WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER RESULTS: History for RAWs Ladies Is Made Once Again (February, 25th 2018)

Welcome at last to the WWE Elimination Chamber report, which im writing here from snow covered Yorkshire. Sunday i got to sit at home and witness what was easily a great Pay Per View, even if some of the results were debatable and some of my friends even went all the way to Vegas just for it! Anyway we had two women’s matches on the card (down from last years which featured three) but we also got the surreal signing of Ronda Rousey to the WWE Women’s Roster. Now that sounds like plenty, so we better get on with it ay?

The first match had the responsibility of opening and firing up the Vegas crowd, that being the first ever women’s chamber match. Inside the newly designed Elimination Chamber, RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss defended her championship for the first time since post TLC against former contender Mickie James, “BFFs” Sasha Banks and Bayley and Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose of Absolution. The chamber, similar to that of a Hell in a Cell structure, was shown coming down near to the culmination of the pre show (which featured an appearance from Paige) and indicated that one of two chamber matches would start the show. The rules are as stated, that once all entrants have made their arrival, two will begin competition in the ring with new entrants surfacing in the ring from their pods after few minute intervals. The match is contested under elimination rules, by pinfall and submission and the woman left standing in the end will be RAWs Women’s Champion.

Bliss, who had been vocal as of late towards RAWs General Manager Kurt Angle over defending her title in the Elimination Chamber, enters first, odd somewhat as shes the champion who initially would enter last. Sasha is second to head to the ring, concealed in a pod as is Mickie James as the third to enter. Absolution are next to enter, with Mandy stepping in a pod while Sonya appears to starting off the work in the ring, against the final woman to head to the ring, former RAW Women’s Champion Bayley. Paige, while having accompanied Absolution to the stage, does not stay to view.

Sonya makes the first official move of the match, proceeding to take down Bayley. She goes quick into the first pin attempt and doesn’t even get a one count on the former RAW and NXT Women’s Champion, but is back to maintaining control, capturing Bayley in a front facelock. She tries to turn it into a grounded possible headscissor but doesn’t get it in, with Bayley trying to counter into a pin that falls flat as Sonya makes a swift escape. Both return to a vertical base and prepare to resume offense, again with Sonya starting off as she locks a waistlock on Bayley. Bayley one ups Sonya, sending her jaw first to the mat via a drop toe hold then running the ropes, connecting with a inverted running bulldog to Sonya after running back toward her. Bayley proceeds to snatch momentum, ramming poor Sonya face first into multiple corner turnbuckles. Sonya uses her foot to block a fourth attempt, hitting an elbow to knock Bayley away also. Sonya then gives Bayley a taste of her own medicine, launching her face first into one of the corners top turnbuckles. Sonya then whips Bayley towards an opposite one but the former RAW Women’s Champion floats, evading the behind offense of Sonya and then running the ropes and into a direct fist into the gut from a retaliating Sonya. Sonya slingshots Bayley, but Bayley, rather than taking a full blow against the chambers chain wall, lands on it spiderman style and begins an ascent upward. Sonya captures Bayley, ready to possibly ram her head first against it but Bayley counters, trying to send her in the very direction only for Sonya to also block with might. Sonya gets a shot at Bayley then tries to send her into the chain wall, taking an elbow from Bayley following the attempt. A Capture sequence leads to Bayley and Sonya continually attempting to get ahold of each other but in the end Sonya is unable to do as intended and gets sent into the chain wall by Bayley. Bayley sees the damage done as a sure advantageous attempt to pin, bringing Sonya back in the ring to do so, getting a near fall in the end on Absolutions MMA style grappler.

Bayley resumes offense, first with a knee drop then attempting an elbow drop which misses when Sonya rolls to safety. Sonya regroups, attempting to attack an also regrouping Bayley in an opposite corner but being sent into the top of the ring post instead after being elevated upwards by Bayley. Bayley connects afterward with a back suplex, which gets her her second near fall on Sonya. Bayley drags Sonya after the failed attempt to eliminate her, positioning her not far from the ropes, nor from the nearest corner, beginning an ascent up the ropes. She may be looking for the elbow drop but instead has to watch Sonya crawl to the outside platform. Bayley switches up the execution of the elbow drop, hitting it to Sonya on the platform instead of in the ring. Bayley musters whatever she can to get Sonya back in the ring, managing to do so and furthermore going for pin attempt number three, but again getting a near fall on Sonya. As Bayley wraps Sonya in a side headlock, the countdown has closed for entrant number three, revealed as Mandy Rose, easily upping the numbers game for Absolution.

Mandy comes running in with glee, but it doesn’t last long as Bayley goes on an instant attack, kneeing Mandy between the ropes. Bayley adds onto that offense, snapping Mandy against the ropes then driving her into the chain wall. Sonya tries to make the save for Mandy but takes a neckbreaker above the second rope. Bayley takes a risky chance in throwing Mandy to the ring, leaving her vulnerable in facing both Absolution Members. She shoulder tackles Mandy and Sonya against various corners, then hitting a back elbow to Sonya before proceeding to whip her into Mandy’s corner, and into Mandy. Bayley back elbows both, with Sonya seemingly taking the impact, but on second attempt both Absolution members have evaded. Sonya attempts to attack Bayley but is elevated over the ropes and to the outside platform. Bayley forearms Sonya in the jaw then blocks off an attempted charge from Mandy, also elevating her over the ropes. Bayley elbows Mandy, taking herself to the platform in turn to focus on attacking her. Mandy hits a forearm then steps back as Bayley takes a hellacious spear from Sonya, one that dowses her momentum at this point.

Its Absolution’s turn to put a sinister plot of overthrowing Bayley into action, as Sonya and Mandy work together to ram the former women’s champion into the chain wall, and on multiple occasions. Sonya steps into the ring to try to pin Bayley, getting a near fall. Mandy also tries to pin Bayley on Absolution’s behalf but it ends the same way. Seeing as the result didn’t go their way the two continue to target Bayley, first Sonya with a sliding knee, then Mandy with her jumping scissor kick/knees off the ropes. Mandy covers Bayley right after the high up onslaught, but again Absolution can only go as far as get near falls at this point as Bayley stays resilient. The two are in clear disbelief again and take it out on Bayley as Sonya hits another sliding knee, stalking her alongside Mandy as she maneuvers to the platform. The two get Bayley stuck courtesy of the chain wall, leaving her open and vulnerable to blows. The two overwhelm with fists, kicks and knees before the next countdown closes, revealing Sasha Banks as the next competitor to step in, clearly to help Bayley numbers game wise.

And thats what Banks does. Sasha charges over to Sonya, taking her down and beating her down near to Mickie James pod. She also thwarts an attempted attack by Mandy and sends her shoulder first into her pod. After using the pod casing again, smacking Mandy’s face against it, Sasha unleashes a flurry of forearms before sending Mandy into the chain wall. Sasha overpowers Mandy with a single forearm and hard stomps, prompting for Sonya to run over and try break Sasha away from the team mate. While Sonya does well in sending Sasha into the chain wall back first, Sasha springs back into action quick, avoiding her oncoming attack, and giving her forearms while shes up against the chain wall. Sasha runs the ropes, and with speed and force, she presses Sonya up against the chain wall via double knees. Sasha takes Sonya to the ring, hitting her with double knees again, this time in the rings center. The move, and all that was prior, hasn’t taken out Sonya however, as the Absolution member kicks out of a pin attempt from Sasha at two.

Sasha gets Sonya in a corner, forearming her against it though Sonya soon rebounds with a back elbow. Sonya tries to use her boots to block Sasha’s rebounding charge but both legs get swung aside, positioned on the ropes by Sasha for the dangling set up for double knees. which she hits successfully, even thwarting an attempted attack from Mandy prior. Sasha rolls Sonya away from the corner for a new pin attempt, but again its another near fall result for Sasha. Sonya rolls over Sasha, getting the same result. Sonya shoulder tackles Sasha in a corner, connecting also with a lethal kick. Suddenly Bayley re-emerges on the scene, driving Sonya away. Like Absolution had earlier on, its now time for Bayley and Sasha to team up as the two work in unison, lobbing Sonya into the chain wall. After doing their damage, they take Sonya into the ring but before Bayley can step forward to be alongside Sasha, along comes Mandy, driving Bayley into the chain wall. She also sends Sasha in the same direction then over the ropes. Mandy hits the ring, attacking Sasha then hitting Road to Valhalla, followed with an implant buster set up that doesn’t work out as Sasha escapes. Mandy goes for her axe scissor kick/knees but Sasha evades that also, locking Mandy by the chin and bringing her in for the backstabber, directly after into the Bank Statement set up. The submission gets locked in and Mandy, despite her valiant efforts, taps out to Banks. Mandy has been eliminated, leaving Sonya as the sole competing member of Absolution left in the Elimination Chamber Match.

While Sonya is left devastated at seeing Mandy being sealed away from the match, the chamber doors closing upon her forced exit, the next countdown begins and closes fast, leading to the reveal of the next competitor to escape her pod and enter the territory that is the Elimination Chamber, revealed as longtime veteran and 6x Champion Mickie James. Mickie avoids offense on her way from Sasha, though its only seconds later that Mickie gets in an altercation with Sasha, bringing the former RAW Women’s Champion to the mat via a Lou Thesz press and giving her some forearms. Mickie gets back on her feet, targeting Bayley next as she hits with forearms to her too. Sasha tries to make the save but misses her clothesline, taking Mickie’s kicks and knees moments later. Mickie then proceeds to take both Sasha and Bayley down with a double clothesline. She also proceeds to boot Sonya in the side of the face before she can fully pick herself up off the mat. Mickie then kicks Bayley, readying her finishing DDT which is thwarted before it can even be executed fully by Sasha. Sasha rolls Mickie over which gets her a near fall per Mickie’s reversal on the two count. Mickie also gets a near fall and is sent directly in the path of Bayleys clothesline, which she blocks. Mickie sends Bayley down with a neckbreaker. The veteran then takes a forearm to the side of the face from a re-emerging Sasha, whose next offense is also thwarted by Mickie, as the former women’s champion plants Sasha via a flapjack. Also re-emerging is Sonya, kneeing Mickie and driving her into the chain wall to temporarily delay her momentum. She tries a second time but gets elbowed by Mickie, who appears to resume momentum by sending Sonya into the chain wall. However Sonya rebounds, sending Mickie back first into the very same wall. Mickie, despite being driven into the wall, hangs onto it, kicking Sonya away a few times before executing her hurricanrana off of it to the remaining member of Absolution.

Mickie begins to head up the chain wall, but is pursued by Sasha, who is soon knocked away with a kick. Mickie takes advantage of the separation and begins to clamber the wall, but is pursued again, this time by Bayley who looks to join her up the wall. Mickie stays gripped despite forearm blows and ends up shoving Bayley down to the below platform. Mickie then recreates her IMPACT Wrestling steel cage senton onto Victoria, doing it however off the pod and onto Sonya, in the end being enough to eliminate her and rid the chamber of any trace of Absolution. Sonya has been eliminated. Mickie comes face to face with Alexa, who has yet to step in to compete, but has her back turned clearly from one of the matches remaining competitors, Bayley, who attempts to seize Mickie. Mickie fights Bayley off and the Backstabber set up suddenly from Mickie bounces her into the hands of Bayley, who connects with her finishing move to the 6x Champion. Mickie has been eliminated, meaning Bayley and Sasha remain, as does Alexa Bliss, who sees herself at a disadvantage per the elimination of her Smackdown comrade.

Sasha and Bayley begin to pick themselves off the mat, realization hitting them that its them going up against each other, but also there’s Bliss remaining. The two make slow steps towards the terrified RAW Women’s Champion who is seconds from stepping away from her pod. Alexa, despite the chamber having no upward escape, starts crawling up the chain wall, in an attempt to evade Bayley and Sasha who are soon after her. She gets atop her pod and continues scaling the chain wall, with Bayley climbing the other side and Sasha atop Alexa’s pod, both adjacent to one side of Bliss. Seeing the Horsewomen after her, Bliss begins to get herself down instead, but when Bayley and Sasha make it to the floor before her, its back upward per a change of heart. Sasha and Bayley continue following, with Sasha eventually meeting her atop Mandy’s pod. She looks to help Bayley up to join a 2 on 1 attack on the champion, but soon surprises as while she takes Bayleys hand and helps her up, she stomps on it, sending Bayley down to the platform.

After darkly staring down the now clear former best friend, Sasha seems to have taken notice of Alexa’s disappearance, and finds her on another adjacent platform side. A Merciful Alexa crawls toward her pod, Sasha inching towards her, her sure plans of attacking Alexa backfiring as a very angry Bayley attacks Sasha from behind, furiously sending her into a nearby corners top turnbuckle. Alexa ends any further altercation between the two once partners, forearming Bayley hard to the mat. Alexa takes Bayley back to the ring, immediately going for a pin attempt. While that forearm may have knocked out Mickie in the past, it doesn’t seem to have the same effects on Bayley, who stays resilient despite her best friends sudden villainous traits showing, kicking out of Alexa’s pin attempt at two.

A Furious Alexa doesn’t take kindly to the result and begins to smack Bayleys face against the mat. She beats down on Bayleys back also, showcasing her ferocity and choking her against a nearby bottom rope. Following her stomps to the back of the neck, Alexa goes to pin Bayley again but Bayley remains, kicking out once more at two. Before Alexa can do much else, shes thwarted by a sudden back suplex out of nowhere by Bayley. Bayley forearms Alexa into a corner, also hitting her with one while up against that corner, adding shoulder tackles. Before Bayley can carry on with more offense, Sasha runs in and angrily drives Bayley into an opposite corner. Ferocious shoulder tackles and forearms from Sasha to a defenseless Bayley follow before Bayley rebounds by catching Sasha mid charge and getting her in the tree of woe position. Bayley uses it as a chance to stomp at the exposed midsection of Sasha. While Sasha’s left dangling, Bayley goes up the turnbuckles, though the ascent gets stalled by a forearm from Alexa. Having got Bayley on the top rope, Alexa executes a suplex. Meanwhile Sasha appears recovered and heads to the top turnbuckle, frog splashing Bayley off of it. Sasha covers right after but Bayleys resilience hasn’t burnt out and the former RAW Women’s Champion escapes the pin attempt at two.

Sasha’s focus stays on Bayley as she lobs her to a far corner, placing her in position for double knees. Sasha readies to hit the move but Bayley gets herself free and catches Sasha during elevation, only for Sasha to utilize her knees to drive Bayley into a lower turnbuckle. Sasha makes her way to the middle turnbuckle but rather than prepare offense, she yells down to her, soon proving costly. Bayley picks herself up suddenly from the mat and meets Sasha on the ropes, connecting with the Belly to Belly Suplex off of there. However she doesn’t get to pin Sasha, as Alexa swoops in and dastardly rolls over Bayley into a sneaky and sudden pin attempt, ridding the babyface from the match. Bayley has been eliminated and Great Balls of Fire Opponents Alexa and Sasha remain.

While Bayley has to soak in that her chance to get revenge on Sasha is over, Alexa is straight getting to work, trying to pin Sasha within moments to obtain her win, but only getting a near fall on the storied rival. She snaps on Sasha, forearming away at her, then going for Twisted Bliss from the top turnbuckle, though the landing doesn’t go as hoped as Alexa meets Sasha’s raised knees instead. Alexa and Sasha take the fight to the outside, with Sasha overwhelming her with knees while a hurt Bayley walks her way to the back. Alexa escapes a further brunt, with Sasha getting her knee temporarily trapped in the chain wall in the process. Alexa takes advantage and drives Sasha’s back into her knee while shes stuck. Alexa gets herself atop her pod, connecting with Twisted Bliss off of there. Sasha takes the brunt but reverses the pin attempt into the Bank Statement. Sasha rolls Alexa to the ring, submission still intact until the break is made when Alexa gets herself up and runs Sasha back first into a corner. Alexa charges toward Sasha as she rests in that corner and gets kicked by the former women’s champion. Sasha has eyes on a pod, seemingly making moves towards it, though per a behind attack from Alexa, her head soon smacks the top of the pod. Alexa seizes a hanging Sasha and connects with a top rope DDT, Sasha hitting the mat face first in turn. Sasha is out and Alexa takes advantage, covering Sasha and eventually getting the three count. Alexa wins the match, retaining the RAW Women’s Championship.

Post match Alexa gets to comment on heading to WrestleMania, this time as the women’s champion of the RAW brand. Alexa pulls an uplifting speech, emotional, tearful before its all revealed to be a work, as she reveals that despite the uplifting vocal moment, the reality is to her that no one around her will accomplish their dreams. The Smirking Goddess raises her title one last time, victorious and Mania Bound.

Dana Brooke makes an appearance to manage Titus Worldwide, as the duo of Apollo and Titus O Neil have a pre Mania title opportunity against Sheamus and Cesaro coming off a recent victory. Unlucky for them, it couldn’t carry on further as the Bar pick up the win, reducing surely Dana’s thought out statistical chances of her co workers winning.

The second women’s match of the night takes place following Titus Worldwides not successful attempt to grab the RAW Tag Team titles, as Nia, who does a neat segment stepping on the mask of Asuka and displaying sheer readiness on her way to the ring from the back, takes on the Undefeated Empress in a match where a hopeful victory for the Irresistible force Nia would mean that Nia will join Asuka in a triple threat match for any women’s title at WrestleMania. Nia steps out first, with a darker, upgraded, more heel like tron, with Asuka, undefeated in every singles match or championship match she has ever been, stepping out second.

Nia and Asuka lock up to kick things off, with Nia knocking her away with ease. Asuka rebounds as quick, hitting a dropkick to Nia, but it only barely moves her. Nia swings at Asuka, attempting a clothesline that misses and Nia is met with forearms by Asuka, temporary as Nia sends her towards the ropes. Asuka leaps onto Nia for a possible guillotine but it doesn’t work out. Nia gets Asuka by the throat, preparing a chokeslam but she gets a back elbow from Asuka, knocking off the chance. Nia sends Asuka toward a corner with a headbutt, but again its evenly matched between the two ladies as Asuka counters Nia’s attempted offense with a boot. Asuka tries to gather momentum as she bashes the head of Nia against the corners top turnbuckle, but Nia has a way to counter and does the same to Asuka. Asuka tries kicks but gets aggressively sent to the mat, met again with Nia’s aggression when Nia seizes her during possible offense attempt and hurtles her across the ring. Nia watches Asuka try to get to her feet, charging at her once she does so but Asuka sees it coming and pulls at the ropes that Nia soon tumbles over, crashing downward onto the ringside floor. Nia is up quick and Asuka has a quick response when she sees Nia’s attempt to return to the ring, going for a hip attack that Nia avoids, thus Asuka gets caught in the ropes.

Nia returns to the ring, kicking the fallen Asuka in the back while recently victorious champion Alexa Bliss watches from the back, glancing at the monitor and viewing Nia’s resuming dominance. Nia presses her boot against the back of Asuka amid a stretch hold, then connecting after doing that bit of work with a backbreaker. Asuka tries to get herself up in a corner but ends up being crushed against it courtesy of Nia, who takes advantage of a fallen Asuka away from the corner moments later, delivering an elbow drop and after flashing a grin, goes into a pin attempt on the Empress, not one to completely end her obviously as Asuka kicks out at two. Asuka tries to fire fists to either side of Nia and places her in a knee bar. Nia gets to her feet regardless of application, picking her right up off the mat with such strength, driving the front side of her body into a nearby corner. Nia sets up Asuka in a torture rack position, having Asuka struggle for some time before elbows soon force Nia to free Asuka from her grip. Asuka leaps onto Nia, applying a guillotine position, possibly trying to bring her down for the Asuka Lock. Nia powers through and sends down Asuka with a vertical suplex.

Asuka is first to strike following this, channeling her inner Daniel Bryan with Yes Kicks to Nia. Asuka strikes with a back kick then runs the ropes, only to be scooped by Nia on the way back, who suddenly floors her with a samoan drop. She attempts to continue her momentum with a leg drop, but it misses Asuka, who gets herself off the mat who strikes with a sliding dropkick. Asuka springs into a cover and gets a near fall on Nia. Asuka hits a kick, soon having a spinning back fist blocked by Nia. The second one connects, as does a roundhouse that brings Nia to one knee. Nia screeches at the Empress, who recreates their Takeover finish with shining wizards, only this time not taking out Nia as the Irresistible force kicks out of her pin attempt at two.

Asuka heads to the top rope, but Nia soon meets her, hitting her with a forearm. Asuka slaps at Nia who puts out her steam with a headbutt, then going to the second rope and teasing a high up Samoan drop. Unfortunately for Nia, it doesn’t go that way as Asuka gets free and hooks Nia, looking for a possible powerbomb. Nia fights her off with punches to the head, stopping her attempt and keeping Nia on the ropes in turn. Nia attempts to drop herself atop Asuka from the middle rope but misses Asuka, who temporarily clambered to the apron. Asuka kicks Nia from between the ropes and heads back to the ring, running the ropes and prepping the next assault only to be clobbered by Nia at full force. Nia goes for her rolling senton, only just getting the lower half of Asuka’s leg. Asuka gets to the corner where Nia tries to attack her, but evades in good time, leading to Nia getting caught between the turnbuckles. Asuka waits for Nia to stumble back then gets her in her finishing armbar. However Nia isn’t looking to give in and picks Asuka up off the mat and drives her back first into a different corner from before. Nia picks up Asuka, yelling in her face while indicating intentions to be a part of WrestleMania. She looks to finish Asuka, setting up for a powerbomb but Asuka rolls Nia over, pinning the powerhouse. Asuka wins the match, asserting dominance in time for WrestleMania.

However Nia’s clear fury at Asuka ascending to WrestleMania is shown post match as she unleashes a brutal assault on the victorious opposer. She doesn’t take Asuka’s offense and completely brutalizes her, and like she did to Alicia Fox early in her main roster career, she puts an already beat up Asuka through the barricade. Alexa is shown watching the events that have taken place, and while shown earlier to be saddened at the defeat Nia has faced, she very much enjoys Nia unleashing on Asuka.

And lastly, the final hour sees the announced contract signing for Ronda Rousey, as the once UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion officially signs to be a part of the WWE Roster. Non shockingly a part of the signing are the two people that played into Ronda’s first ever WWE appearance at WrestleMania 31 is Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, with RAWs General Manager Kurt Angle also additionally contributing. The Authoritative duo of Hunter and Steph welcome Rousey to the WWE ring for her moment, also giving her a chance to speak on finally being a part of the WWE Roster. However as the signing tries to get underway, she notices possible issues with Angle and Hunter. Angle plays it off like hes just in awe of Ronda being here, before suddenly p***ing off Hunter with revelations of what he and his wife truly said about her, how they will own her within a few years. Things eventually get heated between Hunter and Angle, but before Angle can be fully dismissed, he also reveals how Stephanie claimed she could take Ronda in a WWE ring. Stephanie tries to play it off like lies but has to watch instead as Ronda, after showing to be clearly infuriated at Hunter coming between them, puts Hunter through a table. Stephanie slaps Ronda for her actions but gets to escape before Ronda can punish her for those very actions.

(Paige on the Elimination Chamber Kickoff Show 16.34 – 19.58)

(Mickie James vs Sonya Deville vs Mandy Rose vs Bayley vs Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss; Elimination Chamber Match for the RAW Women’s Championship)

(Titus O Neil and Apollo w/ Dana Brooke vs Cesaro and Sheamus; RAW Tag Team Championship Match)

(Nia Jax vs Asuka)

(Ronda Rousey, Kurt Angle, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H Segment)

(Stephanie McMahon on RAW Talk)

Thoughts On:
Womens Chamber Match: On first watch it delivered. On the second it delivered. The women truly capitalized on the moment given to them, with the extra pressure of being the opener and made a quality, memorable match, whether its Mickie paying homage to her match with Victoria with the high up senton, Sonya and Mandys brutalizing teamwork, Mickies hurricanrana off the chain wall, Sasha’s betrayal of Bayley followed by Bayleys channeled ferocity and the Twisted Bliss off the Pod to Sasha Banks. Overall im happy with Alexa retaining if it means getting Nia going forward, though looking at what went down on RAW, that may sadly not be the case but holding out for hope. Alexa’s post match promo was fantastic as well. Its like she either had it crafted out to draw emotion and deliberately swerve or she legit realized she broke kayfabe at the moment. Safe to say she had fans and superstars alike thinking she was going babyface for a moment. Another defining moment in showing that Alexa can work her character to complete perfection. Also props to whoever executed the camera work during Sasha’s betrayal of Bayley. Just the zoom in on her quickly switched expressions, how dark and evil it looked when she stomped on Bayley and sent her to the floor, and yes Ember, it does resemble Scars betrayal of Mufasa. And Damn, as a fan, i was drawn by Sonya’s reaction to Mandy being eliminated. While we know its because she knew she was down to being the remaining Absolution member and that the heel was at a disadvantage because of it that the babyfaces can capitalize on, the look on her face had me sold. I Truly wish Absolution had gone a lot further and Mickie’s elimination was debatable, but honestly, we have to give props to Sonya and Mandy for taking the spots they did when they are still early in their main roster careers, and because this is also their second ever PPV match. Everyone involved in this match should be proud.

Nia/Asuka: This is another match i have high praise for, not only because the powerhouse Nia came across evenly matched and even more powerful than Asuka at times by seemingly having a counter for everything, but because they didn’t wreck the match with the anti climatic shining wizard finish from Takeover, rather letting Nia kick out of it in what felt like a representation of her evolution and the resilience she was willing to hold onto to get towards that WrestleMania moment. The splatting of Asuka’s mask while Nia made her way to the ring really sold to me how much Nia wanted to destroy Asuka, how much she would do just to go to WrestleMania, even if it means wrecking Asuka entirely. It helped add to that big fight feel her entrance also gave off. As for Asuka winning, it couldn’t be ruled out. Thats how its going to be for a long time and if shes taking off to Smackdown (HURRY UP AND CASH IN MELLA) lets hope something allows for Nia to push and push for that showdown with Alexa that even Alexa has said before shes wanted.

Ronda debut: The segment was a little iffy at first, but regardless it was a nice set up. Theres no way Ronda signing a contract and being nice, kind and gentle towards those who got in her face at Mania 31 would happen or it would be highly confusing. At least they actually acknowledged WrestleMania 31 because technically thats where Ronda first graced the WWE ring that shes always longed for being in. That would reportedly lead to the feud being resumed a year or two down the line, with conflicts due to her allegiance to UFC and contractual status. As for the criticism of Ronda’s promo work, it hasn’t been that strong at UFC either but it was Ronda’s first time so im going to lay off on trying to be a critic because i felt like she was just taking in and soaking in the moment of finally being in the WWE and to be honest, let her. Not everyone gets to accomplish that. Ive been behind Ronda every time Ive watched her in UFC and while i fear for some of the girls pushes, her saying that she wants to make her way like everyone else gives a breather and plus shes giving the time to training. Though the initial reactions to her being hyped over everything the women did in the Royal Rumble, i completely understood. Right now She isn’t being instantly propelled and though her going straight to WrestleMania is questionable to some, shes surely looked at by WWE as one of the performers drawing eyes and money for that show. From the segment, it looks like Angle and Rousey are set to work against Stephanie and Hunter and i can see why in case Ronda still has weaknesses in ring wise to be worked on by then, thus the men take up time to not expose such. However there could be the chance that they may work towards Hunter maybe removing Angle from TV, leading to a different partner reveal but then i wonder why Kurt would be off TV so….maybe not. Either way right now im sold on each of Ronda’s segments, wondering what could take place, watching a fellow wrestling fan evolve into a performer. Plus its not like we get to see Stephanie wrestle every year either and her feud with Brie, also with Hunters involvement, was great. As long as the Authority don’t pull a Shane and Daniel Bryan and take up the show with multiple segments when just one or two should be effective enough to promote whats coming. Also, as long as she doesn’t take Embers possible chance of ending Asuka’s streak upon her call up. I’m ready for this feud. Honestly.

– Catherine


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