Monday, February 6, 2023

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Raw Redux (August 3rd, 2015): The Submission Sorority Showcases Supremacy

Last night was a big night for Paige as her newly-named Submission Sorority faction were in action twice, and she got to have a chat with Stone Cold which was hella awesome. I’m now an even bigger fan if that was even possible. Just used hella in a sentence in public also and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I know something I do know my feelings on, and that is the Divas Revolution, which has churned out impressive and lengthy matches non-stop… if you overlook last Thursday’s matchless SmackDown. Whilst the matches have been utterly superb, the storyline has never left the same gear and well, I want the engine to rev even louder. The matches this week certainly leaned towards a shift happening in the storyline as one team surged ahead of the rest of the pack. Which team was that? Let’s take a closer look.

Our first match of the night (that’s right, two matches a night continues) was a tag team match pitting Submission Sorority members Becky Lynch and Charlotte against Team Bella members, Brie and Nikki Bella. Paige and Alicia Fox were at ringside, and both trios got pre-recorded entrance promos to hype themselves up. I love how WWE has utilised yet another method to allow the girls to have some mic time. We have seen backstage segments and ringside commentary, and now we’ve seen this type of promotion too.

Brie starts things out with Becky and low and behold, Michael Cole references their match on WWE Main Event. I gasped loudly. The two lock up before Becky applies a wristlock to Brie. Brie fights back and throwd Becky to the ground, yet Becky bridges from under Brie and then takes her down with a drop toe hold. Three leg drops later and Charlotte makes her first appearance in the match.

Charlotte immediately follows Becky’s drops with one using her knee, paying homage to her Dad. The two exhange waistlocks before Nikki blind tags Brie and then drops Charlotte with a rough looking kick to the face! Nasty stuff, which means I loved it.

The two exchange front facelocks and then Charlotte gets the best of the situation and applies a front chinlock. Following a reversed Figure 8 attempt, Charlotte traverses the second rope, only to be distracted by Brie and yanked to the mat by Nikki. A near fall follows with Brie tagging in shortly thereafter. The Bellas hits a uniqe double team that I remember The Mexicools utilizing back in the day (there’s an obscure reference for you) and then Brie continues to work on Charlotte’s back with kicks and… a rest hold. Yay.

Charlotte eventually breaks free and jams Brie’s jaw with a gorgeous chinbreaker. Free reconstructive surgery courtesy of the Queen City Surgeon! Charlotte makes the hot tag and Becky hits a duo of clotheslines and a neat jumping calf kick. She then locks in the Disarmer as JBL botches her nickname. Why is he employed for this position please? With Nikki willing her on, Brie doesn’t tap like she did on Main Event and she reaches the ropes to break the hold.

Ever the seasoned veterans, The Bellas sucker Becky in on the outside, recuperating quickly before Brie hits a clothesline. A flapjack was hit on Becky during the commercials, and now Nikki is wrenching Becky’s back. After some plucky Irish behaviour, Nikki shuts Becky back down, sending the Lass Kicker’s face straight into her knee. Brie comes back in and after a double team move, Brie rapidly belts Becky with fierce kicks. Brie tries to end the match with her running knee, yet Becky is no Summer Rae and kicks out. Sorry Summer, I remember that episode of Main Event.

A double clothesline later and both girls are forced to dig deep to make it to their respective corners. Brie does so first and Nikki charges in with major urgency, yet Charlotte ducks a clothesline attempt and hits several chops, a kneeling hangman’s neckbreaker and a wicked spear! A gorgeous combo there. Brie breaks up the subsequent pin and then walks right into a seamless t-bone suplex. That looked so bloody good.

Charlotte tries to capitalise on her breathing room with a big boot but Nikki avoids contact and drops the genetically superior Diva like a bad habit with a crisp spinebuster. Somehow Charlotte kicks out and she also manages to reverse Nikki’s next move too in equally impressive fashion. Just as Nikki’s knee looks to meet Charlotte’s face, Charlotte blocks and is able to lock in the Figure 8. Nikki taps after trying to withstand the pain and Ms Flair impresses yet again.

Immediately following the match, JoJo interviewed Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina Snuka of Team B.A.D backstage. Nice that B.A.D got some promo time too and weren’t forgotten about. JoJo asked them about their flop segment on Tough Enough whether Submission Sorority’s win over Team Bella tonight puts them in the most powerful position in the Division.

Sasha says that the Submission Sorority are definitely not in control. Did JoJo not see Sasha defeat Paige last week? The Boss sets JoJo straight and Naomi tells her to stop asking dumb questions. Naomi says she will make another statement tonight (isn’t that meant to be Tamina’s line?) and she is going to send Paige and her cronies back to Freak Island. I assume that is a place on Planet Funk that Naomi may have visited way back when. The segment ends with Naomi tapping JoJo on the end and it appears Dana Brooke has lost one of he only traits that made her in someway likable. Did I say that out loud? Oops.

Our next sighting is of Summer Rae, who accompanied Rusev to the ring for his match against the World’s Strongest Irrelevancy, Mark Henry.

A quiet week for Summer as Lana was nowhere to be seen and Summer didn’t interfere in the match either. Lana’s monster push certainly has been halted. Womp bloody womp.

Our final segment from Raw was the second match of the night, a singles match resulting from Naomi’s challenge to Paige. Naomi has left Paige laying in the past, yet Paige always tends to one up Mrs Fatu. Would that be the case again?

A traditional collar-and-elbow sees the two jockey for position. The nice chain wrestling continues until Paige sends a brutal knee Naomi’s way. Naomi kicks out quick and JBL redeems himself from his messy commentary earlier by mentioning Saraya Knight about 56 times. Amen.

Team Bella look on as Paige elbows Naomi like that form of ass whooping is going out of fashion. Stiff yet safe guys. Paige channels Stone Cold and stomps a mudhole into Naomi and the Floridian Diva is quick to respond by shaking her arse into Paige’s face. Brodus Clay isn’t around anymore, and thank god Sweet T isn’t either – we don’t need to see that again Naomi! Paige agrees and stops anything funky from happening again with a barrage of knee strikes and an armbar.

Sasha Banks then jolts to the apron and Paige gets take out with a modified reverse codebreaker after the distraction. Naomi returns Paige’s favor from earlier with some stomps, which she follows up with a corner bulldog and extremely tight headlock. Naomi piles on the pressure with kicks and stomps yet Paige isn’t kept down for the count. Naomi then boots Paige’s lips off and tells her to “kiss my lights”. Watch out for the static shock!

Naomi then really impresses me by twisting Paige’s body around the ring post to cause some delicious damage. Whilst effective for a short while, Paige soon backs a comeback from the depths of a rest hold and she reverses a crossbody attempt into a lush fall away slam! With the crowd firmly rooting her on, Paige hits her patented connecting clotheslines and one-footed dropkick before attempting to hit the PTO.

Naomi avoids that submission (for now) and retaliates with knees to the body and head of her foe. Naomi travels to the well of her corner bulldog again yet Paige throws her down the hole and she hits the bottom! Paige has the PTO on her mind again yet Naomi ensures she won’t fall victim to it (yet). Undeterred, Paige blasts Naomi with a thrust kick to the face and in a classic case of third time lucky, Paige contorts Naomi into B.A.D position (see what I did there?) forcing the beautiful and dangerous Diva to tap!

Post-show, Becky and Charlotte talked about their dominant night:

Thoughts: Raw was fantastic yet again this week in regards to the matches. The tag team match was long yet certainly didn’t feel drawn out or boring in any way. The four Divas involved showcased fantastic chemistry, the match was as clean as a whistle and the finish leads to a potential power shift within the division. I very much enjoyed how all of the Submission Sorority got to show off their submissions and even better was the fact that WWE referenced that WWE Main Event exists, and that Becky defeated Brie on the show. We better check to see if hell has frozen over.

Charlotte is yet to lose since getting the call-up, and now she has made the Divas Champion tap out. Nikki was yet to be pinned or submitted since the revolution began (in an actual match anyway), so Charlotte has managed a huge feat. Let’s hope the story continues to point towards her rise to the top come SmackDown. I could however see Sasha gain a win over Nikki perhaps, leading to a triple threat at SummerSlam between those two and Charlotte. We’ll see what the spoilers give us. And after last week, hopefully they give us something more than a video package. Whilst that is appreciated, we’re getting used to a little more nowadays!

As for Naomi and Paige’s match, I really enjoyed that too. At first it was a little shaky, and the momentum-shifting moment fell a little flat due to a slight miscommunication, yet the final few minutes was really exciting. Both looked amazing too. The increased blue in Paige’s hair is so hot and Naomi’s attire made her look phenomenal.

I loved Sasha’s distraction also yet it would have been nice to see more of a scrap on the outside in both matches. Although, it does make sense for the teams to be on their best behaviour following them getting thrown out from ringside last week. Continuity WWE, who knew you could pull it off so well!

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