Saturday, September 18, 2021

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Raw Redux (September 7th, 2015): Charlotte Gives Nikki No Reason to Bellabrate


Last night’s Raw was another jam-packed edition for us loyal Diva fans, with two in-ring segments and a great match booked for WWE’s flagship red brand. Tensions rose between Charlotte and Nikki Bella, as the former delivered the latter some no-so-good news for her. Summer Rae also continued to shine on the mic, with WWE granting her time to stand in the ring alone and cut a promo. Who would have thought I would be typing that six months ago?

Amongst all of the talking of the talk, some walking of the walk was done too between Paige and Sasha Banks. This rivalry is definitely forming into a nice, little mini-feud, as Paige is yet to pin Sasha or make her submit since she arrived on the main roster. Sasha on the other hand is aiming to beat Paige for the FOURTH time. Could she achieve that feat and throw even more salt into Paige’s championship-less wounds?

Stephanie McMahon was the first lady in the limelight, and she was as usual, undermined by Seth Rollins.

I can’t wait until she slaps the absolute My Little Pony out of him! That’s right, My Little Pony can now be used a topical euphemism for ‘the holy hell’. Whilst Steph was most certainly belittled by Seth, she and her sarcasm got the last laugh.

Our sole Divas match of the night took place next, with Team PCB member Paige clashing with Team B.A.D’s Sasha Banks. Sasha has made Paige tap out twice on Raw, scuppered her Beat the Clock chances and pinned her on Main Event last week. I imagine that combination means that Paige has a hell of a lot of steam in her head that she will be wanting to let off!

Following entrances alongside Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Naomi and Tamina ‘Unlike Charlotte, my lineage will never be mentioned again’ Snuka, the match gets underway. Paige is the aggressor right off the bat, launching Sasha across the ring harder than WWE booted Zahra out of the door. Too soon? Paige rams Sasha against the ropes next before catching her attempted kick and dropping her on her face. Paige continues her onslaught with vicious elbows to Sasha’s face in the corner, yet Sasha retaliates in a major way. From being smacked in the mush, Sasha drops Paige on her tush with her trademark double knees. I bet Melina is sat vexed somewhere re-watching that time she broke Maria Kanellis‘ face to get over the fact a new Diva has stolen her move!

Back from commercials and Paige is locked in a straight jacket submission. She channels Houdini and manages to get out out of the hold, tackling Sasha with a Lou Thesz Press as a follow-up. Sasha shuts Paige down though immediately after, ramming her with a stiff forearm smack. Sasha keeps scrapping with rapid-fire kicks to Paige’s head, stomps to her chest and a running knee attack in the corner. After a near fall, she then chokes Paige on the ropes. When the referree is occupied, Tamina Snuka introduces her knuckles to Paige’s temple, and Team PCB are furious at ringside!

Sasha is irate with the referee thinking it was a slow count, and it nearly costs her when Paige rolls her up with a small package. Sasha is still the healthier Diva with more energy though, and she practically concusses Paige when flinging her back to the mat. Ouch. More pain follows for Paige next as she wrapped in the straight jacket submission again. Once she gets out, she is soon flat on her back once more when Sasha pulls her from the second rope. The near falls keep coming though as Paige shows her resilience and lifts her shoulders up again.

That perseverance from Paige is showcased once again shortly after, as she avoids a corner splash(a) from Sasha (A+ for my terrible rhyming) and begins whacking Sasha all over the shop. Paige hits a corner knee clout that she follows up with a thrust kick and a second knee. Sasha then reverses a scoop slam and tries to get back into her stride, yet Paige reverses a crossbody and goes for the RamPaige! Sasha elbows her way out of the predicament and joins her B.A.D stablemates outside.

At the ringside area, Paige lands right on Tamina Snuka with a flip from the apron. This allows Sasha to bash Paige around some more, and it’s all thanks to Naomi for pulling her out of harm’s way. Naomi could’t help her back in the ring however when Paige hits a stunning wheelbarrow suplex! The crowd chant “This is awesome” as Paige attempts to hit the PTO. Naomi then as brazen as you like charges into the ring (a considerable way in too) before jolting back out. The distraction allows Sasha to roll Paige up, allowing her to get her fourth win over the Anti Diva!

The sensational Summer Rae is the next Diva on the agenda, and she is ready to address the WWE Universe and apologize to Rusev. Summer has a new titantron but I think WWE missed a trick by not giving her Lana‘s old solo theme. She has the hair, clothes, attitude and bloke – she may as well take Lana’s theme too!

After an awkwardly long camera shot of a family that won ringside seats, Summer reflects on having a ringside seat outside a naked Dolph Ziggler in the shower. Summer says that the only victim in all of this is the man she betrayed when Dolph came onto her, Rusev. Summer says that Rusev has been her beacon and lighthouse, whilst he has been the driving force into enabling her to get her body into the best shape… to his liking. Yikes. Summer says that Rusev’s support gave her the confidence to pose for Ironman Magazine too, and we see photos of her shoot.

Summer says that her innocence got the best of her last week, and she makes a new startling claim, Dolph and her kissed too. DUN DUN DUUUUUN! Summer begins to cry yet Rusev calms her down and starts stroking her lips. What a creep! He says that he forgives her, and that he isn’t the victim in all of this, she is. RuRu (LOL) then takes the mic, and he says that Dolph is to blame as he fed Summer “all these American lies”. Wait, WWE does know Summer is from North Carolina right? A definite weak part of the segment, unless it getx explained that Rusev is so mesmerized with Lana that he has forgotten Summer is American.

Rusev then brings Lana’s name into the equation and he says she doesn’t have a broken wrist, she has a broken heart. Rusev’s blabbering on leads to the “skinny American” Dolph Ziggler to enter the arena. Dolph has hear enough and says that Lana has a message for Rusev. Ziggy proceeds to take Rusev’s cheeks off with a superkick and he stands tall to end the segment.

Team Bella address the crowd in our final Divas portion of Raw, and forget Nikki Bella – Alicia Fox, you look bloody fantastic.

The new attire with the AF design is amazing. Brie did well too. She was cringe-worthy in a good way as she hyped Nikki. Nikki then takes to the mic and she thanks the Bella Army. The Bellatron is presented on screen, and Nikki says that to commemorate when she breaks the record next week, she will host a Bellabration party. Get ready to enter Brie Mode she says, as bottles will be popping and music will be blasting.

Speaking of music, Charlotte’s theme interrupts Nikki’s droning on and on and Team PCB make their way to the ring. Charlotte says that she wonders why she wasn’t invited to next week’s party considering that everyone knows she loves a party. We do? You’re not Adam Rose’s Bunny so I’m not sure where you got that from Lotty!

Charlotte isn’t bothered though, as she made other plans, like going to The Authority to request that their Night of Champions title match is moved to next week’s Raw. Nikki would break the record to become longest reigning Divas Champion an hour after next week’s Raw has ended, so she wanted to do something to try and change that. Steph and Trips granted Charlotte’s request, and Charlotte says she will beat the Bellatron, stop Nikki from beating the record and she will beat the Fearless One for the butterfly belt!

Monumental news broken, time for some faces to be broken! Paige starts a fight between all six Divas and the crowd are eating it up! Nikki tries to run away yet she is thrown back into the ring by Paige as Brie is taken out and Alicia is tossed T-bone style by Becky. Charlotte spears Nikki before applying the Figure 8! Nikki taps and Charlotte has sent such a major message to get momentum on her side!

On Raw Fallout, Team B.A.D. spoke to Eden about Sasha’s big win over Paige:

Naomi comes to Sasha defense vis-a-vis the “Sasha’s shoulder were down” argument. Naomi says she got the three count and the win, and that’s all that matters.

Thoughts: This week was a solid week for the Divas. We had solid action, tremendous mic work and actual plot twists arising in the title picture – hooray! Will Charlotte “beat that lame clock”, stop Nikki from breaking the record and take the Divas Championship? I don’t think so. Yet. However, this latest story development has made Charlotte look savvy, determined and unafraid to ruffle some feathers, and I really, really like that. The booking here was a really good way of building a babyface character; Charlotte followed through with her idea and outsmarted her snooty, self-righteous rival. For this week at least.

The actual confrontation segment itself was nicely done, and I particularly love the idea of a “Bellabration”. Now that is a pun that works! If I am right, and Charlotte does lose to Nikki on Raw, the Bellas should just reschedule their Bellabration and host it on next week’s Smackdown, only for their other two rival teams to crash it. How amazing would a segment be with the Divas absolutely trashing a party set-up? I know I would love to see all nine girls create carnage with some presents and a piñata. Hell, let’s have Becky Lynch T-bone someone through the buffet table!

Another woman that WWE booked well this week was Summer Rae. She has well and truly proved that she is a fantastic talker in this storyline, although I really have no idea where it will go now that Lana’s wrist is injured. I think WWE should end it after Night of Champions and pick it back up when Lana is healthy. Will Summer stay with Rusev? Only time will tell. Whilst I have enjoyed Summer’s push and the fact she has been appearing in a storyline with backstage segments, catfights galore and main event match appearances, I haven’t been a fan at the lack of reasoning behind why she even joined Rusev in the first place. I know you can’t have it all, yet with WWE showcasing they can book logically in the title scene (with Charlotte wanting to stop Nikki from breaking the record), yet would think they could use their brains elsewhere too. Still, I am very pleased Summer has gotten the chance to prove she can be an annoying, manipulative and most importantly, captivating female when given the chance to showcase her vocal skills.

Paige and Sasha put on a fun little match too! Sasha reversing the RamPaige was new, the wheelbarrow suplex was stunning and I also loved that Team B.A.D didn’t just stand at ringside and do nothing; they either took bumps or wreaked havoc! Naomi and her close shave of overstepping the boundaries was fun too. Getting that blatantly involved, similarly to her and Tamina pulling Sasha from the ring last week, will certainly make for interesting points when Paige inevitably brings up the fact that she has been screwed over the last few weeks.

I definitely see Paige’s downward spiral leading to a heel turn, yet I hope that it is a slow burn. Whilst many people are sick of the three team dynamic already, I think it would be strange to break these factions up so soon after they formed, so if Paige’s losing streak continues, then that would make more sense to me. If she was to suddenly snap this week on SmackDown for example, the impact would be much smaller, and it would ruin the credibility of the storyline. These teams have been vying to prove who is best for weeks, and if that camaraderie was to be dropped so soon, I would be disappointed. Logically, it wouldn’t make much sense either. Thankfully, logic is something WWE showcased that they actually possessed this week, so long may it continue.

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