Friday, December 1, 2023

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Raw Redux (July 28th, 2014): The Divas Main Event Raw… and Make it Their Bitch

Good day ladies and… waaaait a second. The Divas main evented an episode of Raw. And on top of that there was a second feud promo. And on top of that there was a match. And backstage segments. And Lana. And SLayers. Do you guys really want and/or think I’m gonna waste your time with a snazzy intro?

Okay I might if I thought anything I could say would do tonight an ounce of justice but I know it cant so let us all join hands and get started penning another glorious chapter in future New York Times Bestseller, “Journey to the Promise Land: How Ten Years of Diva Fan Struggling Finally Paid Off”.

…featuring quotes from all your favorite Diva fans as well as an exclusive interview with savior, Sara Del Rey on how she joined this company and helped transform their division into a ball of sunshine.

So without any further ado, let’s get to our first story of the week:

Step Aside Gents… It’s Time for the Main Event

First up, we head backstage to see Stephanie McMahon looking absolutely terrified of her actions tonight post-prison sentence (which unfortunately, I can’t find video evidence of). She thought she could do it, but now she has second thoughts regarding appearing on Raw tonight and dealing with Brie Bella. She’s been keeping up appearances, but she makes sure Triple H knows she cannot go back to prison. She just cant handle the look in their daughters disappointed eyes. The smell of prison will never leave her nose, and she claims this invitation to Brie had better work, that of which Triple H assures her it will. Then they’re interrupted by Randy Orton and I know your interest levels probably dropped since this is Diva-Dirt after all. Being that we’ve long retired from the days of a different actress being hired to play his on screen romantic love interest, I’m going to assume no other female-oriented moments stem here and advance on in the story!

In addition, you may check out the promo below, that of which we believe is the Stephanie/Brie confrontation until The Authority get interrupted by Chris Jericho:

And now it’s time for the fun to begin!

Backstage we go to see Stephanie McMahon approach the Divas Locker Room. And there’s even a colorful sign on the door! Small victories. She knocks on the door and out pops Nikki Bella! Nikki greets Steph to a nice pop from the crowd, as Stephanie questions Brie’s whereabouts. Nikki assures Stephanie that she’ll be here later, as Steph now wants Nikki B to know she just wants to express herself. Nikki cuts Stephanie off and makes sure she knows that Brie will definitely be expressing herself later tonight, which is all Steph needs to hear. She hopes Brie can be reasonable like a classy woman, but Nikki isn’t sure she comprehends that Stephanie really feels this way on account of her own past actions. Basically, there aren’t many times in the world that people in Stephanie’s authoritative power get to eat a load of crap, therefore Nikki just hopes she likes the taste of it later tonight. Check and mate!

We head to the arena as all of the matches for the night are done. I’m hyperventilating like a pregnant woman about to give birth because I feel like the upcoming main event segment is basically make or break when it comes to justifying the growing spotlight our beloved division has seen in the past few months. Don’t let me down crowd…

The music of Stephanie McMahon hits and out she slowly walks, looking a bit shaken up after her two hour stint in prison last week. We get another recap of Brie quitting/smacking the taste out of Steph’s mouth, and then it transitions(!!!) into last weeks confrontation where Miss McMahon had Lady Bella-Bryan-Danielson (depending on real to stage name identity crisis decision) kicked out of the arena following a smack across the face. Sadly for Steph, though, that also lead to Brie pressing charges against her and hauling her to jail.

Back in the ring, Stephanie is already receiving a huge chorus of boos! She announces that she is now a humbled woman whether we believe her or not. Getting arrested has changed her as a human being. It has damaged her reputation as a McMahon! It has damaged her reputation as a mother! Little Aurora is being teased at summer camp because her mommy went to jail and not the cool kind known as Orange is the New Black’s Litchfield penitentiary.

Oh my… Steph admits their friends parents wont let them come over for playdates anymore which I find appauling. I WISH my future child was friends with a little McMahon. I’d probably let them spend six months worth of night’s at their home. But back to business, Stephanie says her husband has been there for her… but she’s cut off by a fancy blazer wearin’ Brie Bella who walks through the crowd and into the ring! Here we go you guys… *nervous gulp*

Brie has heard enough of Steph’s crap. She was invited here tonight, so it’s time to get to the point unless Steph wants to further prove she’s nothing more than a whiny sniveling little rich bitch! Angry Brie is my spirit animal. Stephanie isn’t here to beat around the bush… she wants all the charges dropped. Brie is immediately taken aback in shock why Steph thinks she would just agree to this, but Stephanie feels Brie knows in her heart that no human deserves this… no wife… no mother deserves this. Brie, however, feels that as far as she’s concerned, Stephanie deserves to go to hell! BRIE.

Stephanie gets Brie’s anger… she just maaaayyy have taken a teensie bit advantage of Nikki when on a slight power trip, but she agrees to stop from here on out. Brie finds this insulting, to which Stephanie offers Nikki a raise in exchange for the charges being dropped. Brie accepts… but she also has demands she wants met. It’s simple, she wants her job back. The crowd wants Brie back! I want Brie back! Humanity wants Brie back! But Stephanie does not want Brie back. She feels one Bella is enough and a raise is only fair. Brie thinks that’s cool, but she’ll also be seen in court. Stephanie quickly stops her and wants it reiterated that if she gives Miss Bella her job back, all charges get dropped. Brie says that is indeed her terms and Stephanie obliges. Brie is back!

Oh but wait, Brie has one more concern. She wants a match at Summerslam! That’s right Brie, you live every Diva fans dream of holding the WWE higher ups at your mercy and demanding we get more womens matches on a pay per view. The realism is this segment is perfection! Stephanie seems fine with this, asking if she wants it to be for the Divas Title? Or better yet, a Stephanie McMahon presented Total Divas spectacular! Brie denies both of those, instead revealing she wants the match at Summerslam to be Brie Bella… versus Stephanie… McMahon. Boom.

The crowd bursts with excitement as Stephanie freaks out and tries to do everything she can to make Brie change her mind. She hasn’t competed in over ten years after all, and she’s a wife which Brie should understand. Brie says if she can’t face Steph then the charges remain intact, before heading outside the ring. As soon as she gets on the ring apron though, Stephanie begs her to reconsider. She is reduced to tears! The crowd wants her to accept the challenge and unfortunately (for her!), she is forced to ACCEPT. Brie vs. Stephanie is officially on for the biggest show of the summer!

In a teary, crackling voice, Stephanie proclaims, “Fine, you can have your match at Summerslam… but Brie, you have to consider that at Summerslam…”


Stephanie McMahon smacks the taste out of Brie Bella’s mouth as she falls off the ring apron and collides with the floor below.

“I’m gonna MAKE YOU my BITCH!”

Oh my God.

I quit. I retire. Nothing can possibly top this moment in redux writing from here on out so thank you Stephanie McMahon. Thank you Brie Bella. Thank you Bitchy Steph Mode. Thank you Brie Mode.

Stephanie starts taunting the “Yes” Movement until Brie charges in and tackles her! Brie decks the boss with head shots to the canvas until Stephanie reverses it and CLOCKS her in the head with… not gonna lie, some pretty damn impressive shots for someone who hasn’t wrestled in over ten years. Good lord. Out runs help from the back to separate them including my god Jamie Noble, and it takes all of these men to hold them apart. Wait, BRIE BELLA JUST ELBOWED JAMIE NOBLE. She has broken free! She has pounced on Stephanie again as the crowd goes crazy and they have to drag Steph to the outside!

“You’re mine bitch!”

Am I dreaming?! The Divas just main evented an episode of Raw by themselves… and now the crowd has broken out… in a Jamie Noble chant?! MY TEARS.

When Crazy Met Casper the Friendly Crumpet


Out comes Paige from the back and it appears she will be cutting a promo! Look how much times have changed even since last month when Paige was known as the resident mute of the division. The success stories of July 2014 are almost too much for my soul to handle right now, but skipping Paige is helping me survive. We get a recap of Paige snapping on AJ last week because this is her house now so clearly she wants replays of herself and that’s none of our business.

The crowd immediately starts to boo her, as Paige claims she wants to set the record straight. She’s young and she made a mistake last week, but she still thinks of AJ as her greatest friend in the entire world! What she did last week was deplorable. She got caught up in the moment! Last week, Paige thought of AJ as the woman who took her title… not as her friend, and that was a mistake she won’t make again. Out comes the woman of the hour, AJ Lee! She skips into the ring with her title draped across her shoulder, letting Paige know that nobody here buys what Paige is selling. Paige cuts her off and lets her know she swears it’s true, but AJ isn’t here for being interrupted. Score for the interesting babyface character!

Paige backs off, as AJ lets her know that she understands being mad about having the Divas Title ripped away from you in three seconds. Paige did that to AJ back in April, but the difference is that if Paige wants to be like AJ with the skipping and the smiling, then fully commit to it. AJ doesn’t play little girl games. She doesn’t smile in front of someone and talk crap about them behind their back… if she has a problem or she doesn’t like you or she wants to talk about you… it will be to your face and you’ll know it. LIKE a REAL Woman. The delivery tonight is on point you guys.

Paige swears again that she’s her real friend, and if AJ doesn’t believe her well then she guesses AJ must be crazy.


The crowd gasps, as do I. Paige has triggered that side of AJ we thought was forgotten about because we have been trained in the past that if something hasn’t happened within an hour of a segment, we are to forget its existence ever occurred. Paige looks like she just made the biggest mistake of her life, but then smiles it off as if it might have been a part of her master plan all along. AJ demands that Paige repeat what she said, but Paige immediately starts apologizing. She would nevvvverrrr make fun of AJ’s mental faculties, and oh my lanta if looks could kill, Paige might be even paler than usual with the death glare AJ has locked on.

Paige tries to calm her and it seems to actually work(?) as AJ smiles and laughs, stating that she understands. It was a mistake and it happens to the best of us.

Even those of us who are a little bit… off their rockers.


AJ leaps onto Paige like a cheetah stalking its prey and pounds away at her face. Those screams! They’re back! AJ tosses Paige to the outside and rams her into the barricade! She tries to toss Paige into the ring steps, but Paige leaps over them and tries to calm AJ down.

“Why’d you have to be like this?! We’re friends!”

I love Heel… err, undecided Paige. So much.

But this crowd just got on my bad side, although let’s be real they’re instantly forgiven because of earlier.

The Pink and Black Attack Head to a Foxy Charm School

It’s match time! You know… because two actual in ring promos, one even being the main event of the entire show, STILL isn’t enough to give us in the promise land where angels sing and Jane Geddes looks pleased with all she sees. It will be the newfound Pink and Black Attack, Natalya and Naomi, taking on Alicia Fox and Cameron! We don’t get entrances, but in the promise land that’s okay. And as a bonus we at least come back to see Naomi and Cameron having to be restrained from one another!

Alicia and Nattie kick things off with their beautiful back and forth grappling they always know just how to perfect. Alicia with a headlock, but Nattie counters into her own and runs off the ropes, ducks a leapfrog, but gets hit with an awesome roll back legscissors takedown! Snapmare by Natalya, who jumps off and hits a front dropkick before tagging in Naomi who plants Foxy with an atomic drop and goes for Cameron. Unfortunately, this allows Alicia to gain the upper hand and send Naomi flying into the corner. She hoists herself over the top rope so quick I don’t even see how the heck she does it, but she then plants Alicia with a stiff kick to the face! From there, she spots Cameron on the outside and leaps off the ring apron with a thesz press! Is this where I hashtag #Slayomi? I believe it is so we’re going for it big time.

Alicia kicks Naomi in the back and throws her in the ring, planting her with the scissors kick! Surprisingly though, Naomi kicks out. Cameron now screams for a tag in and flips Naomi around by the braids a few times, then just proceeding to smack her around as the crowd gets behind their fallen Diva. She slams Naomi into the corner and hits a sharp kick for a two count, then targeting her ex friends face until Naomi counters into a sick leg submission! Cameron forces herself to tap out and the crowd does a nice pop for Naomi and Natalya’s win! Naomi swings her braids around in celebration and I’d do the same if I had long enough hair to make it possible.

The Bonus Servings of Diva Goodness

This week, we’ve got Lana returning to form with a long promo showcasing how amazing she is when not cut off like last week:

And the SLayers are back as they join Diego and El Torito for Diego’s match against Fandango:

Okay it’s thoughts time… because I have even more praise to pull from me that wasn’t said above!

The Bitching Levels of GREATNESS:

Stephanie/Brie – I don’t think I can even type anything. You saw it. You felt it. You experienced it. Brie Bella has risen to her greater being and evolved into the true organic blanket buying, food processing treasure of a Diva possible. I am so damn happy to see her get such a spotlight, and not only that, but absolutely nail it and get crowds behind her with the aid of Boss God, Stephanie McMahon. A few months ago I wrote a scary column (in the sense I was scared away from reading the actual comments) about why I defend The Bellas and tonight just made me all the more happy that the hard work I’ve personally seen her put into her craft is paying off. She and Stephanie absolutely killed it, and in my opinion, they stole the entire show for the second week in a row. Screw Brock Lesnar, this is what I want main eventing Summerslam and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it.

The build up is just unreal for a women’s storyline no matter if one of the people involved is Stephanie or not. I can’t lie… I’ve rewatched the segment back a good 5 or 6 times still sitting in disbelief they finally gave Brie such a well deserved, monumental spotlight alongside Stephanie in the final segment. And the best part is that the crowd was effing here for it. They didn’t pay them disrespect for closing the show with two women, one of whom isn’t even a wrestler and the other of whom a lot of fans don’t take kindly to because of her background pre-WWE. The fans were engaged in every single second of their back and forth and the past two weeks have fully solidified this as not just a big women’s feud, but one of the biggest (and in my opinion most interesting) feuds happening in wrestling period. And you want one better? They haven’t even had a single match yet. Just ugh, I don’t even know what to say because it feels so surreal.

The Good:

AJ/Paige Promo – I absolutely loved this! Granted it wasn’t to the levels of last week, but that was to be expected as long as what we did get was something very strong to follow up. At first I was unsure of how I felt with Paige doing the mind games because I loved her general badass-ness last Monday, but it will come back I think. This prolongs the storyline and will make their payoff match feel even bigger because now you have sympathy/confusion for both characters on account of this week being AJ who attacked Paige instead of vice versa to really solidify Paige as the villain.

I live for these kinds of stories where it’s not strictly a black and white approach. There are layers being carved into making you unsure of what’s going to happen and each week will feel like more and more of a surprise than the last. To be honest, I have no doubt in my mind that the two of them can absolutely bring it at Summerslam (preferably in a stipulation match please), and if you remember (because I say it all the time) I love that their match at Money in the Bank wasn’t what most considered their best work. I don’t want them peaking early and then us saying their big match fell flat in comparison so they did exactly what I want them to with this feud. It’s shaping up to be so much fun when the trigger finally gets pulled for real and until then, feed me Diva promos WWE. Feed me them like I just got done on “Survivor” and have barely eaten for 39 days because that’s what I’ve wanted in feuds for so long.

Lana – Lana was back to form tonight! No cut promo time for the win and I love the way she bounced off the Texan crowd. Shut-tup is forever legendary.

The Somewhat Good:

Naomi/Natalya vs. Cameron/Alicia – There was something a tiny bit off about this match to me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it at all! I love that we got a match, continued the Naomi/Cameron feud, and got some added Nattie/Alicia TV time as well. To me, I don’t know if anyone else felt this way, it looked like Naomi maybe felt a little sick, just judging with the way she was moving. It was almost as if she was trying her hardest to perform but felt some form of pain while going for her flips etc. I might be way off base, but that’s just how I felt watching live. She’s usually way more vocal and quick with the way she does a lot of her work than she was tonight, and maybe that was to pump up the seriousness of the feud, but regardless, that Thesz off the ring apron onto Cameron was definitely a highlight and looked on point as can be! A fun tag overall that suffered just a tiny bit, but still managed to further along Naomi and Cameron’s feud so I’m giving it a solid middling section this week. Also, I love Naomi’s new submission and to be honest I really like when a Diva has a bunch of finishers because it becomes easy to adapt and make each match feel different in its own way. Paige is good at that and now Naomi is really branching out as well. Bonus points!

Summer/Layla – Personally I still don’t really have a problem with this. It’s a fun little shtick that gets them on TV each week so while I understand why a lot of people might find it boring, I kind of see it more as the fact I appreciate they’re being shown and have something to do. If this was the only Diva sighting we had tonight, then sure I’d feel differently, but with everything else I’m perfectly fine seeing Summer and Layla blend in with this weeks meat to take down Fandango. But I do feel like there should be an endgame in sight because it’s starting to just become a repeat every week on account of Fandango never wins. That still has a ways to go before I get tired of it (because I’ve went months begging for Fandango on TV period so I take what I can get), but I can understand why a lot of you guys are. I’d kind of like to see him enlist in two women. Wait a second…

I don’t know if any of you guys remember this but back a ways in OVW, there was a stable with Aaron Idol Stevens (known now as Damien Sandow but I’m sure you all knew that too haha), Beth Phoenix and Shelly Martinez. They were sort of a angel/devil type duo for him and personally I think that could be a ton of fun if they did that today with Fandango, Rosa and Emma. Emma’s goofiness would rock bouncing off Fandango, and Rosa is the perfect Diva to play that seductive devilish bad girl. Okay I’ve basically just decided I now want these weekly things to end so I can get Fandango, Emma and Rosa as a stable. I don’t know how, but through the course of this paragraph I’ve now arrived at the point all of you are, just with a way more random reasoning behind it. Whatever works!

The Not-So Good:


In Conclusion:

Keep doing what you’re doing WWE. That’s all I have to say because what you’re doing is the best you’ve been doing in about ten trillion years when it comes to Raw. I have no complaints. I have no gripes. I just want more and I’m genuinely excited to see what comes next in each of these chapters. Sure, some feuds progress more than others, but isn’t it fun having enough feuds and enough great content to actually have such high expectations now? Hell, we’ve spent years feeling that if we got one match on Raw that exceeded four minutes and had a televised entrance it was considered a good week. Promos on the flagship show have been essentially unheard of for years and tonight we got two of them, each actually meaning something as well.

This is the kind of division I grew up watching. You had your Lita‘s, your Trish‘s, your Torrie‘s or Stacy‘s (or Nidia‘s in my case)… point is, you had favorites that actually got to grow and transform on TV. Favorites that would get huge reactions from the crowd and have segments you still remember to this day. The difference though is that back then, we were all younger and just considered it the norm. We didn’t really know the division could sink because that’s the kind of programming we’d always been used to. Getting to see things grow so much NOW is a whole new perspective because it’s been so long in the making that (through the constant shock), I think we all appreciate the attention they’re getting so much more than we did back then. Even if you don’t like a storyline or don’t care for a feud, you can’t deny the attention is finally freakin’ there and like I said last week, unlike past times where we’ve felt hope for them, this one isn’t resting solely in one feud. This is dealing with a consistent week to week growth of several programs that are seeming to just bloom more and more as time goes on. Casual fans are finally becoming invested, and look… it didn’t take hiring a ton of people to do that. All it took was making your current roster feel special, relevant and important again. You give the fans something or someone worth caring about and they will care about it.

All week I’ve been dreading Raw, but not because I wasn’t excited… just because I felt last week was so good there was no way our expectations would be met or god forbid exceeded. THESE are the kind of concerns I want to have, and it makes the payoff all the more sweeter when your expectations actually do get topped from the point you thought was the end all be all.

Okay sorry guys, done being all serious business again this week but I can’t help it. I’m again excited (and nervous, but in a good way) for next week because I want these Divas to take that show and once again make it their bitch just like they did last week and just like they did tonight.

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