Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Raw Redux (June 2nd, 2014): Payback’s a… Foxsana?!

Hola everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Raw Redux!~ I’m mega late (again… actually even worse than last week) because I actually sleep at a normal time now and thus my 4 in the morning recaps aren’t getting done like normal. I’ll probably come off way more boring and less fun at this hour, but I hope you understand and know that I’m trying to destroy the time of day I sleep again just for all of you and my own sanity.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to it as this weeks Raw was a little bit of a setback in terms of not getting double the Divas action, but what we did get was pretty much all solid material for me in terms of the Divas.

First up, let’s enter into the action side of things as Nikki Bella goes at it solo as she squares off against both Alicia Fox and Aksana in a Divas Handicap match!

Is that a Nikki Bella mini-tron? Scwheeet! Out pops Nikki from the back going on her own tonight, as Justin Roberts announces the following as a Divas Handicap match. Score for uniqueness! Her opponents will be Foxsana, who enter to Alicia Fox’s unfortunately still recycled Maria Kanellis theme. Nonetheless, the two look good as they represent Christmas with their gear color and strut down the aisle. And here we go as the bell sounds and we kick things off with Aksana!

Nikki nails a one legged monkey flip, then snapping her back and trying to run off the ropes until Alicia kicks her in the back. Aksana now takes Nikki down and makes the tag as Foxsana scores a nice double team drop. Foxy plays up to the crowd, allowing Nikki a chance to make a brief comeback until Aksana interferes. Alicia now with a kick as she runs off the ropes and drops Nikki with the Scissors Kick for the win! After the bell rings, Alicia enters meltdown mode as both members of Foxsana destroy Nikki at ringside… complete with Alicia’s wonderful sidewalk slam lift into a throw to the outside that I will honestly never tire of seeing.

And in other Divas action, Boss lady Stephanie McMahon brings us another announcement about the WWE World Heavyweight Title after the actions that transpired at Payback Sunday:

Also adding on to the Diva workload is Ravishing Russian, Lana, who (IS AMAZING AND) does a great job in the (Alexander) Rusev “Hero of the Russian Federation” Ceremony:

And finally, in our weekly adventures into America’s Next Top Rosebud, we’ve got a whole cast of characters as Adam Rose takes on Jack Swagger in a match that should’ve happened on Payback but what can you do?

Dear WWE, thank you. Sign this whole cast (Shout outs to Scarlett Bordeaux and Seleziya Sparx) because it’s the best they’ve ever done as a group since coming to the main roster. I approve them all to advance! Even the men!

The Good:

Alicia Fox & Aksana vs. Nikki Bella – This worked perfectly for me despite the shortness. Not only was it something we don’t usually see in the Divas division, but it was given an actual reason for happening in that Stephanie wanted to punish Nikki for Brie’s actions. On top of that, the ring work was solid for what it was, plus it both got Aksana and continued to keep Alicia Fox in the spotlight after Payback when I was a little worried she might not be. And she got a win! The after match beatdown was pretty perfect as it was almost as if Alicia and Aksana were doing the dirty work for Stephanie, and I’d personally LOVE to see her enlist in the two of them to make Nikki’s life hell in Brie’s absence. Perhaps Nikki could even enlist in Paige as an equalizer? All I know is the more Divas that have a legitimate role the better, and as a whole, this worked on every level for me so I have nothing at all bad to say about it.

Lana – Good God, I can’t even start with this. This was the best Lana has done since coming to the main roster, but that’s not because she’s done anything less than perfection any other week. WWE gave her (and Rusev I guess) something different in that of a real segment that was given a lot of time and had little extra touches to it that none of his matches or even their past segment with Hacksaw Jim Duggan had. The whole celebration was unforgettable, and I cannot get over the constant telling of the crowd to stop their “USA” chants. I still think she’s far too good for Rusev and that the crowd only really cares when she’s the one who has the focus, but I guess that’s what makes him stay a thing on TV so it works out in the long run. She could be such a star in the division, but then you also have to wonder if they would put this much into her were she not managing a man so really it’s sort of a catch 22. We saw the difference Maxine and Derrick Bateman had compared to Maxine on Raw as a regular Diva, or even AJ when she was in storylines with men compared to when she was Divas Champion, so I can’t just believe that simply doing a good job every week is enough to validate their faith in giving a Diva constant mic time if they’re on their own. I’ll just enjoy getting to see Lana as much as we can for now and wait out the rest of the ride/hope for the best.

Stephanie McMahon – There’s not much to say this week since Stephanie was with John Cena and no other Divas to play off of, but she is just on fire right now. Every week she constantly provides some of the best moments of the show and I thrive when she gets to do a little (what I assume to be) impromptu action such as playing off the CM Punk chants at Payback and then tonight when she and Cena discussed certain “surgeries”. She’s giving me everything I need and then some on a constant basis and after some rough weeks, the thought of seeing her take on Brie Bella is making me salivate at the mouth again with some Stephanie/Trish level excitement.

Adam Rose & The Rosebuds – This is exactly what I wanted the group to be like on the main roster. EVERYTHING was pitch perfect from the group itself, the camera angles, the match and the crowd (sans CM Punk chant but I don’t even care, you’re forgiven!). I’ve had about one or two good female rosebuds each week, but tonight I didn’t find one bad apple in the bunch. Sign them all! As someone who desperately wants Adam Rose to become a huge thing, please keep everything from tonight the same. And yes, by that I even mean take this crowd and bring them to each show week after week.

The Somewhat Good:


The Not-So Good:

No Paige – Welp, while seeing Alicia Fox continue to be spotlighted is A+ and I couldn’t be happier, not having Paige on Raw at all is doing nothing to help her out. It’s so strange that this always seems to happen with various champions in that it seems like they stop knowing what to do with them, but after that video involving her and Cameron posted earlier I really thought we were in for a fun feud that had an actual storyline behind it. It stinks, but maybe next week right?

No Summer/Layla – This was kind of disappointing to me even more than Paige just because I had gotten so involved with seeing more than one Divas feud going and having an off week with nothing even happening on the pay per view leads me to believe their blowoff match is just going to happen on a side show and we’ll be made to forget anything ever happened. I get that it’s hard to put heel vs heel on a show because it’s difficult to get a crowd involved, but I really think it could’ve worked. The crowd loved seeing them catfight on Summer’s return after all… sigh. I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but I really would’ve liked something. It only takes one or two minutes out of a three hour show to throw in a backstage segment!

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