Hey y’all! It’s Mykel back again with another edition of the Mykel Night Raw Review! You’re seeing me twice in a week! Isn’t that fabulous? I can tell you what wasn’t fabulous: this week’s RAW.
Ahead of the show, we heard that Trish was going to be in attendance! Yay, Stratusfaction, and cheap plug here, but if you haven’t bought her Stratusphere Yoga, it will bless your life. We also see yet another Rousey/Bella/Riott Squad tag match nobody wants to or cares to see. This week also saw a “friendly competition” match between Ember Moon and Nia Jax, and the Mixed Match Challenge team of Mahalicia and BnB in action. In we go!
First women’s action we see is Ronda Rousey coming out interrupting Elias. She’s in a six-woman tag rematch tagging with the Bellas against the (Robbed) Riott Squad.
I’m not gonna call these matches move for move, hold by hold, but in the beginning, Liv Morgan and Brie Bella are going AT IT and have to be separated. Ronda beats the tar out of Logan before the break. When we come back, Nikki is down, hits a desperation move and gains the advantage on Ruby Riott.
In comes Brie, who has the advantage briefly until she’s pulled to the outside and is STO’d on the floor outside. The Riott Squad now isolate Brie. Sarah Logan dominates the middle of the match on Brie, including a very sloppy hip toss. The Squad is out to punish Brie. In comes Morgan, then Riott. Brie makes her way to Ronda, who does the 3 moves of doom with a couple knees thrown in and she taps Riott out for the win.
That happiness is short-lived as the Bellas beat the holy hell out of Rousey. She fights back briefly and pummels the Bellas but that doesn’t last long. Ronda got acquainted with the ring post, the stairs, and the barricade. They drag Ronda’s prone body and pose Bellaliciously over her. Ronda, not one to sell an ass-whooping long, looks more confused than hurt.
The Bellas actually explain why they attacked Ronda and Natalya helps Ronda leave the arena.
But the comment of the night on the situation goes to Ms. Dana Brooke – remember her? Good question, Dana. Good question.
Next, we have yet another Mahalicia match up against Bayley and Daddy, I mean Finn Bálor. Men start off. Alicia is having none of that and tags herself in. There’s a little intergender action as Bayley hurricanranas Jinder Mahal, off to break.
Coming back, Alicia is beating Bayley pillar to post. Bayley tries to get to Finn and Alicia gets sent flying out of the ring twice. In comes Finn. Alicia broke a fall up and her and Bayley fight on the outside while Finn finishes off Mahal.
Next, we have Nia vs Ember. Nia is all over the place and has a full docket but nowhere on that docket was refining her wrestling. Nia dominates and Moon bumps and sells her behind off, while hints of her athleticism are shown. Moon does get some good offense in with a hurricanrana and a low dropkick, followed by a crossbody that didn’t phase Nia. The women battle on the outside and Nia is put down by running head and shoulder first into the LED board on the apron, Moon gets the count out win and Nia raises her hand in victory. Ok.
Up next we have the return of Trish Stratus!!
Trish comes out to a nice reception. She puts over Evolution and says Alexa is a brat and that she’s going to give a moment of Stratusfaction. Enter Alexa giving off Avril Lavigne “Girlfriend” music video realness and she’s flanked by Hardcore Country, Mickie James.
Alexa says nobody but the dullards in the crowd care for what Trish has to say. Trish unphased clocks Alexa’s mathematical skills and her stature. Alexa, not one to be roasted, claps back at Trish by doing the Alexa trolling promo bit and she builds Trish up, then comes back to say Trish sucks and that had Alexa been around then, Trish wouldn’t have been as successful and in Bliss’ shadow.
Trish challenges Alexa to come to the ring, and here come Bliss and James. But before Trish can lay hands on Bliss, Mickie James speaks (I forgot what her voice sounded like) and tells Trish that she knows nothing good ever happens in Chicago – which is in reference to Mickie beating her for the Women’s Title in Chicago at Wrestlemania as well as a knock on the city. So Trish tells Mickie to tell Alexa the experience of being in the ring with her, and that she’s gonna handle Alexa easily. She then tells Mickie they both are going to get Hall of Fame beatdowns.
Mickie, ever the wise one, wants to know what that’ll feel like and then challenges Trish and by proxy Lita, to a tag match, Trish who is pondering for a moment, brings out Lita! I must say, I love Lita the person, and her style and her clothing choices. Lita storms the ring and disposed of Alexa quickly while Mickie is putting hands on Trish in the corner. Lita interrupts, punches the snot out of Mickie who gets kicked in the head twice. Lita went for the litasault but Alexa saves Mickie.
More from Trish and Lita on WWE.com, where the best friends revealed their WWE Evolution team name.
Thoughts: OK, so the positives, Mahalicia, I actually enjoy them together and they play well off of each other. Kudos! I loved seeing Liv beat on Brie in their tag match. Loved seeing Lita and Mickie James actually speaking was a huge bonus in my book. Also, the beatdown on Ronda was pretty cool. Now, let’s get our glasses on, it’s time to read.
Three weeks until Evolution and we still have no more than we had four weeks ago. We saw Ronda/Nikki coming and we essentially lost a match when the tag was mentioned. The women aren’t getting anything to hype this event and that’s also why it’s been underselling. We haven’t been given any reason to really care. It kind of irks me that it’s Nikki who gets this when she hasn’t really done anything of note since she came back other than tags. Hell, Brie has done more to deserve it, period, hard stop.
Another negative is Ronda’s selling, it’s like girl, at least act like the stuff hurts, just pretend each of these women are Holly Holm when she lit you up in the UFC fight. Her wrestling and beatings aren’t convincing because the girl couldn’t sell water to a dying stranded traveler in Death Valley. Tighten up. Speaking of tightening up, jokes on what she’s done to her face aside, Trish. Jesus Christ, this whole monotone thing you have going on is a no from me. Your lines were delivered, but we can all tell that there was no conviction in them. But my thing about this tag match is why not announce it at the beginning? I know Alexa is injured, so maybe they don’t feel that she can do a full match especially with someone who hasn’t wrestled regularly in 13 years, and they want to mask weaknesses? I dunno.
But women in WWE have been getting shafted like the Tower of Terror with this awful booking, and lax attitude towards this “historic” event. Again, no Dana, and to her point, why wasn’t Nattie there while Ronda was getting her ass whooped? And how is it Ronda can dispatch of the Riott Squad so easily but she can’t beat up the Bellas? Like really, bro? What’s going on with The Riott Squad? What’s their purpose? They’ve been languishing despite improvements and cohesion as a team and as individuals (including having Sarah go from Taters to being a Viking and what does gay meat mean? Help me out in the comments). It does them a disservice to see them take more L’s than a Doctor Seuss book.
I don’t want to see BnB and Mahalicia ever on RAW again. These matches, while promoting Mixed Match Challenge don’t really do much. Have them wrestle other mix-match teams, and what ultimately are they looking to accomplish by having them battle it out on RAW with no story, goals, pay-off, etc? I like both teams but I don’t want to see them together on RAW, just because.
Now, Ember and Nia. I’m all for exhibition matches, cool, but this better lead to something. Nia, I have to go in on you. I’m sorry, but when it comes to in-ring work, she is probably the worst on the roster. Her matches are repetitive and dull, she’s not exactly great on the mic, and she has none of what made the Bull Nakano, Awesome Kong and Aja Kong great, what made Havok good or even what made Lei’d Tapa marginally decent. She bores me with repetition and I try so hard to give her a chance, but I’m sorry, I can’t.
Her wrestling is lazy and paint by numbers. It’s one thing to be a Sasha, Bayley, Mickie, Charlotte, Becky, Ember, and Asuka, or an Alicia Fox, where you have your go-to like 5-6 moves, but you can work around them and add or subtract. It’s another to only have those five moves in your arsenal and not vary how or when they are used. Ember along with Ruby, are two of the most misused women on the roster and it honestly angers me when I see them on TV because I know booking is gonna crap all over them.
This week would have been beyond awful if not for the solid tag match, the post-match ass-whooping and storyline development there, and Alexa and Mickie saving Trish in that promo and Lita returning. Raw for me was a wash and I hate to be so negative, but dang.
Did you enjoy this week’s Raw?