Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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RAW Redux (Sep 18th, 2017): When 4 becomes 5

It’s RAW Redux time! Apologies for the lack of the redux last week because I was busy ‘sunning’ it up, but now I’m back and ready to see what the RAW women’s division has been getting up to. The battle lines have been drawn for No Mercy and each woman is staking her claim for Alexa Bliss’ championship. Who is ready to make that last laugh before the big showdown?

First up we get the long-awaited match up between our biggest female Superstar, Nia Jax, taking on the RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss in a non-title match.

The usually cocky Alexa seems a bit more pensive as she heads to this match and she’s right to do so, as Nia is straight on the attack when the bell rings. Alexa’s initial gameplan is to dodge and weave her way out of getting hurt, until she tries to land a slap… but gets caught. Nia lifts her up, but she manages to wriggle out and tries to get out the ring one more time. Nia tries to catch her, but is met with a slap across her face.

Alexa buys herself enough time to hightail it out the ring, but Sasha Banks’ music hits the PA system. She makes her way down the ramp, which sends Alexa back into the opposite and right into a running avalanche from Nia Jax.

When we come back from the break, Nia is fully in control of the match until she whips and Alexa dodges one of her charges, sending her flying into the ring post. Alexa manages to ground her larger opponent with a dropkick and climbs up the top rope… only to get caught by Nia and dropped into a Samoan Drop! 1.. 2.. 3! Nia Jax has pinned the RAW Women’s Champion!

As Nia celebrates, Sasha jumps her from behind! Nia manages to shrug her off, but she’s not finished. However, before she can start taking out her future No Mercy opponents, Bayley’s music hits and the hometown girl makes her way down the ramp! Standing alongside Sasha and Alexa, the three of them spear down Nia and take her out of the ring.

Sasha and Bayley raise their hands up and celebrate their #BossAndHugConnection, until Alexa jumps in the middle and tries to get involved. This doesn’t really go to plan for the Champ, as Sasha kicks her and Bayley hits her with a Bayley-to-belly! The who super popular power-faces celebrate in the ring!

It is later announced that Bayley will be added to the RAW Women’s championship match, making it a fatal-5-way with herself, Nia Jax, Emma, Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks and the champion Alexa Bliss at No Mercy.

Backstage, Bayley updates us on being able to finally get some retribution on Alexa in her hometown. She updates her condition by letting us know that all good to go and ready show that she’s improved and will walk out as champion!

We’re also treated to another teaser promo for the long-awaited debut of NXT’s Asuka to the RAW roster.

Thoughts: It looks like the RAW writers picked up a page from the SmackDown writers’ handbook. I’m actually fond of Bayley’s return and being added to the match. The timeout has been perfect for the crowd to get a chance to miss her since they were so close to giving her the Reigns’ treatment. Sure it’s not really necessary, but with all the focus going on Asuka’s debut, we need to have all the valuable players out on the field.

Nia getting the win was strong booking for her. She’s improved so much over this year, but I’m really hoping that she pulls it out of the bag at No Mercy. She’s going to be used for most of the big spots, so I’m hoping she really impresses us. I can already imagine some really fun spots with women like Alexa and Sasha involved, so eyes are definitely focused on her as we move forward.

Alexa being booked as having no allies is perfect booking too. By tradition, this would point to her as walking out as the champion… but either way, it’s a nice change to see them play up the odds factor that the odds her stacked against her. It gives me shades of AJ Lee at WrestleMania 30, so if they play that up and she manages to work some good spots in the match then this should be interesting for her character moving forward.

Overall, it’s nice to see Bayley back. She’s still one of the most popular women on the roster and having that strong face in the mix will definitely make the No Mercy match and exciting one. The 2007 fan in me wishes Mickie James was involved somehow though!

Are you happy that Bayley is back? What did you think of Nia finally working with Alexa one on one? What are your thoughts on Sasha being a jump-a-hoe? You know what to do in the comments section!

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