Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening and welcome to this week’s Raw Redux. Beyoncé gave us Lemonade this past weekend, while WWE only really handed us a single lemon. One thing they did get right however was their on-air response to the untimely passing of Chyna.
Kicking off the show was Shane McMahon, who was in charge of Raw for the final time… for now. He was interrupted by Stephanie McMahon, who announced that Vince will be on-hand at Payback to announce once-and-for-all who will be in control of Monday Night Raw. Cue some skitty comments between brother and sister and we have the makings of a cute, albeit uninspiring segment. You’ve got to love any time Stephanie has a meltdown though. It really was Steph at her slappiest and snarliest!
Lana made it on an episode of Raw for once too this week, accompanying Rusev for his match against Sami Zayn. Hooray for this separation of the League of Nations – Lana is lost no more! Rusev lost however, and Lana chucked her heels at Sami Zayn. Drag him Queen!
Up next, it’s time for our one and only match of the night, Natalya vs Emma. Nattie’s entrance is cut annoyingly, but at least we get see Emma and her signature taunt. Anyone who has seen me recreate it at live events will know I’m a big fan. What I’m not a big fan of is cut entrances though. We do have a new belt but some things don’t ever change I guess! Joining the proceedings sitting on commentary is Charlotte. Thank the lord no-one gave Ric a headset.
Someone else who has beef with Emma (although she hates her and not how she is utilised on screen like me!) is Becky Lynch. After a week off, their feud is reignited on Backstage Fallout. That popular medium that EVERYONE watches. At least we got to see her at all – that’s a good thing right? *cough*unlike Sasha*cough* Becky’s salad is more important to her than Emma, and she certainly isn’t letting the Evil Aussie get to her. Unlike the actors on The Big Bang Theory, Becky actually ate her food prop in this segment too – woohoo! Sorry for ruining TBBT or when you next watch it! The cast always just play with the food and it is SOOOO annoying.
Maryse also popped up again this week. Her and The Miz are bloody hilarious. There certainly isn’t a lot of emotional substance to their feud with Cesaro, but it definitely is entertaining!
Finally, WWE paid tribute in a very classy fashion to the Ninth Wonder of the World. The video was simply fantastic. Recognition that Joanie would have absolutely loved. Hats off, WWE.
Thoughts: I really don’t want to be, but I was pretty disappointed with last night’s show. The match was waaaaayyy too short, and the staredown aftermath was plain boring. Yeah, we got to see Charlotte’s cowardly side a little more, but I thought the whole thing fell a little flat. We’ve seen a staredown a million times before, and Tal pushing Ric into Charlotte would have been much more entertaining.
Speaking of Charlotte, I liked her on commentary. Ric didn’t overshadow her, nor did her words overshadow the
blink-and-you’ll-miss-it action. Her comeback to Byron about Ric being her coach was cute, as was her line about Nattie using Bret as a last-ditch attempt to stay relevant. An improvement is an improvement and I’ve got to raise that point. Well done Charlotte!
As for the match, there’s not a lot to say about it. Of course, it was absolutely solid looking at the competitors in the ring, but they just didn’t get anywhere near enough time. Emma’s trip to Natalya on the apron and the subsequent butterfly suplex on the outside were major highlights, but not much more can be critiqued regarding the in-ring work.
What I can critique is the treatment of Emma. For some ridiculous reason, she was left off the UK tour, stalling her feud with Becky. Then WWE has her lose clean in quick fashion – what the hell is that about?! Charlotte should have cheated to have Emma win, playing into the idea that shenanigans can’t happen on Sunday with Bret in Natalya’s corner. Emma losing by DQ would have also been fine, protecting her from a pinfall or submission loss. Not to mention, she could have helped Charlotte beat Nattie down, showcasing that ruthless streak of hers. Tonight’s showing was a missed opportunity.
Will Stephanie and Shane’s face-off and Vince’s decision this Sunday lead to a brand split and a WWE Draft? I really, really hope so, but only time will tell. predict that Stephanie will keep control of Raw, with Shane thrusted in as the new General Manager of SmackDown in an attempt to boost ratings. I hope Steph stays on Raw because three hours means we have more chances of seeing her godly, sarcastic self. Fingers crossed this sibling rivalry turns into a war between brands. I’ll get my popcorn ready.