Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Raw Redux (May 9th, 2016): It’s Only Just The Beginning for EnD

Last night’s Raw was full of twists in the tales of the women of the WWE. Some involved taking people away from a situation, and others related to adding a new element in the mix.

Stephanie McMahon was the First Lady of Raw, but when is she never? She was approached by Chris Jericho following his Highlight Reel opening segment with Big Cass. Annoying at being booted in the face, Y2J demands respect and orders Stephanie to halt the “Anything Goes Attitude” that Shane has allowed.

Steph does no such thing, showing solidarity towards her bro. She believes what Shane O’Mac has allowed to happen is fresh and the right thing. Steph books Chris vs Big Cass IN THE MAIN EVENT (who has Cass got into bed with?!) and tells Jericho never to get in between Steph and her brother ever… eeeeevvvveeeerrrr again. Serve that sarcasm Steph!

We move from Steph to Shane now and he’s confronted by Ric Flair and WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte. Ric and Charlotte are quite frankly appalled by Stephanie’s actions from last week, banning Ric from Extreme Rules. Shane is also sticking by his sister, telling Charlotte that her pleading won’t wash with him. So much so, Ric is also banned from ringside tonight for her match vs Paige. Take your woo and suck on it you two!

After solo McMahon sightings, Stephanie and her sibling are seen together backstage with Maryse, The Miz, Kevin Owens, Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Giving people opportunities is the theme of this segment too, much to the chagrin of KO. This was fun although I’d prefer to see Maryse engage in some harsher verbal warfare with Stephanie. Clearly the latter won’t be playing the good guy for much longer – they should have pulled that trigger!

Our one and only match of the night. Thankfully, it’s a pretty good one. Charlotte is clashing with a returning Paige, who is back after spending some time at home in Norwich. Shame she wasn’t allowed to bring her Mum with her.

Natalya is at ringside for this one. Expect apron bumps, superplexes, uninvited OAPs and some money money money money money money money money moooonnneeeeyyy!

Maryse is back in the limelight next. Unfortunately for her and her husband, Miz lost. Let’s hope the Sexiest of the Sexy makes more of an impact at Extreme Rules! Currently the situation isn’t exactly what you would call extreme is it? A fatal-4-way is about as extreme as the “Who Attacked Natalya?” storyline – aka, not very.

Up next is perhaps the most interesting segment of the night. Renee Young is standing by with Becky Lynch. She probes Bex about her match last week with Emma. Our fave Aussie (unless you’re a bigger fan of Billie Kay or Peyton Royce… or that one from Blake and Murphy) is going around saying her eye poke to Becky is an accident. Lynch is having none of it, telling Renee is she ready to kick Emma’s LASS!

Emma swans into the shot, telling Emma that she needs to forget that eye injury… she needs eyes in the back of her head instead. Out of nowhere, Dana Brooke assaults Becky! Emma joins in on the attack and Dana begins to do what she does best, talk trash! She tells Emma that EnD, Emma and Dana are here and playtime is over. Nice to see Emma and Dana name their group after their favorite Black Eyed Peas album. I Gotta Feeling that they will dish out some more Boom Boom Pow to Becky in the coming weeks. Come on guys, those puns were decent, you’ve got to Meet Me Halfway here. Imma Be here all day until someone laughs. Where Is The Love?!

Finally, the definition of a character WWE doesn’t know what to do with, Lana is in the ring. She accompanies Rusev for his match. While she cries to get involved, it backfires and Sin Cara of all people picks up the win. Rough night for those two!

Thoughts: A super fun episode of Raw last night I thought! We have a super feud brewing surrounding the WWE Women’s Championship, a personal story arc for Charlotte that is developing nicely, a newly debuted female on the main roster and an unexpected win all in one night!

Starting with Dana’s call up, I am actually a fan of this move. While I don’t think Dana is ready for the main roster when it comes to her in-ring work, she is more than ready if we’re judging solely on her mic skills. Well, she’s great talking trash at ringside, but not the best with promos backstage… when she has to read prompts. I hope she’s been improving in that department while off with her injury. Only time will tell. As for last night, her debut was short and sweet. She made her presence felt big time, debuted a fun new team name for her and Emma and she got one of trademark head pats in. I’m excited to see where this goes.

As for her outfit, she looked like a villain from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is up for you to decide! She certainly has a really unique look, so she 100% has that going for her. Thinking positively, Dana really adds an extra dimension to Emma’s rivalry with Becky. Emma has already beaten Becky once, and now she’s bringing a friend along for the ride too. Will Becky find a pal of her own to help combat these two?

Paige vs Charlotte this time around was one of my favorite matches between the two. They’ve had some pretty bad matches in the past and this one felt like a step-up. The interference from Natalya, Ric and Shane all heightened the intensity and anticipation for the finish, and the audience were behind it. Once again, WWE gave the girls plenty of time and the crowd understandably ate it up. High points for me included Charlotte’s apron spot on Paige (nice selling from Paige) and the superplex.

Onto a few negatives, Paige really needs to flesh out her movepool again. Everyone knows I am one of her biggest supporters, but her offense is just getting beyond stale at this point. Other than the fall-away slam and superplex, she performed not one other move in the rest of the match other than a brief submission – only kick after kick and knee after knee. The roll-up also wasn’t the cleanest either. You know I love you Raya, but I’d love you even more if you whipped some hurricanranas, flipping sentons and Paige Turners out like you have in the past. I am glad the connecting clotheslines have gone though. They were growing tired too. As for selling though tonight, Paige nailed it. You really got behind her after her near falls towards the end. And I didn’t hear one spot being called – woohoo!

Finally, to address Nattie! She did well on commentary I thought. “She thinks she’s Ric Flair, and the problem is, she’s not” was a really nice line from her in reference to Charlotte. At times she was repeating what she had already said practically, but she held her own. Saying Cole and JBL are romantic with each other is hilarious as well.

Looking ahead to SmackDown, I predicted last week’s match correctly so let’s see if I can go two for two. I figure we’ll see a Raw rematch, with Charlotte getting the win to put her back on track. Either that, or Dana will defeat Becky Lynch. I’m going with those two as predictions. Thankfully we don’t have long to wait.

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