Monday, December 4, 2023

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Winners & Losers: RAW 05.18.20

RAW this week had a lot of representation from the women and it was good to see. There were three women’s matches and a number of segments. Before we get into the Winners & Losers of the week, let’s unpack what has gone down.

The show opened up with a video package of Becky Lynch‘s pregnancy announcement last week. This also highlighted, of course, Asuka now being the RAW Women’s Champion as a result. Asuka’s tag team partner Kairi Sane hosted a congratulatory party in the ring for her best friend.

This was filled with a rundown of all the titles that Asuka has won, announcing her as a Grand Slam Champion, and some sweet music provided by Sane herself. Everyone was having a great time, that is except Nia Jax.

Jax made her way to the ring to crash the party. She confronted the new champ saying she didn’t earn the title that it was quite literally handed to her. She vowed to become the next RAW Women’s Champion after she gets in the ring against Asuka. Sane then stepped towards Jax which then unleashed Asuka. A hip attack sent Jax out of the ring and her retreating.

Throughout the next several segments backstage, Jax attacked Sane when she separated from Asuka. Asuka then found out about the attack and tracked down Jax for retribution. She was able to find her and provide an attack of her own to end the confrontation. It appears that Jax will most likely be Asuka’s next opponent at the Backlash pay-per-view.

As for the matches of the week there were three as follows:

Charlotte Flair vs. Ruby Riott

Alexa Biss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics -Women’s Tag Team Championship Match

Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya – Submission Match

The first match between Flair and Riott was typical and what is to be expected. Flair called out Riott who apparently had something to say to The Queen. The match was of moderate length, didn’t do much to elevate Riott at all since she has been on a losing streak ever since returning from injury. Flair continued to dominate and pulled out a win with the Figure Eight as her opponent tapped out.

Flair continues to go from brand to brand to pick up victories. She will possibly have her biggest hill on Friday as she will face Bayley.

Next, we had the Women’s Tag Team Championship on the line which looked mighty good for The IIconics to become two-time champs. That is until they didn’t. The returned last week after a seven-month absence and were able to pull out a victory over the champions in a non-tile affair.

In a rather short match, Bliss hit a Twisted Bliss onto Billie Kay and got a near three count that was broken up by Peyton Royce. Royce then became slightly unhinged as she drove Bliss into the ring post numerous times as the official kept telling her to stop. When Royce didn’t listen, the referee called for the bell disqualifying The IIconics.

Credit: WWE

The IIconics then have a backstage segment that ends in Kay slapping Royce in anger over their loss only to have her apologize immediately as she consoles her.

The last match of the night was, in my opinion, the better of the three and that was Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya in a Submission Match. Natalya was trying to avenge her loss against Baszler last week and her Hart legacy. The effort of this match was there and Nattie did what she could to try and muster out a win. She escaped an ankle lock that caused her to limp the majority of the match thereafter. Baszler tried to get the Sharpshooter locked in on Nattie, but Nattie reversed it into her own Sharpshooter. Baszler was able to crawl herself to the ring apron to escape the hold as she fell to the outside.

Nattie stayed on top of her opponent and got her back into the ring and for a moment had her in a unique leg submission. This was reversed into the Kirifuda Clutch and Baszler isolated the arm of Nattie so she couldn’t get any leverage. Baszler gets the submission victory.

After the match, Nattie became very emotional in the ring as she couldn’t believe she lost again. She then threw a temper tantrum and as the crew was setting up for the KO Show she tossed the signs and chairs for the show out of the ring to end the segment.

There was also a video package of Bianca Belair and a video promo by Liv Morgan.

Morgan basically stated that she is like her mother and that is she is tough and not a quitter. She explained that she lost her match against Charlotte Flair a few weeks ago and although she was defeated she learned. She sees herself as a RAW Women’s Champion one day.

Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:

WINNER: Kairi Sane

Kairi may have been knocked out by the end of it all by Nia, she certainly knows how to entertain. It is good to still see her on television and hopefully, the rumor of her leaving isn’t true as that would be a huge loss for the company. I low-key was hoping for Kairi to turn on Asuka but we don’t really need a break up of a team or another best friend war right now.

LOSER: Ruby Riott

Ruby needs something and continuous losses isn’t it. It is understood why she lost to Liv and a close to that chapter. Her losing randomly to Charlotte makes zero sense. They can’t figure out something else for her? They could have her going after Asuka right now to be honest.

LOSERS: The IIconics

No. We are not going to play this game and tease a break up of another tag team when the division is already non-existent. It was rumored prior to their returned that they were going to be repackaged. Many felt a sigh of relief when they weren’t. However, what if this is the beginning of it?

If we had an actual tag team division of several teams then I would venture it. If we didn’t already have two best friends at war on SmackDown I would venture it. Granted Mandy vs. Sonya is probably the best thing going right now but we don’t need it duplicated at the same time.

A final thought on the Shayna vs. Nattie match. I enjoyed it overall. I think they could have gone for at least another five minutes. It is unsure if this is a sign of a heel turn for Nattie, but I am for it. I am also liking that Shayna hasn’t been thrown in first against Asuka and this is coming from a Shayna fan. I just don’t think she needs to have a title anytime soon. Let her have a solid feud with Nattie for now or whomever.

What did you think of this week’s RAW? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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