WWE RAW RESULTS: From the Battleground To The Defined New Era (July, 25th 2016)

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Welcome All to a Write Up on a RAW that overall came out absolutely Fantastic. Apologies for the hiatus as its been a tiring first few days of the week, but here i am and now its time to discuss the massive developments that came out of this weeks Post Battleground episode of Monday Night RAW, defining the beginning of the Proclaimed “New Era”.

To Usher in the New Era the Managers of Monday Night RAW welcome their whole roster to the stage to present matches to crown a contender to the newly announced WWE Universal Championship, in the form of two Fatal Four Ways narrowed down to one victor, this person of whom will be challenging Seth Rollins for that title at Summerslam, and being in this tournament of major implications is even the Demon, Finn Balor. On top of that announcement, Mick Foley asserts his own power, booking Women’s Champion Charlotte to defend her Championship against Sasha Banks, a day after Banks pinned the Genetically Superior Competitor. Sasha gives the soon to defend Champion a cheeky wave after the news comes to light.

But this isn’t the only women’s match on the card, because, as we learned last week Nia Jax would be drafted to Monday Night RAW, and the Chaotic One is set to make her in ring debut this week, and much like NXT had presented to her before, RAW brings Jax an enhancement opponent, in the form of Indy Worker Britt Baker. Nia makes her imposing entrance for the match, again the first women’s match on the show, while Britt awaits in the ring. Jax’s presence doesn’t come without some standard put over from Corey Graves. Nia showcases easy strength from the beginning, forcing Britt to the mat with much power amidst a lock up. She easily throws her to a corner, splashing her against it. Britt avoids a clothesline by Jax in the middle of the ring but is caught in the middle of her cross-body, and Jax drives her back first into the opposite corner ring post. Following some elbows, she drags her to the middle of the ring, securing a leg drop and it looks like she may get the only and winning pin there, but she soon changes her mind and headbutts Britt back to the mat before a second leg drop gets her the winning pin. Nia wins the match.

Standing by after the match is Sasha, prepping for the later match, and after a brief comedic encounter with R Truth and Goldust, she is interviewed by Tom Phillips, who wants her thoughts on facing Charlotte. Sasha states that ever since the Women’s Revolution came about, she has felt like she has been living her ten year old self’s dream, but when she beats Charlotte for real, becoming women’s champion, that dream will come true. She lastly adds that the New Era will have its new champion in herself, and there’s nothing Charlotte nor Dana Brooke can do about it, so she suggests the WWE Universe get ready for the championship to have some swag added to it, because its about to get “lit”.

Charlotte also has comments to give before the match. Charlotte reminds all that things are different since her opponent doesn’t have a partner for this particular match, but is rather all alone. Charlotte adds that in reality pressure is defending the championship day after day, and she additionally proclaims that she has contributed to the evolution of the women’s division. All she has to say now is that Sasha can keep living a dream, but she will only Bow Down to “The Queen”. She Leaves with Dana in tow, heading to her title defense, even what could be her last.

The Camera heads to the ring and down comes Sasha Banks, the contender to the Women’s Championship. As Charlotte had indicated, Sasha is indeed alone while the earlier speaking Champion has Dana predictably by her side. Charlotte’s entrance doesn’t come without a reminder of her Battleground Loss, when Sasha and her surprise partner Bayley defeated the Champion and Dana in tag team action. Heading back to the present day, JoJo stands by in the ring, introducing the challenger to the championship Sasha Banks and the defending champion Charlotte before the bell can be rung. Getting those intros out of the way, the battle can finally be underway.

Charlotte and Sasha begin with an aggressive lock up that leads to both spilling around the ring. The Champ shoves off her challenger, who just comes back with another lock up. Sasha counters into an arm drag, and targets the left arm of Charlotte as she reverts back to locking up with her. Again, Charlotte shoves off Sasha, this time into a corner. Charlotte misses a clothesline and Sasha takes advantage, rolling up Charlotte but only getting a one count result. After a brief respite, Charlotte attempts a take-down that Sasha blocks, turning it into a backslide. A Battle of strength ensues, leading to various counters. Sasha elbows Charlotte as she charges towards her, and towards the ropes, but forgets the very sneaky Dana Brooke, grabbing her feet from the outside. Sasha gives Dana a mouthful, but Dana’s distraction proves helpful as Charlotte attacks Sasha from behind. Sasha slips free of a suplex attempt from Charlotte shortly after, nailing the Backstabber out of countering Charlotte’s own counter, but she doesn’t find the position to lock in the Bank Statement. Instead Sasha leaves Charlotte struggling by applying a straight-jacket hold.

It takes a while for Charlotte to break loose, eventually doing so by ramming Sasha back first into the corner ring post, followed by an arm drag. Sasha counters Charlotte’s next maneuver into a take-down but the early Bank Statement attempt falls flat when Charlotte just so happens to be by the ropes, thus her hold is cancelled out. Charlotte doesn’t get even a short break as she slips to the outside as Sasha nails a kick to the Champ under the ropes that completely floors her. While the referee takes some notice of a pacing Dana at another part of ringside, Sasha drives Charlotte back to the floor with flying double knees. Sasha rolls Charlotte back into the ring, quickly following behind her, attempting a pin and getting the first near fall of the match.

Charlotte stumbles over to the ropes, attempting to kick a charging Sasha once finding her position. Sasha blocks both feet, going for double knees but Charlotte breaks out of the corner and gets to the apron. Charlotte delivers a kick to Sasha behind the ropes, returning to the ring to additionally deliver a standing neckbreaker. Sasha tries to knock off Charlotte amidst her next attack with a kick but it isnt long before the champ sends her plummeting to the outside floor. Charlotte furthers the assault on the outside, showing off with the title upon doing so. Sasha kicks the title out of the hands of Charlotte, mustering momentum as she suddenly drives her into the apron. Charlotte shoves Sasha away, rolling back to the ring to avoid a further assault, and instead around comes Dana. However, Sasha is playful in her attempt to set up Dana and narrow the numbers game down to equal as she throws the championship title into the hands of Dana in a Eddie Guerrero-esque style. The Referee immediately takes this as a possible attempt from Dana to attack with the title and assist her own partner and has her ejected, to the happiness of Sasha. Dana is sent off, leaving Sasha gloating as we come to the commercial break.

However Sasha’s happiness may have been wilted during the break, as we see Sasha stuck in a difficult position courtesy of Charlotte when we return. Sasha counters into a whirling head-scissor that temporarily sets her apart from the champ. Sasha avoids the oncoming attacks from Charlotte with her own agility, darting out of the nearby corner, but before it may look like Sasha has regained momentum, she takes a back elbow from Charlotte. Sasha soon comes back with double knees up high, and in turn, both ladies are left down on the mat. When both make it to their feet, its a battle of forearms and crowd reaction as Sasha and Charlotte swing at each other. Sasha looks to have the upper hand as she soon overwhelms Charlotte with multiple, before she ends up taking a knee to the midsection. Sasha whips Charlotte to the ropes, avoiding her attempt to hit a big boot, and Sasha’s momentum finally returns for real as she takes Charlotte to the mat with various clotheslines and a dropkick. Sasha gets back on her feet, blocking a kick from Charlotte, and she knees Charlotte in the jaw and into the corner, where she hits double knees successfully. However, despite this and the previous efforts, it only gets her another near fall on the champion.

Sasha is back on her feet again, but not for long as a drop toe hold allows Charlotte to knock Sasha back down, and into the corner. She drags Sasha from the corner, readying a suplex that doesn’t connect as Sasha places both feet on the mat. However, Charlotte quickly counters with a neckbreaker, and the cocky champion isn’t done with the assault there, scaling the turnbuckles in preparation for the moonsault. Sasha rolls and it doesn’t connect but Charlotte perfects her landing and turns it into a standing moonsault, but it doesn’t come without damage as Sasha raises both knees midway. Charlotte rolls out but meets the challenger again as she performs a near deadly suicide dive. Despite landing nearly head first on the floor, Sasha seems to be in alright shape, as she returns to the ring with Charlotte for a pin attempt that lands her another near fall.

Sasha climbs the nearby corners turnbuckles only to have a forearm fired at her by Charlotte. Charlotte follows her upward and she sends her into the ropes hard, and the landing comes with Sasha crashing to the floor. Charlotte isn’t waiting for Sasha’s recovery as she lands a massive moonsault on the outside to Sasha after. Charlotte rolls Sasha back into the ring upon making it to her feet, trying for her own pin attempt, but to her dismay, Sasha kicks out at two. Charlotte readies for the Figure eight but Sasha yanks her into a small package pin, but again it results in a near fall. Even a big boot and natural selection right after doesn’t derail Banks, as she escapes defeat by placing her arm on the ropes midway through Charlotte’s follow up pin attempt. Looking for a way to make Sasha completely submit, she locks in her own fathers signature figure four, and a vicious battle of slaps nearly leads to Charlotte crossing into the figure eight. However, Charlotte turns things around decisively to instead lock the figure four on Sasha from underneath the apron.

Charlotte returns to the ring, having another figure four attempt averted. Sasha looks to lock in the Bank Statement once more, and does so. She even turns her away from the ropes, but there’s still short distance between the ropes and the legs of Charlotte, and Charlotte uses this advantageously to break the finishing submission off. Sasha is furious at having a possible last chance diverted but manages to lock in the Bank Statement one last time. Sasha leaves the crowd elated as Charlotte taps out, awarding Sasha the championship victory. Overcome by emotion, Sasha captures the title, celebrating in front of the audience, giving her thoughts on the mic right after. Hearing out the crowds happiness after her big title win, Sasha simply proclaims that She Did It, and with much emotion as displayed. Sasha adds that she has proved she is the best, and the new era is the era of “The Bo$$”. She Promises to show the audience that there is only one “Bo$$” in the WWE, that being herself before raising the title one last time.

(Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley and the RAW Roster Segment)

(Nia Jax vs Britt Baker)

(Sasha Banks vs Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke; Women’s Championship Match)

(Sasha Banks on RAW Fallout)

Thoughts On:
Nia/Britt: Overall the idea of using local enhancements doesn’t leave various women deserving of a push in the jobber spot, which is a positive, and they can add to making Nia look strong. Overall Nia’s debut match served its purpose in giving the audience a first glance at Nia’s capabilities, though the negatives to me would be the reversion to using the leg drop as a finisher when those watching NXT know how much her in ring arsenal has expanded, as well as the fact that even though Creative have been majorly on point this week, if they cant find a feud for Nia thats engaging outside of the title picture, instead booking enhancement matches week after week, then the fear is of the crowd and fans getting tired. Hopefully this new era means the spectacular and/or surprising booking is consistent but congratulations to Nia on her main roster debut. Not sure what to think about the tron colors though.

Sasha/Charlotte: When the match was first announced, i was sure that Dana was going to be a key factor in Charlotte retaining since WWE clearly had no fear in breaking Sasha’s win streak the week before, though i do feel that as hurtful as that was to Sasha’s credibility, the booking may be playing into erasing it as Smackdown last week did seem to have rushed booking anyway. Once Dana was ejected in that highly comical moment, thoughts seemed to turn around in regards to who the victor would be, and what made the moment of Sasha winning the championship more special was that the crowd were highly engaged from start to finish, rather than lazily mute like many past RAWs that have had some quality match ups ruined by lack of reaction. It is a surprise for Sasha to be handed down the title before Summerslam as that was sure to be her big moment, but the post match celebration came off so genuine and heartfelt and not just another scripted babyface moment. With a face at the top of the division, im sure WWE will now add surprises angle wise with their women’s division like they have with Balor and Dolph this week in terms of who stands up to Sasha over the months, and Charlotte is sure to lose at Summerslam and take it out on Dana, with the seeds believably being planted heading into Summerslam so we can have a second engaging feud going on outside of Charlotte’s angle with Sasha, providing Charlotte with an angle outside of the championship picture and having things already pre-prepared for her direction wise. My Only negative now with Sasha being champion is the predictability of WWE capitalizing on Bayley vs Sasha from Brooklyn by trying to repeat it in the near future, most likely at WrestleMania, making the title seem like a pass the parcel game for the Horsewomen (minus Becky) rather than using the chance to create opportunities for the Women who can “Go” in the ring to pursue, Summer Rae just being one example outside of her match with Becky a few weeks ago. It wouldn’t be a surprise considering Bayleys marketability and WWE’s sure knowledge of her popularity, already made to be known through the Battleground reaction, but if this New Era truly is what it already looks to be (outside of the old returning stars) then WWE can most certainly keep up the predictability and make change a reality.

– Catherine

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