WWE TLC RESULTS: Foxy Thwarted, An Empress Arrives and the Goddess Attempts Succession (October, 22nd 2017)

Last Night the RAW Brand made the most of their newest Pay Per View, WWE TLC. While the stipulations expected on this type of Pay Per View were immensely ignored minus one match, the plus side was that the RAW Women got to showcase their talent in THREE….Yes THREE….Separate Matches. Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox took their renewed rivalry to a new level on the Kickoff Show, Emma was allocated the opponent for the debuting familiar face of NXT past, Asuka, and Alexa Bliss defended her RAW Women’s Championship against once Smackdown Ally and long tenured veteran Mickie James!

So Since Fox and Banks had the kickoff show slot, lets begin discussing that match to follow the appropriate consecutive order. Before either ladies entrance, a recap shows how the match between Sasha and Alicia came about. As you may have seen this past Monday on RAW, Alicia was highly adamant that she didn’t tap out to Sasha Banks in the fatal five way match that occurred the week before, and was seeking revenge. The match on RAW didn’t work out in Fox’s favor and after facing another loss against the once RAW Women’s Champion, she executed an attack backstage and even got fined for shoving a referee getting involved in the scuffle. The closure of the recap then sees Alicia make her way to the ring in new gear, then Sasha in new gear also.

Alicia and Sasha mouth off at each other to start off, turning into a shoving match that culminates in an all out fight. Sasha separates herself from Alicia by throwing a forearm at the former Divas Champion, bolting over to her as she rolls to the apron. Alicia makes an escape to the outside to regroup, eventually returning to the ring and in turn, getting to switch momentum as she connects with a knee shot to Sasha. Alicia forearms Sasha in the face, sending her toward a nearby corner. She viciously plants the face of Sasha against the same corners turnbuckle, but its not long before Karma follows, as Sasha sends Alicia hard into that same corner per reversing. Sasha hits a fast flurry of forearms back at Alicia, separated by the ref. Sasha makes her way back to Alicia only to end up swept to the mat by her hair. Alicia hits a forearm then reverts to a resthold. Sasha attempts to fight out and ends up getting some revenge against Alicia after a whip reversal turns into a Lou Thesz Press, leaving Alicia defenseless on the mat to take another fiery load of forearms from the angry Sasha Banks. Sasha tosses Alicia across the ring by her hair, and just simply watches Alicia break out into mercy begging. Alicia offers a hand to Sasha as she plays up the merciful act, but the former champion has none of it, and once having a hand, Sasha nails Alicia with a fast dropkick. Alicia ends up back outside, checking up on herself and throwing a temper tantrum to herself as we go to a commercial break.

When we return, Sasha has Alicia back in the ring, just breaking up a hold and taking a forearm before she can switch up to any other offense. Sasha hits Alicia in the jaw and makes her way to the top turnbuckle only to be seized by her hair by Alicia. Alicia slowly releases herself from Sasha after the catty move then shoves her all the way off the turnbuckle to the below floor. Alicia strides to the outside with much swagger, but doesn’t even get to attack Sasha after raising her from the floor, as sudden punches and forearms come swinging from Sasha. Alicia reverses any new found momentum Sasha has with an outside tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, even trying for a pin on the floor only to soon realize this is a normally contested singles match. Alicia recovers from this and sends Sasha head first into the apron, taking her to the ring after and following narrowly behind. Alicia goes for a legal pin in the ring there, getting a near fall on the former RAW Women’s Champion.

Alicia reapplies her resthold, but it doesn’t last too long as both women end up upright, throwing offense. Alicia gets the upper hand as she throws hard forearms to Sasha, directing her to an earlier corner in turn. Sasha responds with a single one of her own before using her legs to drive Alicia jaw first into the second turnbuckle. Alicia manages to free herself from the corner to stop a running crossbody from Sasha, sending her through the ropes moments later and back to the floor. Alicia joins in on the ref counting, but to the veterans dismay, she can only watch Sasha luckily make it to the ring before a count out. Alicia roughs up Sasha before the opposition responds with forearms. A Single one knocks off Sasha in retaliation, and in turn Alicia further utilizes momentum to connect with a Northern Lights Suplex, bridging after the move connects successfully as she switches up to an instant pin attempt. Sasha shoves Alicia off of her, breaking her new pin attempt at two. Alicia delivers a second northern lights suplex, bridging after again and following up into another pin attempt, but it only ends the same for Fox.

Sasha gives a few shots to the ribs of Alicia, also reversing a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker attempt by crashing onto her instead. The landing leads to a pin attempt, scoring Sasha a near fall on Alicia. Alicia rolls up Sasha after constant reversals nearing to the ropes, getting a near fall again and being flung between the ropes and sent to the floor after Sasha kicks out. Alicia takes a while to regroup but does eventually clamber back into the ring, trying to clothesline Sasha once in. Sasha ducks under then gives Alicia some forearms again. Sasha runs the ropes and gets caught by Alicia, but rather than Alicia take over with her own offense, Sasha sends her for a whirl, connecting with a tilt-a-whirl headscissor. Alicia goes for a boot but takes a high knee to the chin, though a second boot by Alicia hits with succession. Alicia tries to capitalize on this but gets a near fall once more. Alicia makes up for a missed axe scissor kick by slapping Sasha across the face just moments after she diverted, though a slam attempt by Alicia isn’t hit on the target as intended. Sasha looks to finish the match upon slipping free from Alicia by connecting with the Backstabber rolled over after into the Bank Statement. Unlucky for Alicia, there’s far for her to go, ropes being too much distance, thus she taps out. Sasha wins the match.

Its time to move right to the main show after this, and a nice little way to kick off the show in turn. Emma, just like back at NXT Takeover London, gets to open the show against the debuting former NXT Womens Champion Asuka, who has now made herself an official part of the RAW roster after weeks of major teases/vignettes. Emma makes her entrance first in new red gear, with a recap taking place once shes in the ring of how Emma got this position of being the Empress Debut Opponent. Emma capitalized on Sasha Banks submitting Alicia in a five way match two weeks ago, rolling up Sasha following her submission quickly to take the win and become Asuka’s opponent. Of course, Emma is highly familiar with the work of the undefeated former NXT Women’s Champion, who voluntarily vacated her championship after 523 days of absolute dominance. After watching her thwart Dana Brooke in her NXT Debut, Emma had got the chance to face Asuka at NXTs only Takeover event hailing from London in that shows opener, defeated in the hard hitting contest, and she may have a chance to avenge that here. Emma keeps her game face on then the arena darkens before the arrival of Asuka, who, per appearing in front of a main roster crowd after weeks of hype, is officially the newest member of the RAW Women’s Division, if not now their most intimidating.

Now Asuka has officially stepped foot inside the main rosters ring, the match is underway and the Empress of Tomorrow makes sure to create awareness of her speed in front of Emma before the official lock up. However as Asuka goes for that lock up, Emma shows herself to be just as quick in evading. Emma yells in the face of Asuka and gets taken to the mat. Initially this would lead to the set up of Asuka’s dangerous submission, but she applies a front facelock briefly before switching to a roll up into another submission that Emma breaks by hooking the ropes close by. Emma shows disrespect to the RAW newcomer with a slap to the face, applying a hammerlock after. Asuka reverses and twists Emma’s arm behind her back, only shortly as she soon switches to a side headlock. Emma gets two shots to the right rib of Asuka before directing her toward the ropes. Emma presses herself to the mat but Asuka rolls aside to avoid being tripped. Asuka takes Emma by her arm but Emma responds after with a takedown, trying to go for a side headlock only for Asuka to evade somewhat and capture the Aussie in an armbar. Before Asuka can further bend the arm of Emma, her grip is loosened fully per Emma slapping her in the face. Emma kicks Asuka in the gut after taunting her, directing herself to the ropes after but only just finding that Asuka has followed her there once she runs back, and the former NXT Women’s Champion sends Emma to the canvas with a hip attack.

Emma goes for a boot but Asuka quickly blocks it. Asuka executes her own takedown and rolls into an Ankle Lock. Emma limps on her free foot and manages to roll herself over, and the clever counter not only creates separation again but sends Asuka tumbling through the ropes and down to the ringside floor. Asuka gets back up quickly but Emma sees to it that she doesn’t quickly clamber back in, dropkicking her back to the floor. Emma heads to the outside with Asuka, kicking at her while shes down. Emma takes Asuka to the ring, following behind, but she doesn’t pin Asuka yet, instead trying to do damage to the face by using her boot to plant her face first against the canvas. Emma then goes for the pin on Asuka, scoring a near fall result. Emma locks in a resthold but is soon made familiar of Asuka’s hard hitting kicks, though a final kick is evaded. Before Asuka can regain composure, Emma rolls her over, but Asuka rolls through, swinging at Emma instant with a clothesline. Emma utilizes her speed again to duck, then taking a handful of Asuka’s hair and sending her backward to the mat back first. Emma goes to pin Asuka again, this time getting a one count.

Emma launches Asuka head first into a corners top turnbuckle, setting her up in the vulnerable tree of woe position after. Emma bends the upper body of Asuka, leaving it exposed to many connecting kicks. She slides outside rather than connect with her corner crossbody, stretching Asuka from behind the apron. Emma returns to the ring to utilize her corner crossbody this time, hitting the move successfully to Asuka. Emma pulls Asuka out of the same corner for one more pin attempt, but still doesn’t put away the Empress as she kicks out at two. Emma doesn’t take in this result, going for a instant follow up pin, again failing to put Asuka away. Emma channels her inner Chris Mordetsky with a full nelson lock applied as the WWE Universe highly back Asuka. Asuka uses her rear to break Emma’s grip, firing up despite the slaps and facepalms she receives afterwards from Emma. Emma goes for a running forearm but Asuka evades, seizing Emma by her waist and going for her first possible German Suplex. She doesn’t manage to lift Emma upward fully thus transitions into a roll up instead. This gets Asuka a near fall on Emma. Asuka is flung towards the ropes per the breakage of the pin attempt, using the impact advantageously to speed forward and back to deliver a sudden shining wizard. This leads to also Asuka being down on the mat.

When both recover, Emma goes on the attack but Asuka’s speed works against it to evade again. The kicks start coming from Asuka, adding a stomp to Emma’s fingers. Emma takes an additional hard kick right to the back, then Asuka dives off the middle rope and connects with a missile dropkick to send a regrouped Emma back down. Emma is kicked at continuously by Asuka as she tries to get to her feet, and in addition the Empress has her grip on Emma’s arm. A Forearm from behind by Emma creates separation again, and Asuka doesnt recover in time to rebound against Emma, instead taking her running basement dropkick to the side of the head. Emma attempts to capitalize, again getting a near fall on Asuka in the pin attempts culmination. The Rage of Emma begins to show, smothering Asuka’s face against the canvas while also additionally planting her boot against the back of Asuka’s neck. Asuka trips Emma and locks an Ankle Lock, moving in time with Emma’s attempted roll over to prevent breakage. Asuka keeps following up on Emma’s attempted counter rolls, then drawing Emma back towards her and taking her by the waist. Asuka hits a German Suplex to Emma, attempting to take her back into the ring after after seeing her roll outside. Emma counters by seizing Asuka’s hair and sending her to the ringside floor.

Emma rolls Asuka back in the ring, met with a kick to the head before she can do much more. Asuka grips Emma, wrapping her arm around Emma’s throat then bringing her down to the mat. Emma is caught in Asuka’s famed submission and eventually gives in to surrender. Emma taps and Asuka wins the match.

And now to the final women’s match, also contested in the first hour of the event, Mickie James, a 5x WWE Women’s Champion and 6x Champion in the WWE overall, challenges her former Smackdown Ally, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Mickie steps out into the ring first, followed traditionally by the champion Alexa Bliss, who has vowed to make her days old rather than good, who has torn down James verbally on each opportunity. Its notable that Bliss has momentum to regain after falling to James this past Monday on RAW, and looks confident as she poses with her emblazoned gold during in ring introductions executed ironically by good friend Mike Rome. When closed, the title is raised and Alexa’s newest title defense is underway against the once ally.

Mickie and Alexa lock up, with Mickie taking over early, taking advantage of Alexa’s struggle to counter to wrap her arm behind her back. Mickie executes a takedown, dropping Alexa on her face, leaving the champ visibly fuming. Mickie executes another takedown midway through Bliss charging, switching to a jackknife pin that gets her a near fall on the fellow former Smackdown competitor. Alexa bolts to the ropes before smack talk between her and James can get anymore heated, using the ropes to avoid any offense from James who instead smacks the butt of the nemesis. Alexa stares at James long and hard, and the cold stare closes in the wake of offense execution, as Alexa goes for an elbow. It misses and Mickie takes Alexa by the waist, only to eat a back elbow from Alexa. Alexa applies a hammerlock, with Mickie countering each sweeping attempt made by her free arm with kip ups. Mickie takes Alexa by her hair and sends her backward to the mat. Alexa gets herself up and goes for another elbow thats evaded by James, who responds with another hair sweep. Mickie kicks Alexa right in the face and goes into a pin attempt, ending in the multi time women’s champion getting a near fall.

Mickie forearms and knees Alexa, though having a whip reversed after, sending her shoulder first into a corner. Mickie back elbows Alexa to stop the oncoming charge, though Mickie’s hurricanrana attempt from the ropes is countered by Alexa. Mickie manages to make it to the apron than crash down fully to the floor, though doesn’t manage to take back momentum as Alexa snaps her arm against the top rope. Alexa does more damage to the arm before forcing her back in the ring for a pin attempt, one that ends at the count of two. Alexa continues on with the strategy of targeting Mickie’s left arm, including knee drops to the said arm. Alexa capitalizes on the damage done in the next pin attempt, but Mickie stays fighting, kicking out at the count of two.

Mickie tries to block attempts from Alexa to again go for the left arm but takes a kick to the back for her troubles. Alexa bends the said arm, eating a forearm some time later by Mickie. Alexa keeps the grip maintained thus Mickie goes for an arm drag, but Alexa rolls over, keeping ahold still of Mickie. Mickie utilizes forearms again but Alexa drives the targeted arm of Mickie into the canvas, another move she tries to capitalize on with a pin attempt. Alexa gets a near fall, two more following. Alexa snaps at Mickie, stomping on her and stepping on the veterans left shoulder. Alexa forearms Mickie in response to a hard kick to the gut, taking a kick to the face also. Mickie nails a back elbow as Alexa takes steps towards her and the corner, taking momentum suddenly with the top rope hurricanrana. An engaging slap sequence turns into a flurry of evaded kicks also, culminating in both Mickie and Alexa kicking each other at the same time, both taking a tumble in its climax.

Adrenaline kicks in for Mickie, first to be half upright. Alexa is next, trading forearms with her as both women try to get to their feet. Mickie takes over and plants Alexa head first against the mat, and despite Alexa’s retaliating kicks, Mickie stays up and fast forearms soon come Alexa’s way. A Fired up Mickie James begins to execute a number of clotheslines, hitting a few kicks also after avoiding Alexa’s retaliating offense. One more clothesline connects from Mickie and after her fiery display, its Mickie’s chance to newly capitalize, going for her next pin attempt, but seeing instead the champ remaining in the fight, kicking out at two. Mickie goes for her finisher but Alexa swivels herself over and sets up Mickie for her DDT. Mickie breaks free before she can hit with succession, rolling her over into another pin attempt, and another that ends in a near fall.

Alexa hits Mickie with a kick, following into a sunset flip pin, but not pinning the contender as so hoped as Mickie breaks out at two. Mickie takes back her momentum quickly with a flapjack, dropping Alexa right on her face. Mickie takes herself to the top rope but Alexa gets herself up and cheapshots Mickie’s right leg. Mickie takes a fall right on the targeted shoulder and Alexa uses this as a chance to go to the top turnbuckle herself. Mickie, despite the landing, avoids Alexa’s Twisted Bliss finish, bringing herself to the top rope once more. Mickie dropkicks Alexa but despite that, doesn’t put Alexa away as the champion kicks out of Mickie’s desperate pin attempt at two. Alexa shoves at Mickie’s throat then proceeds to make her way to the contender, who kicks her away. Mickie drags a fallen Alexa away from the ropes for one more pin attempt but still cant put away the champion, as another near fall comes out of the culmination. Mickie tries to angrily drag Alexa out of the corner but while the ref gets in the middle of all this, Mickie is taken jaw first into the second turnbuckle per Alexa’s sneaky counter. Within seconds, Alexa drags a hurt Mickie from the corner and connects with her DDT for the finish. Alexa wins the match, retaining the RAW Women’s Championship.

Mickie is interviewed shortly after in the ring by Charly Caruso. While expressing how she feels down about not being able to take home the championship, she wholeheartedly thanks the WWE Universe and furthermore promises this wont be her last championship match in the WWE.

(Alicia Fox vs Sasha Banks 42.19 – 55.55)

(Emma vs Asuka)

(Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss; RAW Women’s Championship Match)

(Emma Backstage Exclusive)

(Sasha Banks Backstage Exclusive)

Thoughts On:
Alicia/Sasha: Upon fully viewing the match, it was appealing to have this thrown on the Kickoff Show. While the Kickoff show may not feel as important to people, its given some of the best matches in WWE or some of the most underrated, Usos vs New Day back at Summerslam as an example. With timings set for each match on the main card, these two would have had time cut if thrown on there and were given plenty time on the Kickoff show. It wasn’t a five or six minute hot mess and it didn’t feel like it was just thrown out there. There was backstory, reasoning and the match told a story in itself, mainly Sasha’s revenge against the crazy Alicia Fox, who, may i add, was entertaining in parts. Also while some may feel Alicia’s outside pin attempt was a botch, i couldn’t help but feel low-key sad. Did these women deep down want a stipulation? Did Alicia want a stipulation so she can prove she can step up and be as good as the others, as good as we know she can be? Who Knows but I Do feel this feud is done from here but five women, Alexa likely not being one of them as shes rumored to compete in a different match at Survivor Series, are set to represent RAW in another traditional tag this year so if these two women are on the same side will this be the extension of their feud to an all new level via them combusting or will it play into Emma and Asuka going at it for another month or so? Either way a great effort from Sasha and Fox.

Emma/Asuka: Easily my favorite women’s match of the night. I Was worried how WWE were going to play up this match at first, wondering whether they’d go all out or limit Emma to a squash because shes not a massively important member of the division in comparison to their overly used competitors. Luckily WWE went with the basically better idea of having Emma and Asuka not only open, taking advantage of no tag team championship match on the card, but put their faith in both of them due to likely their history and because it doesn’t leave a hyped arrival such as Asuka in a weird spot such as the pre main event (though thats a completely different spot on NXT). Emma got to show she can hang with the other women and didn’t look like a 2 minute squash opponent thankfully, but from here it can only go up or down. Emma can get her rematch tonight and have the legitimacy of their matches and chemistry quashed by a few minute encounter or they can use a count-out victory for Asuka to continue their feud, throwing Dana in the mix to either turn and help Emma out or throw her back into the ring for Asuka. Emma and Asuka could then be thrown onto the same Survivor Series team and the heat between them gets to such a point that they end up going at it in higher stake matches. By that i mean it gets the treatment Sasha vs Charlotte and Sasha vs Bayley gets. Neither of these matches are downplayed into a squash match and are always lengthy and exhilarating, therefore why not capitalize on this rare feud too, capitalizing furthermore on their chemistry and making it a rivalry people can not look back on, rather than having it end tonight with people thinking what more could have been done, thinking again that Emma and Asukas feud isn’t getting the particular treatment of importance because of Emma’s status as a non horsewoman. Make it truly be about the evolution of Emma while not forgetting Asuka in the process. Let people think “Wow, She Can Really Go! She Really is a part of the women’s rev/evolution”. Fingers crossed and holding to hope this feud doesn’t end tonight.

Mickie/Alexa: At first i thought Alexa was going to retain and she and Nia would be executing an attack on Mickie post match to play into Asuka debuting and moving right into the title picture. However, with Nia taking brief absence, my result switched and i had the idea that Mickie may have won to either do the typical hot potato/quick switch back to Alexa or to be the one to drop the title to Asuka instead of Alexa. Overall im not surprised nor am i soured at Alexa retaining as a fan of hers while i do feel for Mickie. Regardless, her veteran status has helped to do what veterans do, and thats to help additionally excel others. Her passionate promo post match has me hoping this feud continues with the two women forced to work cohesively at Survivor Series (as weird as it sounds) so we can either introduce new angles or play up multiple feuds within one match. If the RAW team minus Alexa is created as a test to see if each rival can work cohesively, implosion can give Smackdown the win that, in my opinion, should have happened last year considering they were a strong, if not stronger division than they are now. But if Asuka is on team RAW, even elimination would count as a fall for her that the main roster audience wont take lightly so RAW will once again look like the superior brand. Sadly the Smackdown girls were just there to play a part in excelling the stalled Bayley/Charlotte feud, while this year it can capitalize on feuds in each of the divisions. With Alexa rumored (again RUMORED) to be out, does Mickie play into her expected/said champion vs champion match? Who Knows but RAW should hopefully lay the groundwork for whats going on in the future of the RAW Women’s Division.

– Catherine

One Response to “WWE TLC RESULTS: Foxy Thwarted, An Empress Arrives and the Goddess Attempts Succession (October, 22nd 2017)”
  1. Floch says:

    Likely the best event for the women in WWE this year. While I think that Alicia is not of the best performer, she is well enough and it was an interesting addition + she got now a push. I think her Raw win is likely only a stipulation to bring a story to the Survivor match though, not to bring her into title competition.

    My guess is that the Survivor Series will showcase especially Asuka in the Raw vs SD match. It was a good introduction so far for Asuka, with a good match. Of course some people complain that it was not a squash, because seemingly their only idea of a push are squashes (in that mindset then Asuka got also not pushed in NXT..). But that would have been very dumb. Beside that it would continue to criminally underuse such an excellent wrestler as Emma, that would have damaged Asuka in the long run too. Just doing the math, there are not many women in the division and they would soon run against a wall if they let Asuka start with a squash on a ppv. And the bigger danger was always that Asuka will come off as uninteresting with the usual procedure on the main roster (for example since it is so heavy focused on mic promos), not that she will come off as weak.
    It could damage Asuka however in an aftermath if they continue to use Emma just as enhancement after. Which is not off the table, the 2 weeks Europe tour at begin of November has only one women match and neither Mickie nor Emma booked from what has been announced (I did not write it before, because that pretty much gave the match result of TLC away already).

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