WWE RAW RESULTS: A Team Divided In Set Future Challenge (February, 22nd 2016)

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So after an impressive Fast Lane Pay Per View, which for some may not include the conclusion, the weeks are withering to this years WrestleMania spectacle, and the equally as impressive RAW that followed showcased not only surprises, but gave us a little peak at whats to come for the divas heading into the biggest show of the year.

But before we get to what may be the affirmed picture for the divas championship angle this coming WrestleMania, Stephanie McMahon emerged in the shows opener, handed the Legacy Award presented by the Chair of the Board, Vince McMahon. Taken by surprise by receiving the award, Stephanie soon aired her happiness to her proud father for the achievement, which lead to a big, if not the biggest surprise in the current WWE era as Shane McMahon returned to the Company after a several year hiatus for business prospects. This huge appearance was to set up an Authority related angle as Shane proposed to battle for control of Monday Night RAW, so an angry as well as confused Vince set up the chance of power and authority for Shane, at WrestleMania in a One Night Only Match, where the victor earned the spoils of control of the brand, but to do this, Shane must outdo….The Undertaker.

Stephanie, feeling humiliated at Shane, her own blood, interrupting her moment, fumed backstage to her Husband and Current WWE Champion, Triple H. Regardless she looks to overturn the mood the opener created by placing her husbands Mania Opponent Roman Reigns in a Match with an also former WWE Champion, Sheamus. She adds that this could be a set up to take Roman out of Mania for good….if Hunter doesn’t plan on doing it instead.

Much Later in the show, and i mean MUCH Later, we see the Divas Title Picture more or less be affirmed, as Sasha Banks, one of two hopeful contenders to the title, battles her either still current or past nemesis Naomi. Sasha comes out alone while Naomi has Tamina in her corner. The Two Heels may still present clear agitation after being overcome by Banks and Lynch one night prior at Fast Lane. Sasha gives Naomi a cold stare as the bell rings, then the two ladies finally lock up.

Naomi reverses a headlock by Sasha and knees her. Sasha reverses a potential arm drag into an abdominal stretch, which Naomi counters after pulling her hair, but Sasha counters her counter into a roll up and gets the first pin attempt of the match, and the first near fall on Naomi. Sasha attempts a take-down, and tries pinning Naomi again but Naomi raises herself and Sasha off the mat to cancel the pin, and Sasha flips out of a potential backslide. Sasha takes a kick from Naomi. Naomi taunts for a short moment before slingshotting Sasha into the ropes, also nailing a kick to “The Bo$$”. Naomi elbows Sasha a couple of times then is forced back by the referee. Meanwhile Tamina tosses Sasha off the apron.

Back from a commercial break, and Naomi has turned the tables momentum wise through Taminas previous assist, whipping Sasha into an elbow inside the ring. Both take each others kicks, before Sasha sends Naomi plummeting to the mat via a bulldog. Sasha forearms Naomi then blocks her retaliating kick, and hits back with a high knee and low kick. Sasha runs the ropes then takes down Naomi with flying double knees. The Offense, however, just scores her a near fall on Naomi. Naomi sends Sasha over the ropes, blocking a possible double knees attempt. Sasha floats to the apron, forearming Naomi before she can attack, then she scales the turnbuckles, but Naomi yanks at the arm of Sasha and sends her down to the mat. Before Naomi can do anything else, she points out to the taunting Tamina the unexpected arrival, as Becky Lynch charges to ringside and brawls with Tamina. The assist helps Sasha obtain her victory by executing the backstabber into the finishing Bank Statement Submission. Sasha wins the match.

Sasha and Becky seem to clarify their friendship with a shake of hands after the match, standing in the ring together before being alert by the arrival of Ric Flair and Divas Champion Charlotte. Charlotte is interestingly wearing a mock up of Nikki Bellas Gear, only adding her own touches. Charlotte fake sobs over noticing the bond that seems to be confirmed between Sasha and Becky. After reminding all of her victory over Brie Bella one night ago, she turns her focus to the present day, stating she was informed by the Authority that in the future, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch will battle for the contendership spot. She tries to create possible tension by the ladies by questioning who would want that Mania Spot more, the labelled cutthroat of a former Women’s Champion, Sasha, or her former bestie, Becky. She cackles after making Becky alert of a possible behind attack from Banks that neither barely fall for. She finalizes that the next few weeks will be fun for the champ.

(Stephanie McMahon and Vince McMahon Segment; Shane McMahon Returns to WWE)

(Sasha Banks vs Naomi w/ Tamina feat Becky Lynch and Charlotte)

Thoughts On:
Stephanie/Vince/Shane: I Honestly never thought the Award segment that was first announced last week would be part of an angle in all honesty, and Shane’s return, i never saw coming…EVER. I Had heard hours before a big angle was set for RAW but never saw it being this, and Shane’s return truly brought the crowd to a more alive state as it was already in dire state of being saving considering the segment was being massively booed, and considering some fan unappreciation towards Reigns, Roman coming out probably wouldn’t have helped either. I Love Shane being back, and a possible Mania Victory could work well long term in affirming a babyface authority position, despite his own history of heel authority work, but i never expected him to face Taker nor do i see the logic of Taker even working for McMahon. Regardless the next few weeks look hugely interesting as to where the angle is going and whether Stephanie plays into how Taker returns.

Sasha/Naomi (and segment): Sasha vs Naomi was another solid in ring battle with no miscues (as far as i could tell) and even though NaoMina being left out of the title picture, or just Naomi in general, remains no surprise, there’s no denying Sasha and Naomi’s in ring chemistry which makes them just battling a thrill itself. Moving forward to the segment, and i truly believe that was one of Charlotte’s best heel promos during her WWE career, a step up from some of her promos in NXT, but the general idea of Sasha vs Becky, even if its a showstealer, worries me in terms of the ending. Is Sasha going to go over while Vince tries to drown out any chance for Becky to remain over? Or will a non-clean finish scale the two battling divas to Mania? I Go for Option Two. But i dont expect it to be the only divas match on the card, so im curious to see whether WWE return Paige and Natalya to Television over the next few weeks as NaoMinas next feud.

– Catherine

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