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RAW Redux (March 27th, 2017): Three Down for the Crown

It’s the last week before WrestleMania and the RAW Women’s Division picture has been set. The Huggable Champ takes on The Nature Girl, The Boss and The Unstoppable Force in an elimination four way match. Four combustible elements ready to climb to the top on the grandest stage of them all. In the final RAW before ‘The Big One’, let’s see who managed to get ahead in the final checkpoint.

The ladies kick off this week’s RAW, with the RAW Women’s Champion Bayley making her way to the ring. She starts off addressing the crowd with the usual ‘little girl dream come true’ speech, until she’s interrupted by Charlotte Flair. The self-proclaimed Queen once again tries to stir the pot between Bayley and her best friend Sasha Banks, sticking to her claims that this was all a ruse for the latter to get back into the title picture – even bringing up a tweet from 2015 showing the frenemy-shop between herself and Sasha, her former NXT BFF.

The Boss makes her way to the ring to quickly dismiss all of her claims, mentioning that she beat the Champ to get into the match and will beat her again at WrestleMania. Before Bayley can react, Nia Jax makes her way to the ring. The recent addition to the match rubbishes all of the other women’s bickering and says that the title will have a permanent fixture when she wins it! Charlotte chimes in, once again trying to paint Sasha as the dark factor behind the match’s make-up.

That’s the last straw as Sasha jumps Charlotte and the distraction allows Nia to attack Bayley! The women scrap as a tag match is set – Charlotte and Nia Jax will take on Sasha Banks and Bayley!

The tag match follows a traditional format of both teams going equal initially, only for the heel team to start wearing down one of their opponents. In this case, the so called ‘damsel-in-distress’ role was taken by Sasha. Interestingly, the commentary team talk about how we have more to see from Nia of all the competitors… which is true considering she’s had nowhere near as much ring time.

Bayley is able to get the hot tag when Charlotte is thrown into Nia, dropping her off the apron and onto the floor. When Charlotte manages to stop Bayley’s fresh flurry of offence, she goes to lock in the Figure 8 which gets broken up by Sasha. Nia tries to equalize the situation, but is dodged by Sasha and end up outside the ring. Sasha tries to take Nia out with a crossbody, but gets caught, Nia tries to throw her into the post, but Sasha wriggles out and throw her into the outside ring post herself!

As Sasha tries to get back into the ring, she gets kicked back down by Charlotte. Inside the ring with the legal competitors, the distraction allows Charlotte to go for a Big Boot on Bayley, but she counters it and hits a Bayley-to-Belly for the win!

The Besties celebrate, but it’s cut short by Nia Jax who wipes them both out from behind. She drops a leg drop on Sasha, hits a Samoan Drop on Bayley and finally hones in on Charlotte, nailing her with a running block and taking out her partner. She picks up the RAW Women’s Championship, then raises it above her head and her laid out opponents. Is Nia Jax going to get her first taste of Gold at WrestleMania? The state of her future competition in the ring shows that Nia Jax means business!

Backstage a exclusive catches Bayley after her match. While she’s worried about Nia, she knows that she’s not unbeatable. Bayley knows that she’s a Champion for a reason and she’s ready to prove to everyone that she’s deserving of the title and will prove it to everyone once again at WrestleMania!

Thoughts: So Nia Jax is the ‘wildcard’ in this match – from the commentary team referring to how they still ‘haven’t seen everything’ from her, to how she got the last laugh before the big showdown shows that something is in store. I’m really really really hoping Nia does surprise me here and show us some amazing spots. I know I seem to criticize her every week, but it’s because she’s got such big shoes to fill – even more symbolic when Beth Phoenix, one of the best ‘monster heels’ in the WWE ever, is being inducted to the Hall of Fame this week! The irony of her having tricks up her sleeve and ‘not showing the most’ as she took out all 3 opponents with her normal 3 moves she uses that we’ve seen every week she’s appeared since her main roster debut: leg drop, Samoan Drop, running block. Come on Nia, the pressure is DEFINITELY on you this weekend.

Conspicuous by her absence this week is Dana Brooke. I think this all makes it just a bit obvious that she’ll be a deciding factor at WrestleMania… or will she? Her clean defeat to Charlotte may have signified the end of that feud already, since we know that the WWE like to back out on plans… Emmalina anyone?

All eyes are on the NXT ‘15 alumni this year. While Carmella and Alexa Bliss have had their shine on SmackDown, the state of the RAW division means that Bayley, Nia Jax and possibly Dana Brooke are all on the brink of a night that will make or break there careers. No pressure ladies, but we know you can do it!

Do you think the NXT ‘15 crew will live up to the hype? Do you think Dana Brooke will interfere in the match? Are you over Nia’s three moves too? Drop your comments below and get in the WrestleMania move with me!

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