Thursday, January 27, 2022

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RAW Redux (July 10th, 2017): Bayley surprises Bliss!


It’s getting warmer out there (well not so much in the UK), but the Great Balls of Fire event certainly has ignited the spark as we head into our hottest event of the year, Summerslam! There was some unleft business, there was tea being spilled and I finally felt intrigued as a RAW viewer to finally tune into the women’s division! So let’s see what happened on this week’s RAW Redux!

This week we have the BFF team of Bayley and GBOF’s unsuccessful challenger Sasha Banks, but they both have unfinished with their opponents this week: Nia Jax and RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. A rematch from last week, where Bayley was taken out of the match half way through by Nia crushing her into the barricade.

Sasha already has her sights on Alexa as soon as the bell tolls, causing a quick game of cat and mouse until she tags Nia into the match. The popular BFFs know how to handle Nia after months of these encounters and their team work manages to ground the behemoth early on in the match as we head to a commercial break.

When we come back from the match, Sasha has got the better of Alexa and once again the face duo’s team work is seamless as they work over the Champion. Things take a bit of a turn when Nia is tagged into the match and she halts Bayley’s momentum after a distraction by Alexa on the apron. This is where the match starts to slow down and we see Nia’s more typical slow and methodical offence as she slowly ragdolls Bayley and gets Alexa to add extra punishment.

Nia tags Alexa into the match and they seem to try organise a tag team move. Instead, Alexa turns around to hit Sasha, who dodges it and jumps off the apron. As she tries to get into the ring, she’s stopped by the referee, which allows Nia to pancake Bayley in the corner. Alexa then manages to knock Sasha off the apron and connects with her Twisted Bliss on Bayley! 1.. 2.. No! Sasha breaks the count, but is then tossed out the ring by Nia. A sitting target, Nia attempts to charge into Sasha who is propped up against the ring barricade, but Sasha rolls out the way! The monster is floored and the focus is back on the two in the ring, Bayley rolls up Alexa and gets the 1.. 2.. 3! Bayley has now pinned the Champion!

The Champ is shocked, Nia is angry, but the BFF team have smiles beaming across their faces! So now, this has spiced up the title picture!

Elsewhere on the card, Maryse was awarded a ‘Mizzie’ by her husband, The Miz – so it looks like they are working on the same page now!

Meanwhile, Alicia Fox was ringside to see her boyfriend Noam Dar and Cruiserweight Champion Neville come up short against the team of Akira Tozawa and Cedric Alexander.

Thoughts: So it looks like Bayley is being added to the picture here and again – this is a good decision, so long as Sasha is the one to go tweener. The Banks/Bliss feud is good on paper, but having someone like Bayley take a backseat will be very detrimental to her character… which is already suffering. Sure we could argue that Nia should also be involved, but her character has a safe gimmick that isn’t so tentative. Each week, we hear more and more smarks booing Bayley and all the horny guys cheering Alexa. Now, this isn’t the fault of the women at hand, but it goes to show that the booking of their characters isn’t good enough.

Sasha has an absolutely solid fanbase and is still getting strong face pops, but this wasn’t the character that made her popular. On the flip side, we have Bayley with her same schtick, but not being able to get that empathy with the crowd. Toss in a little bit of Alexa, who is still working her way up as the top heel and we have a very interesting feud here that can help all of these women take it to the next level.

Match-wise, this was a little forgettable since it was so short and practically a rematch of last week. It does once again irk me, because we know we have so many other women on the roster ready and raring to go… but it looks like they will all be the jobber squad over the next few weeks, which only further creates the problem that I’ve said for the last couple of months… the RAW two-tiered division. It’s safe to say that on paper, I’d much rather watch what we’re going to see on Main Event over seeing this tag team combination match for the gazillionth time.

Do you think Bayley should be injected into the title feud? Do you think it should have been left between Banks and Bliss? Do you want the other women involved in the title scene? Sound off below!

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