Monday, July 4, 2022

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Raw Redux (June 8th, 2015): Paige’s House is in the Bellas’ World

Howdy Diva fans! It is Tuesday which means that it is Raw Redux time! WWE’s flagship red brand stopped in New Orleans last night, a city that served as the final stop before Money in the Bank. It was announced last night the WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella will defend her title against Paige at Money in the Bank, a match that doesn’t seem in any way like WWE don’t care whatsoever and just threw together what they thought would be popular. They were wrong. Lazy bast bookers.

Our first sighting of the night was Stephanie McMahon, yet in a backstage capacity as opposed to a 35 minute in-ring promo. Stephanie says that Dean Ambrose‘s Instagram pictures of him posing with the WWE World Heavyweight Title all over New Orleans are embarrassing. Yet Seth Rollins who famously has pictures of his ‘Money in the Bank’ (shall we say) all over the internet is your champion. Ok then.

We stay behind the curtain next as Nikki Bella is interviewed by a glowing Renee Young. After a recap of Paige’s promo on SmackDown (which was horribly written and made no sense), Renee asks Nikki for her thoughts on what Paige said.

Nikki says that she feels sorry for Paige, who she calls naïve and someone who expects everything to be handed to her. She says that herself and Brie have never held anyone back and have taken on all comers, including Summer Rae who she faces tonight. Summer being someone who the dumb writers Paige says The Bellas are holding back. Because that makes sense. Nikki says that Paige may not like the world she lives in and it certainly because of a lack of opportunities. It must be because she isn’t good enough. Nikki says that “maybe this is Paige’s house but she’s living in The Bellas’ world”. Killer last line from Nikki!

Nikki’s match with Summer is next, one major positive coming from last night. We didn’t have to wait till Hour 3 for once! Nikki reserves a lock-up into a schoolgirl to kick things off before using the same tactic again. She goes for a cover after hitting a scoop slam, and then shows some of the cockiness displayed last week by doing a few push-ups! This new side to Nikki’s character came across very heelish to me last week when accompanied by some random as twin magic, yet it feels more natural this week. A face character can still be cocky, and what with Nikki’s tapping of the fans’ hands, we can assume that is what she still is. It really shouldn’t be this hard to tell though.

Summer soon retaliates with a kick to the face and running forearm smash that turn the tide. Byron Saxton also thinks that comparising is a word. Good job from him. Summer then decides applying a lengthy rest hold would be really interesting. Not sure where she got that idea from. Things get a little more interesting when Nikki breaks free as Summer hits her with a spinning heel kick and then chokes her in the corner. Nikki fights back by hitting her elevated enziguri from the corner and then the match ends after a Rack Attack. Paige was seen watching from the back yet WWE didn’t pull the trigger and have her at least face off with Nikki. Boo.

Later in the night, we see Lana watch Dolph Ziggler‘s match against Kane from the ramp. Rusev rushes down and argues with her, only for Lana to trip and hurt her ankle when trying to ignore him. The fracas distracts Dolph and Kane defeats him to gain some Money in the Bank momentum.

After the show, we were treated to two Raw Fallout videos featuring the Divas. One shows Lana be helped to the backstage area following her fall.

The second features Paige “setting the record straight” regarding what Nikki said earlier in the night. Paige seems to claim that her referencing Summer in her SmackDown promo led to Summer ‘getting a chance’ against Nikki. She said she made a small change and come Sunday, she will make a big one when she wins the title.

Thoughts: Loved Nikki’s promo yet was totally unimpressed with her match. Considering how badly Paige’s promo was scripted on SmackDown, I thought Nikki came across great in her response. Everything she said rang true regarding facing all comers – she really has been a fighting champion. Her saying Paige isn’t good enough as the only part of this entire feud that was a genuine example of some beef between them that may gave Paige a reason to ‘hate’ Nikki.

Whilst Nikki’s dialogue was scripted well, it is a shame that WWE can’t gave Paige some intelligent lines to say. How has Nikki held the Divas back? If she refuses to wrestle or defend her belt, then she would be holding people back. The simple fact of the matter is, the writers are what is holding the Divas division back. Paige’s promo on SmackDown made no sense whatsoever. Why would she care if Summer or Naomi – women she has feuded with – are given a chance or not? Paige is all about success. She is all about being a freak and geek who doesn’t need allies. With that in mind, why should she give two shits about the girls she mentioned in her promo? What she said was simply out of character and a major example of lazy writing.

Her Backstage Fallout interview also made no sense at all. Since when does she book the show? Her mentioning Summer did not necessarily lead to Summer getting ‘a chance’ to face Nikki Bella. For Paige to claim she has made a small change is just silly. Her character wouldn’t normally care less if Summer was featured or not. I love Paige and just wish the WWE would stop portraying her as some totally deluded woman who believes she is the centre of the universe and talks a load of nonsense. She surely must be frustrated with the crap they make her come out with.

Onto the match now, which was majorly underwhelming. I loved Nikki’s elevated enziguri and the way that Summer sold it yet that was about it. The match was way too short and knowing how much time they had, I have no idea why the girls thought it necessary to add the chickenwing chinlock rest hold. With only two minutes on the clock, they should have had the match jam-packed with a ton of full-throttle, hard-hitting offense.

I am also bored of Lana’s angle already. They are not giving me enough to be invested in this at the moment. Most of this is likely due to them re-writing what was set to happen because Rusev got injured, yet I need a little more as whilst I don’t mind a slow burn, this is pretty uninteresting.

I am crossing my fingers that Paige and Nikki deliver come Sunday. Normally, WWE’s PPV Divas matches are great, just the stories surrounding them are poor. What with the recent matches also not being to a high standard and the removal of the most interesting part of the division in recent times from the title picture, aka Naomi, we’ve hit a really rough patch. Can things get a little more interesting? I won’t be counting my chickens before they hatch.

One thing we can look forward too though is a really fresh match-up that is going to take place on WWE Superstars this week. I won’t give any spoilers away yet with a decent amount of time, that match could be the match of the week. I’ll look forward to that one more then Sunday’s announced match I think!

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