WWE RAW RESULTS: Tag Team Warfare Before Hitting the Fast Lane (February, 27th 2017)

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Welcome Everyone to a very late but still present RAW Report. This weeks first WWE related episode of the week served as the last of the red brands before this Sundays Fast Lane Pay Per View, that now has two women’s matches on the card for us to soak in. All this comes to light in the closure of a Tag Team Match, and you can probably guess which combinations, after all Emma seems to be an afterthought to the backstage lot….again…

But first Alicia Fox is managing her man Noam Dar once again. Dar faces Akira Tozawa, who is on a roll in regards to wins since showing up on the main stage. This continues for Tozawa as he manages to go over the Scot. Will Alicia find affiliation with anyone else anytime soon?

Moving from that short story to the main women’s feud of RAW of course, out comes the former RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte and her on/off protege Dana Brooke. The Two are set for tag team action, scheduled to face a woman wanting to coast her way back into the title hunt Sasha Banks, and of course the very woman Charlotte will officially challenge on Sunday, RAWs Current Women’s Champion Bayley. But before that Charlotte wants to address some things, first being the shock of Bayley not abdicating the championship. She furthermore holds the belief that Bayley is greedy and someone who will win at any costs, a motive the WWE Universe do not see thus Charlotte believes the title holder is playing every single one of them. She continues on the Bayley diss, adding that the champion truly didn’t care over how she would win the title, even over her friends assist, because all of that is good enough for her to be her. Because of all this, Charlotte surely believes Bayley will just be a one hit wonder, who has their moment then disappears. Of course Bayley wont sit in the back and hear this all out without responding, thus out comes Bayley to address the self proclaimed “Greatest Athlete in the WWE”.

Charlotte takes the opportunity to address Bayley as a cheater once she hits the ring, but Bayley bites back by telling Charlotte to address her as the champion, holding in her hands the championship Charlotte lost. As if the remark couldn’t make Charlotte sulk a little bit, shes only sulking more as Bayley has her reminisce the fact she has beaten her on three occasions. Bayley is assured the decision to keep the championship was a good one, regardless of how Stephanie McMahon and Charlotte feel about it, and the dream and the journey doesn’t end with a title win for Bayley, as she looks to keep reaching, and the next dream stands right before her, the large WrestleMania sign. However, Charlotte is done hearing the aspirations and dreams of Bayley, reminding the champion that the wrestlemania event is many many days away, and Fast Lane is prior, and that will be the very place where Charlotte regains her championship. Furthermore, shes buying a front row ticket for Bayleys Father to watch her become a one hit wonder. Before the verbal berating can continue on, Sasha is out to defend her best friend.

Immediately Sasha is hurling the insults at the former rival Charlotte, asking if she wants everyone to have daddy issues like her. Sasha points directly at Bayley, asking the former champion if shes looking at the little girl ahead of her, not “the pet toy” Dana Brooke like Charlotte might assume, but Bayley, saying Bayley is everything Charlotte wishes she could be. As she makes steps towards the ring, she says that Charlotte holds a lot of rage and insecurity, but that wont stop Sasha from holding out her thoughts on Bayley, the woman who she believes is more deserving than Charlotte ever will be. Charlotte has her own response for Sasha, asking if shes so exhausted at taking Bayleys spotlight. Sasha retaliates by saying shes only exhausted at Charlotte’s “Stupid face” which leads to the crowd bringing out their own mirrored chant. Sasha’s done talking, as she knows they have a tag match to get on with, but as much as Charlotte knows this, shes come prepared, not with the partner she thought she had in Dana (to the dismay of Dana) but with a replacement, in the form of the destructive Nia Jax.

The bell is rung when we return from a break and opening the match are the two women that faced off last week, and prior to at various PPVs over much of last year, Charlotte and Sasha Banks. However, Charlotte quickly replaces herself with Nia, who Sasha has had various issues with as of late. Regardless of knowing her brute strength, Sasha locks up with her anyway, easily thrown back by the dominant performer. Sasha gets back on her feet, trying to find a way out of the corner as shes blocked off continuously by Nia. Sasha goes for a hammerlock but again Nia’s strength comes into play and Sasha is sent to the mat with ease. Nia kicks her toward a corner, then shoving her into it prior to her corner assault, though Sasha ends this attempted attack early with a kick. Nia counters seconds later and launches Sasha back into the corner, and after throwing her about again, she taunts Bayley, who accepts to replace Banks and get a shot at the fellow NXT Alumni. Bayley steps in after the official tag, running right into the arms of Bayley as the performer scoops her and slams her to the mat. Bayley manages to make it to her feet, even with Nia trying to prevent her beforehand, and she throws kicks and forearms in Nia’s way. Bayley has a suplex attempt near reversed as Bayley slips free of Nia’s grip before Nia’s reverse suplex can be executed. Bayley bolts to the corner, regrouping in time to avoid Nia’s corner splash, placing herself on the ropes and hitting Nia with a number of fists. Nia shoves Bayley again to break free, going for a clothesline which misses as Bayley ducks, then executing a dropkick that barely moves Nia. Sasha helps in a double team effort but both ladies are taken down by Nia.

Charlotte tags in to continue Nia’s work, delivering her flair-esque chops in the heels corner to Bayley. She follows by whipping Bayley to an opposite corner, connecting with another chop as Bayley stumbles forwards. Charlotte looks to capitalize with her first pin attempt of the match, managing only to get a near fall on the champ. Bayley quickly fires back with forearms, then sending Charlotte into an opposite corner turnbuckle. Bayley tags Sasha into the match, and the “Bo$$” is back to assisting as she and Bayley execute a double arm drag on the former champion. Sasha goes for grounded double knees, though thats only enough to get a one count in her follow up pin attempt. Like Bayley with her earlier quick comeback, Charlotte has her own, striking with a knee into the midsection of Sasha within moments. Charlotte whips Sasha to a corner, only for Sasha to float and avoid the oncoming attack. Sasha ducks a clothesline and connects with a tilt-a-whirl headscissor to Charlotte, following that with a dropkick. Again, Sasha gets a one count on Charlotte.

Sasha continues the momentum with a stranglehold on Charlotte, sending her back first into the nearby corner before she can reverse. After running Charlotte head first into another corner, Sasha proceeds to tag Bayley, who unloads on Charlotte with chops of her own. Bayley reverses a whip and is nearly caught under the ropes by Dana, though the near distraction doesn’t aid Charlotte much, as the former champion is launched to the floor. Bayley, also knowing Dana could try more as Charlotte’s assist, deals with her on the outside by flooring her with the Belly to Belly suplex. Sasha and Bayley have the momentum as we come to the next commercial break.

When we return, Charlotte is back on her feet and has seemingly countered the babyface momentum, stomping down on the now legal Sasha Banks and proceeding to tag Nia. Nia leads Sasha out of the corner, going for another slam attempt that Sasha evades. Sasha aims one dropkick after another at Nia, but again she cant take Nia down, and one singular headbutt sends Sasha stumbling into a corner. Sasha recovers in time to avoid the corner splash, firing her scissor slaps at Nia, finalized with a slap. Sasha goes for a top rope arm drag but Nia doesn’t fly, instead raising Sasha off the mat and connecting with a shoulder breaker. Nia shows a wicked smile as she preps to pin Sasha after some elbow drops but the fellow NXT Alumni stays fighting, kicking out at two, resulting in another near fall.

Nia tags back in Charlotte, whipping her into Sasha as Charlotte delivers a running forearm to the fellow competitor. Charlotte rams her knee into the back of Sasha right before applying a headscissor, which Sasha tries to reverse by forcing Charlotte’s shoulders to the mat though Charlotte brings herself back to the prior position before the referee can make a count. After delivering stomps to Sasha in the heels corner, Nia is tagged back in to follow up the work, and Nia does as said, crushing Sasha against the corner. But its only a quick amount of work as the teamwork resumes between her and the former champ as Charlotte tags back in again. They attempt the same whip as part of the double team from before, only this time a bleeding Charlotte is kicked in the face per Sasha’s counter. Nia also misses a chance to splash Sasha in the corner, and despite going for an elbow drop, her opponent evades and Nia is unable to stop Sasha reaching to Bayley, who tags in. Bayley clotheslines and axe handles the newly legal Charlotte, delivering her rolling elbow to the back and a clothesline to the front side of Charlotte after. Bayley follows with her usual corner offense into a Flapjack, going for a pin but only getting a one count. Bayley goes for the next shoulder tackle but is elevated to the apron by Charlotte, who elbows her before she can strike back. Bayley eventually retaliates with a neckbreaker on the apron, snapping Charlotte against the ropes. As Charlotte stumbles back, selling the maneuver, Nia sneaks a tag in, noticed by the ref but not Bayley. Nia cheapshots Bayley just as she heads up the turnbuckles, but Bayley recovers, taking herself to the ropes again and leaping off them, applying a sleeper to Nia. Nia sends Bayley over the shoulder, proceeding to knock her right to the mat after Bayley elbows an interfering Charlotte off the apron. Nia levels Sasha by knocking her to the floor, but as she takes her eyes over to Bayley, Sasha takes herself back up and heads up the turnbuckles, caught in the arms of Nia as she attempts a crossbody. Nia slams Sasha onto a fallen Bayley, then delivering one single leg drop that levels Bayley completely. Nia pins Bayley and Nia and Charlotte win the match.

Sasha takes the opportunity later in the show to apologize for the loss in the tag match. She wants to back Bayley on Sunday by being her ringside support but a snoopy Stephanie McMahon has other plans, derailing Sasha’s chance to be a supportive friend to the RAW Womens Champ by having her face Nia also on Sunday in a Royal Rumble Rematch.

And Lastly, there’s a special video package for a certain former Divas Champion Beth Phoenix, who is to become the youngest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.

(Akira Tozawa vs Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox)

(Charlotte, Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Nia Jax Segment; Bayley and Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax and Charlotte w/ Dana Brooke)

(Sasha Banks, Bayley and Stephanie McMahon Backstage Segment)

(Nia Jax on RAW Fallout)

(Beth Phoenix WWE Hall of Fame Vignette)

Thoughts On This Match:
Seen it before, but cant discredit how good the match was, though the continual reversals from the babyfaces when it comes to Nia trying to bust out big moves is becoming a bit of an annoyance. It was nice to see Nia take the win, and while it can be said she should have pinned Sasha, that can wait for Sunday and the match that was booked later in the show, unless there’s a reverse finish from the Royal Rumble. This also cements further Nia’s position as a contender at WrestleMania in the rumored four way championship defense, if her status as a powerhouse and threat to any champion didn’t cement that enough. My negative besides the continual combos of the same women on RAW would be the lack of importance on Dana Brooke. She was just there to be there and didn’t even get to be a part of the match, and watch that not even be followed up with a reaction from Dana next week. Maybe shes competing sparsely due to the focus on the Arnold Classic shes going to be on, but if shes minimally used and subjected to being continual enhancement rather than a fellow woman to actually develop, then the excuses are minimal to none from there. I Wouldn’t mind Dana added at Mania to make a five way, especially with her should be remembered tension with Charlotte and the need for babyfaces once Sasha is heel again, and while turning someone so good in her heel role like Dana is risky, Bayley cant fight week in week out against multiple threats on her own.

– Catherine

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