WWE RAW RESULTS: Personal Animosity Begins to Heighten on the Road to the Grandest Stage (March, 12th 2018)

Welcome all to the Post WWE Fast Lane RAW Report, and there’s no more pit stops officially PPV wise on the Road to WrestleMania. The 34th WrestleMania spectacle is under a month away and as of last night, is currently featuring three women’s matches with a fourth one easily birthing. Speaking of plentiful action, we got exactly that last night with three women’s matches and multiple segments, including one that sprouted anger like no other in Nia Jax!

The first women’s related moment belongs to Absolution and Sasha Banks, as the women follow an insane opener featuring Roman Reigns and Vince McMahon. Sasha Banks is battling Sonya Deville on this weeks show, with the accompaniment of a more distrusting, less happy Bayley. Their friendship is very clearly on the rocks, a complete opposite of the bond shared between the members of Absolution. This is further backed up by a mid entrance recap that reminds us of Bayley rejecting a hug from Sasha Banks following a victory over Mandy Rose last week.

Sonya is all swift to start things off, speeding over to Sasha and attempting a clothesline that misses. Sasha fights Sonya with forearms, flying over Sonya’s bent body following an irish whip reversal and rolling the Absolution member over for her early and first pin attempt, which ends in a one count. Sonya charges back to Sasha but Sasha blocks and tries to set up a backslide. This doesn’t work out so Sasha appears to attempt an armbar but Sonya manages to send Sasha away. Sonya appears somewhat shocked at Sasha thwarting her with speed occasionally but regroups and resumes action. However there’s no momentum just yet on Sonya’s side as she ends up being one upped by several dropkicks from Sasha. This leads to Sasha getting a second one count on Sonya. Sonya knocks Sasha with a forearm, but not hard enough as Sasha keeps composure and throws one back at her. Sasha chucks Sonya through the ropes and sends her down to the ringside floor, where shes flanked by her fellow Absolution members. Mandy and Paige take it upon themselves to check up on Sonya as we go to the one commercial break of the match.

When we return, its Sonya instead holding some momentum, having Sasha struggle within a bodyscissor. It turns out the reverse in momentum came about amid the commercial break when Sonya dropped all of Sasha’s body near to the ropes onto the mat, also dealing a driving knee to the already targeted competitor. Sasha gets Sonya’s shoulders to the mat for a counter pin attempt, getting a count of two and upon result, she breaks free of Sonya. However she isn’t regaining momentum just yet as shes slammed moments later to the mat by Sonya, getting Sonya a near fall on Sasha. An angry Sonya proceeds to send Sasha head first into a corner turnbuckle, also tackling her against the same corner a few times. After a single knee, Sonya follows Sasha out of the corner, sending her down with a kick following Sasha’s axe handle attempts. Sonya re-applies the bodyscissor to Sasha, grounding her to the mat amid the attempt. Sasha channels some strength to lift Sonya off the mat, also managing to move her towards a corner, ramming her back first against it. Sonya stays gripped up until Sasha sends her over her shoulder, but before Sasha can do anymore, another big knee from Sonya takes her down. Sonya runs the ropes and floors Sasha once more with a sliding knee, but cant seem to put away the former RAW Women’s Champion just yet as Banks kicks out at two again.

Sonya gets Sasha back in an earlier corner, resuming the use of her earlier shoulder tackles. Sonya then misses a corner attack when Sasha dashes out of the way, though Sonya manages to get herself back up and make steps towards Sasha. Sasha sees Sonya coming and hits her with a kick, then a double boot before moving away from the new corner to avoid another corner assault from Sonya. Sasha uses kicks to keep Sonya away again before returning to the ring, scaling the nearby turnbuckles. Sasha connects with elevated double knees, though again only enough to get a near fall. Mandy makes a dash to the apron, getting in the face of Sasha, though Bayley, rather confusingly, is quick to aid Sasha, bringing Mandy to the floor. Back in the ring, Sasha evades a charging Sonya then connects with the Backstabber, transitioning moments later into the Bank Statement to submit the competing member of Absolution. Sasha wins the match.

But she isn’t joined by Bayley, who has bailed well before celebrations can begin. With Sasha alone, its an easy chance for Absolution to strike and get the post match revenge, which the duo do by the commands of Paige. Following a brutal beat down, a smiling Paige raises the hands of the fellow heels and Absolution stand tall despite defeat.

Sometime later, we get to hear from Asuka about her decision to move to the Smackdown Brand per her challenge made to Charlotte at Fast Lane, to face the Genetically Superior competitor for the Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania. The Undefeated Empress, and the winner of the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble, doesn’t even get to utter a full sentence as shes interrupted by the mocking duo of Mickie James and RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. Asuka is mocked over her lack of English, though Alexa can respect Asuka over choosing to face Charlotte over her, looking at Charlotte as the easier champion to defeat. She further views Charlotte as the champion of the B Show, but Asuka is quick to remind her why she picked Charlotte, because to be the woman you’ve got to beat the woman. Asuka also hasn’t forgotten the past clash with Bliss, and would easily beat her again. Alexa avoids the chance to face Asuka, seemingly commanding for Nia to come out. Nia doesn’t and instead Mickie sneak attacks Asuka to begin a match between the two.

The match had actually begun during the commercial break between Mickie and Asuka, and once we resume airing, we see Mickie having control over Asuka, dealing several kicks to Asuka in a corner as Bliss looks on. Following this, the veteran Mickie snapmares Asuka out of the corner and goes into the first pin attempt, only getting a one count on the Empress. Mickie isn’t taking kindly to the first result, going immediately into a new pin that only ends the same way. Mickie lethally forearms Asuka, lodging her knee into the back of Asuka before resuming viciousness. Mickie pounds the back of Asuka, staying upright despite a sliding kick after and hitting Asuka with a kick of her own. Asuka makes a comeback with some elbows before getting caught in a whip reversal. Mickie goes for a forearm but misses as Asuka ducks, thwarting her with the rear view in the middle of the ring after running the ropes. Asuka hits one knee after another then takes to the ropes, but upon sprinting back, she has to watch Mickie instead bail from the ring. The former WWE Women’s Champion is getting checked on by Bliss when shes suddenly taken down by a kick from the reemerging Asuka on the apron. Asuka sends Mickie back in the ring but its not long before Mickie is bailing again.

Asuka takes herself outside in pursuit of Mickie, who has attempted to climb the barricade. She seizes Mickie, taking her away from the barricade and lobbing her head first into the LED apron board. Asuka goes for a kick to Mickie as she rests against it but Mickie avoids and Asuka ends up kicking the ring post, damaging the used leg. While writhing in pain for a while, Asuka manages to make it back to the ring after the count of seven but is immediately ambushed by Mickie. Mickie stretches and targets the right leg of Asuka continuously, even on the outside. She returns to the ring after smashing Asuka’s leg against the ring post but doesnt get to pin Asuka, but does get to continue damaging the hurt right leg. After doing more damage, Mickie goes for the ending DDT but gets rolled into a possible Asuka Lock transition that Mickie counters into a pin attempt, but only enough to get her a near fall.

Mickie goes for a forearm but Asuka avoids it, coming back with a kick. This floors Mickie but Asuka is also struggling to get over to Mickie, clenching the hurt leg. She manages to get herself up regardless in the midst of a forearm exchange. Asuka gets the upper hand as she switches to back fists, also hitting Mickie in a nearby corner with a running hip attack. Asuka tries to take Mickie out of the corner but gets shoved away. Mickie charges at Asuka but ends up becoming the target of a elevated knee. Asuka covers Mickie following this and gets a near fall.

Asuka goes for a roundhouse but Mickie avoids it, tripping Asuka to the mat afterward. Mickie takes control with a flapjack then makes her way towards the top rope, likely for her seated senton. Asuka gets herself up and attempts to join Mickie there. Mickie thwarts the offense thrown by Asuka with her own then connects with a sunset flip powerbomb, though still only enough to get a two count on Asuka. Mickie is left fuming, yelling and she wont stand for that result, going into a new pin attempt seconds later and again failing to put away the Empress of Tomorrow. A Fuming Mickie pounds Asuka with forearms then readies the Mick Kick, though it ends up not connecting as Asuka dodges it and ends up bringing Mickie in for the transition into the Asuka Lock, eventually making the veteran tap out. Asuka wins the match.

Alexa storms to the back and finds Nia, wondering why she never showed when on call. Nia informs Alexa that she was told by Kurt Angle, RAWs General Manager, to remain in the back as she has a match tonight. Alexa wanted Nia out there because she knows how much she wants to redeem herself against Asuka. She was there for her last week because she loves her and Nia returns those feelings of friendship. With that said, Alexa wants assurance that Nia will be at her side next week for she has Asuka in singles competition.

Nia heads out, competing in a match against local talent Joan King, otherwise known as Shayla Hyde (who i follow on Twitter, so shout-out to Shayla! Congratulations on your first RAW Appearance!!!). Upon the bell ringing, Nia blocks Shayla from moving any way she can, then shoving her to a corner after blocking a forearm. After crushing her against the corner, she sends Shayla out of it then after the execution of an elbow drop, she leaves her laying via a Samoan drop. Decimation is complete and the road to retribution has begun for Nia as she pins Shayla. Nia wins the match.

However what happens next is sure to delve into Nia personally just like last week. Alexa and Mickie are making demeaning comments about Nia backstage, unaware the conversation is being broadcast around the entire arena through the use of the nearby microphone. Mickie and Alexa dart out of the arena upon being informed over this by Charly Caruso, and Nia has heard every word, and runs backstage in search of Alexa, ready to destroy her. Unfortunately Alexa and her fellow heel Mickie have already left before Nia can get revenge over the personal jabs and is left screaming, heartbroken and overwhelmed.

And last but not least, a third women’s related match is now on the card for WrestleMania 34, in the form of the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, which will feature unannounced stars from NXT, Smackdown and Monday Night RAW. Could’ve picked a better woman to easily pay tribute to though….

(Sasha Banks w/ Bayley vs Sonya Deville w/ Paige and Mandy Rose)

(Asuka, Mickie James and Alexa Bliss Segment)

(Asuka vs Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss)

(Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss Backstage Segment; Nia Jax vs Shayla Hyde; Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, Charly Caruso and Nia Jax Backstage Segment)

(Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal Promo)

(Mandy Rose, Paige and Sonya Deville on RAW Fallout)

Thoughts On:
Sasha/Sonya: This was a good match between Sonya and Sasha, with a reminder that Sonya won the last time the two women faced off. I Would have preferred Sonya winning again as Absolution shouldn’t have to do post match attacks all the time to establish dominance, but i think the story being played up here was more so the story between Sasha and Bayley. Bayley has rejected any sign of friendship from Sasha since Elimination Chamber, and while her accompaniment and assistance may seem confusing, i have a feeling that Bayley is trying to show Sasha that she cant win on her own, thus helping her to win then leaving her to see if she can truly fend for herself with Absolution. Its not like she didn’t know what was coming with Absolution, being familiar with their tactics herself. I Would rather have them trigger one of the two going heel as soon as possible rather than them trying to show who is the better lone performer at the expense of Absolution. The question is, that while we know Sasha plays a heel fantastically, who goes heel? Logically it would be Sasha, but are we in for a swerve? Time will soon tell.

Asuka/Mickie: I Wasn’t a fan of the segment that preceded it, but the match itself was like Nia/Asuka. Always enjoyable and always a top quality performance from both, with the sunset flip powerbomb being a surprise. The result, however, was inevitable. It was a welcome touch to get Mickie vs Asuka again but now Asuka is a part of Smackdown, cant she abdicate right away so the women of RAW can focus on their storylines without suffering at the hands of the Streak?

Nia/Shayla: Again congrats to Shayla on her first WWE appearance! Also i do believe this was a squash due to how everything was structured last night in terms of trying to fit everything, but luckily we got time for the extraordinary developments post match. While i aren’t a fan of the body shaming etc, Alexa has further propelled herself as the number one heel woman on RAW at this rate and we are now transitioning away from the confident, heel monster Nia to the humanly Nia that many fans connect with, whether through what they see on Total Divas or through just being aware of her overall kind nature as a person. That being said, shes still going to be an absolutely destructive force, and is the biggest threat to Alexa’s title that Alexa has commonly evaded. Nia is getting cheers and reactions as it is. The fans will sympathize with her more while Alexa continues her aggravating bullying over the weeks and hopefully this leads to the redemption story of Nia overcoming the biggest presented bully on the women’s roster at WrestleMania and taking home a championship at last, and if thats the way they are headed, if they don’t have someone assist with weapons behind the referees back for Alexa to retain that is, then im majorly excited to see Nia become champion. Long overdue and to think, if Asuka remained on the roster, Nia being champion would be even less of a possibility. I Just hope they don’t pull a time constraints excuse to put Alexa and Nia in the women’s battle royal instead as this is one of WWEs most engaging women’s feuds right now. I’m still iffy on Mickie’s work in this feud however considering she never technically forgave Alexa for her insults during their feud, and because of the LayCool controversy many years ago, but despite that this is the one feud i want to see culminate in a happy way at WrestleMania.

– Catherine

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