One week after closing the show and crowning a NEW Champion, what was in store for the women this week with all this momentum? With Hell In a Cell a couple of weeks away and people eager to see what’s going to happen next, let’s get straight to the action!
At the top of the show, the freshly crowned RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks makes her way to the ring, wearing her WrestleMania 32 Eddie Guerrero inspired ring gear.
Much like when she won the title the first time round… and again when she was about to give her ‘Sad News’; Sasha begins to talk about achieving her dreams and we all slowly start to yawn… She says something about dreams… something about the women’s revolution… something about being a role model… But hey, don’t switch up yet!
Sasha addresses the Hell in a Cell rematch, but throws down a challenge and asks, “How about we up the ante and have Charlotte and Sasha Banks… INSIDE Hell in a Cell?!” which sends the crowd into a frenzy! Damn, the women’s wrestling mark in me felt so happy for this moment! Can you imagine that getting the same reaction if this was 2011?
The recently dethroned Champion Charlotte makes her way down to the ring to answer the challenge, but she’s cut off on the entrance way by Rusev and Lana. Remember the face that Regina George pulls in Mean Girls, right after Gretchen screams, “You can’t sit with us!” – well that’s the exact look that Charlotte had on her face as the Bulgarian Brute and the Ravishing Russian charge past her to the ring.
Rusev starts by saying “Nobody cares about your stupid women’s revolution” which draws some heat from the crowd – again, something that probably would have been cheered a couple years ago. Charlotte’s facial expression says it all as she snatches the microphone from Rusev, reminding him that “No one disrespects the Queen!” and she ACCEPTS Sasha’s challenge to the Hell in a Cell match to a chorus of “Yes!” chants.
Rusev is quick to try and finish, snatching the microphone back from Charlotte and calling her “Black Swan” and continuing to dismiss the women… that’s until Sasha slaps the microphone out of his hand! Clearly unimpressed with the disrespect that these women are showing her husband, Lana takes to the microphone and says that they need to learn their place, “You’re constantly fighting to be seen as women, but you whine like little girls”. That comment upsets the women as both Charlotte and Sasha shove Lana down and dropkick Rusev out of the ring!
An angry Rusev gets back into the ring, ready to get one of the women, but the ever controversial Big Dog US Champion Roman Reigns comes to scare the Bulgarian Brute away, while Sasha and Charlotte face off in the ring with Sasha holding her new title high.
“There ain’t no stopping us now, we celebrate on the floor…” the hometown girl Bayley comes out to an enormous pop to her home crowd! I have to say, I love her ‘Little Miss’ themed Bayley character on her titantron!
This week, Bayley is taking on another local talent and this week her challenger is Cami Fields – who some of you may recognise is Holidead without her traditional facepaint!
Some neat technical wrestling starts off the match until Bayley starts having fun. Clearly enjoying the crowd energy, she hits some early offence until she misses a corner spot. Cami gets some offence in, but gets countered into a Bayley to belly for another super quick victory in her hometown.
As Bayley celebrates on the entrance stage with her whacky waving inflatable tube men, she’s blindsided by Dana Brooke! Seeking revenge for her attack last week, the protege stands dominant over the fallen Bayley.
The RAW Fallout catches Dana Brooke after her attack, warning everyone that playtime is over!
Later in the night, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley are out in the ring to address Hell in a Cell. Acknowledging the challenge thrown down earlier in the show, Foley says, “They don’t get what they want just because they want it, they get what they deserve”. Foley announces that Sasha Banks will defend her RAW Women’s Championship against Charlotte INSIDE the Hell in a Cell for the first time ever!
Backstage, we see Charlotte warming up for her mixed tag match, but she’s approached by Lana backstage who says that she has no right to put her hands on her. Charlotte threatens that she’s superior to her in every way, so she needs to stay out of her way. However, Lana is quick to state that she needs to stay out of Rusev’s way as there will be ‘severe consequences’.
Before their mixed tag match, we catch up with the Champion team of Sasha Banks and Roman Reigns. Reigns reminds her that Hell in a Cell is brutal, but Sasha reassures him that she can handle Charlotte and that tonight, he needs to handle Rusev.
Mixed tag match up next with a very hot crowd, with Sasha Banks and Roman Reigns taking on Charlotte and Roman Reigns accompanied by Lana. Reigns is quick to take control early in the match already going to his Superman Punch that Charlotte tries to interrupt! Sasha is quick to catch her with a forearm, sending her to the mat. Both the faces look strong as they head into a commercial break.
Coming back from commercial, the tables have turned and Rusev has started to take control. “We Want Sasha!” chants fill the arena, as Rusev continues to dominate Reigns and taunt Sasha who plays a pretty good innocent face! Reigns hits a Superman Punch out of nowhere, to buy enough time to get the hot tag to Sasha. Single knee to the face, running jumping knees, double knees to the corner and her signature double meteora knee drops in the corner – Sasha is in control!
Charlotte tries to steal the victory with a roll up, but Sasha turns it into a Bank Statement! Rusev tries to make the save, but Reigns literally FLIES over the women to hit an intense spear on Rusev! Charlotte taps for the second time to the Bank Statement, the Champion team proves why they deserve the gold around their waists as they take the victory!
Finally, we saw what Michael Cole described as, “the latest instalment of the Emma makeover into Emmalina”… weird cringe pop music plays as they show more hot pictures of Emma on a beach… continue reading my thoughts section up next to read my views on this!
Thoughts: In a nutshell: Yes for the mixed tag action! Yes for the Hell in a Cell! No for Bayley taking on a jobber! No for the lack of Nia! If you’ve read my Reduxes over the last few weeks, you would know that I’m a big fan of mixed tag action and this week was no different!
I do love me some Sasha, but I couldn’t take another ‘women’s revolution, this is my dream’ promo so I was pleasantly shocked when Rusev came out. Seeing Lana mix it up with the other women and Charlotte’s facial expressions throughout made that segment memorable for me.
Also, as I hinted in the review above, the crowd reaction was something amazing to see. A couple years ago, hearing the crowd actively cheer positively for women’s wrestling and taking the women seriously was a rarity. Whether you think the whole “Women’s Evolution” push was a big marketing tag or a failed push, it’s still worked. Hearing and seeing a crowd react for women like Bayley, Sasha and Charlotte just like they would with top tier talent shows what level we’re at right now. As I said last week, this should be celebrated. We’re about to see even more history in the Hell in a Cell and I don’t care if you’re bored of Sasha VS Charlotte; if you can’t appreciate that we have a match which will literally be etched in women’s wrestling history, then why are you watching?
It’s not all smiles though, like why the hell is Bayley taking on local talent? It was nice to have her in matches, but Bayley is very character-based. The whole reason people warm to her is because they see her acting like a dork around all these wrestlers she likes. I’d much rather see a 2 min backstage segment of Bayley acting like a fangirl around other talent, than seeing her in 2 minute squash match that make her look weak if anything since she’s not facing main roster talent. I guess Dana VS Bayley will be lined up for the HIAC Kick-off show, which isn’t a bad thing and hopefully a good chance for Dana Brooke to show that she’s as good as her NXT ‘15 Smackdown counterparts Alexa Bliss and Carmella.
Finally, Emmalina… I’m still not sold. I don’t know what to predict, but the whole T&A sexy character kind of has no place in the women’s division anymore. I won’t know it until we’ve seen it, but it’s just so far from the Badass character that we all grew to love.
So what did you think about this week’s RAW? Are you excited that the women are going to be in the cell? Finally, have you seen Nia Jax or Alicia Fox recently? If you have, then please let us know in the comments section below!