Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Raw Redux (October 27th, 2014): E.N.E.M.I.E.S

So no one told you Paige was gonna be this cray! *clap clap clap clap*

So much for Paige and Foxy being F.R.I.E.N.D.S, eh?

Morning/afternoon/evening peeps and welcome to this week’s Raw Redux! Another of Paige’s ‘friendships’ was smashed into smithereens last night as Paige snapped on Alicia Fox, in a move that seems to have spelled the end for the psycho duo. Before, Alicia got ditched by Paige (first Edge, then DJ Gabriel and now this?!), she had a match against WWE Divas Champion, AJ Lee. In addition all of that juice, we got some smoothies too and no, unfortunately Chyna did not return to the WWE. Nikki Bella poured one on her sister Brie’s head. LOL. Throw in Nikki facing off against Naomi and some notable Stephanie McMahon moments and we have the foundations of a great episode!

TO THE VIDEOS!

The arena erupts at the start of our first match video clip of the night as the current champion herself AJ skips to the ring. Returning from the break, the hungry piranha herself, Alicia Fox is already in the ring and the best thing since sliced bread, Paige is on commentary. This one should be good!

Alicia starts off as aggressive as you would expect, hammering AJ with some seriously tough forearms. From there, Alicia hits a sweet dropkick which nets her a two. Lic’ rams AJ headfirst into the corner several times before hitting a simply sublime Northern Lights suplex. Seriously WWE, look at that and tell me she isn’t in the Top 3 wrestlers in the division. See, I knew you couldn’t (or you just didn’t read this; I’ll go with the former).

Alicia locks in a chinlock for a little while and then knocks an adrenaline-pumped AJ to the mat again. Alicia applies the submission again, yet the plucky AJ once again makes it to her feet. Alicia changes tactic and aims to hit a powerful scoop slam, yet AJ reverses it monumentally with a gorgeous spike DDT. My god, Alicia really could sell snow to Eskimos.

AJ’s comeback begins with knees to Alicia’s face and some boots her back and then… oh. AJ’s comeback ends. Alicia hits a devastating tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on AJ and the champion is back on the mat. Then out of nowhere, Paige’s dashes from the commentary desk and shoves Alicia whilst shouting abuse. The distraction costs Alicia and AJ looks mighty fine in defeat (sarcasm) as she nets a roll-up win.

After the match, this is when things got really interesting. Paige at first tries to plea with Alicia for forgiveness, yet she’s totally lying and wallops Alicia with a stiff kick. She then dumps Alicia outside like a bag of garbage before proceeding to introduce Alicia to Mr. Barricade. He’s not playing nice today. Paige and her new bestie Mr. Barricade play rough together with Alicia who no doubt has scrambled brains after the amount of times Alicia blasted her!

Match number two time now as Nikki Bella is to face off the former Planet Funk alien turned Orlando lady, Naomi. Nikki makes her entrance and this was hilarious. She was soaking up all of that limelight and making Brie feel like total crap. Love it.

Not sure why Brie is wearing ring gear though. Surely Nikki could have gotten her to wear a really embarrassing costume? Maybe she thinks apparel emblazoned with ‘BRIE MODE’ is embarrassing enough…

Naomi is already in the ring (aka she loses) and the match gets underway. Naomi starts things off well, slipping behind and locking in a waistlock which she then transitions into a crisp snapmare. Following a neat clothesline, the tide turns massively as Nikki hits a harsh elbow and an Alabama slam. Nikki works over Naomi’s midsection some more with some shoulder thrusts in the corner and then wraps her around the middle rope whilst ripping at that prized weave. Love how Nikki keeps using her entire 5 five count. Not enough wrestlers do!

Nikki then yanks Naomi from the ropes, making the former Funkadactyl land hard on her back. After that, Nikki squashed Naomi in the corner with her signature bazookas and then applies a submission. Naomi wrestles out of it momentarily yet then Nikki shuts her back down again. Nikki then starts getting cocky, which is the opening Naomi needs to start her flipping and flying!

Mrs Fatu gets some serious airtime with an exhilarating dropkick and then she nails a signature flip clothesline. Naomi then drops Nikki with a sit-out full nelson and then gets nasty with a stiff kick to the back. She follows that with an Evan Bourne style knee stomp(?) which looked really cool. Nikki then retreats to the outside, signaling an opening for a distraction as she gets thrown in the ring by Naomi, leaving the ref looking at Nikki. Naomi looks to go for a springboard move yet Brie grabs her leg. Naomi capitalizes with a Rack Attach and Brie is disgusted that she’s enabled her sister to win.

Finally, take a look at Stephanie McMahon be a total cold-hearted bitch. God, that snarling stare is incredible.

Thoughts: AJ versus Alicia was really nice… until the terrible ending. Whilst I did like Paige interfering to signal the start of a storyline between her and Alicia (and I guess AJ will be thrown in), I hated how AJ won. We’ve been getting way too many roll-ups recently and I’m getting tired of it now. AJ basically got the crap kicked out her the entire match, just not sneak a roll-up win. Doesn’t exactly paint a picture of a strong champion, does it? AJ could have easily hit a headscissor takeover and then ran at Alicia with the Shining Wizard. It’s not hard. High points in the match though were Alicia’s utterly stunning Northern Lights Suplex and AJ’s fantastic spinning DDT that Meryl Streep… I mean Alicia sold perfectly. AJ’s lack of offense at the end was just a total downer though for me.

Regarding the aftermath, who doesn’t love a good brawl at ringside? It was edgy and aggressive and left me wanting more, so the segment served it’s role. Alicia yet again, sold the beatdown like selling is going out of fashion. I imagine now that this will lead to another triple-threat involving AJ and Paige that will take place at Survivor Series whilst Brie and Nikki captain respective traditional Survivor Series teams. I just hope the storytelling picks up as at the moment, as much as the characters are entertaining and the ring work is solid, the storyline element is lacking for me.

Also, it was announced on the pre show that the match was for the WWE Divas Champion. The fact this was changed hours before the show is a shambles in my opinion. It would have been better if the match was for the belt as then Alicia would have even more reason to hate Paige. Aah well. WWE and logic never have mixed very well.

The Bellas’ backstage segment was hilarious. Firstly, the attention to detail was awful which I found to be so bad, it was good. Brie put her phone down in the trunk of the car only to then cover it up with all the bags and leave it there. And why was the smoothie already in the trunk of the car? Well, Chyna is the 9th Wonder of the World, maybe she cast some magic and planted it there? That sounds plausible. The acting was so over-the-top though from Nikki, I loved it. This kind of segment (when done well) is why The Bellas feud is more engaging than the championship feud. Maybe on SmackDown, Nikki can have Brie make her some Ol Del Paso fajitas. Disclaimer: Other fajitas brands are also available.

Onto Nikki vs Naomi, this was another cool match and I was majorly impressed with Naomi. Her dropkicks are in the Top 3 of both males and females in the company in my opinion and I loved that yet again, Naomi was incorporating new moves into her arsenal such as the stiff kick to the back and the jump she did when she landed on Nikki knee first. Little changes and subtleties like that make Naomi that much more exciting to watch; you never know what she may pull out of the bag. It’s just a shame she is being treat like a total jobber unless she gets a match on Superstars.

One big piece missing this week was Lana. I’m shocked that WWE didn’t use the Ice Queen and Rusev. Perhaps they don’t know where to go with them next? I hope not as clearly, they could go up against the returning Ryback *vomits* or Sheamus. It would be horrendous if WWE left them off the show because they hadn’t came up with anything for two of their most over heels.

All-in-all, a decent episode of Raw. Here’s hoping that next week, both Divas angles can include personal storyline elements as opposed to just random (although fun) brawls. No more roll-ups please! Oh, and how about giving Alicia Fox some mic time? Just throwing that one out there WWE. Better yet, fancy giving her the Divas Title?

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