Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Raw Redux (April 6th, 2015): Funk is Well and Truly On a Roll

Happy Tuesday all and welcome to this week’s Raw Redux! Naomi looked to make it a third victory in a row against WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella last night as she teamed with Paige to clash with Nikki and her shadow Brie in tag team action. In addition to that goodness, we were also treated to a Divas backstage segment featuring Alicia Fox, Cameron, Natalya and Summer Rae as they pleaded with Kane to get a shot at the Divas Championship. Kane has had a weird relationship with the WWE Divas so I dread to think about what happened there…

Our match of the night is the first time we locked eyes with the Divas, and we see The Bella Twins making loser signs at thin air in the backstage area as they strut to the gorilla position. After commercials, they are already in the ring as we hear the screeching start of Paige’s epic theme song. CFO$, I salute you. After Paige makes it to the bottom of the ramp, a frankly glorious camera movement meets us with Naomi in the middle of the entrance way as she is all smiles. Lightning has already struck twice, yet can it strike thrice?

WrestleMania victor Paige starts out the match against Brie, and the pair reach a stalemate following an initial collar and elbow tie-up. The two Divas then mirror each other with hair pulls and matching slaps before Paige ends the ‘even Stevens’ behaviour by decking Brie with three connecting clotheslines. Hell in Boots tries to follow up that attack with a dropkick yet Nikki distracts Paige on the apron. Brie then drills Paige with a forearm to the back which sends her flying to the outside. Following that flight, Nikki delivers a crash landing clothesline.

Back in the ring, Brie yells “BRIEEEE MOOODDE” which gets a reaction from the crowd for some reason. The crowd really need to stop getting behind that chant. Well simply put, Brie needs to stop yelling that as a heel or be sarcastic with her delivery. Sadly, I don’t think Brie’s acting ability stretches far enough to portray that. Brie nets a near fall after kneeing Paige’s left cheek off and then she executes a chinlock. Paige literally just had a rest for seven or so seconds laying on the outside. I really don’t see the need for a resthold there at all.

Paige tries to mount a comeback yet everyone’s favourite Diva with a cheese related name pummels Paige with a knee to the head and a hair pull slam to the matt. Nikki is tagged in and The Bellas hit a sweet double slingshot suplex for two. Nikki then wraps her meaty legs around Paige, squeezing the life out of her with a bodyscissors. With the amount that those legs can deadlift, that will definitely hurt.

Nikki works over Paige’s lower back some more before then ramming the Anti Diva into the corner. Our Divas Champ rams her shoulders into Paige’s gut next before then ramming herself into the turnbuckle when Paige avoids her next attack – d’oh!

Paige uses the opportunity wisely and she makes the tag to a fresh and funky Naomi! Naomi whacks Nikki with a kick, one that seemingly made her a little wobbly as the butterfly beholder slightly botches Naomi’s next move, a headscissor takeover with multiple rotations. Naomi then smacks Brie off the apron and she continues to dish out some serious blows by kicking Nikki in the face and hitting the Rear View!

Brie breaks up the pin fall that would perhaps have ended the match and she shakes Nikki to try and stop her sister from seeing stars. Sadly Nikki’s stars certainly multiply as Paige caves her teeth in with a devastating boot to the face. Brie is beside herself with guilt as Paige takes her out. With Nikki dazed, Naomi (kind-of) hits her spike headscissor driver finisher for the win. Three in a row baby!

Later in the night some of our heel Divas are seen backstage sucking up to Kane, who is in charge tonight as Stephanie and HHH are away – boo! Summer is stroking Kane (someone should explain Katie Vick to her…) whilst Alicia tells Kane that he is running a phenomenal show. Him vs Randy Orton and Roman Reigns vs Big Show YET AGAIN? Yeah Alicia, because that is really entertaining

Kane asks what the deal is and Cameron lets out the most annoying awkward laugh ever and explains there is no catch. I love it. Nattie then states that although Naomi has pinned Nikki twice already (I guess Main Event doesn’t exist now) others deserve a chance too. Following #GiveDivasAChance, Alicia thinks that Kane should showcase the division for all of the fans across the world. Kane books the Battle Royal as the girls act like they have just won the lottery.

FYI Kane, your acting was horrendous in this.

Thoughts: Let’s get the negatives out of this way. The commentary during the match just did not work at all. It was dreadful. The three guys had no chemistry and I don’t see why Byron Saxton was given another chance following his boring job last week. #GiveTomPhillipsOrReneeYoungAChance. The commentary was so bad at the two most important parts of the match – Naomi’s tag and her finisher – that I wanted to pull my hair out. I understand Naomi’s finisher wasn’t executed the best, yet this moment showed that Booker and JBL didn’t see her match on SmackDown nor does Byron care to remember it. Let’s just have Renee and Tom and Raw and be done with this crap.

As for the match, it was far from crap. Whilst not as long as recent weeks, it was a solid encounter, aside from the one bland rest hold (Brie’s to Paige) and the slight miscommunication twice with Nikki and Naomi.

Another positive was the backstage segment. Whilst the girls were presented very stereotypically, it made sense as they were only playing with Kane to try and get what they wanted. At least all of the girls didn’t flirt with Kane and that was moreso Summer. It separated them as individuals by having them all act slightly differently, which I really liked. Summer was flirty, Cameron was sassy, Alicia was direct with Natalya more respectful to Naomi. Seeing different personalities get the chance to showcase themselves was a great move – well done WWE! #GiveDivasAChance is about letting these girls highlight who they are as personas as well as giving them more time to kick ass in the ring.

I also have to give WWE props for booking a Divas match one week in advance. Whilst it is pretty obvious that the match will be used to put Naomi over even more than she has been thus far, it will be a great pedestal to showcase the division and create more of story surrounding the championship. With the show being in London next week, Paige will definitely be a dark horse, as will Brie. Brie and Nikki have caused each other to suffer unnecessary blows in the last fortnight, so maybe Brie will look to go one step further?

I am off to see WWE live this Thursday and cannot wait to see the Divas in action. Brie, Nikki and Paige have been advertised thus far yet I really hope I get to see some Queen Tameezus too. Fingers crossed!

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