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Raw Redux (December 12th, 2016): End of the road

Greeting readers! First and foremost, apologies for this delayed edition of Raw Redux. I’m filling in for Alex this week and we are just days away from Sunday’s big Iron Man match between Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Charlotte. You’d think for such a historic match, WWE would want to showcase the final standoff between these two tremendous Superstars in the biggest way possible.

Unfortunately, neither woman makes an appearance on this Roadblock go-home show aside from a hype video promo. Instead, we are treated to a rematch between Bayley and Alicia Fox, an Eva Marie shout out and a taunting Lana! Wait a minute, I’m certainly sure WWE also promised the complete makeover of Emma to Emmalina for this week as well…

We first stop by backstage to find Stephanie McMahon, Raw GM Mick Foley and a fair portion of the Raw roster (with a few indie guest stars) celebrate The New Day’s big tag team title defense over the teams of Cersao/Sheamus and The Club to become the longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history!

In the midst of the rejoiced tag team milestone, the New Day sprayed a little too much of their campaign bottles over Stephanie after she had just given the group a congratulating toast! The entire room goes silent, holding their breath until the angry McMahon knocks off a huge bowl of Booty-Os and storms away.

Thankfully, this little bump with the boss wasn’t an entire upset for the New Day’s historic reign, as the group overcame the odds in their second title defense of the night against the new teams of Seth Rollins/Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho in this week’s main event. New Day Rocks!

The long rivalry between Sasha Banks and Charlotte is hyped next. From Sasha’s first Women’s title win to their Hell in a Cell match to their Falls Count Anywhere main event match, the video package is a great look back at the history of this feud that will truly come to an end of come Sunday night as it is announced that there is no rematch clause in this title match.

Well… let’s see if WWE actually stays true to their word when it comes to this part of their women’s division since they didn’t keep their promise of Emmalina’s repackaged debut. Instead, we’re told for maybe the seventh week in a row that it will be “premiering soon”. WHAT’S WITH THE EMPTY PROMISES WWE!?

Before our only women’s match of the evening, we get a glimpse at what happened earlier in the Raw pre-show between Alicia and Bayley. Alicia had destroyed one of Bayley’s teddy bears for her “move” towards Alicia’s “man” Cedric Alexander. Alicia adds that Bayley’s win last week was a complete fluke and in this rematch, she’ll dedicate her win to Cedric.

The bell sounds off and Alicia charges toward Bayley but the Huggster dodges out of harm’s way. Bayley slips behind Alicia and takes her down to connect a headlock submission.

Alicia escapes the hold by shoving Bayley to the ropes only to be taken back down via striking elbow. After being backed to a corner, Alicia manages to gain some control of the match with a back elbow and axe kick to back of Bayley’s head.

With Bayley grounded to the mat, Alicia goes for a submission hold but Bayley reverses this to a pin cover for a count of two. Back on her feet, Alicia begins to mount some offense again with a combination of suplexes and right forearms. Just when things begin to favor for Alicia, a Belly-to-Bayley out puts Alicia down for the three count. That’s 2-0 for two weeks in a row!

After the win, Bayley is interviewed as part of Raw Fallout and compliments Alicia for her athleticism but adds she is ready to move on from fighting with “Foxes”. Instead, Bayley looks ahead of Roadblock and says she will look be watching closely to whoever wins as she wants to hug that Raw Women’s Championship.

Ever wonder what Lana and her husband Rusev do behind closed doors? Well keep on wondering because they certainly aren’t going to tell us! After teasing fans with some pretty promiscuous dialogue on the fun they have behind closed door, we were all actually punked with a replay clip of last week’s vicious beatdown of Enzo Amore.

Sorry Enzo but as Lana says, as she always does, that the only man for her is Rusev. Answering on behalf of Enzo is tag partner Big Cass (with his “pants” on?) that leads to a brawl between the two giants.

And we will close out the delayed Raw Redux with some disappointing news for all of you fans hoping to see Eva Marie on Raw and/or Sami Zayn heading to SmackDown. After being denied a match against Braun Strowman at Roadblock, Sami threatened to join the blue brand to be around those who would actually listen and give him what he wants.

GM Mick had no problem with this so long as Raw would get a Superstar of “equal talent value”. Of course, this was all just a way to further Sami to get what requested at the cost of Eva’s name. Keep up that talk of positive women’s wrestling alive there Mick!

Thoughts: A pretty weak Raw for their final PPV event of 2016.

This isn’t to say I’m not excited to see how Charlotte and Sasha do in their Iron Man match – I am confident the two will deliver as they always have every single time they’ve stepped in to the ring together! I just wish that we had something more to latch onto before this big square off. Maybe even swap the whole public Ric Flair apology this week for the hype video last week.

I echo what our usual Raw Reviewer Alex, and many others, have said about the feud between Sasha/Charlotte rivalry: it’s time for these two to move on! Spread the wealth and utilize your entire women’s division Raw!

To throw my prediction here early, I’m going to say Charlotte will walk out with the title Sunday. I say this for two reasons: one is WWE insisting to keep Charlotte’s streak of single PPVs wins alive and so that she can enter a feud with Bayley. As of now, Bayley is really the only other woman on Raw’s roster who has been build as a contender for the title. Sure it was through a lame misunderstood semi-love feud with Alicia/Cedric but at least it was nice to see other women be involved in another feud.

Also what a big middle finger on WWE’s part for their misleading promise of giving Emma’s complete makeover this week. While I do think re-debuting a character after a PPV makes more sense, I wish WWE wouldn’t make these promises and not keep them but hey, it isn’t the first we’ve been let down by the company.

What did you think of Raw this week? Excited for Roadblock? Disappointed on Emmalina’s delayed premiere? Let us know in the comments below!

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