The Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley continue to dominate all three brands as they returned to RAW again this week. The advertised match was a Champion vs. Champion match which pitted Bayley against RAW Women’s Champion Asuka.
Last week, Banks pulled out a win in her mixed tag team match along with Dolph Ziggler as she pinned Asuka (teamed with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre). If Banks does this at Extreme Rules on July 19 then she will be the new RAW Women’s Champion.
There were three matches on this week’s show:
Women’s Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks vs. Kairi Sane
RAW Women’s Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley – Main Event
The first match was impromptu as Banks and Bayley originally just came out to do their normal gloating and their own pat on their backs. Asuka interrupted their promo causing Bayley to yet again say that Banks will take on whoever Asuka has brought with her. Who was with her was her tag team partner Kairi Sane. Sane has been out of action for weeks after a injury sustained during a match with Nia Jax.
The match begins with Banks on offense. She backs Sane into the corner but Sane fights back until Banks delivers a right. Moments later after several chops from Sane, she drops Banks with a head scissors takedown combined with a dropkick to get a two count. The two trade submission maneuvers as Sane applies a modified camel clutch but Banks gets free and she gets Sane in a straitjacket. Sane powers out and locks in the octopus stretch. Banks breaks free.
Banks then mocks Asuka at ringside. This causes Bayley to get involved as she and Asuka go at it. Sane delivers a baseball slide dropkick on Banks and Bayley. As the match continues Sane says on top of Banks. She hits her with a forearm strike from the top rope and stays on her. Sane then delivers a spear.
Banks fights back however and delivers a Meteora but is only able to get a near fall. She continues with a double knee strike. Banks goes up top and as she leaps off is caught by Sane who delivers a unique modified Boston Crab. This was enough for Bayley to interfere as Banks could have been moments from tapping out. Sane won by disqualification.
A match was announced for next week to have The Kabuki Warriors challenge the Golden Role Models for the Women’s Tag Titles. Asuka and Sane laid down the challenge and Banks and Bayley accepted.
The second match of the night saw Ruby Riott finally trying to get a win as she takes on Billie Kay. Riott lost last week to the other half of The IIconics, Peyton Royce.
Prior to the match The IIconics were seen backstage mocking Riott. They were saying that she has no style, commenting on her tattoos, and how she has no friends. Royce says the rumor going around is that Liv Morgan isn’t returning Riott’s calls.
Riott sneaks up on Billie Kay who continues to talk bad about her. Royce tries to have her stop talking as Riott startles Kay. After referring to them as dumbasses, she explains she never used to have a problem with them. Now she can’t stand to even hear their voices. She agrees that she hasn’t heard from Liv, but her concern tonight is to beat Kay.
Riott tries to start off the match on offense as she quickly makes sure work Royce’s attempt at an interference at ringside. Royce stuck her hand in the ring and Riott stomped on it. Riott then delivers a big back elbow to the face but Kay isn’t phased as she hits her with a big boot to get a near fall. Kay stays on her opponent as she stomps away on Riott in the corner.
Kay gets another near fall after flipping Riott over. The pin was lackadaisical without the legs hooked. Kay turns Riott over into a bow & arrow submission in the middle of the ring. Riott turns it into a near fall of her own as she starts to gain momentum back. Riott drops Kay into the middle turnbuckle with her knees.
Royce then distracts Riott and that allows Kay to take advantage in the corner. After delivering a big boot, Kay brings Riott back to the middle of the ring and hist a sitout uranage (Boyfriend Stealer). This secures the pin and win.
In the main event we have the Champion vs. Champion match. Let’s take a moment to recognize how many times the women main event shows nowadays. It is definitely normal now and should remain that way moving forward.
For this match, Bayley’s Extreme Rules opponent Nikki Cross was on commentary. She was firmly rooting for Asuka in hopes that this weakens the SmackDown Women’s Champion for their upcoming bout. The match starts with a solid back and forth between both competitors which leads to a quick armbar attempt from Asuka which sends Bayley retreating to the outside in front of Kairi Sane.
Chaos erupts at ringside after Bayley knocks off Cross’ headset and security comes down to keep Cross away from the action. Asuka is able to capitalize from this nonsense as she lays out Bayley with a big knee. A few moments later Bayley is able to get back into it as she hits a clothesline for a near fall and stays on top of the Empress delivering hits in the corner. Asuka is then tossed to the floor at ringside. Sane protects her teammate from any ill will from Banks.
After an argument between the two teams, Asuka takes advantage with a drop kick to Bayley. Asuka then gets a series of near falls including a missile dropkick. This allows the SmackDown champ to regroup with Banks outside the ring but only for a moment. Bayley takes control for the next portion of the match and even takes time to sit at the commentary table and laugh it off.
Eventually, after minutes of attacks on Asuka she starts fighting back. She hits a codebreaker along with a dropkick, a german suplex, and a hip attack all trying to put away her opponent. The tides would change again as the match inches its way to the conclusion when Bayley drops Asuka face first on the ring apron. Bayley eventually starts taunting Sane at ringside. After a cheap shot to Sane, Bayley is chased back into the ring by her.
Cross then appears behind the plexiglass in the crowd as she pounds on it for the distraction. Asuka gets the Asuka Lock applied to Bayley. Banks runs in to interfere but Sane cuts her off and the two roll out of the ring. Asuka keeps control of Bayley although she escaped the Asuka Lock and gets the pin victory.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:
Asuka is back in the win column when it is against the Golden Role Models. Last week she fell to Sasha but has received some retribution against Bayley now. There is one more week until Extreme Rules and her momentum may shift again before that time, but she looks strong to hold the title at this point. Her partnership back with Kairi is fun to see.
WINNER: Kairi Sane
Kairi is back. Despite the fact that it may just be temporary as rumors are swirling of her exit shortly it makes me appreciate her that much more. She is just fun to watch and her connection with Asuka is genuine. Although she didn’t pick up the win by a clean pin, she still didn’t take the fall either. A DQ win makes sense for this. I do expect her to take the pin next week during the Tag Team Championship match that The Kabuki Warriors have received.
LOSER: Ruby Riott
Riott continues to slide down the hill. She received another loss this week to The IIconics as Billie took the win. As I said last week, this is most likely building to the reunion between her and Liv and if that is the case then this is all worth it. It is interesting seeing Ruby in the underdog role, but in the same regards, The IIconics aren’t constantly losing anymore. I really look forward to her picking up a win eventually and seeing these two teams tangle for the tag titles at some point.
Bayley taking the L while Nikki looks on is a bad sign for her. I personally go back and forth wondering if they will actually give Nikki the win at Extreme Rules. It could be the start of a break up between her and Alexa if she does and they want to go that route. Much like why Asuka is a winner this week, Bayley is on the losing end as it does her no justice this close to the pay-per-view event.
However, I feel her being on the losing end won’t continue next week. I don’t see The Kabuki Warriors picking up a win for the tag titles which will propel Bayley and Sasha to a high platform.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.