Thursday, April 11, 2024

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Raw Redux (March 14th, 2016): Lana and Team B.A.D. Sow WrestleMania Seeds

We’re so close to WrestleMania that we can almost taste it. Sadly for Brie Bella, all she is tasting is defeat! Brie has had a rocky road as of late due to the distracting presence of Lana, who she had to contend with again last night. Brie and Alicia faced Naomi and Tamina in tag team action, whilst Lana had words with Paige later in the night too. What could that tongue lashing lead to? Charlotte and Stephanie McMahon also got on the mic last night. A lot of talk which could lead to a lot of WrestleMania action. Count me in!

First up is Stephanie McMahon:

After being spotted strutting like a total HBIC backstage, we see her in the ring introducing her husband to the world, the WWE Champion Triple H. Hunter then proceeds to do what he and Steph do best – gloat. Unfortunately this week, I felt like Hunter was super boring on the mic. I normally like his promos but he was definitely having an-off night.

Dolph Ziggler interrupts them, with Stephanie taking the lead in roasting The Show Off. Dolph says that he will do anything to entertain the people and he will jump past every obstacle that The Authority put it in his way. While they may want him too, he will never crumble and never, ever quit. Steph grants him a mega opportunity; should he beat Triple H later in the night, he can have any match he wants at WrestleMania, bar a WWE Title match. High stakes. Shame Dolph lost later in the night. As Stephanie would put it, he is a great “B+ player.”

Speaking of being related to a “B+ player,” Brie Bella’s match is next:

Following the entrances of her and Alicia and Naomina, Lana makes her presence felt before the bell can even toll. Brie and Alicia (who is in the ring) are distracted, leading to Naomi yanking on Lic’ weave. After the ref breaks them up and they are far enough apart, he calls for the bell to start the match. Alicia’s roots must have been sore as she isn’t able to start strongly – Naomi decks with with an enziguri. Alicia being Alicia sold it to absolute perfection.

Naomi clubs and stomps at Alicia, Tamina dealing some damage too when the referee’s back is turned. Following a gorgeous delayed dropkick, Naomi tags in Tamina who hits a clothesline. She then roughs Alicia up with a chinlock, leaving Foxy writhing in pain. Tamina then scoops Alicia up, and the latter manages to get out of the predicament, shoving Tamina away.

Brie gets the lukewarm hot tag and quicken the pace, taking Tamina off her feet with a missile dropkick. Brie’s YES! kicks and Brie Mode knee strike follow, the crowd enjoying what they are seeing. Brie then hits a Bella Buster, vaulting from the second rope to take Tamina out. Unluckily for her, Naomi interferes. Luckily for Brie, Alicia evens the odds, absolutely decimating Naomi with a ferocious big boot! Tamina then disposes of Alicia, bringing it back to a level one-on-one playing field. Lana then disrupts that equality once more, distracting the referee whilst Naomina hit an illegal double team move. Tamina pins Brie and Team B.A.D extend their winning streak to two wins, following their Main Event win last week!

After the match, Craylicia confronts Lana on the outside, but Team B.A.D take her out with a double superkick. There was some fancy foot work in that segment without a doubt!

On Raw Fallout, Brie addressed Lana’s interference, vowing to not be fooled by her again:

Shortly following the match, Paige is backstage with JoJo:

JoJo asks Paige about the chaos in the ring not too long ago and before Paige can really say anything, Lana interrupts. The Ravishing Russian says that Paige is far from a success; she can’t keep a championship, or a man. Paige says that it’s rich coming from Lana, who has no friends and hasn’t even had a match. Paige says that if Lana wants to see what a real Diva does, she can show her up close and personally. In comes Team B.A.D, who tell Paige not to make threats. Tamina says that you never know who is listening. An interesting alliance has seemingly formed!

Finally, our Divas Champion Charlotte is backstage with Renee Young:

Charlotte reminisces on her NXT days, saying that it was her holding Sasha Banks‘ hair back when she was being sick with nerves before her NXT debut. Charlotte believes her bravado is all that – a front. She is still the same scared, little girl. As for Becky, Charlotte looks back to when Becky was so desperate to cling onto anyone in NXT who would pay her the time of day.

Renee questions why Charlotte acts like she never cared about either of them, and Ric interrupts. He says that Charlotte rang him two weeks after starting in NXT and said she knew two girls who were going to be great, and that she needed to be better. Charlotte declares that she is better than both, and her title is proof. Renee looks forward to SmackDown, where Charlotte has requested time for a face-to-face-to-face confrontation. Woolotte says that everyone knows the three of them have history, and Bex and Banks won’t be able to run away from their past forever. THE. PLOT. THICKENS.

Thoughts: Can we please get to the bottom of why Lana has beef with Brie? Byron Saxton is repeatedly mentioning how we need to find out, so hopefully we can, and fast.

The seeds have now definitely been planted for WrestleMania, but I hope Summer and Nattie get added that the match. It would be strange for them to be the only Divas not on the card. I imagine they’ll be added into the mix on SmackDown or on next week’s Raw. Summer even said herself in a tweet that she would team with Naomina at Mania, so I hope WWE allows her too. After Nattie’s astounding Roadblock performance, she 100% deserves it as well!

Paige getting mic time was really fun. Her back-and-forth with Lana was great. Nice to see Paige reiterate that whilst on the same side as Brie, she’s definitely not her friend. Also a big major LOL at Tamina appearing on camera before she meant to, crouching down and running when Lana first appeared on camera. Tamina is always doing something funny in the background. Remember when she stole that blackberry behind Gail Kim and Eve Torres? Iconic.

In regards to the tag match tonight, it was a little short but really, really solid. Alicia’s big boot in the match was awesome, as was the tandem super kick to Alicia after the match. Tamina being the one to get the win was a refreshing touch too. Speaking of the finish, it’s nice to see that Team B.A.D have a tag team finisher as well!

Looking to the Divas Title picture, I was fine with them promoting a major altercation on SmackDown. Although three hours, Raw normally feels overcrowded, which is bizarre to say but it’s true. Having the segment planned for SmackDown be rushed on Raw would be a mistake, so I like that some hype is behind Becky and Sasha “facing their pasts”. Charlotte’s mic work has stepped up, as has WWE’s booking of Ric, so the ‘E get a big thumbs up from me. Fingers crossed that SmackDown injects some major intensity into this culminating NXT story, adding that personal element that readers will know I love. Get serious, deep, harsh and throw some soap opera drama at me!

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