and she brutalises Becky with the Bank Statement after breaking up Lynch’s finishing move. Victory is inches away for Sasha, but Paige snatches it from her at the last second. Paige sends Sasha flying into the ring post, allowing her to have the perfect chance to gain the #1 contendership. She does so, crunching Becky with the RamPaige for the ever-so-sweet victory.
After the match, Paige is interviewed by Byron Saxton. She says that all of her opponents are losers, anyone that supports them is a loser and that come Survivor Series, Charlotte will be a loser. She then tells us a little known fact: “THIS IS MY HOUSE!”
In our final segment of the night, Charlotte herself gets some screen time. Charlotte says that her feud here with Paige is more than just about the title. Paige has insulted her family and integrity and will learn the hard way that Charlotte got to the top of the mountain not because of her Dad, but because she earned it.
On Raw Fallout, we had two very different Diva segments. In the first, Paige responded to Charlotte’s post-match interview:
Next, Alicia Fox showed off her daring new hairdo, explaining why she made the cut:
Thoughts: How good was Raw? A lot of people are moaning about the result, yet it was obvious that this was the way it was going to go. Like her or not, Paige is over with the audience and arguably the most popular Diva on the main roster. Yeah, she may have had seven title shots already this year, but for once, we have a genuine, personal story here, not just a “I hate you, you have my belt, you suck” type of deal. Paige turned her back on her friends to ensure that she comes out on top. She has backstabbed, manipulated and insulted various people over the last few weeks and Charlotte is going to put a stop to it. She thinks anyway. I’m looking forward to their match. It has been confirmed well in advance of the PPV and I’m sure we’ll get a good build.
Going forward, I think having Paige injure Becky, and perhaps also hit Ric Flair would be two good vehicles to ramp up the intensity and personal nature of this feud. Yes it is about the title and being top dog, but there needs to be more layers. The booking so far has been a good start. Regardless of who is involved, Diva fans should be happy we’re getting an actual storyline. I would rather see a story built between Jamie Keyes and Lauren Jones rather than see Brie Bella vs Sasha Banks in a series of random matches with no edge or investment. Ok, maybe that was a step too far but you get my point!
Another major positive was the match obviously. It was fast-paced and hard-hitting with no restholds in sight – woohoo! The physicality was really enjoyable for me too. Sasha flying full force into the post, Becky hitting the steps, Paige hitting the barricade, Paige’s knee to Brie… the list goes on. This was a rough match but smooth in that it was completely botch free, as clean as a whistle. A fantastic effort from all four girls involved.
Another thumbs up from me goes to the fact that all four girls involved got mic time, as did Charlotte. All of the Divas showcased their personalities perfectly, and WWE even allowed Renee Young to be an absolute gem. I absolutely loved her last night. JoJo was amazing as always too.
Now onto my very slight negatives. I am pretty disappointed Becky took the loss here. It did make Paige’s win even sweeter for her, but Becky really needed to look strong in defeat. Even if she had kicked out of the RamPaige at first, then I would have been satisfied. Her kicking out of one finisher (even the Paige Turner would have sufficed) before losing after another would have been fantastic to see. Oh well.
Another low point, Summer Rae is still just stood looking pretty? She is more than just eye candy! Couldn’t she have cost Dolph the match?
Finally, can WWE stop making Charlotte seem like a total hypocrite please? She is meant to be the champion we want to root for, yet the writing for her is absolutely dumb in some respects. I enjoyed her determined promo this week on the most part, but some of it got the alarm bells ringing. “Paige can beat that same drum”, etc. Charlotte is moaning that Paige always says she is clinging to her family name and her Dad’s success but how can Charlotte say that and then “WOOOO” 84 time immediately after? The only way Charlotte will stop being referred to as Ric Flair’s daughter is if she stops mimicking him every two minutes.
In closing though, this week’s Raw was a massive step in the right direction. Charlotte vs Nikki suffered because of the big build for Charlotte vs Paige, but at least we have a major storyline running heading into one of the biggest PPVs in the calendar. Whilst one of my favourite Divas of all time is involved in the match, if any other Diva was involved in Paige’s place in this current storyline, I would still be happy that the build has been decent so far. Let’s keep our chins up guys! Naomi will get her chance soon. We hope.