Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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Raw Redux (July 27th, 2015): Sasha Shows Paige Who’s Boss… Again


Another Raw, another step in a revolutionary direction.

Hello Diva fans and welcome to this week’s Raw Redux. After moving house today and finally putting away all of my things, there’s not a way better to relax than to have two Divas matches, two in-ring segments and a backstage segment waiting for me to recap. So many Divas, so much action!

The show started this week with Stephanie McMahon and Triple H announcing that this week’s Raw is all about first-time ever matches. Not only will Paige face Sasha Banks tonight, but Alicia Fox and WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella will also be in action against Becky Lynch and Charlotte. This was a super fun segment for Stephanie and her playing up to the fans only to pull the proverbial rug from under then in terms of excitement was amazing. They wanted Cena vs Rollins for the WWE Title, yet The Authority made Cena put his US Title on the line instead. Regardless of what belt was up for grabs, Steph and Trips made one hell of a match. It was amazing!

A goth, a ginger and a gymnast are in a dressing room. No, that wasn’t me starting a horrendous joke, it was actually me describing the PowerBuff Girls backstage for our segment talk segment of the night. Paige rallies the troops (whom are wearing her new T-shirt like her that I absolutely want to purchase) and says that everyone is loving what they are doing. This was a little over-the-top if I am being completely honest. I do like how Paige is certainly not a cookie cutter Diva yet I think she may have been trying a little too hard here. I still love you though. Just don’t read this and judge me ‘Raya. ;)

Team B.A.D of Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tina… sorry Tamina show up next. I see Tamina’s bouffant and all I can think of is this:

Thank god Tamina’s chains holding her down – Santino and those legendary contact lenses – are long gone.

Anywho, away from irrelevant 90s Australian singers, Sasha says BCP (it’s easier to type and say) are losers and they can’t take the credit for Stephanie McMahon’s architecture. Sweetheart. Naomi says Sasha is going to dominate tonight before Paige says that they have been the ones dominating. That line was delivered way better btw. *tries to get back in Paige’s good books*

After a woo from Charlotte, Sasha says “there goes daddy’s little girl again” – love it. Paige and Sasha have some amazing catty banter before Becky calls Sasha out on her bad attitude. Shame she said “resvolution” yet Becky is majorly killing it in every other aspect of her role at the moment so I can let that slip of the tongue slide most certainly. Things get heated when Tamina steps forward yet things don’t get physical until the girls make their way out to the ring… next!

After entrances (complete with a new titantron graphic for B.A.D), the match starts out with a vicious collar and elbow tie-up. Sasha and her swagger get the best of the first, yet when her and Paige locks arms again, it is the 2x Divas Champ who comes out on top. The two fall to the outside as a result of Paige’s aggression, and the two teams square off.

Back in the ring, Paige hits a running knee and a few armdrags before blasting Sasha with a flurry of elbow strikes in the corner. Sasha retaliates with a roll-up, forearm and gorgeous corner-climb armdrag yet Paige then hits a flip armdrag of her own. The ladies reach a stalemate for a second time immediately after when they cancel each other out with simultaneous dropkicks. Red and black oppose one another like colors on a roulette wheel as Sasha extends her hand to Paige. Hell in Boots has none of it, dropping the NXT Women’s Champion on her face before smashing her noggin in some more with a headbutt.

After a fall away slam and near fall, Paige works over Sasha’s arm in a strange rest hold sequence that faces certainly don’t utilize normally yet I guess it was a little refreshing to see. The match has already gone on longer than what you would have seen event just a few months ago, so I’ll take it. Next, Sasha takes something herself, a rough kick to the chest from Paige which knocks her to the floor. Paige flies from the top rope crossbody style, taking out all of Team B.A.D in the process!

Back from the break, and both teams had locked eyes and exchanged words outside, only for the referee to decide to eject both teams from ringside. Wow! We don’t get a replay of how Sasha took control, yet I’ll just pretend that a vengeful and jobless Audrey Marie made her return and attacked Paige yet WWE thought she was just a crazed fan and didn’t show the footage.

Team Bella are seen watching the action from backstage as Sasha pummels Paige in the corner. Following some sickening double knees, Sasha smacks Paige with another and then mocks her signature scream. Paige rolls Sasha up for two yet as quickly as she tried to make a comeback, Sasha shut her down with a clothesline. Paige finds herself in a lengthy world of hurt shortly after, as Sasha uses her patented straight jacket style submission to squeeze the life from Paige. Sorry Rosa Mendes, Sasha was using that long before you were calling it the Rosa’s Thorn!

Eventually, with help from a massive reaction from the crowd, Paige fights out and she roughs Sasha up big style with a series of strikes. Knees to the face, clotheslines, dropkicks and thrust kicks are aplenty, yet Sasha still manages to stop Paige from applying the PTO. Sasha doesn’t halt another knee from Paige though, yet that attack is still not enough for the win. Sasha turns the tide again, squashing Paige with running double knees in the corner, yet there is still fight left in Paige!

The pace starts to go a little off here and spot calling can be heard yet not enough to hear what exactly was been said. Paige locks a modified STF in yet the non-signature submission is not enough. Sasha manages to top that with her proper signature hold, the Bank Statement, which is applied not long after. For the second straight week, Paige taps out and well, Sasha just pulled off a monumental victory.

We move away from the title picture next as the Lana and Summer Rae rivalry continues. This week’s showing cemented even further as to how Rusev is simply using Summer as a way of getting Lana back, and not as an equal partner in enacting any kind of revenge. This segment featured great mic work and a killer slap from Lana, whilst Summer got to grips with a very uncomfortable looking dog and a headless fish. Yup. That actually happened. A bizarre segment yet quite a fun one nevertheless. Again though, I’m wanting more from Summer as to why she has such a beef with Lana. Why did she stick her nose in in the first place before sticking it in fish guts?

Lana spoke about the strange encounter on Raw Fallout::

Finally, we were treated to a second match last night as Nikki and Alicia clashed with Becky and Charlotte. This match wouldn’t have been complete without Brie and Paige at ringside and they are in tow to support their squads. Thank God also that Brie was nowhere near commentary.

Becky started the match with the woman she will face this week on SmackDown in singles action, WWE Divas Champion, Nikki Bella. This is a mega fresh pairing so I can’t wait to see it explored. The pair showcase some sick chemistry with some gorgeous chain grappling to kick things off until Charlotte is tagged into the match.

The Queen City Diva and the Lass Kicker hit a double dropkick and kip up combo before Charlotte rolls Nikki into her Charlotte’s Web for a one count. Nikki shifts the momentum with two feet to the chest and then Alicia is tagged into the fray and hits a double axe handle. ‘Lic gets vicious with Lotty’s arm until Ms Flair sweeps Alicia’s legs. Foxy sells this incredibly and I am loving seeing these two square off. A high knee later and we see Team B.A.D watching backstage. A distracted Charlotte soon sees a humongous boot in her sights and adrenaline she has spurring her own just got knocked right on out of her body.

The commentary team do a nice job of profiling Alicia as she lets her impressive Northern Lights suplex do the talking; delicious! The Champ gets back into the ring and following a double team strike from her and Alicia, Nikki introduces her knee to Charlotte’s spine. With help from Paige and the crowd, Charlotte nearly makes the tag she needs yet Nikki manages to keep control. Some push-ups and a slingshot suplex follow before Team Bella hit a neat double suplex.

Alicia crunches Charlotte’s back with a modified surfboard and these two statuesque Divas are a pleasure to watch. Now if rest holds are going to be a thing, I want to see moves that look as painful as this! Whist Foxy does a swell job at keeping Charlotte in pain and Becky at bay, it doesn’t last for ever as Becky Lynch gets the hot tag and she takes Alicia to Suplex City! Brock Lesnar, who?

Clotheslines, forearms, calf kicks, overhead arm-trap throws and t-bone suplexes are on the menu for Alicia and Becky is setting my world alight! Charlotte also rocks my socks off with a nice spear to Nikki, who had just sent Becky into the steel post. Despite that setback, Becky reverses a schoolgirl and locks in her Disarmer submission from out of nowhere. Alicia taps and Becky picks up her first win on Raw!

Thoughts: Another amazing week for the Divas! I like how WWE did something different this week and had two of the teams interact backstage. We’ve seen B.A.D and BCP separately backstage before, and we’ve seen B.A.D and Team Bella on commentary, so it was nice to see the girls get a chance to mix it up in a different capacity. This was a really fun segment that all did well in. Charlotte sadly didn’t have much to say yet everyone actually said something (or uttered a noise in Charlotte’s case) and this was a short and sweet exchange. I loved all of Team B.A.D’s facial expressions and besides her one minuscule error, I loved Becky’s delivery. Backstage segments are so important for strengthening characters and this segment did just that.

Sasha is also going from strength to strength, as seen in her match with Paige. Whilst things fell apart ever, ever so slightly at the end, this match was great. There is certainly nothing glaringly bad about the match, and I love how into it the crowd were. High spots for me were Paige’s crossbody, Sasha’s killing it of her character and of course, those double knees.

Sasha’s rub last week was big, yet to win following no outside interference and following the removal of all outside parties at ringside, that is huge. Very interesting to see that it is Paige taking all of the losses for her team. Sasha is getting all of those wins too, and it is very refreshing to see newbies showcase dominance as the Divas who have been in the spotlight for the longest time are forced to get knocked down a peg or two. Good to see Paige isn’t stingy with her limelight!

Speaking on the new kids on the block getting all of the wins, it was great to see Becky Lynch finally get her first win and have a chance for her music to play in a euphoric moment. She was on fire here. I don’t what it is that she does to me, yet she is amazing right now. I am such a huge fan of her work. Alicia Fox was her usual, underrated self here and she made my life like always. Nikki seemed to be the weak link here and some of her movements were not as fluid and clean as everyone elses, yet chemistry doesn’t always come right away. She’s mixing it up with new Divas so perhaps her and Charlotte need to work on their work together a little more as I bought less of what they were selling together as opposed to Alicia’s dynamite connection with both Becky and Charlotte. This was the shorter match yet my favourite as it was so refreshing. Like last week, I am really excited for SmackDown now.

Who was your MVP and which match did you prefer? What is your favourite song related to a famous Tina that Tameezus fans can make fake titantron videos for? Let me know all of that and more in the comments as I’d love to check them out. I’ll see you guys later this week when hopefully some luchadoras will be in action during the first week of Lucha Underground’s Ultima Lucha.

Until then, I’m certainly satisfied with what we got on Raw. Our favourite NXT call-ups are breaking down walls and I can’t wait to recap all of the upcoming smash hits. Watch out Brock Lesnar, you have a new mayoral candidate contender for the Suplex City constituency… Becky Lynch!

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