Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Raw Redux (August 10th, 2015): The Stage is Set for SummerSlam

It was announced on Monday Night Raw that at SummerSlam, the Diva Revolution will up the anti as all members of Team B.A.D, Team Bella and Team PCB (not sure if the laziness of that name is worse than the pornography promoting nature of Submission Sorority) will battle it out in a Nine Diva, Three Team Elimination Tag Team Match!

Hyping the anticipation for that match was a clash between two thirds of what will be an epic war at SummerSlam. Raw’s only bout for the Divas pitted Team B.A.D – Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina Snuka against Team Bella – Alicia Fox, Brie Bella and the WWE Divas Champion, Nikki Bella. PCB’s Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch were also on commentary for the match. It is probably best you watch the match on mute though. Let’s just say that the commentary was a little PCB: plain; contrived; and boring. Thankfully, the rest of the segment was pretty epic.

On top of all that, Lana returned to Raw following a one-week absence. She stuck her nose in Rusev and Summer Rae‘s business and she was definitely made to pay for it.

Shortly after the opening segment, we are treated to our Divas. Hooray for not waiting till Hour 3 again. The Revolution has been so good to us in that regard! We see Team B.A.D backstage strutting to the gorilla position before PCB are introduced on commentary. Paige’s line to JBL is the highlight of the entire portion of commentary as it definitely goes downhill.

Following Team Bella’s entrance, Team B.A.D cut a mini-tron promo where Sasha brands them “Bella-dashians”. Naomi says that Team B.A.D are look better than any Kardashian and fight better than any Bella. Tamina rounds out the segment by saying that not only are three of them Beautiful and Dangerous, they are Beautiful and Dominant. I wouldn’t class that bird’s nest you call hair beautiful Tamina! Your hair normally looks sick. I normally like Tamina’s look yet her hair-do was more dangerous than beautiful last night.

The lightning chemistry of Alicia and Naomi starts off the match, with Alicia taking Naomi down with a headlock takeover. Naomi retaliates with a flurry of absolutely brutal forearms before she runs off the ropes. Alicia floats under Naomi as the latter then leapfrogs the former. ‘Lic gets the best of the exchange in the end, flattening Naomi with a luscious tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The first strike on commentary ensues “Why thank you Michael!” as Nikki tags in.

After a double tem leg sweep, Nikki bags a near fall and begins to work on Naomi’s arm. Strike Two follows over at the commentary booth “Our team is the most dominant out of these Divas”. Holy generic chat. Don’t all try and talk at once ladies. I could practically hear crickets.

Naomi uses her ass to get back in control before she gives the crowd what they want by tagging in Sasha. I loved Tamina rallying the crowd at that moment. LOL. Stop Tina, you’re a heel! Team B.A.D hit a double elbow and Sasha quickly tags Naomi back in, choking Nikki out on her travels back to the apron. Nikki hits a spinebuster as her fight back begins to mount whilst Becky completely ignored Michael Cole talking to her about her #1 Contender’s Match on this week’s NXT. Strike 3! Nikki cracks Naomi with her springboard shin kick next as we got to commercials.

Back from the adverts and Team B.A.D have regained control. Sasha is now legal (Team B.A.D have seemingly learned from their SmackDown tagging fiasco!) and Sasha keeps Nikki down with a clothesline. She chokes Nikki on the second rope before Tamina delivers a rough big boot straight to the face. Let’s hope Nikki’s nose doesn’t end up like her boyfriend’s!

Paige butchers her words causing Strike Four (I love her yet she got seemingly flustered) as Sasha has Nikki in a sleeper hold. PCB then completely bury Naomi and Tamina as they state that they don’t take them seriously as Paige has beaten them so many times. Well then, why did Naomi beat you on SmackDown? Strike Five.

Brie gets the hot tag and quite frankly, a fantastic reaction from the crowd. She decks Sasha and sends the rest of Team B.A.D to the arena floor. She then replicates her husband with rapid-fire kick after kick and the crowd eat it up. Paige doesn’t; she says Brie can’t come up with her own stuff. Aren’t you teaming with Charlotte who woos every three seconds? Strike Six. I’m being pedantic now yet still!

After hitting her signature missile dropkick, Brie locks on her running knee, yet she misses Tamina tagging in Sasha amongst the euphoria. Tamina runs in a absolutely destroys Brie with a clothesline. HOLY. SELLING. Tamina blasts the rest of Team Bella from the apron, yet Brie is able to avoid Tamina’s superkick and roll her up for the win!

Immediately after her loss, Tamina brings Brie to the ground and Team B.A.D stomp a mudhole in Brie. It’s not long before all nine Divas are in the ring and absolute carnage ensues! The highlight of the scrap is Naomi’s bazooka of a dropkick to Alicia – oh my god! The segment begins to come to a close with Charlotte and Sasha facing off, with both of their respective teams joining the staredown shortly after. Team Bella begin to walk up the ramp looking flustered, yet with a win under their belts, and the WWE Divas Championship belt in their grasp, they are not out for the count yet.

On Raw Fallout, Team Bella remained confident:

All expressed pride over their win and promised to be victorious at SummerSlam.

Later in the night, Lana’s miserable summer continues as she is viciously attacked by a woman with the season as her namesake. Lana updates everyone on the condition of Dolph Ziggler when on commentary for Rusev’s match against the World’s Strongest Flop, Mark Henry.

Summer tries to get involved in the match, and after Lana pulls her from the apron, the match is thrown out as Lana is ambushed by Summer. Whilst distracted by Rusev, Summer takes Lana out and sends her face first into the mat several times. Rusev then hilariously yells “Summer… CRUSH!” and Summer applies The Accolade to Lana. Summer’s cackling was awesome and Lana’s selling was impressive. A very compelling scene here that definitely made me feel sorry for Lana. Result!

Summer talked about kicking Lana’s ass on Raw Fallout, cryptically saying that Lana should stay away from the ring:

Thoughts: While we were treated to less in-ring action than recent weeks last night, I enjoyed the revolution segment equally as much, if not more so. The crowd were super hot for every element of the match (that always helps) and the chemistry between all of the competitors was excellent, especially Naomi and Alicia. I want a championship programme between those two VERY soon. Please and thank you.

My MVP is most definitely Brie Bella. I am often harsh on Brie because her character’s personality has less charisma than Khloe Kardashian hosting X Factor USA, yet she was on fire last night. Her selling was at the highest level and something about her involvement in the match created a ‘big moment’ feel. She was crisp, clean and I’ll admit, I enjoyed my dose of Brie Mode this week. Credit to Tamina though for the assist. DAT CLOTHESLINE DO.

I totally over-exaggerated PCB on commentary yet I felt that they could have done so much more. Paige did the best (and that’s not me being bias) whilst Becky barely said a word and Charlotte was acting like Little Miss Goody Two Shoes. Where’s Natalya to make her forget her manners?! Where was the cocky, borderline heel behaviour from Charlotte? She knows she is amazing and we should have had her blow her own trumpet. Instead, all that she said seemed mega forced. At least it wasn’t an Alicia “Hungry Pirahna” wreck of a promo though. Silver linings.

The brawl was nicely done and I love that the Divas’ involvement at SummerSlam has been announced two weeks prior to the show. The fans are majorly into the Revolution, and so they should be as the matches have been stellar. With one Raw and two SmackDown shows still to air before the PPV, I’d like to see an absolutely killer in-ring promo involving the Divas that starts to have this feud take a personal turn. So far, the jockeying for position has been all about sticks and stones, yet we need an ultra-personal war of words to really crank this story up to eleven. I think this three team story is far from over though, so I guess there is time for that. I guess we’ll see Team Bella vs Team PCB on SmackDown, so how about we get Team B.A.D vs Team PCB on next week’s Raw and have fantastic verbal warfare on next week’s SmackDown? That sounds good to me!

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