It’s been a week of ups and downs in the world of women’s wrestling, but it’s another RAW to start us off. With Survivor Series wars starting with an explosive was last week, how would the ladies of RAW respond? Let’s find out in the RAW Redux!
At the top of the show, the RAW General Manager Kurt Angle addresses the RAW roster who are on the entrance stage. Following last week’s ‘siege’ takeover by the SmackDown roster, Angle wants to apologise for putting them at risk. However, the RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon’s music hits the PA and she makes her way down to the ring – her first appearance since WrestleMania 33! However, despite the smiles, Stephanie is out for blood and isn’t so happy with Angle letting her brother Shane McMahon and his crew ruin the show. As a result, she makes him the Team Captain of the RAW men’s team, expecting total annihilation or else he can expect to be replaced… like Mick Foley.
Bayley makes her way to the ring and Alicia comes out wearing a throwback to one of her 2012 Sailor attires, complete with Captain hat. Following Stephanie’s demand for the RAW brand, she states that since she’s too busy being the Captain, she hasn’t got time to have a match… but she’s found a suitable replacement – the returning Nia Jax!
New lighter hair and a glitzy new attire – Nia is definitely back to prove why she deserves a spot on the team. Although, Bayley still hasn’t forgiven her for injuring her shoulder before Summerslam. This match is a bit of a quick one, we know Nia Jax is more of a ‘PPV performer’ so most of this match is very similar to what we have seen from these two before – running avalanches, Bayley taking advantage of Nia missing spots and even attempting a sleeperhold. By the end, Nia is just too strong and finishes Bayley with a running senton and running leg drop for the victory. Get that spatula because Bayley has been flattened.
Before Nia exits the ring, Alicia pipes up and tells her that she gets the first spot on her team for Survivor Series on Team RAW! 3 spots left and it looks like Alicia is on the lookout for only the best.
When asked about being picked for the RAW women’s team, Nia isn’t too happy with being asked the obvious.
Backstage, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss catches up with Kurt Angle in one of the more controversial segments of the night. She sees that Angle is a bit delicate after being berated earlier by Stephanie, so she offers some support to improve RAW. The first tip is to clear out the ‘deadweight’ in the women’s division, specifically Mickie James. She says that they can replace her with someone from the Mae Young Classic, or even dig up Mae Young herself. However, Angle doesn’t entertain Alexa’s ideas and reminds her how she ran away last week, unlike Mickie who took on the SmackDown invaders. As a result, he sets tonight’s main event – Alexa Bliss will defend her RAW Women’s Championship against Mickie James!
Next, they play repeat Asuka’s promo to warn us that she’s coming out next. I don’t know if this is going to be a thing, but definitely an unnecessary 30 seconds that could have gone to something else.
Asuka comes out and has a pretty quick squash match against Stacie Cullen (Kasey Catal). The match starts with a spinning backfist and a stomp to the face, it ends about 2 minutes later with a vicious Asuka lock. Asuka celebrates with a cocky dance in the ring as the lights dim out.
Finally, it’s the main event of the night. Mickie James is out once again trying to get her 7th title win.
Despite being the main event, the match definitely didn’t seem to give off that big match buzz. Much like their other matches it’s Mickie’s experience VS Alexa’s catty aggression. We know the two are quite evenly matched and these two work similar styles, so we know that they can deliver. However, the crowd really failed to get into this one and once again this hurt the ‘big match feel’ that this could have had.
When Alexa is on the offence, a lot of it are rest-holds and hair slams, which seem to drain the crowd. By the time Mickie starts to fire up, attempts a Mickie Thesz Press from the tope rope, but gets yanked down. Alexa then goes up, but get kicked in the head by Mickie and falls out of the ring. Mickie throws Alexa back in, attempting to fly again, this time she connects but only get the 2 count. Mickie attempts a series of roll ups, but gets up and walks right into a rough forearm by Alexa Bliss. Mickie drops to the mat and falls victim to the pinfall as Alexa Bliss retains her Championship.
Following her victory, Alexa once again tells Mickie to give up because she’s old!
Thoughts: I don’t know who wrote that backstage skit for Alexa Bliss, but after the way wrestlers and fans went crazy on Lio Rush, talking about ‘cutting dead weight’ after the releases of Emma and Summer Rae was pretty distasteful. Not to mention the comment about digging up Mae? I would put money on it, that the team behind this were the ones who thought of ‘Emmalina’. Just all very insensitive and just awkward to watch, if I was Emma someone would be catching hands right now.
This week’s RAW just fell flat for the women. Alicia’s mic work isn’t the strongest, but if she’s going to be in this role then she needs to be at the forefront. I think they should have put her on commentary during the match, instead of awkwardly standing there. She should have been out there watching Asuka’s match and the Alexa/Mickie match. If the friggin’ General Manager is Captain of the men’s team, then Alicia needs to be held in that regard too.
Nia coming back was expected. Whether it’s because she didn’t want to job or because she wasn’t happy with pay, we all kinda knew she’d be back for Survivor Series. As I said before, she’s more of a ‘PPV player’. I’m never blown away by her until it’s a big match and I’m sure she’ll work some great spots during the match.
Asuka is on the verge of bombing, but that’s because they clearly don’t know what to do with her. That crowd was already over her and that match did nothing for her, neither did the goofy dancing. If they wanted to be useful, they should have had her knock out that woman with one hit. Alicia should have been on the sides watching, scouting for her team. I personally don’t think Asuka should make the team, but making her the ‘unattainable goal’ immediately raises her stock.
Finally onto the main event, you guys know I stan for Mickie and I actually thought it was her night, but that match did nothing for me. It was so safe and just seemed to be the ‘full stop’ to finish their feud, which is a shame because there was still a lot more life in that. It definitely seemed like a way to put things on hold, Alexa can focus on Natalya, while Mickie moves into the team. I think we can all agree that what probably killed the match the most was the forearm. All Alexa had to do was lift her up and do a DDT and I would have been able to forgive her… but that was a real bum note.
Overall, this Survivor Series warfare has already started on a rough note for the red team so hopefully they can kick this into gear.
Are you happy that Nia is back? What did you think about that promo, am I overreacting? Should Asuka join the RAW team? Send in your comments below!