Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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RAW Redux (September 12th, 2016): Number 1 Contender conflicts & Foxy gets flattened

So, the blue team got themselves a nice pretty little title – well RAW is where the big’ger’ dogs are. We’ve got two of the most popular faces with their eyes on that title, so let’s take a look at what the red team had in store for the women on this week’s RAW Redux!

Straight off the top of the show, we have RAW General Manager Mick Foley come out to address the crowd. First off, he congratulates his good friend Becky Lynch for winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but goes on to say that RAW still offers ‘the premiere destination for the best in women’s wrestling in the world today’.

He brings out the (now dubbed) RAW Women’s Champion, Charlotte who comes down to the ring with protege Dana Brooke. Before Mick can even speak to her, Charlotte begins to berate Dana, making her apologise for messing up last week; by allowing Bayley to beat the Champ and for tapping out to the Bank Statement.

It’s not long before The Boss, Sasha Banks makes her way down the ramp to address the Clash of Champions event. She states that she’s ‘the face of the division and the woman who’s going to take the title back in two weeks’. However, it’s not long before the Hugger, Bayley comes down the ring to remind everyone that she pinned the Champion last week, so she should be the Number 1 contender… The three begin to squabble regarding who should get to face Charlotte, until Dana Brooke pipes up and says Foley should put the two women into a best of series, only to get shut down quickly by Charlotte who threatens to ‘slap the taste out of her mouth’ if she speaks again.

Mick sets a match for tonight, to determine Charlotte’s opponent at Clash of Champions: Sasha Banks VS Bayley… causing Charlotte to start shouting at Dana once again. However, Dana has reached the end of her tether and slaps Charlotte across the mouth! An eruption of ‘YES’ chants fill the arena, leading Foley to add Dana Brooke to the match!

Dana acts as the filler for most of this match, working with Sasha for the first part of the match, then working some spots with Bayley – clearly being used to buffer the two mega-faces. It’s also clear to see that Sasha has her lower back taped up and is still selling her back injury. Charlotte on commentary mentions that she’d like to face Sasha the most, since she’s beaten her already. It’s only towards the end of the match where we finally get to see Sasha and Bayley go at it, where Bayley takes out Dana with a Bayley to belly, but gets rolled up into a pin by Sasha for a win… although I’m pretty sure we saw her shoulders were down too… *sips tea*. So, the Boss’ music hits, Charlotte stands with the title over her shoulder and it looks like the double pin is going ignored – Charlotte VS Sasha Banks at Clash of Champions for the RAW Women’s Championship!

A flustered Dana Brooke is seen walking backstage, who bumps into Charlotte. She tries to apologise once again, but is told to shut up and get Charlotte’s bags…

Andrea D’Marco catches Sasha Banks backstage for the RAW Fallout, who says that she’s back and ready – despite her back being wrapped up. There’s not running from the Boss!

We have another women’s match on the way, as Alicia Fox makes her way to the ring. Backstage, Tom Phillips asks her opponent Nia Jax if she’s prepared to take on someone as unpredictable as Fox. Nia quickly replies, “I don’t do crazy, …I’m gonna beat the crap out of Alicia Fox until she can’t get up, or she gives up”. Damn! She’s not playing this week!

Someone get a spatula because Alicia Fox was pancaked this week. She did hit a Big Boot, but it was all for nothing as Nia ragdolls her around the barricade. Remember when The Hulk slams Loki in Avengers Assemble? That was pretty much what happens! The end of the match comes with Nia Jax hitting a massive spear on Alicia, sending her through the barricade, knocking her out for a 10 count.

Alicia is seen being taken to the back, looking completely out of it.

Our final women’s appearance is at the very end of the show… no none of the women are going for the Universal Championship, but Lana makes her return (from her honeymoon if anyone follows her on Instagram). Rusev distracts Roman Reigns in the main event, allowing Kevin Owens to pick up the victory. He continues to add insult to injury post-match, while a powerful Lana stands on the entrance ramp with the US Title. The Red Brand’s Power Couple are back and ready to get their revenge!

Thoughts: So I might as well start off with what everyone’s talking about – Nia destroyed Alicia and that barricade spot is what we’ve been dying for! Thing is… I’m still split in two minds – some people see this as a resurgence for Foxy, who’s going to return and seek revenge… but I’ve watched WWE long enough to be a pessimist and think she’s going to get squashed again and nothing will happen. While I get that Alicia ‘doing the job’ will put over Nia, I just don’t understand why we couldn’t get squashes of this intensity with all these lame boring squash matches. They constantly referred to Alicia’s 10 year experience, we’ve seen the likes of Carmella/Alexa/Bayley go toe to toe with Nia, but in my opinion, Foxy came off about as credible as all the other local jobbers they’ve had over the weeks.

I’m not all the way pessimistic, as they can still create a nice 2 week program from now which can culminate at Clash of Champions… but seeing Alicia get squashed like that would make that pointless – unless she ambushes Nia with a chair, which I don’t see happening. The main benefit was that this finally made people care about Nia Jax – this is the stuff she should have been doing from the start and I’ve said it from the jump.

Next up, my pick for RAW’s MVP was Dana Brooke. Finally I’m getting a reason to care for her, sure her delivery and mic skills needed work, but the character development is letting us know that this isn’t just a woman who stands there and flexes her biceps. I still HATE her ring gear and wouldn’t mind her bringing back the ‘Beth Phoenix-lite’ attires, but it’s now time that she starts making herself an individual. She needs to start making a moveset, getting a unique look, she’s in such a comfortable position and has great women to work with – Nia’s stepping up, Carmella and Alexa are improving steadily on SD, Dana has to keep up with her NXT alumni crop or she’ll be replaced easily come next draft.

As far as the RAW Women’s Championship storyline… this feels familiar to me… oh yeah because we’ve seen it all in NXT already. Sure the heels and faces may have changed, there might be some tweaks but it’s still essentially Charlotte VS Sasha Banks, with Bayley as the underdog working up to her eventual title shot. Also, let’s address that botch that the WWE clearly didn’t want to address either (although they may do next week) but it’s obvious Sasha and Bayley both had their shoulders down. A triple threat match idea for Clash of Champions would have been fresh, but I do think that Banks/Charlotte having their final rubber match and to allow Bayley to step through later is the best move now. I personally think that win should have gone to Dana Brooke, I’m just cautious of Bayley/Sasha/Charlotte working endless cycles.

Do you think Sasha should be the Number 1 Contender or should it have been Bayley? When should Dana Brooke fully turn on Charlotte? Do you think Alicia Fox can come back from that beatdown? Let us know in the comments!

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