WWE RAW RESULTS: Steps to Be Made to Summerslam, But More So….Evolution (July, 23rd 2018)

Welcome all to this weeks RAW report, and there is a Lot….and i mean…A LOT….to talk about. Just days before this episode even sprang up onto our TV screens, news broke that Stephanie McMahon was set to make a “historic announcement” and ironically around the same time that rumors swirled that an all women’s PPV was coming. Regardless, we get to find out what Steph (and the fellow McMahon’s) announcement is, along with not ONE, not TWO, but THREE women’s matches to add.

RAW kicks off with the whole roster on the stage, Vince McMahon back for the first time in a while to welcome out his daughter and Son in Law as part of the sure to be huge announcement. Out come Stephanie and Triple H, who take turns in buttering up ahead of the announcement then allowing the women on the stage, including Nikki Cross who has been working with the Smackdown Crew quite a few times as of late, to step forward. It is announced that on October 28th, history is to be made again, as there will be an All Women’s PPV, titled WWE Evolution, featuring 50 Women, including the women of RAW and Smackdown Live. The first time event will stream on the WWE Network, and even WWE Legends Beth Phoenix, Lita and Trish Stratus will be taking part in some form. Overcome with emotion over getting such an opportunity, the women of RAW and Smackdown Live, minus Charlotte who has yet to return to Television and Maria who is well on her way to working in the WWEs Performance Center, embrace one another in the closure of the massive announcement.

From there, the next topic to go to is the first of three women’s matches to be happening on RAW this week. Sasha Banks and Bayley have officially patched things up coming out of Sasha’s confession of care towards Bayley last week. The two watch back a recap of their last segment and encounter together before being interrupted in the back by Charly Caruso, who reflects on the tumultuous past few months the renewed team have had. She asks Bayley and Sasha if they are ready to show that they can overcome their differences. Bayley eyes Sasha and says they’ve had a talk, and they’ve come to realize that their differences is actually what makes them so much stronger. Sasha admits they are two very different people but they are those two very different people, but with the same dream. Their dreams have only got bigger with Stephanie announcing that WWE Evolution will be the first all Women’s Pay Per View. With that announcement out, she feels they are more than ready to be on the same page. Bayley is gushy as she reflects on hearing what Sasha felt last week, and Sasha is happy to know Bayley feels the same towards her. Bayley wants them to go out and compete, and thats exactly where they go.

Nonetheless its to the tag team match that sees Bayley and Sasha pitted against local talent, those being Moxy Mollie and Jaylee of Ohio Valley Wrestling. Sasha and Bayley get full entrances for the showdown while the enhancement are expected to already be in the ring, and are.

Bayley starts off against Moxie. The two lock up, with Bayley winning in terms of strength as she gets Moxie into a corner. Bayley releases herself from Moxie, then avoiding a clothesline attempt from the foe. Bayley elevates Moxie and drops her head first on the top turnbuckle. After striking with a back elbow to Moxie, Bayley, without hesitation, tags in Sasha Banks. Sasha double knees Moxie against the same corner, then working on her left arm out of the corner. Sasha starts to twist over, looking to execute the next move, but she is swung to the mat by Moxie. Moxie hits a single shoulder tackle to Sasha against the heels corner, tagging Jaylee in after. The 2x and current OVW Women’s Champion chokes Sasha against the corner using her foot, taking a forearm from Sasha moments later as does Moxie. Jaylee goes for a boot to try and get retribution, but Sasha blocks. Sasha leads Jaylee out of the corner, then striking with a high knee. After sending her towards the babyface corner, Sasha tags in Bayley. Bayley only does a clothesline before allowing Sasha back in. The two work in unison to aggressively send Jaylee back into the corner back first. Sasha snapmares Jaylee back out of it, and after Bayley deals a knee to Jaylee, also effectively taking Moxie off the apron, Sasha applies the Bank statement to Jaylee, making the OVW Women’s Superstar submit. Sasha and Bayley win the match.

The second women’s match is between two women whose battles go years back to the day of the Divas, as in ring veterans Mickie James and Natalya go one on one. Mickie has Alexa Bliss, the RAW Women’s Champion, for accompaniment while Nia Jax, despite being present for the opener, is weirdly kept backstage as Natalya goes up against Mickie. The match also doesn’t come without a recap of Ronda Rousey targeting both Mickie and Alexa last week, which lead to a short extension in her suspension period, though due to her ability to follow up the rules of not breaking it further, she has her RAW Women’s Title match at Summerslam against Alexa.

Natalya has control right from the beginning as she sends Mickie to the mat via a waistlock takedown. Natalya keeps the waistlock in after the takedown, though ends up releasing after taking a back elbow from her fellow veteran. Natalya comes back with a snapmare that sends Mickie to the center of the ring, stepping over her as she runs the ropes, trying to take out an intervening Alexa Bliss along the way. The distraction from the women’s champ allows for Mickie to pounce from behind. Mickie kicks Natalya, also sending her head first into the mat as well as applying a front facelock. Natalya tries to elbow out but is sent to the mat by Mickie. Mickie covers following that and gets a near fall on the former Smackdown Women’s Champion.

Mickie applies a grounded side headlock as Alexa shouts demands at Natalya to give up, but not working as she may hope. Natalya gets to escape by arm dragging Mickie, though Mickie is back up as quick as she takes Natalya and tries to lob her head first into a corner turnbuckle. Natalya performs a reversal and Mickie crashes into it instead. Natalya kicks Mickie away from the corner, then executing a Side Russian Leg Sweep after stepping out of the corner. Natalya forearms Mickie, who retaliates with a slap. Natalya gets the upper hand with a suplex, then drives Mickie into a corner, shoulder tackling her numerous times against it. Natalya gets distracted by the outside yelling by Alexa that it gives Mickie enough time to think up retaliation against her follow up attack. Mickie follows suit, as she elbows Natalya upon her charging towards her in the corner. Natalya connects with an electric chair drop to again seize control. Natalya returns to using her step over and basement dropkick combo, looking to pin Mickie seconds later. Mickie escapes at the count of two.

Natalya seeks a possible sharpshooter, but as she tries for the set up, Mickie kicks Natalya away, leading to her falling through the ropes. Natalya gets herself back up to the apron quick before a potential tough landing, shoulder tackling Mickie from between the ropes only for Alexa to then yank her by the foot. An unhappy Natalya floors Alexa with a discus clothesline, returning to the ring after staring her down. Natalya charges towards Mickie and ends up running into a high kick from Mickie, enough to take the veteran out. Mickie wins the match.

Dana Brooke is making another televised appearance this week outside of the opener, appearing alongside Apollo and Titus O Neil who take it upon themselves to fearlessly confront the Authors of Pain, who are having their own try on the mic as they are now manager-less (well done creative…). As Dana stands out to observe the male sides animosity between each other, it spills into physicality, and in a surprising twist, its Apollo and Titus who end up clearing out Akam and Rezar.

And lastly, we have the presence of Liv Morgan, working by her lonesome this time around against Ember Moon, the opponent she recently couldn’t defeat unlike Sarah Logan who pulled the shock win against the former NXT Women’s Champion last week. Speaking of Logan, she is mysteriously away from the scene this week, that being due to Kurt Angle banning the Wildling of the Riott Squad from ringside.

Ember starts on the instant with a dropkick to Morgan that knocks her into a corner. Ember back elbows Morgan against it then brings her out of the corner as she hoists her into position to take a fallaway slam, which successfully connects. Ember hits with a handspring clothesline to Morgan in a separate corner, but before anymore offense can be done, Morgan is bailing to the outside. Ember looks to dive onto Morgan, but shes already bailing back into the ring as she looks to head out. Ember takes notice of the strategy and slides back to the ring after her. Ember avoids her offense and back kicks her, also hitting her with a knee. Morgan shoves away Ember, also moving out of the way of a springboard crossbody. Morgan connects with a running enziguiri to Ember, enough to get a near fall on Ember first time. Morgan rolls Ember for a new pin attempt within seconds, and the War Goddess breaks free again.

Morgan pounds the head of Ember against the mat a number of times, also leaping onto her back amid a choke while Ember is stretched between the ropes. Morgan sends Ember back to the mat by taking her by her hair, covering again a short time later. She gets another near fall on Ember. Ember uses a jawbreaker to break out of the follow up side headlock from Morgan, then avoiding a clothesline and rolling Morgan over for another pin attempt. Morgan breaks out swiftly but doesnt get her revenge offense as Ember uses counters to take charge. Despite this, its a near fall for Ember on Morgan in her next pin attempt. Ember climbs up to the top rope, but is ambushed during her ascent by Liv. Liv kicks at Ember, also clambering to the middle rope, looking to possibly suplex Ember from there. Ember weakens Morgan with shots to the back then drops her entire body on the canvas. Ember connects with the Eclipse to Morgan a short time later, finishing off Morgan as she has with many other opponents with the very move, scoring the three count. Ember wins the match.

(Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, the Women of RAW and the Women of Smackdown Live Segment)

(Bayley and Sasha Banks Backstage Segment)

(Sasha Banks and Bayley vs Moxy Mollie and Jaylee)

(Natalya vs Mickie James w/ Alexa Bliss)

(The Authors of Pain, Titus O Neil, Apollo and Dana Brooke Segment)

(Liv Morgan vs Ember Moon)

(Ember Moon on RAW Fallout)

(Sasha Banks on RAW Fallout)

(Bayley on RAW Fallout)

(Alexa Bliss on RAW Fallout)

(Carmella on RAW Fallout)

(Becky Lynch on RAW Fallout)

Thoughts On:
Opening Segment: I Get this could have been done earlier, as every roster throughout the years has had talent, and now there’s even more with the expansion WWE has created with the NXT brand, the signings they are bringing in to all rosters and so forth. But either way, im glad this is taking place as many years ago the booking for the women was a lot more different. There was regular treatment where the girls were made to be more glorious in looks than in the in ring ability they tried to show. Throughout years, the girls would also be shafted from Pay Per Views also so just to see not only more than one women’s match per show but to see this happen overall, defines evolution. This is something that HASN’T been done by WWE. Yes its been done on the Indies and in IMPACT and im not erasing what they have done at all or how great it was for them to do it first, to provide their own all woman platform (so the “WWE fans are ignorant of IMPACTs history and the actual firsts” needs to stop). Im well aware IMPACT has done their all Knockouts PPVs, and not even just talking about the One Night Onlys either. Just because i didn’t bring it up right away doesn’t mean i aren’t acknowledging or know of such history made by them first. I was elated for them when the concept was first introduced. But This is solely about WWE and the girls there getting to have this, to be a part of it. Forget the PR and the “they’re trying to get ahead with the times”. Regardless of the shadiness WWE has done at times, and the worry that some might not be treated as equally as other performers on this PPV, though there should be equality as they should ALL be representing the evolution of women in ring wise in WWE, its completely OK to be happy for this moment and for all the young female viewers to look at this as a moment without being put down by fans or smart fans over it just to debate who did it first or because they don’t simply like the company. Well Done Girls. You ALL earned this.

Sasha/Bayley vs Moxie/Jaylee: I’m not familiar with Moxie as i am with Jaylee though i don’t get chance to view OVW as much as i tried during the Lei’D Tapa & Blossom Twins era. I feel i have to watch their matches to see how much more of a threat they are compared to the portrayal here but they were typical enhancement made to put the new BFFs Sasha and Bayley over. The victory for Sasha and Bayley is either leading to them potentially chasing the still possibly introduced women’s tag team gold or to a Sasha heel turn as she may have lured Bayley into thinking all is good between them only to actually be the heartbreaker after roping Bayley into thinking she loves and cares for her. If there’s a turn incoming, though its been debated several times now as the feud keeps taking several different and repetitive directions as well, then i wouldn’t be surprised if its short term once WWE pull the trigger on potentially introducing new tag team titles, forcing Sasha and Bayley to be a part of it because they feel they solely have to be.

Mickie/Natalya: I Felt Mickie’s win was much needed here. I Cant remember the last time she got a singles win on RAW (someone might wanna fill me in…) though Natalya did get a win on RAW recently herself (that wasn’t capitalized on sadly). Though i may be wrong, i feel the win was to capitalize on the PPV announcement, as Mickie was acknowledged as a multi time champion and (definite) trailblazer in this match, meaning they could be finally taking her role seriously, and not as enhancement but as equal a threat as any other woman on the roster. Im not getting my hopes up though as Mickie and Natalya are vulnerable to eating plenty losses in the future, and there’s a likeliness that Mickie competing this week is to keep Alexa out of the ring and safe till Summerslam for the match WWE are wanting much between her and Ronda.

Ember/Liv: I Preferred their last two matches though this one was good as well. Through looking back at the opening segment, it appears Sarah was definitely in attendance and as noted in the match itself, Logan was banned from ringside so she will have a definite later presence from next week onwards to carry on the feud, also being the main threat to Ember right now due to her sudden win last week. Once Ruby is clear, there’s no way they cant have anything creatively for her as she should run right back into the mix and avenge her comrades if she isn’t turning on them instead (or the members or one of them on Ruby). Hopefully she is back soon because i can see the audience getting bored of matches being repeated no matter how good Ember, Liv and Sarah are. Heck, if need be, add new babyfaces to RAWs division by introducing Embers fellow “Goddesses of War” to combat the Riott Squad at a future PPV. Not sure who i’d pick though?

– Catherine

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