Yes, I know this is late so don’t judge me! So to make it up to you all, I’ll be making an extra long RAW Redux this week… as I got a lot to say! RAW was in Charlotte, NC, renowned in the wrestling world as the “Flair Country”. This week would see the 2nd Generation Flair and WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte make her grand homecoming, so we know that this was already going to be a big night.
Let me get all the side stuff out the way first:
Backstage we see Alicia Fox watching the Cedric Alexander match against Tony Nese. Unless you are one of the people who tuned RAW’s pre-show last week, then you may care about this. Alas, I was not one of these people, but hey at least there’s something for her to do.
Emma/Emmalina had another promo, which now says that the “makeover is nearly complete”… but still no week time stamps yet.
The Lana/Amore banter continues, as he refers to last week’s awkward encounter as “the luckiest day of your wife’s life” to Rusev. Amore and Big Cass mock how Rusev and Lana celebrated Thanksgiving, saying Lana spent all day thinking about someone “stuffing her turkey” – daaaamnnn, you RAW writers ain’t playing! Lana keeps her ice look throughout, while her husband has clearly reached his point and hits a painful kick to Amore’s groin for a DQ finish.
Anyway, onto tonight’s build up towards the Championship match!
Our first glimpse of the hometown girl is backstage, where she’s in her zone until she’s interrupted by her protege Dana Brooke. Dana tells her that she’s going to throw her the biggest celebration party after she wins tonight. Charlotte tells her that tonight is a big night, where she’ll finally end the rivalry between herself and Sasha Banks (hmmm right) and she’ll be “the only legend to make it out of this city”. The crowd doesn’t really catch what she means since she’s belittling her legendary Father, Ric Flair, but they still “WOOOOO” her anyway.
So, time for the match. Sasha Banks comes down the ring to a ravenous reaction! You’d think the pop would go to the hometown Queen, but she does pretty well. Charlotte comes to the ring with her protege Dana Brooke in tow, while Jojo leads the traditional ring announcements.
Sasha fires out the blocks in this match, hitting a Banks Statement right at the start of the match! Dana gets involved to help out, but gets kicked out to the floor and tossed into the ring steps to neutralise the numbers game. Sasha taunts Charlotte with a ‘Ric Flair’ strut, getting major boos from the crowd (but also reminding me of why Sasha was such a great heel!). In this time, Dana is taken to the back by a medic and the two competitors start tussling on the outside.
The referee then does the longest ever stalled 10 count, making Charlotte and Sasha have to throw each other awkwardly into the barricades. The bell rings, and Jojo makes the announcement that retaining her title via Count Out is Charlotte!
Not so fast though, out comes RAW Commissioner Mick Foley! He says that what these two women have done has transitioned RAW and the WWE. He says that a Count Out is a poor way to end such a historic feud, especially considering the “mind-blowing matches SmackDown have been making for TLC”. He tells both the women to take a rest, as this match will restart as a No Count Out, No Disqualification, Falls Count Anywhere match!
Later on in the night, we have a really awkward and cheesy backstage segment with Bayley and Sasha Banks. Bayley comes to with her bestie good luck, but Sasha brings up how Charlotte disrespected her own father Ric Flair. She claims that she will dedicate her victory to him, which gets that cheap hometown pop… yay writers *gives them Dana pat on the head*.
So game time again!
Sasha is out first, followed by Charlotte but this time without Dana. Again, these two are quick off the mark – with Sasha hitting a suicide dive and suplex on the outside within like the two minutes of the match!
When we come back from the break, the two are generally evenly matched and Corey Graves comments how “these two know each other very well, they’ve battled so many times…” BOY DON’T WE KNOW IT! Anyway, back to business and Charlotte hits a huge big boot to Sasha on the apron, knocking her to the floor. She goes for a pinfall, but The Boss kicks out! Then Charlotte runs off the ring steps to hit the already fallen Sasha with a Natural Selection! One more pin attempt, but no! Sasha kicks out!
While Charlotte argues with the referee, Sasha sneakily pulls out a kendo stick. Oh, it’s go time baby, as she whips Charlotte and the “ECW!” chants start. Charlotte manages to big boot the stick out of Sasha’s hands and lock in the Figure 8… but no, the kendo stick is in reach and Sasha saves herself by hitting Charlotte with it.
The two tussle up the ramp, to the stage and Charlotte then brings the fallen Sasha to the announcer’s table. She throws Sasha into the table, who rolls off the floor and then The Queen gives that look. She’s about to take flight, Charlotte does a moonsault from the announcer’s table!
She goes for a pinfall, but Sasha kicks out. Charlotte goes for another one, but she still kicks out! The Queen has now reached the end of her tether, she’s getting frustrated as she literally drags The Boss back down towards the ring. After countering an attempt to throw her into the barricade, Sasha manages to gain some steam and hits her Meteora double knees onto Charlotte from the barricade. Only getting a two count, The Boss is now getting agitated and reaches for the kendo stick again.
Charlotte runs into the crowd and the brawl enters the stands. After dodging another Big Boot, Sasha smashes Charlotte’s head into a steel stair handrail, she takes a leaf out of Paige’s book and knees Charlotte several times and then contorts her into a vertical Banks Statement through the steel rail! Charlotte taps! Sasha Banks has defeated the Queen in her hometown to become the NEW RAW Women’s Champion!
Celebrating in jubilation, Sasha has done it once again at the RAW main event. She celebrates in the crowd, then in the ring until… WOOOOOOOO! It’s the Nature Boy, Ric Flair! In his hometown, the 2x Hall of Famer comes down to the ring and raises the hand of The Boss. He gives her a hug, Sasha sheds a tear and Charlotte is seen raging in the crowd in tears mouthing “I’ve failed” in disbelief.
The Boss has dethroned the Queen one more time!
Backstage, we see Sasha and Bayley seeing Charlotte’s side plates removed as the “Little Bosses” are added back to the title.
Thoughts: I feel that WWE women’s wrestling fans are in such a weird position right now. Charlotte and Sasha Banks are two of the best women that this industry has ever seen, they continue to put on amazing matches and this one was another to add to their already glowing collection. A moonsault off the announcers’ table? Kendo stick whips? A Banks Statement through a stair handrail? We haven’t seen this since 2002!
However, I think I speak for all of us that we are done with seeing these two. We are done with their feud. We are done with the hot potato title reigns – the RAW Women’s Championship has only been around for 7 months… as has seen 5 title changes… between 2 women.
What makes it hard for us women’s wrestling fans, is that it almost makes us seem ungrateful for what we’re getting. From comments I read here, it’s clear to see that the fans are bored and slowly turning on these women as they have fully become the Randy Orton and John Cena of the women’s division. Unfortunately, it’s through no fault of their own, but it’s just the nature of the beast. You don’t eat the same thing all day everyday because you like it, your tastebuds are literally always gagging for more. This is probably how I’d summarise the RAW women’s division.
The last few weeks have been weird and clunky, as they’ve had the likes of Nia Jax and Alicia Fox involved. Yet, they draw nowhere near the crowd reaction as the other two and it’s clear to see that they’re not on par (y’all already know how I feel about Nia). Charlotte and Sasha are such big stars, that they’re too protected. Throw Bayley into that mix and you don’t have a division, you kind of have a group of wrestlers who really don’t mesh well.
Also, while I do write for the RAW brand, this Falls Count Anywhere match just completely stole the thunder from the SmackDown ladies ahead of TLC. Fans have been pining for weeks to see Carmella taking on Nikki Bella in this No DQ match – it finally gets confirmed… but they just got two of the most popular girls so do it, for the sake of ‘making history’… a history which isn’t even right since there have been ample women that have taken part in falls count anywhere matches before this.
We all saw the tweets with Summer Rae and Emma too… so even the women in actual division are done with it. Now that says a lot. Sure, there may be an angle of jealousy in that, but it’s a tell tale sign that even the people running the roost have no idea what they are doing. Sasha and Charlotte are amazing, but we have tons of other women who need to shine. TLC have announced a women’s No DQ match and a women’s table match, but now they will both have to be in the shadow of this match.
Are you over these hot potato title reigns? Do you care about Alicia Fox being a 14 year old with a crush? Were you annoyed that Lana just stood there and took those Ls? Let me know in the comments below!