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RAW Redux (December 19th, 2016): The Charlotte vs. Bayley Era begins

Roadblock was dubbed ‘the end of the road’, the final chapter to the WWE’s trailblazing feud between Sasha Banks and the new RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte. This week’s of RAW, despite being one of the last of the year, would be the beginning of a fresh start for the RAW women’s division… so let’s see what was in store.

Our first appearance for the women is a wounded Sasha Banks. Sporting a braced knee and crutch, the former Champion is a shade of her confident persona, limping down to the ring to address the crowd. Sasha mentions how heartbreaking it was to tap out twice to the Figure 8 and describes the history that she has made with her foe Charlotte. “The better woman won” she says, as she invites Charlotte down to the ring to congratulate her.

After a brief silence, the lights dim and Nia Jax makes her way to the ring with her usual deathly stare. Nia stares down Sasha and threatens her, “You can call yourself the Boss all you want… you’ll never be the Boss to me. You’re weak, you’re wounded and above all else, you’re just a little girl…”. The threat turns to physicality as Nia kicks away her crutch, then tosses her across the ring that Sasha catches her injured knee against the ropes on the other side of the ring! Nia then looks to strike Sasha with the crutch, but instead throws it down and leave the ring. Jax has made her statement!

Next up, we have Alicia Fox accompanying Cedric Alexander to the ring! They don’t really seem like a couple, but hey I guess they’re official. Before the match, they show a recap from 205, where Noam Dar defeated Cedric and dedicated his victory to Alicia Fox.

The finish of this match sees Cedric catching Noam with a Lumbar Check for the victory! His girlfriend comes into the ring to join the celebrations, but they’re cut short when Noam states that they’re still not even despite the victory. Noam says, “you’ve got what I want, you’ve got the beautiful Alicia Fox… Foxy baby, all I want for Christmas is you”. Cedric is clearly annoyed, while Alicia tries to calm him down. Oh Foxy, causing trouble with these Cruiserweights!

Up next, we see the new four-time RAW Women’s Champion, Charlotte making her way to the ring!

We kind of know the drill by now, calling herself the Queen, saying she’s better than Sasha, bringing up her PPV streak, greatest of all time etc. She even goes as far as saying that she’s better than Hall of Famers Trish Stratus and The Fabulous Moolah.

All the gloating stops when Bayley’s music hits the PA! She states, “now that the Charlotte/Sasha rivalry is over… I think it’s time for the Charlotte… BAYLEY rivalry to begin!”. The crowd erupts into “YES!” chants as Bayley continues, she reminds Charlotte that she still holds two victories over her… and is still seeking retribution from Survivor Series.

Charlotte reveals that when she did the “four finger” sign after her victory at Roadblock, that was to symbolise all of her title wins and The Four Horsewomen, claiming that she’s #1 and Bayley is #4. However, Bayley shrugs it off and wants to prove herself, so she challenges Charlotte to a match. Despite competing in a 30 minute+ ironman match, Charlotte accepts the challenge and calls a referee down to the ring to have a match!

In quite a basic match-up compared to what we’ve seen from these two in the past, it’s clear that this was used for the women to get more experience working together in front of a live crowd. Both of them are quite evenly matched, all-rounder competitors which was evident in this match. The end of the match sees Charlotte take over, getting cocky and going for a trademark Flair chop. Bayley manages to catch her arm and counter it into a backslide pin for a victory! It’s third time lucky for the Huggable One!

Bayley celebrates her victory backstage in this exclusive!

Lana also makes an appearance during the end of Enzo Amore’s ‘sensitivity training’. Cornered in between Rusev and Jinder Mahal, Amore gets jumped again. He is held up so Lana can slap him and she demands Rusev to crush him one more time.

Oh yeah and we got another meaningless Emmalina promo that none of us care about anymore since they completely wasted our time last week.

Thoughts: So, it’s the era of Bayley vs. Charlotte… and if you didn’t see that coming about 4 months ago, then you need glasses. If we you don’t see Bayley breaking Charlotte’s PPV streak and winning her first Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania 33, you may also need some glasses. If you didn’t see Nia Jax taking on Sasha, then please visit the opticians, because I could see this from several miles off.

Don’t get me wrong, Sasha is the perfect person for Nia to work with to get over, hit some sick power moves and have a traditional David VS Goliath feud… but one thing… there’s no title. So we have no real reason to care. This feud should have started long ago, but between quiffs of Nia looking green and the hot potato of the title, I just don’t really see why we need to see this program anymore. Nia squashing Sasha right now doesn’t make her look strong, nor does it get her heat in an active way… it’s just a pretty dull move.

Charlotte vs. Bayley has all the potential to be a great feud, so I won’t knock it but in my personal opinion, they weren’t my favourite combination between the 4HW. However, both have come leaps and bounds since then, so I’m sure we’re destined to see something great. I just want to see Bayley go back to being a proper underdog. Surprise roll up wins aren’t really an underdog thing, being on the losing side, but always getting back up is an underdog. With a heel heavy division, it’s an easy job to get the crowd to rally behind Bayley… so hopefully this is the start of something good.

Overall, it’s nice to see all the women on RAW getting some action… but with Charlotte so protected, you just don’t get that freedom that you do with SD. Well I guess we have to get used to Bayley and Charlotte now, as the plans are being laid!

Are you excited for Bayley stepping up to the plate? Were you happy for Nia’s return? Are you still interested in Emmalina’s debut? You know what to do below!

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