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Thursday, February 27, 2020

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No Mercy in review: The Goddess back on top!

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At No Mercy 10 years ago, 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Beth Phoenix pinned Candice Michelle to win her first ever Women’s Championship. Fast forward a decade later and at No Mercy we’ve got 5 women competing to follow in her steps and reach the top of the division. With competition rife in the RAW women’s division, this match will see who is really the star of this strong crop.

During the kick-off show, the talk is all about our future addition to the RAW roster, Asuka… and it’s revealed that she’ll be making her debut at Tables, Ladders and Chairs in just less than a month. This is the talking topic for Charly Caruso, who is sitting with RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Despite the threat of Asuka, as well as 4 of the women currently in the division, Bliss remains confident and wants to use tonight to prove why she’s “The Goddess” of the WWE.

Now since the Results post covered most of the match, I’ll just be highlighting some key points. It’s match time: we have the disgruntled former Champion Sasha Banks, the nagging social media veteran Emma, the recently returning from injury Bayley, the unpredictable threat Nia Jax and our cunning RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss all ready to take to the stage.

First off, all the women make separate entrances and are interestingly all introduced traditionally. Bayley’s shoulder is still taped up and is still getting booed, Nia still has her weight announced, Emma’s new theme is growing on me and Sasha has like 3 extra unnecessary bundles of weave. It’s clear that we’ve got a smark crowd as Alexa gets the most positive reaction.

Off the bat, it’s clear to see that Sasha Banks and Bayley are going to keep things friendly, whereas the heel side are a little less allied. As expected, Nia dominates in the early stages of the match taking out each of the other women one by one. It’s safe to say that the Nia/Alexa alliance that we’ve seen for most of this Summer is well and truly over. What a way to top it off, by getting Alexa’s rival Sasha and taking them both out with a double Samoan Drop!

Bayley manages to stop the pin, but now the efforts are on all the women to try and eliminate Nia Jax from the picture – with all 4 of the other women teaming together to toss her out the ring. Emma starts to take centre stage and gets her first near fall with a running dropkick on Alexa Bliss. Nia attempts to get into the ring, but instead seeks to suplex Emma. Emma manages to break out and slides between her legs and onto the floor. Emma and Bayley each grab one of Nia’s legs, while Sasha and Alexa hit stiff kicks to knock her off the apron allows the others to powerbomb her down.

The doors are open once again for the other women and it’s Emma to gets the better, hitting a classic Emmamite Sandwich on Bayley and Alexa in the corner. After a bit more quick-paced action, Sasha Banks makes her first bold attempt to win by locking in the Banks Statement on Alexa, only for the hold to get stamped out by Bayley! She then hits her Bayley-to-belly on Alexa, but her pinfall attempt is interrupted by Sasha! Out of nowhere, Nia Jax is back in the ring, taking out both Bayley and finally Sasha with a running leg drop. 1.. 2.. NO! Emma breaks up the pin!

Alexa tosses Emma out the ring. The pancaked Sasha rolls out of the ring. Nia charges at Alexa, only to receive a full face of the ring post. Emma attempts to get into the ring, but Alexa throws Bayley into her. Alexa catches Bayley and hits her snap DDT and goes for the cover, 1.. 2.. 3! Alexa Bliss has overcome the odds and retains her RAW Women’s Championship!

Renee Young catches Alexa on the rampway post-match. Alexa says that while there are stars in Hollywood, there’s only one RAW Women’s Champion and that’s the ‘Goddess’ Alexa Bliss.

Backstage we also catch up with a gutted Bayley who might be down, but warns that she is gutsy as ever and will continue to come back tomorrow and the next day and the next day until she gets her Championship back!

Thoughts: If you’ve read my RAW Reduxes, you’ll know that Nia Jax has never been on the top of my list… but tonight she definitely proved herself. I’d say that was probably the best match of her career. Whenever Nia has been in these multi-women matches, she always has a moment where all eyes have been on her, but it always looked like she was being guided through the spots by the other women. In this match, however, she was fully taking control from spot to spot, looking comfortable, moving with much more confidence and showing us that she does more than run into people! Well done Nia, she’s definitely worked hard this year and she pulled through in this match.

Emma was who I had my money on for this match and while she didn’t win, I think this was also a very good showing for her. Her return to the main roster has been a mess, but it looks like they’ve got something going on here and hopefully this match will remind everyone why she’s on par with these girls. I’d definitely like to see her continue to stay in the title hunt… but it doesn’t seem too likely.

In regards to the final result, I feel that anyone who won this match was going to be Asuka’s first victim. We’ve seen Asuka take on Nia, Bayley and Emma, so I’m actually open to seeing her go against Alexa. Sure it might not be the strongest combination, but it’s definitely refreshing. We definitely know that repeating NXT feuds is something that dries out really quick, it is actually a good move, in the long run, to see her take on a completely new challenger.

Finally, I’ll just share my final thoughts about Bayley. She took the fall, she’s still getting booed and she’s still on a downward spiral. However, from seeing the brief Sasha/Bayley action and how Alexa has kept the title… I’d definitely be up for seeing Bayley making a ‘sympathetic’ heel turn for the next few weeks. Alexa has no allies and Bayley is at the bottom of the list, she makes a deal with the devil and has to do Alexa’s dirty work… anyone else interested by this? Guess we will find out on RAW!

Are you happy that Alexa won the match and retain the title? Do you think the title should have switched hands last night? What did you think of the match?

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