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Raw Redux (January 4th, 2016): “New Year, New Me” for Charlotte

Charlotte‘s new year’s resolution was clearly to act like a total hypocrite. The Divas Champion was all outraged at Paige when she turned her back on her and Becky Lynch but fast forward a few months and Charlotte is the one attacking Becky from behind. I think the pot has been calling the kettle black to start off 2016!

Old habits die hard and it seems that Ric Flair‘s influence over Charlotte as the dirtiest player in the game was too much for Charlotte to overlook. Her Dad made a career on being a total Machiavellian (order a series of that E! network) and it seems like she will follow suit as his dastardly daughter. Old habits die hard for the McMahon family too, as Stephanie and Vince are still very much hard at work trying to make Roman Reigns‘ life absolute hell. Let’s take a look at their latest efforts.

It is the Billion Dollar Queen herself that opens the show, but before she can even make it down the ramp, her music cuts off and Roman Reigns’ epic theme blasts through the speakers, much to Steph’s disappointment. Roman gets on the mic and says that tonight simply isn’t about Stephanie so she can’t make it about her. Tonight is about her Dad, and his actions as the special guest referee for the main event. Roman says that he does his job to provide for his family, and when he holding that gold, he sees the belt as his life. Perhaps we will see Roman on one of those documentaries soon that films people in love with inanimate objects?

Stephanie mocks Roman’s speech, telling him that she almost believed his BS for a moment. She cuts deep with her sharp tongue, explaining that she is going to run him into the ground until his body can’t take any more punishment. She says that whilst he thinks the crowd care about him, as soon as he is a loser who can’t go in the ring, they’ll just turn their attentions to another arrogant superstar. Roman ends the segment by telling Stephanie that if Vince steps out of line, it’ll be her visiting her Dad in a hospital bed, not a jail cell.

We next find ourselves backstage with Becky Lynch and her galpal Charlotte. Charlotte walks up to the Lass Kicker a little bit miffed, asking if she was behind getting their match booked for tonight. Becky says she wasn’t but she is glad they can have another bit of friendly competition. Charlotte says she isn’t sure why considering she beat her fair and square last time (yeah right). Becky looks on the bright side, saying that their match last time around was really good, and she’s looking forward to another cracking match – some friendly competition. Charlotte can agree to that statement so it seems, but then Ric Flair strolls into view. He woos 532 times as the segment ends.

Following entrances (with Becky’s featuring the debut of her new seaweed sidekick humping her legs) the match begins. Charlotte shows her strength early on by backing Becky into a corner but Becky is quick to even the score with two awesome arm drags. The pair exchange a pin attempt each, Becky’s ending with her signature bridge out of harm’s way. I’m a big fan of that move!

The two then try to hip toss one another but both girls have their heads in the game and stop the other from taking advantage that way. Becky then hits a headlock takeover but Charlotte immediately reverses it into a figure four attempt. The chain ends with Becky nipping up and Charlotte cartwheeling and I am so impressed. That was such a slick series of events.

The girls next play a Test of Strength which Becky transitions into a wristlock. She whips Charlotte into the turnbuckle leading to a vault onto the apron from the champion. Charlotte performs a crisp gutthrust/schoolgirl combo through the ropes to fight back but Becky is still nowhere near being down the count. Lynch continues to thwart every move of Charlotte’s before taking her down sunset flip style.

Charlotte asks Becky to help her up after an arm drag, but after a slight show of respect, Charlotte pounces on Bex and hits her with a few blows to the head. A spinning and turnbuckle neckbreaker combination later and Charlotte fully gains control of the match, ending what has been a yo-yoing series of events thus far!

Back from the break and Charlotte has Becky locked into an extremely tight chinlock. The former NXT Women’s Champion knees her so-called friend in the face to pile on the pressure. The glaringly obvious shot of the Tamina sign in the crowd means that it is now the perfect time to bring it up. Believe it or not, that was not me expressing my love for Tameezus in the audience!

Charlotte mocks the crowd’s chants for Becky in a massively heel way before continuing to work over the head with a figure four neck lock throw. Another throw follows afterwards as Charlotte takes a page out of Becky’s book with an T-bone. Woolette places Becky on the top rope looking for her next move but it is Becky who is next to make an impact. She kicks Charlotte repeatedly in the face to get her groggy for a crossbody… but Charlotte catches her in mid-air! Becky has just enough left in the tank however to reverse her predicament into a sleeper hold. Charlotte seems to be in trouble for a short time but she is fresh enough to counter with a major jawbreaker.

Just when you think the ball is far within Charlotte’s court, Becky comes alive again, trapping Charlotte in a small package pin attempt for a near fall. Charlotte kicks out but she is met with an onslaught from strikes from Becky. The positive reaction for Becky moments before clearly has boosted her as she firing on all cylinders at this point. Charlotte crushes those cylinders shortly after though with a monumental big boot. Whilst that was a major move, Becky still has the instinct and determination to get her shoulder up.

The two Divas trade chops and forearms next, a tussle Becky manages to get the best of. Maiden Ireland battles on with a running forearm and springboard kick, strikes she accentuates with an exploder suplex. Charlotte kicks out but Becky keeps the heat firmly on the champion. She hits a leg drop, only for Ric Flair to grab her leg before she can hit a second. Charlotte tries to make the best of this distraction, but Becky has learned not to make the same mistake twice. She is quicker than a hiccup getting out of Charlotte’s pin attempt, and she hits one of her, complete with tight pulling! Becky nabs the win and the Flairs are foaming!

Ric turns into a beetroot as Charlotte has absolute venom on her face. From behind Charlotte decks Becky with a big boot. She punches her several times and also hits a spear – complete with annoying roar afterwards. The two pose over Becky’s broken body. Looks like this friendship is broken too. Woo bloody hoo to that!

Charlotte seemed quite pleased with herself when she appeared later in the night on Raw Fallout:

Finally, watch Stephanie take a bump as her Dad confirms that Roman Reigns will defend his WWE Title in the Royal Rumble match:

Holy stipulation! P.S.: Please add Tamina Snuka into the match!

Thoughts: Despite both Becky and Charlotte going back on what they supposedly believe in (not cheating and not backstabbing friends) making them look utterly hypocritical, I am becoming a real fan of this story. It was only a matter of time before Ric’s influence tainted Charlotte and I’m glad that this trigger has been pulled. Continuing to woo and act all cocky as a face character was quite frankly one of the most excruciating and cringe-worthy things I have ever seen on WWE television. So glad Charlotte is a heel and has a reason to be completely unbearable as a character. It works so well.

Becky continues to impress me in the ring, and entertain me as positive, plucky character. She was so, so clean and crisp in the ring as well. I especially love her deep arm drags and her gutsy sleeper hold. Loved the nice reaction she got from hitting the latter move too. Her cheating could be seen as being a little cheeky and I could buy that. If Charlotte can cheat and they can still be mates, why can’t it be the other way around?

Bex clearly though that was the case, but The Flairs have proven that it isn’t. Charlotte has burned her bridges and decided to dwell with the troll that lived below it, Ric Flair. I’m excited to see father and daughter together and will happily loathe everything they do. It is rare that I love to hate a heel character but these two are so nauseating that they make my disdain for them so easy. They are doing their jobs right in that regard!

As for the championship rematch on SmackDown, I think it’s obvious that Team B.A.D. will interfere. I think we will see Team B.A.D. target Becky first, with Charlotte not acting particularly bothered about getting a DQ loss. She could then start directing traffic or celebrate with Team B.A.D., only for the three of them to decimate her. Tamina can superkick Ric as well if she likes. With Sasha‘s track record – not to mention a win over Becky just last week – she has a claim to a title match, and I think we’ll see that triple threat come the Royal Rumble. I’m gonna bank on that.

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