Sunday, December 3, 2023

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Winners & Losers: RAW after Mania 04.12.21

The RAW after WrestleMania witnessed a rematch for the RAW Women’s Title where new champion Rhea Ripley faced off against now-former champion Asuka. Their match at WrestleMania Night Two yesterday has received mixed reactions. Personally, the match over the weekend certainly faired better in my opinion to what we saw tonight.

Before we talk about the match itself, Charlotte Flair made her return to RAW. Flair hasn’t been seen on television since March 8. During her time away she announced she had tested for COVID-19 and was isolating and resting. Before she left, she was waiting for a response from Asuka on getting a title match at WrestleMania. Asuka didn’t respond and then Flair was missing in action. However, The Queen is back and was looking like a MILLION bucks.

Charlotte says she is a franchise player and she doesn’t take opportunities she creates them

Flair appeared before the rematch between Ripley and Asuka to air her grievances. She said that it was the RAW after Mania and normally she is in the center of the ring smiling from ear to ear. However, this year she says she wasn’t welcomed.

Flair adds that she is a franchise player, she is genuine superstar, and what she does in the ring is sacred to her family. She pleads her case that it wasn’t her fault that she wasn’t on WrestleMania. It wasn’t her fault that Asuka needed a tag team partner when she returned, that Lacey Evans got pregnant and she wasn’t able to get in the ring with her, and she even challenged Asuka for Mania but she never responded.

Rhea Ripley being the opportunist did get a response however, beat Asuka on the biggest stage of them all, and now it is out with the old and in with the new said Flair. She says that Ripley is the biggest snake in the locker room and that karma is a bitch…and Flair admits that she herself is that bitch.

She then goes on to list several Superstars from Sasha Banks all the way through Alexis Bliss and says no one compares to her. The Queen finally realizes that she doesn’t steal opportunities because she IS the opportunity. And anyone at home that thinks she takes opportunities from others she says she creates them.

She demands to be respected because she has dedicated years to this business. She ends by dropping the mic after she says to enjoy the RAW Women’s Title match that she should have been in.

After this promo from Flair, Asuka had her rematch and a chance to regain her RAW Women’s Title against Ripley.

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Asuka for the RAW Women’s Title ends in a No Contest

This match had a lot of technical issues. I feel as though it can be chalked up to the fact that yesterday was the first time these two faced each other in a one-on-one match and one of the only times they have shared a ring. Familiarity isn’t a thing just yet. Two great competitors who didn’t have the most seamless outing.

With that being said it did end in a no contest because Charlotte Flair attacked both of them. At least Asuka didn’t have to take the pin. The next pay-per-view is titled WrestleMania Backlash and where I can see this event is going to end up being a bunch of WrestleMania rematches this may just end up being a Triple Threat. Which honestly many assumed Flair would have been added to the WrestleMania match anyway.

Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke attack Nia Jax backstage leads to a tag team match

Jax was backstage with Shayna Baszler watching footage from when Mandy Rose fell on the ramp at WrestleMania. Since Rose’s fall on Saturday, many have made it into a laughable joke – Mandy included. She let Jax know that she can laugh at herself and it is no big deal especially with how quick she got back up. Just as if nobody ever saw it. She then slaps Jax and she and Dana Brooke attacked her.

Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke via countout

It may be the night after WrestleMania but there is no restart when it comes to the tag team champs and the tag division. Same ‘ol, same ‘ol. The match ends up in a countout after Rose and Brooke made their exit from the bout and up the ramp to avoid an angered Jax.

Much like Jax’s “my hole” bit lasted way longer than it should have, the writers are now focusing on Mandy’s slip from Mania. Jax found herself tripping through the ropes as she entered the ring and then at the end of the match slipping on the ring apron which caused her to fall down at ringside. This caused her to be extra angry and Rose & Brooke to retreat not worrying about taking the L.

I keep saying this weekly and even sometimes daily, Nia and Shayna need to drop the titles and go back to singles competitors. There is no unique matches to have anymore with them against anyone else. And it will probably just be mere moments before they are put against Rhea or Bianca Belair again.

Now let’s talk about a few other women who were on the show.

Maryse made a nice surprise appearance as she was the guest on Miz Tv. She was there primarily to promote Miz & Mrs which saw its return after RAW for the first time since December. It is always nice to see the former Divas Champion. She stayed at ringside and caused a distraction as The Miz and John Morrison defeated Damian Priest in a Handicap match.

Lastly, but certainly not least, we have Alexa Bliss. Bliss delivered last night at WrestleMania when she was an integral part of Randy Orton getting the big win over The Fiend. Her black ooze dripping down her face led to The Fiend being distracted by her illuminating presence that Orton hit an RKO for the win. What did confuse some fans was that after this occurred no follow-up happened and both Bliss and The Fiend vanished.

Fast forward to tonight, and it seems as though their partnership is dissolved. There could still be some closure between the two to come but we saw both a Firefly Funhouse and an Alexa’s Playground.

Alexa explained the story of how a little girl who was lost until she was rescued by the darkness. Once the darkness left her it made her realize that she didn’t need the darkness after all when she was able to make it on her own. Although the darkness protected her at the beginning she now feels that it was standing in her way and no longer helping her.

She asks if is true what they say and that is the female species the deadliest. One may never know the answer she pondered but she knows she unlocked something really evil.

Bliss then introduces us to her new friend, a puppet named Lily who was sitting on the swing next to her in the playground. She concludes by saying their fun is just getting started as she laughs.

As for the Firefly Funhouse, Bray Wyatt references the missing Bliss and says that he is happy to be back in the funhouse with his true friends. Abby the Witch then said good riddance to Bliss because she couldn’t stand the little bitch anyway.

It is uncertain where this story will go from here. It seems as though they are breaking them apart for now but maybe due to Bliss’ character they are going to have her get involved back in more matches on her own. Time will tell how/if they will either continue to be separate entities or will join back together.

Finally, let’s get to the Winners & Losers of the week:

WINNER: Charlotte Flair

Although I am not crazy with Charlotte always being around the title picture as many others feel the same way, this promo was fire. She delivered it perfectly, looked amazing, and called out anyone who has said she takes opportunities away from anyone.

Causing the disqualification for the RAW Women’s Title match was predictable but it was the right thing. And her taunting everyone with her boo-hoo crying face was great.

WINNER: Alexa Bliss

Unlike my counterpart who did the WrestleMania Winners & Losers (it’s all subjective :) ), I don’t think Alexa was a loser over the weekend. I feel that she did very well in the role she was given and it was something new. We have seen the black ooze before but the dedication to the character and the giant jack in the box sold it. I think the issue was the abrupt ending that many people didn’t like.

As for tonight, I still think she is a winner. I loved the journey she told and the introduction of Lily. I hope this means she will maybe get back in the ring. Interested to see where things are going to go with her.

LOSER: Nia Jax

Sometimes it is hard to defend Nia, but these lazy people in “creative” need to just stop. I sometimes wonder what would happen if random accidents didn’t happen. Mandy falling and getting back up was a good joke when it happened and especially since she can make fun of it herself and be a good sport about it. First, we had the Lana table bumps for 10 weeks. Then we had the “my hole” for another six weeks.

Something tells me we are gonna see Nia tripping and falling for another four weeks and I am already tired. Please just let her and Shayna go their separate ways at this point to force the writers to do something better.

Final Thoughts:

Overall it was the same as what we were seeing pre-WrestleMania just with Rhea added into it if you think about it. Hopefully, SmackDown will have a better fallout. I don’t feel like I could put Rhea and Asuka in the losing position from tonight’s show. Although their match was hard to watch, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt based on their inexperience with one another. What do you think?

Who were your Winners & Losers from this week’s RAW? Sound off below!

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