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Raw Redux (December 21st, 2015): Nikki Bella is the Diva of the Year

It was WWE’s version of the Oscars last night as the annual 2015 Slammy Awards took place. Whilst some gong winners were questionable (Neville and The Usos – really?!), the majority were brilliantly accurate. The Divas fall into the latter category, with Nikki Bella being crowned Diva of the Year. She wasn’t originally however. More on that later in the Christmas Raw Redux.

Someone who has been naughty this year like every other was Stephanie McMahon, and her nasty, venomous streak was on full display last night:

She opened the show and declared that despite the recent shenanigans involving her family, she wouldn’t let Roman Reigns ruin her night. What did Roman do you might ask? He ruined her night.

Stephanie is back again midway through the show to present the award for Superstar of the Year:

This was the only smooth part of the night for Steph as a Seth Rollins win softened the rather rough night for one of WWE’s principle owners.

None other than bloody R-Truth was out to present the trophy for Diva of the Year, and his involvement had “pop culture reference” written all over it:

Unlike WWE’s normal stance of waiting four months before referencing something, they actually made a topical jibe at the Miss Universe competition.

Paige was announced as the award recipient, only for Truth to realise he has made a mistake, and that the real winner was Nikki Bella. Nikki returned to Raw in stunning fashion, dropping everyone’s jaws with a transparent, black number that she looked like a true champion in.

Paige was initially miffed, but Nikki told her to stand by her as she delivered her speech. Nikki thanked Paige and every other WWE Diva, the NXT Divas and every other female WWE employee. She said that she will continue to do what she does to entertain and inspire women and girls who attend WWE events. She and Paige then ridiculously hugged to close the segment. To quote The Miz – really?!

Shortly after, it was time for our sole match of the night, a rematch from SmackDown featuring Becky Lynch against Brie Bella. Of course, it wouldn’t be a three hour episode of Raw without at least one rematch from the episode of SmackDown the week prior:

As Becky’s music plays, we see that in fact, WWE wants it to be all about the lady accompanying Lynch to the ring, the WWE Divas Champion, Charlotte. WWE hypes the fact that she is the cover star for Muscle & Fitness Hers, surely another achievement she can brag about. Thankfully, there is not a Ric Flair in sight. WOO… HOO!

Commentary mention the unwarranted assistance from Charlotte on SmackDown last week, but there is no sign of that tension on screen. Annoying. Becky and Brie lock up to begin, and then Becky hits a schoolgirl, an Oklahoma roll and then a reverse roll-up for a near fall. Brie hits back with a kick to the gut and blasts to the head in the corner, moves she follows up with a reversal. That counter was a grab to Becky’s leg following the Lass Kicker’s attempt at a springboard kick. Brie drapes Becky’s arm over the top rope and the tide turns.

Brie works over the arm in the corner before jumping onto it rear first in the middle of the ring. Brie locks in a basic submission before slamming Becky head first to the mat. Brie roughs Becky up with some nonchalant kicks before rallying kick after kick “Shades of her Husband” style. Becky’s left shoulder takes the brunt, but it isn’t enough to put her away, eve after Brie’s running knee strike.

Brie applies a grounded abdominal stretch next before continuing her punishment with a clothesline. The former Divas Champion then knees Becky’s arm twice before decking her with a dropkick. A key lock is Brie’s next weapon of choice, but Becky’s resiliency helps her soon after.

The Irish Diva fires forearm after forearm and clothesline after clothesline. Michael Cole makes me cringe big time with his “the self-proclaimed Lass Kicker” line as Becky hits a jumping calf kick and running forearm on Brie. After her springboard kick (which is unique but pretty ineffective looking to be honest), Becky tries to T-bone Brie. She fails as Brie elbows Becky’s dodgy shoulder profusely.

Brie topples Becky with a missile dropkick but it still isn’t enough for her to find a way to win. Becky then reverse one of Brie’s pin attempts into the Dis-Arm-Her for the win. Post match, Charlotte raises her belt up high after showing that she seemingly can play nice without her Daddy around.

Finally, a livid Stephanie McMahon is seen backstage following Dean Ambrose‘s main event win over Sheamus:

Tom Phillips asks Stephanie for her reaction, and she tells him that her reaction is… A MAJOR SLAPFEST! I kind of wish Tom was JoJo here just to add another Diva in the mix and tease JoJo getting into the ring, but still, this was so epic!

Thoughts: Non-kayfabe wise, this was a tremendous night for Stephanie McMahon. She is truly one of WWE’s most captivating, and seeing her take no crap at the end of the show was an early Christmas treat! I also enjoyed Roman knowing her so well, he knew how to firmly press her buttons!

Nikki Bella was truly deserving of the Diva of the Year trophy too. She has become a total star in 2015. Whilst I am perhaps in the minority in that I prefer Nikki as a babyface (which is what she was for much of 2014), there is no denying that she stepped up her in-ring work majorly in 2015. Her feuds may not have always had the best storylines, but her matches delivered consistently. She has great chemistry with just about everyone and is the total package. No one was more deserving to win than Nikki.

As for the title picture, there really isn’t much of one following last night. Raw’s action was just very inconsequential. Becky won a predictable match, and it would have been nicer to see Charlotte cheat yet again, or inadvertently cost Becky the match. Instead, we got nothing. Yes, I am pleased that Becky actually got a clean win on Raw unlike Main Event where she is normally shoved, but we have seen her beat Brie about 6857 times already. It’s a shame we couldn’t have seen something a little fresher, but at least Becky is no longer being forgotten about.

And that concludes another Raw Redux. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! I’ll see you guys again one last time before the New Year rolls in. Happy Holidays!

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