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RAW Redux (March 6th, 2017): Battle of the Besties


Last night at Fastlane, we saw the tides change in the RAW women’s division with the Champion, Bayley, ending Charlotte’s coveted streak, while Sasha Banks finally got her victory over Nia Jax. With just weeks to go until WrestleMania, all eyes are on which way the division is going to go!

RAW General Manager, Mick Foley, is out to introduce ‘The Huggable One’ Bayley fresh off retaining her title. However, Bayley seems a bit deflated as she recalls how last night, she asked for Charlotte to come to the ring alone without her protege Dana Brooke, but yet her friend Sasha interfered in the match. She focuses and mentions that her goal is to look forward to WrestleMania, since she missed out last year while the other Horsewomen took centre stage… but she still doesn’t seem happy. Foley reassures her that she doesn’t need to worry because she WILL be on the card, but they still need to find out who she’ll be facing…

Cue the entrance theme of ‘The Boss’ Sasha Banks! She comes out and says that Bayley shouldn’t feel bad about last night, since Dana Brooke wasn’t guaranteed to ‘stay’ at the back and that Bayley doesn’t need to worry about them anymore. She wants to talk about WrestleMania and recalls how they both said that they wanted to face off on the grandest stage of them all! Sasha issues the challenge and Foley relays the question to the crowd, who are on their feet cheering at the possibility of NXT’s Feud of the Year 2015 taking place at WrestleMania 33!

Cue the entrance theme of the ‘Nature Girl’ herself, Charlotte Flair who is accompanied by Dana Brooke. “And just like that, the plan is crystal clear!” says Charlotte as she comes to the ring, trying to expose that all of this was an intricate ruse by Sasha Banks since she knew she couldn’t get a rematch following Roadblock where she lost her title to Charlotte. Charlotte plays the victim card, claiming she lost her title and her streak due to Sasha’s meddling, accusing Foley of favouritism for Bayley and Sasha.

Cue the theme of RAW Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon! Boy did Stephanie handle that Chicago crowd with their ‘CM Punk!’ chants! Sticking to script and ignoring the deafening crowd, Stephanie tells Mick that she agrees with Charlotte’s claims. The woman who deserves a match at WrestleMania is Charlotte, who has been messed out of the title twice by Sasha. She makes the match official – Bayley will be defending the RAW Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 33 against Charlotte!

Oh, but Mick isn’t done! He stands up for Sasha claiming that she shouldn’t be left off the card due to the great year she’s also had, so he suggests otherwise – Charlotte to take on Sasha next week to see who will take on Bayley… Stephanie seems to understand Mick’s tenacity, so decides to give Sasha a chance… Charlotte will be at WrestleMania, Bayley will be at WrestleMania and Sasha may join in a triple threat… if she beats Bayley – tonight!

So, it’s match time! The Hugger VS The Boss, the match combination that made us fall in love with both of them in NXT!

Understandably, this match was a low-key affair between the two – but interesting considering they were both wrestling as faces. After a slow start with both of them sizing each other up, Sasha seems to take the upperhand before the first commercial break as she takes out Bayley with a wicked clothesline.

When we come back from the break, it’s still pretty even between the two. The commentary team play up the long history between these two friends, with each other them having a counter for each other. When Sasha seems to get the upperhand again, Charlotte and Dana leave commentary and begin to make their way to ringside for “a closer look”.

The end of the match sees Sasha locking in the Banks Statement on Bayley! As Bayley crawls to one side of the ring, Dana jumps onto the apron to distract the referee, Charlotte jumps onto the apron on the other side, but Sasha kicks her off the apron and uses the momentum to roll Bayley back into the centre of the ring re-cinch the Banks Statement for the victory! Sasha Banks is heading to WrestleMania to take on both Charlotte and Bayley for the RAW Women’s Championship!

However, Charlotte takes out both Sasha and Bayley with big boots! She raises the title and points to the WrestleMania sign – the Queen may have lost her PPV streak, but we’ll see if she can win the title once again in a triple threat on the grandest stage of them all!

Also, we caught glimpse of this promo highlighting the transformation of Emmalina back to Emma… while already using old clips of the Emma she’s supposed to be becoming. Oh WWE, Emmalina wasn’t a thing… please hide that in the dark corners of WWE history along with Rosa Mendes’ jump rope gimmick and Katie Lea’s incest gimmick. Corey Graves who used to shouts about his excitement groans “Oh not this again…”, oh Mr.Graves you read out mind!

It’s also worth noting that before the women’s segment of the show, the WWE honoured Hall of Famers, Trish Stratus and Lita as part of Women’s History Month with a short video vignette about their contributions to women’s wrestling.

Thoughts: As predictable as a triple threat is, I’m so happy they have decided to pull the plug on Nia Jax being involved. Okay… let me not be so mean, but if this was a couple years ago, Nia would have been on that card and probably winning the title. However, the bar was set so high last year that long gone are the days of sub-par WrestleMania matches. Nia would have been exposed a great deal with the other three workers, so it’s a good decision that they sit her out of this one.

Obviously, I might be jumping the gun here – but if rumours are true about the last minute decision to change the outcome of Fastlane and how she wasn’t involved in tonight’s match tells me that they’re sticking to the triple threat.

The whole conniving Sasha thing interests me. Sasha’s gimmick as a face has been super popular, but just hasn’t got that ‘x-factor’ that made us all love her in the first place. She seems to be on the brink of a heel turn and it will be fun to see her play tweener in this match… otherwise we’ll just have a repeat of last year. While last year was amazing, the whole aim is to raise the bar… not keep the bar in the same place.

Finally, Emma… here’s to hoping they don’t mess her up. I for one, am hoping that she debuts after WrestleMania and tears sh*t up in this super predictable division!

Are you happy that we’re getting another triple threat match at WrestleMania? Did you still want Nia involved in the title picture? Do you think I’m jumping the gun and she’s still going to be involved? You know what to do!

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