It’s the ‘go home’ RAW before WrestleMania and the last chance for our Superstars to make that lasting impression. Will Nia Jax be able to get her hands on RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss? Will Stephanie McMahon manage to look like a legit threat against Ronda Rousey? Will the other RAW women stake their claim to win the WrestleMania Battle Royal? Let’s get to it!
To kick things off, we’re treated to a classic ‘Face Off’ between WrestleMania opponents Stephanie McMahon and husband Triple H, trying to get the last word against Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey. Steph is feeling herself as she comes out, plus we peep the boots sis, so we know she’s about to get physical.
The segment is how you expect it to play out: a whole load of trash talking and verbal low-blows. The toughest blow coming from Stephanie, mocking how Rousey ‘handles losses’… burn! Coach calls for a classy photo-opp, but we know what’s about to go down. As the teams come face to face, the men manage to shake hands. Rousey isn’t playing ball and doesn’t shake Steph’s hand and instead gets in her face! While the attention is on the women, Triple H knocks Angle out the ring with the microphone but gets strangled for his efforts. While his back is turned, Steph swoops in and slams Rousey through the table! Didn’t expect that one! The WWE’s Power Couple celebrate as they head up the ramp, leaving Rousey laid out…
Next up, we saw Absolution member Sonya Deville taking on Bayley… with the Women’s Battle Royal trophy at ringside… and boy does that look that female reproductive organs or what? Don’t even get me started as to how cheap it looks. Bleh! Anyway, the match is another standard showing between these guys, I feel we’ve seen these two interact several times for the last few months.
Deville puts up a strong fight and every week really seems to be improving, while Bayley has a little more edge about her. After a missed attempt at her high kick, Bayley manages to roll up Deville to get the pinfall. Before the can celebrate, Mandy Rose is straight to jump on Bayley and the two start ganging up on her. To the rescue is on-off again BFF Sasha Banks! The two clear the ring and seem to be on the same page, until Banks asks Bayley to raise her hand? Banks demeans Bayley by grabbing her face and telling her to raise her arm but instead gets smacked with a forearm.
As the two BFFs brawl once again, Absolution takes advantage. Deville lays out Bayley with her high-jump kick and Rose flattens Banks with her Bed of Roses. It’s another strong week for the Absolution girls!
We are also treated to a nice new promo highlighting Asuka’s streak. She’s had more promos alone in the space of a year than some people get during their whole careers!
Our challenger for the RAW Women’s Championship, Nia Jax, sits down with Renee Young for a sit-down pre-taped interview. Ahead of the interview, one of those cringe new selfie-promos air with that coloured text appearing everywhere, with James and Bliss doing the mean girl schtick and mocking Nia Jax. Bliss claims that Jax will be ‘blubbering in her blubber’ at WrestleMania… boy that was cringe to have to type out.
During the interview, Jax shows off her softer side, talking about her disappointment in trusting Alexa Bliss. She quotes some of the mean comments Bliss has made over the last couple of weeks, but Jax claims that she’s bounced back. She’s proud that she’s big, gained her confidence back and threatens that she’s going to squash Bliss like a bug at WrestleMania!
Finally, we have some tag action with RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and her sidekick Mickie James, taking on the team of Asuka… and Dana Brooke? If you think that this meant Brooke finally gets a victory, then you’re totally correct! As expected, Brooke takes a beating for most of the match until Asuka get the hot tag. There’s a nearfall when James hits Asuka with a big kick, but Asuka manages to catch her in an Asuka Lock for the victory.
Much like earlier in the night, Asuka and Brooke try to celebrate but get blindsided by James and Bliss. The two put away Brooke with a double DDT, but before they can cause more damage to Asuka, Nia Jax makes her way down to the ring! Jax catches Bliss, but James attacks her from behind. Jax makes light work of Mickie James, making a clear statement that she’s coming for Bliss and her RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania!
Thoughts: What a night! It wasn’t a night for wrestling quality, but it was great for story-telling. I don’t have a breakdown, but I felt that the women were used for a very large portion of the show. What’s more interesting is how it wasn’t just about matches, we had a combination of segments: a face-off, post-match brawls, a sit-down interview. This was all top storytelling!
My only gripe… is how this WrestleMania is so predictable. As I said last week, Steph was going to get the upper hand over Rousey – and that’s what we got. We got Bliss once again escaping Jax, but we know once she gets her, she’s done for. Then finally we have Asuka and her streak, which I really don’t believe is going to end any time soon. The new repackaged promo means that it’s unlikely they’ll be making her lose to Charlotte at the Mixed Match Challenge final too.
One thing I must definitely commend is the strong booking of Absolution. Sure they’ve lost a load of times, but compared to the Riott Squad, they look a lot more legit. They’re racking up the wins on the side, they got the one-up on Banks and Bayley this week, they are definitely brewing as future hot properties of the division.
Next week will be the next ‘big one’ with the RAW after WrestleMania. Now, with several NXT women being advertised for the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal it would be nice to see some fresh faces, specifically Ember Moon making her debut. However, I’m expecting the division to get a little ‘Fabulous’ from next week… mark my words, but I think a certain briefcase is going to be cashed in, but for the red title and not the blue one.
Did you enjoy last night’s RAW? What did you think of Stephanie throwing Rousey through the table? What do you think of that ovary-looking trophy? Let me know in the comments below!