Monday, June 27, 2022

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Raw Redux (March 30th, 2015) Naomi Makes an Impact

‘Twas the night after WrestleMania and surprises were in store!

That’s right everyone, following a successful night for the Divas at WrestleMania, WWE pulled out all the stops again for the Divas to ensure that they were showcased really well once again. We are enjoying such a good era for the Divas and long way it continue.

In terms of the action we were treated to last night, WrestleMania victors AJ Lee and Paige teamed up with Naomi to take on Brie and Nikki Bella and 50 Shades of Natalya. Naomi gave Nattie a solid serving of rump on the WrestleMania kick-off show when she blasted her with the Rear View, and the funkalicious Diva also managed to get a win over Divas Champion Nikki Bella on Main Event three weeks ago. Will funk continue to be on a roll tonight? Will AJ manage to make Nikki tap twice in 24 hours? Only time will tell!

The first Diva appearance of the evening last night was Stephanie McMessiah, as she was on hand to inform Brock Lesnar that although he wanted his rematch for the WWE Title that second, the new champ Seth Rollins was not yet in the building. Steph assures Brock that she thinks Seth will step up and defend his title tonight, like Brock wants. Hmm, we’ll see about that.

Stephanie is back later in the night when all hell breaks loose. About half way through the show, it appears as though Seth Rollins will defend the gold against Brock Lesnar. The cowardly Rollins has other ideas though. He is ‘jetlagged’ and tired (probably from taking too many selfies if you know what I mean) so he doesn’t want to and won’t defend his newly-won title tonight.

Brock sees red and launches an attack on Rollins and J & J Security. Once Rollins scurries away, Brock trashes the announce table, injuring Booker T and JBL in the process. Just when I though that the weasel Michael Cole managed to escape harm, the ‘Voice of the WWE’ shuts up as Brock Lesnar destroys him and a ‘cameraman’ with F5s.

Stephanie rushes out to ringside and she is on the warpath. Although she was worried when faced with Ronda Rousey at Mania, she isn’t fazed by this former UFC star. Stephanie suspends Lesnar on the spot, demanding that he get out of her ring! Her screaming can only be described as like ‘nails across a chalkboard’. Check that your ears aren’t bleeding everyone.

We get our final Steph sighting next as immediately following her shocking actions, Renee Young catches up with Stephanie backstage to assess the situation that just unfolded.

Stephanie says that she was right to suspend Brock, asking Renee if she would have liked to have been hit with an F5. Stephanie says that she will give Brock his rematch, yet it will be on her terms, and after he has served his suspension and has paid a hefty fine. She says that he can’t run off to MMA again as he just signed a new contract with WWE. With that in mind, she now owns “that son of a bitch”!

I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVED. THIS.

Stephanie was solid gold, no – shimmering platinum two nights in a row. This woman can do no wrong!

Later on in the show, it is time for Divas action! Many fans will have thought #GiveDivasAChance was seemingly over after WWE left it late to give our girls a spot, yet thankfully, they were just playing with us. WWE had a nice 11 minute spot reserved just for the Divas – woohoo! Or as us Brits say – get in!

The ‘face’ team of AJ Lee, Paige and Naomi are already in the ring as we see the self-proclaimed ‘Dominattie’ complete her entrance. Following that The Bella Twins make their way down the aisle. They look composed and collected ready to kick some ass and take some redemption.

Recent rivals Naomi and Natalya square off first with some headlock-based exchanges. Natalya ends up getting the best of Naomi early on with some solid strikes yet Naomi fights back like only she can. Nattie meets Naomi’s rear end as it shakes all up in her grill. Nice of Naomi to channel her father-in-law!

Naomi takes Nat down with a dropkick, yet Naomi soon has her side-pony knocked all over as she is dropped on her famous cheeks and then kicks square in the jaw. Brie then hits a dropkick of her own that nets her a near fall. Brie takes Naomi down with a fireman’s carry before working over her arm in a basic armlock. Naomi eventually manages to wriggle free, dropkicking Naomi right afterwards.

Paige is tagged into the bout and she gets a massive reaction from the crowd! Paige bamboozles Brie with a flurry of headbutts yet her upperhand doesn’t last long as Brie catches her leg and shoots her to the mat face first. As quickly as she was sent down, Paige gets back up again, tripping Brie at the leg and pinging her for two. Paige declares that this is her house, an exclamatory that is backed up big time when she is completely unaffected by Brie kicking her in the shoulder. The move does rile Paige up however, and Hell in Boots rugby tackles Brie to the outside.

Back from the commercial break, AJ Lee repping some Bayley merchandise (Balyz even got a chant too!) is now the legal woman for her team and she is in a world of trouble. Brie sucks the life out of AJ with a reverse chinlock and then Natalya dishes out some damage with a basement dropkick. AJ then says hello to Natalya’s knee, an unfriendly relationship that manages to blossom for a short while. Nattie then hits successive suplexes before Nikki Bella enters the match for the first time.

Nikki clotheslines AJ before mocking the plucky 3x Divas Champion who struggles to make a tag. Nikki stops AJ in her tracks and wrenches AJ’s neck in a reverse chinlock. AJ eventually powers out, only to then be dropped by a spinebuster as she was just a fingertip away for making a tag. Nikki doesn’t manage to get a win yet she does the unleash a cringe-inducing bow and arrow submission. A great new addition to her arsenal.

AJ reverses the move and tries to tag her partners in yet again, yet this time Nikki bashes Paige from the apron. AJ jumps on Nikki and goes all Roddy Piper on her with a sleeper hold yet Nikki breaks the hold by slamming AJ into the corner. A feisty AJ kicks back, knocking Nikki to the ground. Nikki tries to stop AJ from making the tag yet she can’t this time – here comes Naomi!

We get a great near-first person view of the action as Naomi makes her way back into the match. She drapes Nikki’s throat onto the top rope, kicks her in the face and then flies high with a crossbody. Naomi’s momentum then comes to a drastic halt when Nikki flattens her with an Alabama Slam! The match continues as Paige breaks up the pinfall however, Nattie then nearly breaks Paige in half with a gorgeous German suplex. AJ then takes Natalya out and that leaves Naomi and the Bellas. Naomi and Brie’s backs meet in a classic battle staredown; Naomi is cornered! Nikki charges at Naomi yet Mrs Uso ducks, meaning Nikki and her forearm crash into Brie. Naomi then hits the Rear View and the Funky Floridian scores a second win over the champion!

Finally I must give a shout-out to something that didn’t happen on Raw, yet occurred during on Twitter. Poor Emma tweeted such a shady tweet about the lack of airtime she has been getting on WWE TV. I loved it. I can’t wait for her newfound NXT bitchiness to evolve and then progress onto the main roster.

Thoughts: Another Raw, another really, really good showing from the Divas. It has been a while since we have seen a six Diva tag match and it has certainly been a while since we’ve seen one last over a minute. It has certainly CERTAINLY been a helluva while since we have seen one last over a minute and have all the girls tagged in. So refreshing to see.

Admittedly, I was getting a little bored in the middle when all that was going on was AJ getting yanked into bland restholds, yet Nikki then whipped out the modified bow and arrow and I was a big fan of that. Natalya channelling Brock Lesnar and German suplexing Paige out of her Dr. Martens was pretty badass too.

Another positive was how this match incorporated a few feuds. Obviously the WrestleMania feud was addressed with added tag team title WAG action. However, Paige and Natalya have beef from Total Divas and it was refreshing to see AJ and Natalya mix it up again considering the last time they clashed, their roles were reversed.

As for the finish, I still don’t like the Rear View as a main finisher for Naomi yet her action was so hot tonight, and the crowd were really eating it up. Now that Naomi has two wins over Nikki in the space of a month, I imagine that she is next in-line for a title match at Extreme Rules, or perhaps she has staked her claim that she deserves to be included in a triple threat to determine a new number one contender. I’d love to see the winning team tonight face off in a three-way dance. With Paige having the Divas title in the bag a few weeks back until Brie interfered, she’ll have a case to be included too.

Is trouble brewing for Brie and Nikki too? Brie got a taste of Nikki’s elbow of betrayal again tonight – although accidental this time – allowing Naomi to capitalise and win the bout. Now that I have gotten over WWE’s horrific booking of Brie’s heel turn and the incredibly poor explanation a few weeks back on SmackDown (I’m grateful we got a little), I’m enjoying Brie as a heel actually. There I said it. She still needs to re-jig her moveset though. I’m open to her staying aligned with Nikki or turning again however. Let’s see what tricks WWE have up their sleeve. With the recent run of form, I’m inclined to believe WWE may finally know what they are doing.

Finally, what more needs to be said about the greatest female talker ever in the wrestling business? Stephanie owned tonight yet again. She may sometime pull off questionable outfit choices, yet the same cannot be said for her mic work. Stellar perfection. That isn’t hyperbole – that’s a fact.

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