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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Winners & Losers: SmackDown 04.03.20

The last night prior to the taped "Too Big For Just One Night" WrestleMania weekend and the women were here to entertain....

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RAW Redux (January 30th, 2017): Coming up short

via GIPHY

The Royal Rumble signifies the start of the road to the WWE’s biggest event of the year, WrestleMania. With some quite predictable outcomes from our women’s matches, let’s see if the WWE felt like giving us a change in direction for this week’s RAW Redux!

First up, we see the now former RAW Tag Team Champions, Sheamus and Cesaro, arguing backstage over their squabbling at the Rumble. Before they get physical, Bayley runs in to separate the boys and tells them that they need to get on the same page because they’re tagging together. Bayley asks for a big group hug, much to the chagrin of Sheamus, but the fun is stopped when RAW Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair, and the new RAW Tag team Champions, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson interrupt. The team of Champs mock the ‘Royal Rumble Loser Support Group’ with high school insults, calling them ‘Nerds’ and ‘failures’. Oh don’t you love being PG-13!

Fast forward to the match and Cesaro is loving being a Bayley buddy! Wearing her tassels and high fiving her ‘Bayley buddies’, Cesaro bounced to the ring… while Sheamus looked on like when you see your Mum dancing at a party.

The commentary team big up Charlotte’s 16-0 streak throughout. The women are generally kept out of the match for most of it, only really getting involved at the end. After Sheamus hits a hot tag and starts hitting his signature clubs to Gallows’ chest, Charlotte hits Sheamus from behind! I don’t think we’ve seen a woman strike a man with a hit that wasn’t a slap since like 2008?!

Charlotte gets a tag, but is immediately knocked down by a Poetry-In-Motion-esque move with Bayley jumping off of Cesaro’s back. While Cesaro takes out the guys with a crossbody to the outside, the distraction allows Charlotte to go for a Figure 8 on Bayley, but Bayley throws her off and hits the Bayley-to-belly! 1.. 2.. 3! Bayley gets another pin over Charlotte so it looks like business is far from over between these two!

Backstage, we see Bayley with Sasha Banks who is preparing for her match. Bayley suggests that Sasha should rest before taking on Nia, as her knee is still not 100% and says that Sasha has nothing to prove. However, this upsets The Boss who says, “unlike some people, I’m not okay with coming up short”… shade!

Fast forward to a Royal Rumble kick-off rematch, with Sasha Banks coming out with a bit more attitude to take on Nia Jax. Much like last night, Sasha is quick to try a flurry of offence at the start of the match. She’s in control until Nia chucks her into the outside ringpost via her knee, while in a full nelson lock! She gets Sasha back into the ring, but she’s hardly able to stand… allowing easy pickings for Nia who clamps down on Sasha’s injured leg with a half boston crab.

Awkwardly… the bell seems to ring early… before Sasha taps, making the referee look confused, Nia looks confused and Sasha is still selling the submission. While the ref tries to figure out what’s going on, Nia cranks the submission even more and pretty much makes Sasha’s foot touch the back of her head. However, the crowd completely miss this in the confusion and everyone seems confused. She goes to lock in the move again, until Bayley runs down to the ring. Instead of going on the attack, Bayley kind of just barks at Nia… who releases the hold and leaves the ring while Bayley tends to her friend.

Bayley is seen helping to walk Sasha back to the medical room.

Nia Jax talks on Fall-Out after, saying she puts the ‘B’ in Beatdown.

Yep that’s right, no Emmalina promo or appearance from Alicia Fox this week.

Thoughts: I guess the take home from last night’s RAW is that Sasha Banks will be going heel soon… and boy am I ready! Her whole face run has stripped the attitude that made us all love her in NXT. Not only would a heel turn help to refresh her whole act, but it helps Bayley become the proper underdog character within the mix. I mean, say what you want about Bayley’s gimmick and how it might be stale, but that connection with the crowd reaches a level than just a ‘popular face’. People really rally behind Bayley and to see her get that glorious (not a Roode reference) moment when she finally wins the title will be one that we will all remember.

Y’all don’t think I’m gonna let that bell botch slide though – that was a hot ass mess! Poor Nia, that was like the most interesting offence she’s done in about 5 months and a messed up bell ring made people completely overlook it. As I’ve said over the last few weeks, this feud has really failed to engage me, but seeing Sasha go heel and use really underhanded and sneaky ways to one-up Nia would definitely do the trick for me.

Finally, let me comment on the lack of Emmalina promo… well poor Emma is all I can say really. I don’t know whether that was trolling or a last minute creative decision or if they just have no idea what to do, but that’s another fail right there. The RAW division is in such dire need of women and she’s needed so badly, but they’ve really ballsed up with this whole ‘revamping’ they got going on. I mean, isn’t the point of NXT to test out gimmicks and stuff like this? I hope they just give the poor girl a break and find a spot for her on the main roster soon because lord know how they’re gonna continue the combinations of these 4 women.

What did you take away from RAW this week? Are you excited about seeing Sasha turning heel? Do you have any idea when Emma/Emmalina will make it back to television? Comment below!

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