WWE RAW RESULTS: Victory, Defeat, Thrills, Heartache And #ThankYouDanielBryan (February, 8th 2016)

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#ThankYouDBry

Greetings all and welcome to a report on one of the most emotional RAW episodes for the WWE Universe to ever gather to watch. In what seemed reminiscent of Edges Shock Retirement feel wise, Daniel Bryan, hours after taking to twitter to announce his retirement, would close this weeks RAW episode with clarification on his hard decision, and Bryans hard work for the company over the years was gone over during the entire episode. This decision from Bryan also meant Brie would sit at his side as the hours progressed than work the ring, instead leaving Team Bella companion Alicia Fox to battle her Fast Lane opposition, Divas Champion Charlotte, and Becky Lynch went one on one with Tamina Snuka, a week clear of teasing an alignment with the seemingly turned face Sasha Banks.

Stephanie opens the show with a contract signing for the announced Fast Lane Triple Threat contendership main event, interrupted by both Ambrose and Reigns early on, then Lesnar and Heyman, leading to Lesnar throwing a table at Reigns then F5’ing a resilient Ambrose, who tried to challenge Lesnar later in the show.

Alicia’s match with Charlotte is the first divas match of the night. Alicia is already in the ring while Charlotte makes her entrance with Ric at her side. Upon entering the ring, the confident Divas Champion is announced to be defending her Title against Brie Bella at FastLane, and Brie is noted not to be at ringside as she is instead comforting her husband Daniel Bryan backstage as he awaits his dramatic and heartbreaking retirement announcement later in the night. Alicia and Charlotte start off with a lock up. Alicia sends Charlotte to the ropes, and Charlotte fights back with a dropkick to Alicia. Charlotte kips up and Alicia also makes it to her feet, and its back to square one for both ladies.

Alicia avoids locking up with Charlotte on a second go, instead catching her in a waist-lock. Charlotte trips Alicia and attempts to place her in the figure four early, but Alicia kicks her away. Alicia makes it back on her feet again and ducks under an attempted clothesline from Charlotte. Alicia dropkicks Charlotte then grabs her and suplexes her. A Northern Lights Suplex followed with a bridge gets Alicia a near fall on the champion. Charlotte avoids a running elbow from Alicia in the corner, shoving off Alicia’s attempt to block her next offense and swinging her feet to the ropes and executing a neckbreaker. Charlotte drags Alicia away from the ropes and goes to pin Alicia, getting a near fall as a result.

Charlotte kicks away at Alicia against the corner. Charlotte attempts a running shoulder tackle but Alicia floats upward and sunset flips her for a near fall. Charlotte clobbers Alicia with a forearm to knock her momentum as quick. Charlotte taunts for a small amount of time before attempting to pin Alicia, getting a near fall once again. Charlotte plants Alicia’s face against the mat, and does so multiple times before choking Alicia against the second rope with her foot. Alicia tries elbowing out of a face-lock, but Charlotte throws her back to the mat. Charlotte gets working further on Alicia with head-scissor stomps, and Alicia pushes Charlotte’s shoulders forcefully back to the mat for a pin, but Charlotte kicks out, also managing to keep the head-scissor in tact. Charlotte tosses Alicia around the ring using both legs, then charges into a hard elbow. Alicia boots Charlotte then dropkicks her, sending Charlotte down with an additional tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Again, shes unable to pin Charlotte as she kicks out of the follow up pin attempt at two.

Alicia fires herself up, to a nice pop, but as she turns to attack Charlotte, Charlotte comes back with a standing neckbreaker, but Alicia breaks away from a slam attempt to roll up Charlotte for another near fall. Charlotte sends Alicia down with a spear, then to the dismay of Alicia, she locks in the figure four soon reverted to the figure eight. Alicia submits and Charlotte wins the match.

Sasha Banks emerges later in the show to join commentary for a singles match between Becky Lynch and Tamina, who has Naomi expectedly in her corner. Sasha and Becky are announced as the opponents of the remnants of Team BAD, Naomi and Tamina Snuka, at Fast Lane. As per the Team BAD split, Tamina has reverted to her original theme song. Becky avoids a lock up on the bell with Tamina, capturing her in a waist-lock instead. Becky applies a side headlock but Tamina throws her off and to the ropes, sending her into her counter clothesline. Becky recovers in quick time to avoid a pin by Tamina, and she dropkicks her. Becky continues the offense with forearms but is unable to whip Tamina, who stays aground, and Tamina whips her instead, but misses a clothesline, and Becky escapes an attempted slam, and flings herself onto the shoulders of Tamina to lock in her sleeper hold. Tamina breaks Becky off as she forces her back first into the corner turnbuckles.

Becky slips free of the corner, avoiding a splash in the corner by Tamina and nailing a springboard sidekick. Becky gets slightly distracted by Naomi jumping to the apron, but its enough time for Tamina to regain composure and flatten Becky with a huge clothesline. Tamina slams the back of Becky’s head numerous times against the mat then tries to pin, and gets a near fall. Tamina chokes Becky against the second rope, and gets cocky with the ref, and with his back turned from the outside, Naomi uses this chance to trip Becky. Becky tries to regain momentum with elbows to Tamina, but runs into a clothesline again by Tamina. Tamina goes to pin Becky again, resulting in another near fall.

Becky hits knees to break from a chin-lock by Tamina. Tamina suddenly headbutts Becky, who tumbles to the mat. Tamina turns her eyes in the direction of the still seated Sasha, and Sasha takes her motioning as a way of calling her out and strides from the commentary desk. This allows Naomi to forearm the blindsided Sasha on the outside. As if that wasn’t brutal enough, Naomi pounds on the back of Sasha then tosses her to the nearby steps. Back in the ring, and Becky has Tamina sent down via a dropkick, then darts outside to save Sasha from another beat-down at the hands of Naomi. Becky hits an exploder suplex on the outside to Naomi, checks up on the scenery then returns to the ring quickly to avoid a count-out. Within seconds, she is floored via a super-kick from Tamina. Tamina pins Becky for the victory.

The Last moment of the show, appropriately so, is Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech. Greeting the fans for the last time upon facing years of aggravating injuries, Bryan expresses his thankfulness for his fans, going over his career and engages in one last YES Chant, bringing every fan inside the arena to their feet, and Brie even comes out to join in. The entire roster, including the corporates, Stephanie and Vince, emerge on the stage to join in the farewell and give Daniel a proper send off. Personally, it is so heartbreaking to see such an excellent performer, who has rose above Vince’s stereotypical traits to make it to the top of the league in WWE, leave his career behind so early, but after his recent injury it seemed to be coming, and i couldn’t be more proud to be a fan of someone as inspiring and as genuinely passionate about wrestling as Daniel. If Daniel can rise above claims that certain guys traits mean they cant make it in an already filled business, then its shocking to see that Vince still keeps these beliefs that certain guys cant make it for whatever reason. Time to abandon that out of touch thought and bring Cesaro to Daniels Level when he is back and cleared, because he gained crowd popularity to a similar level and like many more, cannot be wasted, so i just hope Daniels departure brings light to the fact that certain bosses “facts” arent in fact reality, and that ANYONE can make it. Like many, i just had to shed tears over this moment Daniel shared with his many fans and there’s no doubt i’ll have my Summerslam 13 and WrestleMania 30 DVD ready just to look back on two of his most intriguing and fascinating matches, as vs HHH was a personal fave. Daniel wont read this, i know, he has enough fan thank yous to see, but regardless, THANK YOU DANIEL.

(Stephanie McMahon, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar Segment)

(Charlotte w/ Ric Flair vs Alicia Fox)

(Becky Lynch vs Tamina w/ Naomi; Sasha Banks on Commentary)

(Daniel Bryan and Brie walk toward the ring before his farewell speech; WWE.Com Exclusive)

(Daniel Bryan Announces His Retirement and Departs from WWE feat Brie Bella)

Thoughts On:
Charlotte/Alicia: Overall another impressive match with equal offense on both sides, and im again intrigued by the rejuvenation somewhat of Alicia’s crazy character and whether the continuous losses may lead to Alicia departing from Brie. Though the build has been questionably lackluster to Charlotte’s last feud, and as much as i would have loved for Brie to have a promo that night about Bryan to lead to Charlotte interrupting and getting under the skin of Brie with some cold comments, i love how they made the ending of RAW about Bryan himself and himself and Bries partnership in addition without dragging an angle into it, to give Bryan the attention and the sendoff he deserves. I Hadn’t been a fan of the championship angle for Brie and Charlotte at first, and i cant help but feel for Brie that Creative cant be bothered to find a way to book her when Nikki and Daniel are out of the fold without referencing them in some way to trigger the push, BUT its all mixed and a possible positive because if Brie gets pushed because of Daniels departure she could be back to being one of the top and most over babyfaces in the division and get her solo spotlight and possible top sendoff if Fast Lane just happens to be her last match. Adding those factors, it does slightly make the match at Fast Lane unpredictable, because Brie could win and elevate to top babyface, or lose and still work WrestleMania with the NXT Girls, lose again and be pushed in a Bryan way, bullied by the top until she overcomes all that and gets her retribution with an ending that sees her become champion. But regardless, i don’t see Brie going on in the ring as long as mentioned, departing by Fast Lane or WrestleMania, but if this is Bries last feud, it should be booked brilliantly so Brie can get an equal sendoff and walk out, remembering how well it ended rather than wondering why it could have been better. But we also have Total Divas to consider and Bries spot, and if she left, would she still be on the show and will the show mean she has to stay? So Yes, the feelings are mixed on Bries push. Maybe she shouldn’t be pushed out of sympathy because Natalya wasn’t during Tyson’s injury, but the push will not only give Brie a brilliant possible final storyline but reignite the top babyface status she had back in 2014 during the biggest divas angle of the year. Having said that, i do feel Brie will be done by Fast Lane or WrestleMania, even if that’s a fan based rumor backed up by Bries statements about starting a family, so just in case, i hope that if this is her last feud, that it gets booked the way it should.

Becky/Tamina: Since the babyfaces had the momentum last week, i did expect NaoMina to come out on top this week as expected, and its great to see Naomi and Tamina be booked as a threat, and to just see Tamina look strong than take some ridiculous pins that someone like her shouldn’t be booked to take. I’m Loving this feud currently, and there’s something so unique about Sasha despite the character change, she isn’t exactly full heel, she isn’t exactly face, shes just Sasha Banks, and it makes me think of CM Punk in a way (no comparison by the way). But Naomi and Sasha’s ringside fight was so brutal looking that it was fantastic, and it makes me want a Sasha v Naomi match more and more. For me, Sasha vs Naomi not happening is a missed opportunity because of just how talented they are and just by how they work as rivals on first perception also, but if Sasha is getting the title at Mania, it is clearly destined for Bayley to take, so it remains in question that if they take this direction, will Naomi continue to sit out of a possible title run and just work as Fox does, putting others over?

– Catherine

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