WWE RAW RESULTS: A Huggers Championship In Fatal Jeopardy (March, 20th 2017)

RAW Returns to the Home of One of the Biggest Women’s Matches in Modern History, Brooklyn, the Same City that birthed the NXT Women’s Championship Match between Sasha Banks and Bayley. While them two being set to clash is seemingly set for the distant future, Bayley has another woman wanting to make a (secondary) statement this week, as a shift in power allows for Stephanie McMahon to force Bayley into another match with the formidable Nia Jax, with WrestleMania Implications.

But first Dana Brooke gets a shot at her former mentor Charlotte, not through the shenanigans of RAWs Authority Members but through a match just booked anyway. For the first of two singles matches on this night, out first is former RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte, then a newly babyface Dana Brooke, only a short time after a commercial break i may add. With Dana’s entrance comes a reminder of how exactly this match came about, courtesy of Dana unleashing a vicious assault on Charlotte after months of torment and accusations of failure. The Bell rings and both are poised to attack, with Brooke starting with the upper hand as she avoids a clothesline and takes Charlotte down to the mat. Dana gives Charlotte forearms in addition then pummeling her in the nearby corner with shoulder tackles. After a quick round of smack talk, Dana arm drags Charlotte near the center, scrapping with her after by the ropes. Charlotte eventually bolts to the outside to regroup, only managing to make it back after taking advantage of the ref holding back Dana to clamber to the apron, hitting Dana with a shoulder block between the ropes. Charlotte attempts to launch Dana face first into the nearby turnbuckle, but Dana blocks this attempt, forearming Charlotte then attacking at a lower angle, sweeping her to the mat. Dana gets Charlotte to the center for the first pin attempt, getting a near fall on the former champ.

Charlotte tries to tilt her way out of a masterlock from Dana, only to be sent to the mat via a reverse STO. Dana hits the ropes, taking down the former mentor with a clothesline which, like before, gets her a near fall. Charlotte gets back on her feet, fighting back against Dana with chops, though a big boot to Dana misses when she ducks out of harms way, taking charge with a double leg take-down, followed with grounded forearms. Dana goes into a pin attempt but doesn’t even get a one count as Charlotte scraps her way out. Dana isn’t pleased with this, instantly trying to pin Charlotte again, leading this time to a one count. Dana goes for a whip, only to receive a knee into the gut in retaliation. Charlotte does her own whip, sending Dana to a corner, but Dana gets back on focus in enough time, booting Charlotte amid her oncoming corner assault. Dana runs the ropes, going for the next attack, but runs right into Charlotte’s lethal big boot. Charlotte pins Dana and wins the match.

From one current challenger to someone looking to step into that spot in the future, we are welcomed with the newest package featuring a soon to return Emma, who is reverting back to her villainous character after the oddly ended run of Emmalina. It still states coming soon, but one can be sure its right around post Mania time right?

To the next scenario featuring the women now, and Stephanie McMahon, back in power after the firing of Mick Foley, brings all her ruthlessness as she approaches Bayley with a challenge for her tonight. Aware of her recent assisted victories, and aware that Nia Jax is wanting in to the title picture, she books for Bayley to face her again, and this time its under the stipulation of No Disqualification. Bayley cant exactly choose to face that challenge, but is still a champion who welcomes challenges, on top of her current with Sasha and Charlotte facing her at Mania. Nia Jax facing Bayley here and winning means she gets a slot in the match. The RAW Women’s Champion re-enters Brooklyn, the home of her first wwe title win, followed by the entrance of a ready, motivated and callous Nia Jax.

Once the bell rings, Nia tries to corner Bayley, with Bayley only temporarily escaping her clutches as she ducks a corner splash, hurling forearms at the imposing opposition. Nia uses her power to counter, lobbing Bayley to another side of the ring with ease, only to have her oncoming splash stalled by a knee from the RAW Women’s Champion. Bayley fights again with forearms, then hauling herself to the second rope. Nia shoves her off but Bayley bounces back, charging back to Nia in the corner, seizing her head and trying to send her head first into the top turnbuckle, though Nia blocks on every chance. Bayley reverts to a new strategy, in the form of a sleeper hold, though Nia manages to counter again, this time sending Bayley over her right shoulder downward to the mat. Nia blocks a kick from Bayley, shoving her to the mat as Charlotte inspects from the backstage area. Nia heads to the outside as we return to the match itself, continuously having the upper hand on Bayley. Bayley manages to get back to the ring, hurling some minuscule offense at Nia as another future opponent of Bayleys, Sasha Banks, gets a glimpse of Bayleys competitive fire from the backstage area also.

Bayley goes for a hurricanrana, hoisted upward by a powerful Nia Jax for a powerbomb reversal. Bayley takes herself to the ropes in time to avoid, Bayley hits kicks, but its not long before the bigger opponent reverses momentum again, dropping Bayley face first on the apron. Bayley gets shoved toward the ring post by Nia, though the bigger opponent misses the follow up assault when Bayley heads to safety, leading to Nia connecting with the ring post and the steel steps. Bayley looks to take control as we head to a commercial break.

But it is not so. We return from the commercial break to see Bayley struggle within a side headlock applied by Jax back in the ring. This reverse of momentum is recapped by Cole, as its seen that Bayley took a head bump on the turnbuckle during commercial. Bayley aims forearms then quickly hits the ropes, only to run right into the charging Nia. Nia connects with a shoulder breaker to the champion which ends up being enough to get a near fall. Nia continues to wear down Bayley in the corner before taking her out of it, clobbering her out of the center with her body, hitting her with swift elbow drops for another near fall. Nia has Bayley seized in her grip for sometime, with the champ only managing to escape via back elbows. Bayley seems to interject Nia’s fury with a slap to the face, as Nia viciously lobs Bayley through the ropes down to the ringside floor. Brooklyn can only watch with despair as a heroic Bayley is continuously swung into the barricade, only managing to head back into the ring with Nia’s assist. Nia seizes a very much legal steel chair for usage, but it proves worthless as Bayley kicks it out of her hands, receiving a headbutt from Nia for her troubles.

Nia begins to head back into the ring, only to take a boot from Bayley, who is just managing to get to her feet herself. Bayley takes advantage of the position of Jax to hit a second rope stunner, following with a running knee strike that delivers enough impact to send Nia crashing back into the ring. Bayley darts to the fallen Nia, attempting to cover but only getting a near fall to her dismay. Bayley aims some angry elbows at Nia as punishment, followed with her running spinning back elbow and running basement clothesline. This round of quick offense doesn’t pin Jax however, as the opposer kicks out once again at two. Bayley makes it up to the top turnbuckle to hit a diving crossbody but once again its not enough, as Jax kicks out at two. Bayley tries to haul herself up another corners turnbuckles after diverting an assault from Nia, only to be swept off her feet to the mat. Nia hits a sudden Samoan drop and pins Bayley and wins the match, advancing as the newest contender to Bayleys championship.

And lastly, as part of Women’s History Month, WWE aired a video package to pay respects to the late Mae Young, the former WWE Women’s Champion whose career spanned 8 decades in total.

(Dana Brooke vs Charlotte; Emma Promo)

(Stephanie McMahon and Bayley Backstage Segment; Nia Jax vs Bayley feat Sasha Banks and Charlotte)

(Mae Young Women’s History Month Video Package)

(Nia Jax on RAW Fallout)

Thoughts On:
Charlotte/Dana: I’m rather conflicted on this match. While it was best to get Dana’s anger out there by challenging the woman who belittled her for months aka Charlotte, why now? And as much as Charlotte would need momentum before Mania, why at Dana’s expense? They could have had Charlotte have a match vs a local instead or some sort of promo about Dana and/or Mania that forces Dana to run down and own the #BeatUpCharlotte Gimmick by relentlessly fighting with her up until Mania. Heck even throw in the Stephanie McMahon/Angelina Love Security Squad thing if needed. Dana had all her backing last week with the audience but Brooklyn seemed so busy in chanting past competitors or whatever the hell they wanted to even try and back any of the competitors. Its Sad. At this rate i don’t expect Dana to be in the match at Mania, regardless of whether there’s any authority reversal or not, but i would love to see her distract Charlotte or get involved with her in some way at the show. Dont crush the secondary babyface you had right there with Sasha soon to turn heel WWE. C’mon….

Nia/Bayley: This was a rather competitive affair between Nia and Bayley, like some of their past encounters have been, NXT and beyond. The only snags again were the Brooklyn crowd and their reluctance to back the actual competitors and instead chant whatever they want to get some sort of notice while in attendance. Sure i get we’ve seen this match a dozen times, and Nia’s insertion looked definite within the past week or two, but regardless of the annoyance that was Nia not even being able to use her weapon, you cant take away the efforts of both in this match, as much as the crowd want to drown out the attention. I’m Glad that Nia, even if she isn’t as skilled as some others, is heading to Mania as it saves us from a repeat of Clash of Champions and allows a spot for a different woman to finally step into the title picture.

– Catherine


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