WWE RAW RESULTS: A Free Agent Arrives for Hugs….and Titles (August, 22nd 2016)

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Greetings and a warm midweek welcome to this weeks RAW Report. This weeks RAW hailed from Brooklyn, the center of this past weekends amazing pay per views, and before WWE leave Brooklyn to continue their road journeys, they have some NXT Talents waiting in the wings backstage to make an impact, or just one for that matter, and that one NXT Talent will be a part of RAWs roster, to the chagrin of the newly crowned Women’s Champion Charlotte.

The Leather Clad Title Holder and her still protege Dana Brooke emerge from the back for a in ring segment, in which Charlotte boasts over being champion once again. The Former Champion of who she beat Sasha Banks is taking a small amount of time off to heal up from a back injury, either pre sustained or inflicted from the unexpected Summerslam botch. Charlotte basks in her limelight as Dana continuously boasts that her partner in crime is deserving of the championship, which Charlotte couldn’t agree more. If anything, Charlotte sees this record setting accolade as enough to see herself as the greatest athlete in the world, and to add, she proclaims that she silenced New York by silencing Sasha Banks, seeing herself as the Money of the Women’s Division as opposed to Sasha. She Boasts to a booing audience that she is indeed a 2x Women’s Champion, a record obtained not through the assists of Ric Flair or Dana Brooke, but through working towards it herself. Charlotte tries to garner more heat by blaming Sasha’s injury for being the reasoning that she cant carry the women’s division, and in turn, declares that she will never come for the title again. She sends a message to Banks that if she even gets cleared, she shouldn’t come back for “The Queen has reclaimed her throne”.

After basking in more limelight, Charlotte attempts to leave the arena with Dana, but RAWs GM Mick Foley arrives. He does praise Charlotte for the match with Sasha, but not without warning the current champ that Sasha is entitled to a rematch once she makes her main roster return. Hearing the news, Charlotte tells the veteran General Manager that she now hopes she does come back, so she can break her again, and she queries whether she should be allowed the night off, considering her match performance the night before, and the belief that there is no one that can compete with her. But Mick stops her there to reveal RAW recently acquired a new addition to their women’s roster and from the backstage area emerges Bayley, the 1x NXT Women’s Champion who just recently competed against Asuka at NXT Takeover in the same arena.

Bayley soaks in the welcoming crowd reaction before taking a moment to take in the fact that she has made it to RAW. Bayley adds that shes waited her entire life for the particular moment, and cant go without thanking Mick for the opportunity and the fourth horsewoman embraces the General Manager. Upon this moment happening, she questions Bayleys role as the top free agent, telling Mick he must have been too busy promoting his network show that he lost touch with reality. In Addition, she believes there was a reason for Bayley staying at NXT while the supposed Revolution took place, and is mad to see her try to upstage her. Bayley quiets Charlotte, saying after all they have been through, that she knows the amount of respect she has for her and that she can be assured that she doesn’t want to upstage her. However, though she doesn’t wish to upstage her, she does wish to challenge her for the Women’s Championship. Charlotte retaliates by letting Bayley know that if she wants to achieve this, she has to get in line and earn the opportunity, and clearly the title holder isn’t even dressed to compete. But she knows her protege has been taught to always be prepared for a fight, but Brooke’s reactions say otherwise, but Foley is in agreement with the idea, thus books Bayleys first match to be against Dana Brooke.

The Bell rings once we return from a quick commercial break which recaps particular Summerslam moments in picture, and Dana and Bayley begin their match with a lock up, which Bayley reverses quickly into a side headlock. Bayley takes Dana to the mat, only to be caught in a headscissor reversal from the protege of the champ. Bayley and Dana get back to their feet and Dana is sent back to the mat as quick via a sudden drop toe hold by Bayley. Bayley works over Dana in the middle of the ring and the protege soon finds herself scrambling to the ropes to regroup. Dana elbows her in the face, following by planting her face into the corner turnbuckle, but Bayleys inner strengths soon show itself as Bayley no sells, as she continues to take the particular spots, shake it off and bring out her inner rage, smacking Dana into the same turnbuckle numerous times. Dana is sure to be groggy after having her head sent into the turnbuckle a large number of times, but manages to kick out of Bayleys follow up first pin attempt at two.

Dana reverses Bayleys oncoming whip, but Bayley floats over in the corner and arm drags Dana to an opposite corner, where she goes for her next offense only to be elevated over to the apron by Brooke in her attempt. Bayley elbows Dana before she can bring any offense to add, then scares off Charlotte. A Sudden kick from Dana takes Bayley right to the floor. Dana dropkicks her from underneath the bottom rope before she can make it back in the ring, taking her into the barricade before dragging her back in the ring herself. Dana covers Bayley, getting a one count. Bayley kicks out of a hold applied by Dana, but takes vicious forearms from her fellow NXT Alumni in turn. Dana covers once again, this time getting a near fall. Dana is then driven into the corner by a fired up Bayley, taking a running back elbow as well as a spinning elbow after. Bayley then hits the finishing Belly to Belly Suplex to make a successful main roster in ring debut. Bayley wins the match, to the disappointment of Charlotte.

Lana also managed Rusev as the United States Champion, visibly brutalized due to Roman Reigns at Summerslam, clashed with Big Cass in a match where one of them would advance to the Universal Championship Fatal Four Way, slated for next week (as the title was abdicated due to Finn Balor’s unfortunate injury). Rusev would walk out of the match and get himself counted out, leaving with his wife in the process.

(Mick Foley, Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Bayley Segment)

(Bayley vs Dana Brooke w/ Charlotte)

(Big Cass vs Rusev w/ Lana; Universal Championship Qualifying Match)

(Bayley on RAW Fallout)

Thoughts On This Match:
With the exception of Dana’s turnbuckle spot looking a few inches off, the match was really good and a good showing for Dana additionally, even if a lack of chemistry is evident. The Only thing that worries me with Bayleys obvious debut is the timing as Nia Jax looked sure to be Sasha’s next challenger, possibly being shelved to being off TV indefinite or continuing her squashes, and just doing squashes isn’t wholly a bad thing unless it goes on way too long to the point that it tires. Also, it showcases smartness from creative to debut Bayley in Brooklyn, knowing the reactions she’d be given, but its also taken away storyline opportunities such as Dana letting off her anger at Charlotte for being cruel to her a week before, seemingly shelving that for the near future, though it may have been a bad time to turn Dana babyface, especially because there’s a lack of heels to put over other women at the moment on RAW, leaving Dana mostly to that job (plus the worry of Dana not getting over as a babyface) unless they switch Alicia every week. They also missed out on giving Alicia in ring exposure with a mini feud with Charlotte like that of her vs Brie at Fast Lane, or Summer, who hasn’t been on TV in a while, renewing her backstory with Charlotte as they were accomplices turned enemies in NXT, and Summer could have used that to her advantage to state that “Charlotte and Sasha wouldn’t be where they are without her”. Now Bayley appears destined to win the title, whether that would be through running through a tag match first alongside Sasha then winning the title, or just winning the title right away, and this makes it obvious that Bayley will be the title holder until Mania to recreate Takeover with Sasha at WrestleMania, then either will drop to a debuting Asuka since shes most likely to head up next year when the NXT Women’s Division has newly established talent. Keeping this in mind, unless feuds are introduced just to establish the less used women for a short time, what is the future for the likes of Summer, Alicia and even Dana Brooke when she eventually parts from Charlotte? While we have some quality wrestling to appreciate, various women are being left behind and various call ups coming leaves even lesser opportunities for other women who can evidently wrestle. Putting all that aside, Bayley has done much for NXT, putting over the likes of Sasha, Charlotte and Emma to name a few before ascending to the top of the pinnacle to cement herself, and she was down in NXT for a very large amount of time, maybe even close to Tyler’s if not mistaken, so congrats to Bayley on achieving her status as a main roster competitor.

– Catherine

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