The Royal Rumble is just six nights away and the red brand had their final show before the first stop on the road to WrestleMania. Once again the RAW roster continues to have the same booking and at the same time makes me scratch my head saying, “what was the point?”
One of the two women’s matches that were announced prior to tonight’s show was Shayna Baszler taking on one-half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions Charlotte Flair. This would be the first time that these two faced each other one-on-one and it ended super fast thanks to Nia Jax.
Prior to the match, it was announced that Flair and Asuka will defend their Women’s Tag Team Championships against Baszler & Jax at the Royal Rumble.
Charlotte Flair defeated Shayna Baszler via Disqualification
After the two women lock up to start the match, Flair creates separation and then targets Jax who is at ringside. She delivers a baseball slide which knocks Jax into the announce table. Baszler then tries to take advantage as she locked in the Kirifuda Clutch. Flair breaks the hold and then goes right for the Figure Eight. She was unable to bridge into her submission as Jax interferes and drops down with a leg drop on Flair causing the bell to ring.
Post-match – Baszler, and Jax would team up to attack Flair until Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke rushes down to make the save. Lacey Evans would then join the fray as she came in and attacked Flair. This led to a six-woman tag team match.
Charlotte Flair, Dana Brooke, and Mandy Rose defeated Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Lacey Evans via Count-out
For the second match in a row, we see no clear pin or submission to end the match. As most six-women tag matches it was what it was but then ended with a weird count-out. Flair had pulled Baszler out of the ring who took a hard tumble. The two would walk around the ring to the point where they met Jax and Evans on their side of the ring. They all kind of stood there as the referee was making the count and Baszler was not able to make it in the ring by the count of 10. The team of Flair, Brooke, and Rose wins.
It didn’t stop there!
As we come back from the commercial break, the match was restarted. During the break, Baszler, Jax and Evans were arguing with Adam Pearce on the ramp to have the match restarted. The winning team agreed with it.
Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, and Lacey Evans defeated Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose, and Charlotte Flair
Dana Brooke spends a good amount of time in the ring as Jax and Baszler do a number on her focusing on her arm. An eventual tag gets in Rose and Evans for their respective teams. Rose hits Evans with a pump knee strike that almost gets a three count.
Flair delivers a spear on Baszler as Jax levels Flair. Evans then pulls Flair out of the ring and Flair chases her out of the ringside area leaving the match. Brooke nearly puts away Jax but only gets a two-count. Jax throws Brooke off the top turnbuckle as Brooke went for possibly a senton. Jax then with one hand and sloppily drives Brooke to the match as she slams her head on the mat. The pin then occurs giving the win to Jax, Baszler, and Evans.
Later on in the night, Evans was seen in a room backstage with Ric Flair. Ric was showing her a wrestling hold as the door opens and Charlotte enters. She then tells Evans to leave them.
Ric says that just because Charlotte is a big star now doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for Ric to pass on some of his wisdom to others. Charlotte says she is not the bad guy and she has no problem letting Ric know that he is going from legend to an old man.
She walks backwards towards the dressing room door as Evans walks back in and delivers a Woman’s Right to the back of Charlotte’s head. She then kicks her as Ric appeared to either try to help her up or add injury. Evans stopped him and the two walked out Wooing.
Moving on we have the RAW Women’s Championship match as the main event. For the second week in a row Asuka and Alexa Bliss main event RAW. Earlier in the night, Bliss had Alexa’s Playground in one of the backstage rings. This segment was a rehashing of Bliss from what she did to Randy Orton and what happened last week with Asuka. She states that for tonight’s match she will have the chance to get a shiny new toy and that she will also be bringing the pain side of herself much as she did last week.
Bliss came to the ring with the Bray Wyatt music with her Alexa’s Playground graphics. Prior to the commercial break during the match, Asuka misses a hip attack which sends her out of the ring. She looks back to see Bliss in the middle of the ring on her rocking horse. We return from break and Asuka is refocused as she is delivering kicks to Bliss in the corner. Bliss is able to fight back and gets a near fall as she is smiling from ear to ear.
The match turns back around to the champion’s advantage as Asuka delivers a huge kick to Bliss which takes her down. Asuka stays in control and gets a near fall as Bliss winds up in the corner. Next, we hear Alexa Bliss’s music hit and she turns into The Goddess gimmick dressed as a Bliss we once knew.
After she sidesteps Asuka who goes after her in the corner Bliss ends up on the other side of the ring and then turns into her “pain” character after the lights went out. Asuka tries to go after her immediately. All the hits and kicks Asuka delivers keep getting swatted away by Bliss until a knee catches her. Asuka then tries to lock in the Asuka Lock but Bliss overpowers her. Bliss then gets the mandible claw in on the champion and was perhaps mere moments away from becoming the new RAW Women’s Champion.
Suddenly, Randy Orton appeared behind Bliss and delivered an RKO causing the end of RAW and the obvious disqualification although the bell never rings.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week –
This week was really hard to pick winners and losers and not in a good way. I only hope the booking gets better for RAW after the Royal Rumble but I feel as though I have been saying that since the Draft.
She kept her title, didn’t have to take a pin, and the match I felt was entertaining with Alexa. That also means that she will hold onto it until at least after the Rumble as she is booked in a tag title match over the RAW Women’s Title. They need to really fix the booking around these titles.
WINNER: Alexa Bliss
She may not have left with the title and was RKO’d but I am still buying everything she is selling. I sound like a broken record with her, but this whole gimmick has been a rejuvenation. It is honestly the best thing the women on the red brand have going. The rest is a booking travesty.
WINNER: Lacey Evans
This storyline has been played out so many times but I think she is doing a good job with it. She keeps getting the last laugh on Charlotte which most don’t get booked in that way. Honestly, it would make more sense for Lacey and Peyton to go for the tag titles instead of Nia and Shayna but what can ya do? They both have pins on Flair but what do I know?
LOSER: Dana Brooke
Dana took a beating in the unneeded back to back matches. Hopefully, she doesn’t have an injury after that bad ending by Nia. If she ends up having an injury where she is pulled out of another big match I would feel bad for her.
LOSER: Peyton Royce
Why have they given up on her? She wasn’t even involved or at ringside with her “tag team partner.” Maybe they are trying to slowly break them apart but commentary still mentioned them as a team. So unless there was some reasoning for her not being there (which could be possible) her not being involved isn’t a good look.
What did you think about the go-home RAW for the Royal Rumble? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts below.
Check back with Diva Dirt for more Winners & Losers this week and coverage of this weekends Royal Rumble event.