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RAW Redux (December 5th, 2016): Honey traps & parent traps

So last week, Sasha Banks won the title for the third time in Charlotte’s hometown. The sweet revenge was tipped by Charlotte’s father, Ric Flair, coming down to the ring and raising her bitter rival’s arm in victory. Despite what one of their mothers was saying on Twitter to me last week (oh yes, I went there), I enjoyed the twist in the story and this week would see the fallout. Last week proved that the women could draw the ratings, so how would things play out this week?

First off, during the RAW pre-show, we had a segment where Bayley was handing out Bayley bears and holiday hugs backstage. She gives one to Cedric Alexander, but a possessive Alicia Fox jumps in. She calls Bayley a ‘scared little girl’ and refers to Cedric as her “man”. Bayley challenges her to a match on RAW, which Fox accepts… while a confused Cedric looks on.

Fast forward to the match, which was a bit of a fart compared to the amazing run of matches we’ve seen this past week. In about 3 minutes, Alicia goes back to her 2014/15 crazy erratic offence (why she didn’t wrestle like this against Nia, I will never know) until Bayley locks in a Bayley-to-belly for the win. I mean… if that was supposed to lead to a feud or anything… that’s over now.

The night also sees a really weird and slightly disturbing ‘honeytrap’ angle between Lana and her husband Rusev, which starts off with Lana seen taking off her ring and throwing it at Rusev backstage. Enzo Amore and Big Cass look on, with Enzo providing comfort for an upset Lana. She invites him to his hotel, making it pretty clear that she wants some “extra comfort”. Hesitant at first, Big Cass advises him not to calling, calling her “Trouble with a capital T”.

Throughout the night, the tale plays out with Rusev challenging Big Cass to a match and Enzo bumping into Ric Flair, who allows him to use his limousine to get to the hotel! However, Rusev doesn’t come to the match, Cass clocks what’s happening and tries to contact Enzo… but he blocks his call.

Back at the hotel, Enzo is still hesitant, but the sultry Lana seduces him into the room and gets him to strip down to his boxers. Lana then says, “Vy durak”… a confused Enzo asks her to translate, where she reveals that it means “You’re a fool”. She calls in Rusev, who lays a beatdown that would have made Attitude Era fans happy. He smashes him through a table, cracks a lamp over his back and then crushes a flower vase over the back of his head. Pretty much lifeless, Rusev drags Enzo out of the room, while Lana closes the door and places the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door… classy WWE… classy….

Also, before we get to the Women’s Championship coverage, we finally get the reveal that Emma will be transforming into Emmalina next week! Sure we have no idea what this means, but it means that we’re getting Emma back and lord knows that we need something fresh in the RAW women’s division. Dear WWE, please don’t fuck this up and turn someone who should be up there with the 4HW with a lame T&A/comedy gimmick.

Right, so onto the MAAAIIIIN EVEENNT – earlier on in the night, RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks throws down the challenge and proposes an Iron Man match against Charlotte at Road Block… because you know… they needed another big gimmick match right?

The ending segment of the show sees Charlotte coming to the ring, to publicly apologize to her father Ric Flair after dismissing him last May. First off, it’s revealed that she has accepted the Iron Woman match against Sasha Banks for Road Block!

Onto the apology, Charlotte replays the clip from May, recapping how she kicked her Dad out of the ring. She goes on to say how upset it made her feel to see Ric Flair celebrate with Sasha Banks last week, making her feel inferior. She starts to get tearful, saying “All I ever wanted was my Dad’s approval… no one knows what it’s like being Ric Flair’s daughter in this business?!”.

She calls him out to the ring and a tearful Ric Flair comes down to the ring. Charlotte apologises, opens up her arms and Ric gives her daughter a hug. She offers another hug, but as he moves in, Charlotte slaps the taste out of his mouth and shouts “YOU SON OF A BITCH! I’m your flesh and your blood! Who is she to dedicate her victory to MY FATHER?!”.

Sasha Banks runs down to the ring, but Charlotte dismantles her easily. Throwing her into the barricade, hitting a sick Alley-Oop into the turnbuckle and dragging her limp body in front of her Dad shouting “This is your Champion”. Showing shades of May, Ric is left in tears as he’s screwed over by his daughter one more time.

Thoughts: RAW… RAW… RAW… when I started doing the RAW Reduxes, I was so full of life and so positive, but now I’m literally writing about the same thing several months later.

As I mentioned last week, it makes us fans seem so unappreciative as Charlotte and Sasha have been doing amazing… but overkill isn’t even the word to describe it. They’ve proven that they can draw, but what the WWE needs to realize is that if they need that momentum to continue, then they need other women involved. The reason why the women’s matches at TLC didn’t click with the crowd is because even they are in the shadow of Charlotte and Sasha.

I can be frank and say that seeing these two in an Iron Man match is not something that I’d like to see. Also knowing that Charlotte has a record that I don’t see being broken soon is another big red flag. Now before one of their Mothers decides to come for me on Twitter again, I think you all know that I’m appreciative of their talents both in the ring and on the mic. They are getting ratings, they are more popular than Trish and Lita ever were, but we have absolutely nothing to gain from seeing them have another match – let alone one that lasts for 30 minutes. If you disagree with me, then I’d love to read your comments below.

Bayley and Alicia’s program, I have zero interest in. Alicia turning heel out of nowhere brings us back to 2010, Bayley being a cocky face is slowly tainting her character and Alicia/Cedric aren’t even a couple yet?! It just seemed rushed and what a waste of time for Alicia really… It seems like Emmalina will probably be more likely to get involved with these girls, so we’ll see how this plays out. This whole ‘women’s mid-card’ is causing a terrible division that it’s very hard to get into anyone else, since the focus is always on the overexposed Charlotte and Sasha.

Finally, let me talk about Lana being the honeytrap mistress – since I still don’t know how I feel about it. We’ve had to go through the PG era and they are loosening the reigns on risky content, it just felt so awkward to see Lana using her t&a and then have Charlotte/Sasha going on about a revolution and women being equal. Also, remembering how the Lana character started out… being super reserved and prestige… to seeing her flashing her boob… it’s a weird adjustment. I mean overall, it adds a whole new evil edge to her character, but seeing a man (who had already been demolished 2 times before) get savagely beaten in a hotel? Very Attitude Era! I usually love it, but it just felt so out of place.

Anyway, where do you stand with the Lana segments – like it or lump it? Can you be bothered to watch ANOTHER Banks/Flair encounter? Do you care about the RAW women’s mid-card? Let me know in the comments below.

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