The go-home episode of RAW before Hell in a Cell happens to also be the season premiere of RAW. With a new stage set-up, new commentators, and pyro back, RAW was rejuvenated. As far as the women were concerned, it was very similar to what we have seen in recent weeks. Unfortunately this time, Jerry Lawler had to be on commentary and add a level of cringe that wasn’t necessary.
The advertised match of the night was Sasha Banks going one-on-one with one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions – Alexa Bliss. Both Bayley and Nikki Cross were said to be kept from ringside in order to have this match with a clear cut winner. The RAW Women’s Champion, however, had different plans as she made her way out at the start of the match to commentary.
The match itself was no longer the main focus. Lynch would stand up on the commentary table and tape up her wrists as Banks would yell at her from the ring. During this, Lawler would continuously tell Lynch that she “promised she wouldn’t do this” and interfere in the match. Lawler isn’t it on commentary and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
Banks would fake out Bliss in the end by calling for Bayley as if she was at ringside. This distraction caused Banks to steal the pin by kicking the leg out from under Bliss and grabbing a hand full of tights.
Lynch would head down to the ring and the two would fight in the ring. Banks would retreat into the crowd. Lynch would take to the mic and stated that Banks has made this rivalry “personal” but she will make it “painful” at Hell in a Cell.
The wait for another match/segment with the women wouldn’t take place until the third hour. It would have been better if they would have had the Banks and Bliss match later in the night. Natalya would take on Lacey Evans. Their side rivalry has been going on for weeks and has included Evans taking out both Dana Brooke and Ember Moon.
Their match was much the same, a solid outing, but nothing to write home about. Evans would win with a roll-up. She delivered a Women’s Right after the match. Although it has been good to see a side feud go on outside the title picture, this may be the end of this feud. Commentary made several mentions that this may be the final match between the two in this rivalry.
Towards the end of the night, Maria Kanellis would admit to Charly Caruso that Rusev is not the father of her baby. Sasha Banks would then enter after Kanellis would walk away and snatched the mic out of Caruso’s hand.
Banks would remind everyone that she is the blueprint and the standard. The Boss promises that she will make Lynch tap out at Hell in a Cell. She reminds Lynch and everyone else that there have only been two women Hell in a Cell matches and she is the only woman to be in both. She concludes by stating that “no man will win her match.”
The main event ended up being Rusev taking on Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship. It was originally supposed to be Rey Mysterio but after the attack on him and his son by Brock Lesnar earlier in the night, that was scrapped. Towards the end of the match, Bobby Lashley’s music would hit.
After Lashley would appear on the stage he would motion several times for someone to come out to the stage. Eventually, Lana‘s music would hit and the return of Rusev’s wife to RAW was official. Lana would embrace in a hug with Lashley before the two would enter into the lip lock of the century as Rusev watches on in the ring.
After what seemed like an eternity, the make-out would end only to have The Fiend show up and attack Rollins to end the show.
The big winner of the night was Lana’s return. It was recently rumored that Lana hadn’t returned with Rusev because they were going int a different direction with her character. A different direction indeed. Although her pairing with Lashley doesn’t make the most sense. Why wouldn’t they pick Mike Kanellis? Regardless, the lip-lock seen around the world will be a memorable moment indeed. It ranks right up there with Christian and Trish Stratus.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
Both Sasha and Becky have been excelling at their promo work with each other since this rivalry started. Banks had the last words on RAW, so this gives her an extra boost going into Hell in a Cell. She also pinned one half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions which put an extra feather in her cap.
Of course, we still have the huge tag team match between the Four Horsewomen this Friday on the debut of SmackDown on the Fox Network. We will see who makes the winners list just before Sunday.
Nattie’s loss to Lacey Evans doesn’t do much for her. If the point of this feud was to get Evans over then maybe she served her purpose. However, the first that Nattie was showing from her feud with Becky Lynch into the attacks with Sasha Banks seems to have fizzled out.
What were your thoughts on the season premiere of RAW? Who were your Winners & Losers of the night? What did you think of Lana’s return? Discuss your thoughts below in the comment section!!
Check back in with Diva Dirt for the Winners & Losers of SmackDown this Friday on their debut on the Fox Network.