In December 2004, Trish Stratus and Lita headlined Monday Night RAW, setting the bar of women competitors over the years. Over a decade later, the women’s division has reached new level, so it was about time that this generation of women stepped up to the mark and took to the main event one more time. Women’s evolution? Let’s see what this is all about!
We first catch up with super popular Bayley, with tonight’s challenger, Sasha Banks. The ever excited Bayley shares her excitement with her bestie about the women leading the main event, saying that while she wishes she was in the spotlight, she’s happy that it’s Sasha. The Boss explains that while she’s seen as the underdog and Forbes may list Charlotte as the greatest women’s wrestler, Sasha’s born to be Champion and about to become a 2 time WWE Women’s Champion.
Backstage, we also hear from the RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte with Dana Brooke. The cocky Champion is quick to state how time after time, she’s proven that she’s at her best. She states that she’s ready to knock Sasha off this ‘pedestal’ that social media puts her on, prove once again that she has no equal in this industry and she’s going to make Sasha a thing of history.
A match build-up promo recaps the long history between tonight’s Main Eventers. From way back in NXT, to WrestleMania 32, to RAW’s first episode post draft to Summerslam 2016 – the long history between the two women is documented. Tonight’s the night that this rivalry is going to reach its height in the Main Event!
On the way to the ring, Charlotte bumps into Bayley, telling her to take a seat because she needs to ‘main event’. The protege is quick to continue picking on Bayley, doing her signature demeaning pat on the head and thrusting Bayley against the wall… only for the Huggable One to throw Dana into a huge box/wall thing! Dana clutches onto her knee and it looks like she won’t be able to accompany Charlotte to the ring!
So now it’s time for the MAAAAIIIIINNNN EVEEEEENTTTT! Jojo leads the traditional ring announcements, with the crowd super hot for both women!
Sasha fires straight out the blocks and hits a suicide dive outside the ring! I’m already on the edge of my seat… but annoyingly we cut to a break. By the time we come back from the break, Charlotte is in control of the match – replay inserts show that she’s capitalised on Sasha’s back, knocking her off the top turnbuckle and throwing her against the ring barricade.
Strikes to the back, twisting Sasha between the ropes, stretching her over her knee – Charlotte has her target set on Sasha’s back and she’s in control of this one. Sasha is able to build a short flurry of offence, hitting Charlotte with a headscissors and her signature double knees, but it’s not enough to bring Charlotte down. Charlotte then hits a double big boot, one to her back and one to her face, but only gets a 2 count.
It’s not a Flair match without a couple of backhand chops, which Charlotte uses to get Banks in the corner. Getting her in position for a Superplex from the top rope, Charlotte tries, but is shoved down and then gets hit by Sasha’s signature double knees… but this time from the top rope! The crowd erupts, but it’s still only enough for a 2 count!
Sasha goes for a Banks Statement, but Charlotte throws her to the outside… but Charlotte climbs up to the top rope and doesn’t go for her normal moonsault, but she goes for a Corkscrew Moonsault! She throws Sasha into the ring and hits the Natural Selection… 1… 2… NO! Sasha kicks out and Charlotte is stunned!
The self-proclaimed Queen is distraught. Angry and frustrated, she begins slapping down Sasha, screaming ‘STAY DOWN!’ as she vents her anger. Slapping her about, she picks up Sasha and throws her into the ropes… and uses her momentum from the ropes to turn a headscissors into a Bank Statement! However, Charlotte has done this before and rolls Sasha into a pinfall just like she did at Summerslam… but Sasha isn’t going down again and rolls back into a Bank Statement! Charlotte taps out and we have a NEWWWW RAW WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPION!
Once again, just like months before, a tearful Sasha Banks breaks down in tears in the middle of the ring, hoisting up the title to the cheers of the Staples Center! Michael Cole closes out the show, saying ‘IT’S BOSS TIME!’.
RAW Fallout caught up with Sasha following her groundbreaking main event title win!
Tonight also saw an appearance from the Ravishing Russian, Lana, who interrupted US Champion Roman Reigns. Our newlywed is still seething over her ruined Wedding Celebration and she issues a negotiation for Reigns to take on her husband Rusev one more time. It seems like Lana is now defending Rusev’s honour, telling Reigns to ‘Go to Hell!’ before her husband marches out and begins a vicious brawl. The chaos ends with the Bulgarian Brute laid out on the top of the stage, but Reigns takes up Lana’s challenge… but at Hell In a Cell!
And eagle eyed viewers may have caught the returning promo vignette for Emma… or is that Emmalina now? Bikini and beach shots are mixed with selfies to promote ‘The Makeover of Emma to Emmalina’… guess that means it’s the end of badass Evil Emma then? Who knows, but at least we know that Emma will be joining the red team!
Thoughts: Now this is why I’m Team RAW. Say what you will about this not being the best Sasha/Charlotte encounter or you may be bored because you’ve seen this match a couple times before, but you know what, this was just a good match and we should just appreciate that. The fact that these girls can still steal the show and hit new spots like Charlotte’s corkscrew moonsault just shows how great they are. Being in the main event only elevates the status of these women and it’s great to see them take the ball and run with it.
While this may not have been the strongest match between the two, they still tried to work on new things and get us excited. Some parts may not have been the slickest, like that weird botched spot where Charlotte kinda just caught Sasha and threw her back in the ring or that moonsault not connecting properly, but damn it was still a sight to see. I was super annoyed at that commercial break too, since it seems like they missed out one some cool spots, but they definitely still gaged it back by the end of the match.
What we should take from this week’s RAW, regardless of whether you like these girls or liked this match, is that the WWE is finally showing that they have faith in the women again. Let’s just remember that Trish and Lita were in the company for 4 years before they got to have their Main Event match, Sasha and Charlotte have only been on the main roster for a year and a couple months. These women are going to go down in history and we were all just witnesses to it and it’s a merit to such an amazing career that both these women have had already. Hats off to Sasha Banks and Charlotte, you guys are why I tune in and write these Reduxes!
Finally, I have to address the Emmalina promo… now while I’m super skeptical, I’m happy that Emma… or Emmalina is coming to the RAW brand. I do have this nagging feeling that this may be an awful cheesy gimmick (think farting Natalya or mole face Jillian), but at least Emma is going to be around some of the most popular girls in this industry. Coming to RAW could be the saving grace.. unless her gimmick is crap, but we shall see.
So how did you feel about tonight’s main event? Trish and Lita or Sasha and Charlotte? How do you feel about ‘Emmalina’? Do you remember that Nia Jax and Alicia Fox were feuding? Sound off in the comments below!