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RAW Redux (February 6th, 2017): A 272lb hug of doom

Coming off the Royal Rumble, we’re well and truly on the path of WrestleMania – but hold up, we’ve still got Fast Lane to get to! So, what tricks are up the WWE’s sleeve this week for their division… of 4 active competitors. Time to get to the RAW Redux!

First up, we see Bayley backstage high-fiving with her team mates from last week, the former RAW Tag Team Champions, Cesaro and a less enthusiastic Sheamus! Bayley is set for action against Nia Jax this week, looking to redeem her bestie’s failed attempt to take out the Monster last week.

Michael Cole reveals that since Bayley managed to score a pinfall last week over the RAW Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair, she will be granted a title match for the aforementioned Championship next week on RAW!

However, Bayley has to try and get through Nia this week first! As Nia makes her way to the ring, Jojo announces her billed weight as 272lbs, which I don’t think has ever been done before. Michael Cole also comments on how she holds all the weight and strength records at the Performance Center – another fact we didn’t know. Looks like the writers are getting the kick to give us a reason to believe that this woman is ‘A Monster’.

Despite an initial flurry of offence, Nia controls most of the match – countering and no-selling most of Bayley’s offence and kicking her around the ring like a ragdoll. Every time Bayley seemed to gain control, Nia would simple fling Bayley away and regain control. Towards the end of the match, Nia sends Bayley to the outside and attempts to charge Bayley into the ringpost. Bayley manages to move out the way, causing Nia to run full force into the ringpost, she sneaks up behind and pushes Nia into the post again, causing Nia to fall to the ground for the first time during this match.

As the referee reaches the 6 count to count-out Nia, the RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte runs down to distract the count. As she stands on the rope, Bayley knocks Charlotte’s balance and dropkicks her off the mat, but Nia is able to capitalise on the distraction and hit a Samoan Drop to get the pinfall. While Nia celebrates and walks up the ramp, Charlotte stands over her opponent for next week and raises her title above her.

Fallout catches Bayley backstage, who says that despite how many times she gets knocked down, next week she will be standing as the new RAW Women’s Champion.

Backstage, Sasha Banks is being seen to by a paramedic who is still concerned about her knee. Charlotte comes to gloat, making fun of how just a couple weeks ago, they were both equals, but now… Sasha is backstage in the medical rooms while Charlotte continues her PPV streak. She mocks her friendship with Bayley, saying that next week she’ll be sitting right next to her in the medical room. Normally quick with replies, an angry Sasha stays subdued, but her face shows that she is not impressed.

Finally, we got another preview promo from WWE’s longest overdue surprise since Kharma, with Emmalina! And apparently, she should be ‘premiering’ next week, so let’s see if they aren’t just trolling us and she actually makes and appearance… if anyone still cared.

Thoughts: Well I guess it looks like that Fatal-4-Way in the rumour mill is becoming a reality. This week’s RAW was clearly a filler in terms of story progression for all 4 women so while it didn’t blow me away, I suppose it was needed if this is the direction that we’re going in.

The person to gain the most was probably Nia Jax this week. The crowd reaction was probably the strongest I’ve heard for her since her NXT days. She did a scoop slam and had some unique counters – first time in a long time I’ve felt interested in one of her matches. I mean, part of that is due to Bayley since she’s such a solid worker and her bump her ass off, but Nia if you’re going to WrestleMania then let’s get in formation!

Furthermore, I personally love how they’ve added Nia’s billed weight to her ring announcement. I used to love it in TNA when Awesome Kong’s weight was announced, it just added to her image and put her size into perspective. Sure we can get into the technicalities of a woman’s weight being announced as an issue, but remember that this is the world of wrestling here. Nia is clearly bigger, her whole gimmick is being a ‘Monster’, her weight is her obvious advantage over the other women which is why it can be mentioned and I’m sure that she is more than well aware of that.

Seeing Sasha remain quiet while Charlotte mocked her just showed how her character has completely changed to what we fell in love with in NXT. That heel turn is on it’s way and I am READY! All this ‘Boss’ talk and injury talk has really hurt her character, so hopefully this heel turn is what can rejolt her career to the fire that we loved about her in 2015.

Finally… let me mention Emmalina. Oh WWE, so last week you didn’t wanna give us a promo and now you wanna tell us that she’s debuting next week. It’s such a shambles and I really feel bad for Emma. Sure, I’ve been DYING for new faces on the show, but unless she’s coming back as a serious threat amongst the ‘RAW 4’ then she’s just going to look like a joke – especially if this gimmick turns out as cringe as it seems to be now. Either way, positives ahead, let’s see how it plays next week.

How do you feel about Nia’s weight being announced? Will Emmalina bring life to this pretty predictable division? Did you like Sasha being on mute on RAW? You know what to do in the comments section!

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