The last RAW before Backlash has come and gone and for the second night in a row, the women have opened and closed the show. Both last night at NXT TakeOver: In Your House and tonight the women dominated in the opening match and took the main event spot. With that accomplishment boasting comes the fact that RAW had some major booking issues.
The show starts off with what was supposed to be Charlotte Flair vs. RAW Women’s Champion Asuka in a non-title rematch. Instead, they had to throw all the women that were advertised together in one segment. Asuka made her way to the ring expecting her match against Flair to kick off the show. What we heard next wasn’t The Queen’s music but The Boss’ music hits instead. Both Sasha Banks and Bayley, the new Women’s Tag Team Champions made their way to greet Asuka in the ring.
They essentially gloat about their victory for the tag belts which causes Asuka to get angry and tell them that this is her ring. They agreed, but seeing as they are tag team champs now they are free to go to any brand they want to.
Flair then comes out and essentially want Banks & Bayley out of the ring so that she can have her match against Asuka as planned. The IIconics then enter the fun to promote the Triple Threat Match at Backlash and brag a little that they were the ones to beat Bayley and Banks for the titles last year at WrestleMania.
Asuka would yell some more and motion for everyone to get out of the ring so she can have her match. The focus then shifted to Flair as she told Banks & Bayley that unlike them she doesn’t need a title to be relevant. She then basically called them garbage which incited all six women to start brawling. This would make a Triple Threat tag team match between The IIconics, Banks & Bayley, and Asuka & Flair.
The match starts with Peyton Royce and Banks. The first part of the fight focused on the two teams that will be in the match this Sunday. This kept Flair and Asuka out of the match for a bit. To ensure this Banks and Royce even knocked them off the apron. Flair would eventually blind tag herself in on Billie Kay when Bayley was left in the ring. The “crowd” chants that they want Asuka. Banks and Bayley then isolate Flair in the corner. Once Flair is able to break free, Auska tags herself in.
This continued for the remainder of the match with the blind tags back and forth between Asuka and Flair. Eventually, Flair would go up top for a moonsault to put away Kay. She told Asuka to watch her with what she is about to do and instead the RAW Women’s Champion tagged herself in again. She then would apply the Asuka Lock on Kay to get the submission victory for their team.
After the match as the other two teams retreated, Flair came from the corner and took down Asuka. Flair claims that Asuka has never beat her as she lays the RAW Women’s Championship on top of her. Commentary agrees that Asuka has never defeated Flair. LIES!! It happened on Nov. 25 and you can view that on WWE’s YouTube page by clicking here. :)
As I stated earlier, the women both opened and closed the show. The original match of Asuka vs Flair took place in the main event.
During the match, for some reason, Bayley and Sasha Banks were on commentary and The IIconics were seen with the crowd behind the plexiglass on the opposite side of the ring. The IIconics would eventually do a sneak attack on the tag champs delivering them a message before Backlash. After the attack was over, the four would exit ringside.
The match itself was great as is the general consensus when these two go at it. Many near falls more in the favor of Flair as Asuka continuously kicked out. By the end, Nia Jax would appear at ringside and get on the apron. The Empress delivers forearms and kicks to her upcoming opponent before delivering a hip attack between the ropes sending Jax to the ground.
This was enough for Flair to take advantage with a big boot and get the three count to win. It appears that there could be some controversy with the pin as Asuka’s should comes up right at the count of three. Maybe?
As far as the case with Lana, things are still the same. She was interviewed backstage during Bobby Lashley’s tag team match and the same information was provided. She was asked how she feels that Lashley doesn’t want her at ringside. It has been decided that she is okay with that fact as it can still be the year of Lana in 2020.
Zelina Vega had her hands full as both of her clients, Andrade and Angel Garza, participated in a Triple Threat along with Kevin Owens to determine the number one contender for the U.S. Title. This put Vega in the middle once Andrade and Garza started going after each other which resulted in her being knocked to the ground. After the match, which Andrade won, the two would continue to fight backstage. Vega clutching the back of her neck instructed them to walk off-screen.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:
WINNER: Charlotte Flair
Flair honestly was the main person this week who walked away from the night looking good. She may not have won the tag team match for her team, Asuka got the win, but she was still on the winning side. She then of course defeated Asuka in the main event. Why? Not quite sure unless they are going to try to add her to the match at Backlash.
Asuka didn’t look good by the end of the night. She lost to Flair who isn’t even her opponent for the upcoming pay-per-view. Imagine losing to someone other than who you are feuding with prior to a big match? Sure, Nia had something to do with the distraction, so she gets that last laugh, but still.
Her losing this match halted her momentum. Although I don’t think Nia will take the belt from her on Sunday, I am not seeing her holding it much longer. She may just end up being a transitional champion.
LOSERS: Literally every woman not used on this three hour show
The booking for the women on RAW is questionable at best. Not sure why all the women had to be thrown into the first segment of the show. Asuka and Charlotte didn’t even need to be in that opening match, and if they wanted to use one of them, they could have used Asuka and her actual tag team partner Kairi. I get that they were trying to drive a wedge in between Asuka and Charlotte, but at this point, it is forced. Their history speaks for itself, and this wasn’t needed.
Kairi is just one of the women that could have been used and not just as Nia’s punching bag. Perhaps she was still healing some from her injury and that’s why they didn’t use her? For the rest though?
Bianca hasn’t been seen for weeks. Nattie had a storyline going which either is over now or they will bring it back up next week hoping we are still invested. Liv has lost all momentum, and Ruby hasn’t won since her return. Even Shayna has become obsolete which I never thought would happen.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Who were your Winners & Losers? Check back in with Diva Dirt for more Winners & Losers throughout the week and coverage on Backlash this Sunday June 14.