Welcome to Monday Night Raw, the show where the only competitors that don’t get entrances are the women! Don’t worry guys, I’ve actually got a lot of good to say this week. Just wanted to get some of the sarcasm out of the way first.
First up this week, we hear that Stephanie was in the heat of the moment last week when she said she was going to run SmackDown. No official decisions have been made and Shane still wants to be in the running for it. He proposes that Steph have one brand, and he have the other. She is having none of it. Who then arrives wanting to solve of their problems? Corporate Kane. He makes a ton of fire-related puns and hands them a character reference from The Undertaker. LOL!
The Billion Dollar Queen is seen with Dean Ambrose later in the night, and she books the main event – him versus Chris Jericho. Damn Steph, if you’re booking matches that lazily, I don’t want you running any brands!
It’s match time next and Paige will face WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte in a non-title match. Dana Brooke is at ringside, with Natalya and Becky Lynch on commentary. Cue the awkward but hilariously endearing commentary and a very fast-paced match. An annoyingly short one, but well, sometimes that can be a good thing. I’ll explain further in my analysis in the Thoughts.
After the miscommunication shenanigans during the match, Charlotte takes Dana to one side backstage. She said that Dana and Emma failed to run the division as Emma got her ass injured (we miss you Tenille!), and now Dana wants to make a mess of her role of assistant?! I mean protégé. Charlotte says that Dana gets to be a part of her legacy, but she has to deliver. They’ve got some work to do, so Dana better impress come Sunday.
Look who’s back – it’s Stephanie! She sorts out an altercation between Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio.
Finally, Steph and Shane debate Kane’s input from across the night and feel as though he’s too psychotic to be anything related to SmackDown. The car battery to the testicles didn’t help either. Now that was a cute touch. Shane says that Stephanie was right about not trusting Kane, but he also wasn’t right about having one brand each. He says that they will both run Raw, and he wants SmackDown too. DUN DUN DUUUUUN!
Thoughts: No shade, but this was by far Paige and Charlotte’s best match together, and it was hilariously only less than three minutes. This was crisp, sharp and quick, qualities their other matches haven’t possessed. This was way too short, but it worked out for the best this time. I’ll turn a blind eye this once. Comparing this to a lot of shorter matches from 2014 onwards, we have seen so many that are two minutes in length and STILL have a rest hold in them. This didn’t have that thank god, and actually managed to tell a story. Charlotte sold the hell out of the RamPaige too. Paige still only whipped knee strikes and thrust kicks out, but they hit hard last night. She looked dangerous and managed to pull out a win doing so. The illogical thing though is that there’s no way WWE will follow this up whatsoever. Sigh.
As for Natalya and Becky on commentary, I dug it. Nattie isn’t always the most reliable on the mic, but she put over the storyline well, linking nicely to have Dana and Charlotte are already doomed to fail, and they’ll do that in the lame booked tag team match as MITB. Her line about the WWE Network being $9.99 cracked me up as well, as did the “look what the cat dragged in” line. I was worried before then that the conversation was going way off the rails, but Nattie pulled it right back in. I was impressed!
Although I liked that a story was told this week regarding Dana and Charlotte’s pairing, I am so ready for it to end already. We shouldn’t be getting a tag team match like this on a pay-per-view. The match is honestly filler, a basic storyline until the Draft happens and the reset button can be pressed. It is a PPV filler and a division filler. We need more than this – more than a few minutes with cut entrances. I thought I would have stopped having this argument with the wall but it looks like I haven’t. Hurry up the Brand Extension!