There is a lot to unpack on this week’s RAW which is less than two weeks until the biggest event of the summer – SummerSlam. We had three official matches and an appearance from Shayna Baszler as the first woman to enter the RAW Underground. Out of the three matches, two were advertised and the three was a continuation from last week’s reunion of sorts by Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan.
The matches on this week’s RAW were:
Zelina Vega vs. Bianca Belair
Liv Morgan vs. Peyton Royce
Shayna Baszler in RAW Underground vs. Marina Tucker, Sofia Castillo, & Emily Andzulis
Before we get into the match results, let’s talk about the exciting return of Mickie James. Her segment was a backstage interview where she admitted that she is heading towards some gold and mentioned leading the women’s locker room. She was interrupted by Lana and Natalya.
Lana scoffs at James wondering how she can be the leader of the women’s locker room if she doesn’t even have a TikTok? She does give James her due and say that she is one of the best, but Natalya – she is THE best. In fact, she is the most winning woman of the WWE, the Serena Williams of the WWE if you will. She is in fact the B.O.A.T (Best of all time).
James says that Natalya has worked so hard riding the coat tails of her family and let Lana know that the one thing about boats is that they sink. She tells Nattie that she will see her next week.
The first match of the night saw Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega. The two have had their problems in the past, but this time it has become extremely personal as Belair believes that Vega was the cause of her husband’s poisoning last week. An accusation that Vega still denies even throughout the match.
A very good match that validated what many already knew and that is that Vega should be in the ring more often. Although pinned as the underdog, Vega has so much ring experience that she almost put away Belair after driving her shoulder first into the ring post. She took too much time not capitalizing and unfortunately for her, she fell just short as Belair hit the KOD to pick up another victory.
For the newly reformed Riott Squad it seems as though there is one step forward and two steps back. Liv Morgan took on Peyton Royce one-on-one and of course both Ruby Riott and Bille Kay were at ring side to support their teammates.
In the shorter match of the night, there would be some miscommunication between Morgan and Riott. This still shows that they aren’t as cohesive as they once were and it may take longer than fans think for this team to work again. At the end of the match, Kay hops on the apron to perhaps get involved. The referee was busy checking on Royce. Riott would then hop up on the apron as well to try and help Morgan as Kay gets down from the apron. The official saw it as Riott being the one to try and interfere which is how Morgan took it as well.
Royce was able to capitalize on all this and gets the pin after delivering the Deja Vu. Riott tries to convince Morgan after the bell that she was only trying to help.
The last official match before RAW Underground for the women had big implications for Asuka as she had to defeat Bayley to earn a rematch against Sasha Banks for the RAW Women’s Title. Another great match between the two culminated to its conclusion when Bayley decides to do what she does best and that is showboat. She taunts Asuka by mocking the traits of Kairi Sane. This was enough to catch her off guard as Asuka applied the Asuka Lock to win the match by submission.
This has awarded Asuka with her rematch against Banks for the RAW Women’s Title that will take place at SummerSlam on Aug. 23.
Lastly we saw Shayna Baszler show up as the first woman for RAW Underground. RAW Underground debuted last week and although a few women were present, none of them would step up for a fight. This time Baszler would step right up and based on her background she felt right at home. The women present would still not step up, so she had to go out and get one herself. She pulled in Sofia Castillo first to inflict some pain.
Marina Tucker would then enter and try to help out Castillo, but wasn’t much of a difference-maker. Lastly, WWE Performance Center trainee Emily Andzulis entered. Andzulis would get the most offense in out of the three women but was still no match for Baszler. The Queen of Spades would get the final bell as she took down all three opponents at one time.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers:
WINNER: Mickie James
Although I personally expected more to come from her return (yes, sometimes I expect too much), it was great to see her. She mentions she has gold on her mind which is exactly what we should be hearing. I hope this means she will be in the battle royal on SmackDown this week.
I am okay with her to have a match or two against Nattie as her coming back, but I hope this transitions somehow into going after Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Title! Nattie and Lana can focus on the tag team division that is always hurting for teams.
WINNER: Peyton Royce
As much as I do enjoy the IIconics feud with Riott/Morgan – I love all four of them and I know that there can only be a winner and a loser. I am okay with Peyton picking up this win because it shows they are not just going to let The IIconics continue losing. It also shows that there is more complexity to the Riott/Morgan reunion then just “everything is okay now.”
WINNER: Shayna Baszler
I am still not completely sold on this RAW Underground thing but it fits Shayna perfectly. Not saying that she needs to be a part of this all the time, however, it is in her wheelhouse. It makes sense for her to just demolish her opponents in this. I enjoyed it.
LOSER: Zelina Vega
She is purely on the loser list because it would have been better if she went over on this match. Personally I don’t want it to be just another one-off for them and rather have them have a few more matches. With Bianca winning, there is nothing to indicate this. As far as the match, it was great, that is why I want to see more.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave them along with your thoughts in the comment section below!!