WWE RAW RESULTS: Is the Huggers Legacy Tainted? (February, 20th 2017)

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Its now a week clear of Bayleys sudden title win when RAW brought the party theme (with shocks to follow) to Vegas last week. Now Miles out of Vegas, RAW is back with another episode of action this week, one that allows Bayley to address her emotional title victory over Charlotte, with some naysayers and future opponents waiting in the wings…

But before we can get to the Huggers Address, someone who isn’t into hugs but more into destruction makes an appearance on RAW, Nia Jax. Jax is back to squashing some meager opponents, and this week, her target is Heather Monroe, dubbed here as Sarah Pierce, but regardless lets stick to the real wrestling name. Heather goes for a dropkick first once the bell rings, trying to follow up that offense once noticing Nia is barely moved, but within moments, Nia is able to bring her to the mat. Nia tosses Heather to the other side of the ring then splashes her in the nearest corner, and after some stomps, she flattens her competition with a big Samoan Drop for the singular three count. Nia wins the match.

While she may have given Heather some mercy as to not target her further after the match, Nia is indeed still in the ring with something else on her mind as Charly approaches her for a quick interview. Charly takes it upon herself to congratulate Nia on her quick and dominant victory, but the task that needs bringing up is Nia’s thoughts on Bayleys said controversial victory last week. The Victory for Bayley isnt the controversy Nia wishes to address however, but the controversy surrounding herself as to why she hasn’t been awarded a shot at the championship yet. She dares Sasha and Bayley to have tried the stunt from last week with the crutches, because she would have broke the crutches and shoved it down both women’s throats. The Champ is on Notice and thats the Bottom Line Because Nia Jax Said So.

Moving forward now and Lana is doing more than just managing “Handsome” Rusev this week, but digging into her computer/hacking skills as to have stolen the plans for the creation of New Days Ice Cream. Xavier and co eventually avenge as the New Day snatch a victory over RuRu and Jinder Mahal. Congrats to WWE on keeping an eye out on the Russian Hacker controversy with their own mimic, but not on the partnership between Dana and Charlotte….

And now to the top topic in the women’s division, that being Bayleys title win. Bayley happily enters the arena, clenching of course her newly won RAW Women’s Title. Like Naomi, she is surrounded by a supportive WWE Universe, with a majority chanting “You Deserve It” towards the babyface character. Bayley has to hold back from crying over the adulation, but cant seem to find a better place to celebrate the win than in California. She Talks growing up in the state, having friends with dreams, and how her dream was to be to stand in the WWE ring and one day call herself a champion, something that became a reality last week. Bayley cant find the words exactly to explain the feelings over her victory, other than awesome, and she had to call her dad once she was in the back, the man who made her moments at WWE Live events, and she calls out to her dad with three simple words, she did it. However amongst that happiness is a naysayer in Charlotte, who she says is tarnishing the best week of her life. Despite this, she confidently states over the microphone that Charlotte needs to face the facts, as she is the new RAW Women’s Champion. Cue a different interruption, rather not from her fated challenger, but from Stephanie McMahon…

Steph is graceful, shaking the hand of the new champion but there’s always a catch with this currently villainous character, something sure to be exposed once she has a mic in hand. Once she has the mic, Stephanie is back to her villainous form of course, questioning Bayleys dream of competing for the main women’s title on a show like Monday Night RAW, to stand in front of a number of people who ring out “You Deserve It” towards her. She asks if Bayley instead envisioned a loss thus needed a last minute help, asking if her dad was silent for a moment in their interaction because Bayleys victory was obtained through the assist of Sasha. She clamors over how shes trying not to upset her because of the way she looks at the young people in the WWE Universe and how they look at Bayley because she is good, because of her morality, but wonders if Bayley is throwing it all away to hold a championship that she supposedly didn’t earn, but rather won through underhand tactics, through her besties actions. Stephanie continues on, stating that the Bayley she knows does the right thing, thus she coaxes her into surrendering the women’s title in order to remove herself of a tainted victory that the kids wish not to relieve.

Bayley takes a while to hear out the audience and the further manipulation of Stephanie, glancing at her title as this all goes on, as she soaks in the possible relinquishing of the title because of the tainted ending last week. However, coming out to support her and reverse Bayleys possible decision is an angry Sasha Banks. Stephanie isn’t surprised at the presence of the NXT Alumni however, questioning Sasha always playing a part in Bayleys business. She wonders if Sasha views Bayley as someone who cant win on her own, but Sasha is easy to respond back to Stephanie’s Words, labeling it as garbage. Sasha adds that Bayley earned her title fairly and she looks up to her like a sister, and as one shes not going to let her throw away what she worked for. If she needs anymore convincing, she asks Bayley to hear out the WWE Universe. Knowing the WWE Universes answer, she asks them if they want to watch her surrender the RAW Women’s Title, to which they easily respond no. Regardless of the reaction, Stephanie is again questioning the actions of Sasha, asking if shes doing this in support of Bayley or because she knows she cant beat Charlotte (since Charlotte regaining the women’s title means Sasha cant challenge due to the no clause made at Roadblock). Stephanie furthermore wonders if Sasha has a feeling inside that she can beat Bayley rather than Charlotte, and this quickly infuriates the former RAW Women’s Champion, who asks the Principal Owner who exactly she is before Bayley is forced to come between her and Steph.

Bayley surprises many as she seems to agree with Stephanie’s suggestion, as the title is bigger than her, Banks and Charlotte, and the title should represent the positive message she gives out, and thats made her come to a decision….No. Stephanie is notably livid as Bayley confirms the declaration, putting over her victory over Charlotte in turn, which she states was motivated by the WWE Universe and not by Sasha. Furthermore, she declares she will fight for the WWE Universe and no one can do anything about it. Before she can carry on, out comes the former champion, Charlotte. Of course, the Villainess is quick to apologize to her fellow villainess Stephanie over the “two ingrates” Bayley and Sasha, and how they have disrespected her. She then goes straight to addressing Bayley, being glad over her decision to still hold the title, just so she can take it back. Charlotte is adamant that she is extending her win streak at Fast Lane but is silenced by Sasha, who has heard enough. Sasha tells her former rival she is sick of her running her mouth, and shes furthermore adamant that Bayley will prove at the PPV that Charlotte is No Queen. With the Competitiveness flowing, Sasha’s ready to go, with her knee up to snuff, so she suggests Charlotte faces her one on one tonight. Charlotte shuts up Sasha, reminding her that shes the reason the title is in the hands of Bayley, thus she passes up no opportunity to put her on the shelf for costing her her championship. She promises to have her leave in a wheelchair rather than on crutches, thus Stephanie takes the opportunity to book Sasha’s one on one match due to these fighting words. It is Next.

When we return from a commercial break, we see Sasha has locked up with Charlotte and their match is underway. Charlotte releases herself from Sasha after they take their tie up to the corner, and Sasha retaliates with a slap to the face of the former champion. Charlotte retaliates with a kick to the previously hurt knee of Sasha, furthermore driving it into the mat as Bayley looks on from the commentary table. Charlotte tries to repeat her past tactic, but Sasha fights back with a knee, turning a tilt-a-whirl headscissor into a roll up, with that and the secondary pin attempt that follows ending at the count of one. Charlotte looks to reverse momentum quickly as she sends the back of Sasha’s head into the mat, whipping her to a corner after. Sasha elevates herself by the ropes and uses her position to drive Charlotte into the corner turnbuckle. Sasha delivers a chop in this same corner to Charlotte, going for running double knees after but missing as Charlotte slips free. However, shes just as stealthy as Charlotte, evading her corner assault and dragging her out of the corner by her hair. Charlotte counters a sunset flip and uses her knee to send Sasha into the mat in another attempt to reverse momentum.

Charlotte delivers one vicious knee drop after another, and upon completion, Charlotte goes for the pin attempt, getting a one count on her fellow NXT Alumni. Charlotte snapmares her after, driving her elbow into the right shoulder before seizing Sasha in a headscissor, reversing this into a headscissor stomp, or multiple for that matter, before turning over and reverting back to the headscissor. Charlotte tilts Sasha around the ring before she can make any sort of comeback, going for a corner assault as Sasha settles in a corner, taking a kick from the retaliating opposition. However, again, the comeback offense by Sasha is short lived, courtesy of the big boot from Charlotte, who tosses her from the ring afterward.

When we return from another commercial break, Charlotte is expectedly dominating, executing backbreakers mid through a dragon sleeper. Sasha only just manages to muster energy to aim knees at the head of Charlotte, making a landing out of a suplex attempt and rolling her into the next pin attempt, that Charlotte escapes at one. However, its only repeated history as Charlotte comes back with a kick to knock Sasha to her knees, proceeding to whip her to a corner for the corner assault that Sasha blocks with her foot. Sasha evades a countering big boot from Charlotte and begins a comeback with big clotheslines and a dropkick. Sasha executes an elevated bulldog out of Charlottes Wheelbarrow position to get a near fall. Sasha goes for double knees in the corner after but like the last time, Charlotte escapes in time. However, Sasha makes up for this, catching up to Charlotte on the outside and sending her to the ground with double knees off the apron. As Sasha sets up to take Charlotte to the ring, Bayley leaves the commentary table to chase after Dana Brooke, who has taken herself from the back and charged down to ringside with intentions to aid Charlotte. Bayley attacks Brooke from behind and back in the ring Sasha takes advantage of the outside onslaught that has caught the eye of the former champ in order to connect with the Bank Statement to Charlotte. Charlotte taps and Sasha wins the match.

(Nia Jax vs Sarah Pierce/Heather Monroe)

(The New Day, Lana, Jinder Mahal and Rusev Segment)

(Kofi Kingston and Big E w/ Xavier Woods vs Jinder Mahal and Rusev w/ Lana)

(Bayley, Sasha Banks, Stephanie McMahon and Charlotte Segment; Charlotte vs Sasha Banks feat Dana Brooke)

Thoughts On:
Nia/Heather: A Quick Squash Match and domination to be shown for Nia as always. Cant say much other than Nia’s interview basically teases the multi woman WrestleMania plans, foreshadowing her insertion into the title picture.

Bayley/Sasha/Steph/Charlotte: Mixed on this segment, because while Stephanie played the good heel shes always been, there’s a lot of missed pointers in this segment. Stephanie is the ultimate Authority over any superstar on screen, she could have taken the title easily without the need of manipulation, though i can understand the whole manipulation thing is the wrestling formula to working a crowd. Also, there was no address from the babyfaces to Steph towards Dana’s intervention from the past match, almost making Dana seem unimportant and irrelevant regardless of “Dana doesn’t need to be addressed by a fellow heel because Steph is a heel”. But the positive pointers are that they are cleverly foreshadowing Sasha’s Heel turn through Steph saying shes only wanting the title on Bayley so she can beat her because she couldn’t beat Charlotte, and while the hot potato thing is expected for Fast Lane, i think the focus will wholly be on Sasha’s actions at the PPV, otherwise if not capitalized on, fans will be talking about Charlotte being Champion again, and that the formula wont meet its climax until WrestleMania at this point.

Charlotte/Sasha: Another rehash but also another pleasurable effort considering the twos chemistry is immense. However, i cant help but tire of seeing the treatment towards Dana, as shes not only just thrown in without little background story other than her on/off alignment, but shes made to look like a joke at every point, like she cant fight back against Bayley or look strong at any point. Dana should be involved more in the angle like she has an actual presence and ability to look like a great and/or dominant protege of worth to Charlotte and if they want to end the alignment wholly, then have Charlotte cut her off in the next few weeks so they can start writing Dana’s next angle or possible revenge. Heck, if Nia isn’t the pinfall plant at WrestleMania in the proposed four way, then Dana can have everyone talking at the show like they did with Eve weeks ago, have her cost Charlotte so Bayley can take the win. Now to the match itself without talking the near ending confusion, Not only do i think this match was booked so Sasha could get her revenge win at last after putting over Charlotte immensely and Nia sometime after, but her win will mean she will kayfabe want to be cemented into the title picture, not receiving it as another reason for her to turn on Bayley. Sasha will grow frustrated of Bayley taking her spotlight and not giving her best friend a place at Fast Lane as her opponent in the respective match she may so want, and that amongst the hidden agenda to possibly want to beat Bayley because she cant face Charlotte as long as the title is on Charlotte’s Waist is why Fast Lane is the ultimate place to execute the angle, otherwise all people will be talking about outside of the possibly great match itself, is the typical ending.

– Catherine

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