There is a lot to unpack from this week’s RAW as we are less than two weeks away from Hell in a Cell. We have a new number one contender for Asuka‘s RAW Women’s Championship and we had the final night of the 2020 WWE Draft.
To go over all the results of the WWE Draft you can click here and I will include my thoughts in the Winner & Losers portion at the end as always. Let’s go over the two matches of the night.
The first match was a tag team match between Lana & Natalya facing Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke. This match was formed from Mandy & Dana being the guests on MizTV. The two came out to a new team theme.
Mandy did a great job during the segment getting in the verbal punches on Miz and John Morrison. The Miz patted himself on the back for being the “influence” of getting Mandy on RAW which she has been seeing quick success. He did remind Dana of how the friendship between her new tag team partner and Sonya Deville ended. Brooke seemed to be secure in her friendship with Rose.
The Miz and Morrison tried to stir the pot some between the newly form team and asked how they feel about both being in the Dual-Brand Battle Royal later in the night. Rose responded with, “may the best woman win.” This prompted Natalya and Lana to make their way to the ring.
Lana mentions drama and when it comes down to it, she is the girl to talk to. She says she is the one with the two ex-husbands and an ex-girlfriend. Natalya gets annoyed on why no one wanting to email her and Lana. Rose says that maybe if they were to spend less time on TikTok and more time training that they could win a match. This was the last straw for Natalya and the two teams attack each other. This builds their match later on in the night.
As far as the match goes, Mandy & Dana continue their winning ways and pick up another victory. Dana was able to pick up the pin after hitting a senton off the shoulders of Mandy. Lana took the pin as she has for the past almost two months.
After the match, Natalya showed her frustrations with her tag team partner and told her that she can’t continue to do this anymore. She left Lana upset in the ring as she made her way up the ramp, dissolving their partnership.
Before we get to the main event, which was the Battle Royal, Alexa Bliss officially made her statement as a new member of the RAW brand. She appeared after the match between Angel Garza and Andrade. Zelina Vega was on commentary.
After Garza defeated Andrade, Vega came to the ring in order to say some final words to her former client. During this time, the lights went out and the red light came on with Alexa Bliss in the corner of the ring mimicking The Fiend. As Vega and Andrade were shocked by Bliss’ appearance, The Fiend emerged behind them. The Fiend and Bliss gave both of them a Sister Abigal simultaneously.
In the main event, we had the Dual-Brand Battle Royal. As exciting as it was that this was in the main event slot, it certainly had its issues. The match quickly went from 16-women down to 14 as both Alex and Zelina were not in it despite the advertising up until the moment the bell rang. When Zelina was on commentary earlier in the night, they mentioned her being in it. The graphic also showed them both moments before the match. So something had to have happened in that short of a time to remove them from the match.
There were no surprise entrants despite rumors of a returning Evan Marie, Melina, or Charlotte Flair.
To read about the full match and the elimination order you can click here.
Since I always try to see the good in things, let’s go over both the positive and negative aspects of this match.
Negative observations –
- Perhaps the most infuriating thing about the main event was it being interrupted. If you are going to put the women in the main event, let them MAIN EVENT! It is entirely maddening that they had to go to Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton brawling backstage. There was literally no need for that as it pertained to nothing that was going on. Also, them cutting off Lana’s rare win was disrespectful as well.
- The match itself was messy at best, but then again that’s kind of how Battle Royals tend to end up. I think they could have explained what happened to pull Alexa and Zelina out of it as well instead of just ignoring it. It was clear that the match would end with someone sneaking in at the last second, I just assumed it would be Alexa.
- Many people were complaining about the “dual brand” aspect during the draft. I had held out hope that it made sense IF it was used to get someone from SmackDown to RAW. For instance, if the winner was from SmackDown and then declared they were on RAW after they won. So without that thought process then it was kind of pointless to have it as both brands (besides having enough women for it).
- Asuka randomly leaving the announce table made absolutely no sense also. Wouldn’t she rather still be out there? Like why did she just go away to the back?
Positive observations –
- Lana winning, albeit she will probably be squashed during a one-off title match, was a swerve. I am not hating on a swerve because it was better than just having the predictable Shayna, Nia, or Nikki Cross win.
- The ending with Natalya vs. Lacey as the final two I thought was great. I always like their dynamic in the ring together. I wasn’t pulling for either one of them to win but I enjoyed it.
- Bianca Belair eliminating Shayna was great
As already mentioned, Lana won the match by never being eliminated. She was put through the announce table for the fourth time by Nia and no one would have expected her to win.
Lastly, let’s go over the Draft results. Mainly I want to focus on the women who did change brands. There are 13 women on RAW and 10 on SmackDown. Plus Mickie James who is a Free Agent because she wasn’t drafted. Four women moved to RAW (as Dana and Mandy were already on RAW before the Draft) and Six women moved to SmackDown.
Moved to RAW –
Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, and Naomi.
Moved to SmackDown –
Bianca Belair, Billie Kay, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Zelina Vega, and Natalya.
Personally, I think the best move was Bianca Belair. Billie Kay is a close second if they don’t bury her. I feel like they will wrap up Bayley vs. Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell and Belair can challenge the winner. Alexa was a great move as well keeping her with The Fiend.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:
Whether you like it or not, Lana made the most out of this week’s RAW. She was on the verge of winding up on the loser list yet again, but she showed out. She worked in two matches, took the fourth bump through the announce table, had her tag team break up, was in the main event, won the main event (by last eliminating Natalya), and gets a title opportunity. Her title match is on RAW next week, which means it will most likely be a one-off and possible squash. From a storyline-wise, not sure why Asuka does not have a match for Hell in a Cell setup, but for Lana, this was a good night.
WINNER: Alexa Bliss
The progression in this character for Alexa is top-notch. It is the main women’s segment that I look forward to every week. I want everything from this. I want her to actually be revealed officially as Sister Abigail and be that double personality between Bliss/Sister Abigail, identical to Bray Wyatt/The Fiend. Her showing up in the Firefly Funhouse also please.
Originally wanting Bliss to win the Battle Royal and take on Asuka at Hell in a Cell, I am good with her not in the title picture also. She can just continue to run through the women on RAW.
WINNERS: The Riott Squad
Literally just because they were not broken up. That’s all.
WINNER: Billie Kay
Moving Billie to SmackDown was a great move for her. If they are really going to push Peyton separate then they don’t need to be on the same brand. I hope because they did choose to move her that they have plans for her. Unless they are gonna drop Carmella‘s repackaging, she may be a good first feud on the blue brand for Ms. Kay.
LOSER: Mickie James
Oh, Mickie, I am so sorry. I keep trying to be positive and hoping that she wasn’t drafted because she is either going to show up on SmackDown or maybe even NXT and get the push she has been owed since 2016. The fact that she talked up so much about the Draft also and to be the only woman to not be drafted? I feel like something has to give and there is something special in the works. She really just needs to be added to SmackDown. There is no need for her on RAW at this point.
Overall I am okay with most of the moves of the Draft. I have some concerns as well but I am willing to wait it out. The hope for a couple of NXT women getting moved over was high as well. I have been wanting some fresh faces on the red and blue brands for a while now.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? The Draft overall? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.