WWE RAW RESULTS: Contender Takes On A Pre Event Challenge (July, 3rd 2017)

Last weeks RAW saw the women of the flagship brand snatch the main event, one that saw the decider in who would be the next challenger to Alexa Bliss’s RAW Women’s Title, revealed as Sasha Banks. Timing wise, its a bit of a cool down from last weeks 30+ minute encounter, as the contender Sasha joins a former contender (and also former champion) Bayley to take on Alexa and a surely aggravated near finalist in last weeks Gauntlet, Nia Jax.

In Fact, these said four show up early in the episode, first with Sasha entering before the arrival of Bayley at her side for a fun, in sync entrance. Next is Nia Jax at her lonesome then lastly the RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, who is defending her championship this Sunday coming against Sasha. Opening the match is Nia against the first woman she crushed in last weeks Gauntlet, former RAW Women’s Champion Bayley.

Bayley charges at her right away but ends up on the shoulders. Bayley breaks out quickly with elbows to the back of the neck then throws forearms right at Nia, sent back by Nia’s counter headbutt. Nia brings Bayley to her shoulders again but this time Bayley utilizes the ropes, then making her way to the apron safely and attempting a blow to Nia from behind the ropes, to no avail as Bayley is sent downward back first. Nia takes advantage of Bayleys tumble once shes back in the ring, kicking her numerous times against the nearby corner. Nia goes for a corner splash but Bayley moves out, mimicking Nia’s earlier offense with corner kicks. Bayley dropkicks Nia to keep her up against the corner, but its not too long taken for Nia to overturn momentum as Bayleys shoulder is sent into a corner turnbuckle. Bayley keeps up the work regardless of the earlier crash, dodging a clothesline and kicking Nia. Sasha gets tagged in and the two deliver dropkicks in unison to send Nia over to the ropes before Sasha is left to fearlessly go up against Nia on her own.

Sasha delivers plenty fast forearms before an attempted whip doesn’t work out well, not even moving the stronger Nia. Nia sends Sasha towards an opposite corner but the former RAW Women’s Champion floats. Nia catches Sasha, hoisting her onto her right shoulder and then trying to run her into an opposite corner, to no avail as Sasha quickly slips free. Nia is driven from the ring per a follow up dropkick by Sasha. Nia is up on both feet regardless, and is quick to make her way back to the ring, but not before sending Bayley away, sending her shoulder first into the ringside barricade. She shoves Sasha away as she attempts to attack then splashes Bayley against the same barricade. Sasha shows much concern for Bayley as we go to a commercial break.

When we return, much has changed, not just in momentum with Alexa in the ring working on her future singles opponent, Sasha, but Bayley has been left out of the rest of the match, leaving Banks to deal with a two on one handicap showdown due to Nia’s earlier crushing assault. Sasha breaks from the grip of Bliss with fists to the midsection, going for an Irish whip afterward that Alexa reverses, only to watch Sasha drop herself onto her with a Lou Thesz Press as she runs back. Sasha forearms away at Alexa, then driving her into a corner turnbuckle head first. She follows up with plenty aggressive foot chokes before dropping Alexa against the mat, trying to capitalize on the offense after with a pin attempt. Unfortunately for the contender, Alexa kicks out at a count of two.

Sasha takes Alexa by the foot as she tries to crawl over to Nia. Alexa responds back with a kick of her own to create separation, but rather than turn towards Nia for the tag, she turns her attention to Sasha, taking her to the corner herself, though this backfires quick as Sasha elbows Nia along the way. Sasha ducks under Alexa’s attempted clothesline and blocks a follow up kick, hitting a high knee to what seemed to be the nose. After planting Alexa’s head against another turnbuckle, Sasha attempts to crush her with running double knees but Alexa moves out in time. Nia tags in, catching Sasha in the center of the ring and ending her momentum with a backbreaker. Nia follows up with relentless elbows, one to the chest and one to the back before attempting to pin the contender. Nia gets a near fall on Sasha.

Nia seizes Sasha by her hair, taking her to the heels corner and extending a hand to Bliss, who tags back in. Nia whips Alexa over to Sasha, but rather than perform some big crushing move, Alexa pulls a Kevin Owens Trolling Moment and just slaps the future challenger in the face instead. Alexa continues the punishment on Sasha as she chokes her against the second rope. Alexa proceeds to tag Nia back in, but any chance of momentum on her side is stalled, as after some fists, Sasha takes to the ropes. No big move to execute on Nia however as Sasha just runs into Nia’s elbow instead. Nia locks in the bear-hug as Alexa looks on, though Sasha manages to escape. After a single elbow is thrown, Sasha ends up tossed around the ring by Nia, though a corner splash doesn’t connect as Sasha manages to muster the energy to roll out. Alexa steps in to do her next lot of ring work there, including her stomp to the back of Sasha’s neck while shes laid by the apron. Very quickly Alexa goes to cover Sasha, but like with Nia earlier, she also gets a near fall.

As both get to their feet, Sasha is first to strike, in the form of a hard smack to the champ. Alexa responds with a knee to the left rib, followed by the brief stretch applied while stood on the challengers hair with both feet. Sasha tries shots to the midsection but Alexa stalls by gripping the throat and sending down Sasha with an STO. Sasha rolls out of the way of attempted standing double knees from Alexa, catching her with a single running knee. Sasha continues to block off Alexa’s attempted offense with her own then sends Nia down. As Sasha watches Nia fall, Alexa tries to take advantage as she clubs her in the back. Sasha surprises Alexa suddenly by roping her into the Bank Statement, soon forcing the champion into submission. Bayley and Sasha win the match.

Now to the Mizaryse continuation. It seems the pair are on much better terms this week, and Miz is also flanked by his new Miztourage of Bo and Curtis Axel. The Intercontinental Champion is approached by his longtime rival Dean Ambrose, but not just him, as Heath Slater steps out of the back with Rhyno, in need of his title shot. Because no one in WWE could somehow let Heath onto the card this Sunday for a Triple Threat but rather ruin Heaths chances with predictable booking….Miz is made to defend the title against Heath tonight then Ambrose on Sunday. You can probably figure how that went… #JusticeForSlater

And Lastly we have the return of the beautiful Alicia FOOOOXXXXXX. The former Divas Champion, who has been rather appearing on facetime to advise Noam Dar to sell a neck injury, shows up just as Noam is set to go one on one with Alicia’s former on screen companion, Cedric Alexander. Safe to say Feisty Fox is out when she watches Alexander take the momentum again with a win over the Scottish Supernova.

(Bayley and Sasha Banks vs Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss)

(The Miz, Maryse, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater, Rhyno and Kurt Angle Segment; Heath Slater vs the Miz; Intercontinental Championship Match)

(Noam Dar w/ Alicia Fox vs Cedric Alexander)

Thoughts On:
Sasha/Bayley vs Alexa/Nia: Overall i cant really be positive with these weeks affair women’s wise. Sure the women got time and its logical for the challenger to one up the champion at some point, as it may have been for Sasha to also win, but whats confused me overall is Nia’s placement in this now. The positive is she was protected by not taking the fall, but why is she teaming with Alexa? She obviously didn’t take Alexa’s compliments to heart last week, she wants her title and should be absolutely infuriated with last weeks outcome by just completely destroying both (though Bayley was served that anyway). So instead shes serving Alexa in a way this week by dealing damage to Sasha though she should really walk out and show she has no allegiance to Bliss, considering she deliberately cost her her chance at the championship. I Would have rather seen Nia tease Summerslam early by destroying everyone or by just walking out of the match but at least we have a hint for what Sasha/Alexa outcome wise is going to turn out like?

Alicia/Noam/Cedric: I Wasn’t a fan of those facetime segments so its great to see Alicia back just normally managing. I like both Noam and Cedric and see so much potential in their feud, so they deserve more than just grappling in the ring week after week. Alicia needs to go back to delving into her once partnership, and Noam and Cedric should go all out personal to make this one of the best Cruiserweight rivalries though WWE will treat it as midcard at best. Heck, if WWE want to put eyes on the Cruiserweights outside of the title picture and develop their characters, why not do something a little unexpected and different like the first ever Last Cruiserweight Standing Match, a match that Alicia can serve as a factor in majorly to get heel heat on herself? I Just hope these two make the card at Summerslam because i really want to see their angle excel.

– Catherine

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