This week’s Raw followed up on last week’s main event that saw Sasha Banks win the Raw Women’s Title from Charlotte. Rather than another match, we got to hear from Charlotte, who offered up an apology to her legendary father Ric Flair. It just didn’t turn out the way Ric expected.
Earlier in the show, new Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks did a backstage interview where she challenged Charlotte to an Ironman Match at Roadblock on Dec. 18. It would be a 30-minute Ironman Match, meaning the woman with the most falls in the match is the Women’s Champion. I hope it’s their last match for a while, but if Charlotte wins, then perhaps Banks gets another rematch.
If you’re wondering why they are calling it Ironman when it’s two women, that’s just the name of the match. WWE went with that name when Banks faced Bayley in an Ironman Match at a NXT Takeover event last October as well.
Throughout the show, they kept airing the clip of Charlotte verbally berating her father Ric Flair on Raw back in May. She told the wrestling legend that he wasn’t needed anymore, so that was the last time we saw Flair with her.
Last week on Raw, after Banks beat Charlotte for the Women’s Title in Charlotte, North Carolina, Ric went to the ring and raised her hand to put her over. Charlotte was crying when she saw that.
The main event segment of this week’s Raw saw Charlotte in the ring claiming she wanted to apologize for what she did. The crowd was pretty rough on her, chanting “WHAT?” at everything she said. But to her credit, she wasn’t rattled. In the past, she might have been, although not this time. She has really improved in terms of being composed in the ring when she does her promos.
If you’ve watched any WWE shows in your life, you knew what was coming. Charlotte sounded sympathetic towards her dad and called him to the ring. Ric received a nice ovation from the crowd. Charlotte greeted him with a hug that looked sincere. That’s when she turned on him with a slap to the face and called him a “son of a bi**h,” leading to major boos. Banks ran out for the save, but Charlotte beat her up easily once again. The show ended with Charlotte putting the fallen body of Banks in front of her father.
Charlotte vs. Banks is truly the feud that never ends, but that’s OK because their matches are very good.
However, a problem I have with these things is that they have completely dropped the ball with Bayley. She won with Charlotte at Survivor Series. After the match, Charlotte beat her up. Since then, Bayley has done absolutely nothing to get revenge or show any anger towards her. It makes Bayley look like a loser, which is not what WWE needs when they should be building her up. You can’t just ignore a storyline like that.
What happens at Roadblock? I think Ric turns on Banks to help Charlotte win the title back. Ric recently signed a deal to be a regular on Raw again, so that’s the best way to keep him around. In the end, blood matters more than anything.
This Week’s Raw Matches
Seth Rollins defeated Big Show by countout
Kevin Owens brought out Big Show as Rollins’ opponent, thinking he would beat up Rollins. Instead, Show was in friendly giant mode. While Show did do some power moves to Rollins, he had no interest in working with Owens and dropped him with a Chokeslam. Show walked away to lose by countout. Rollins hit Owens with a Pedigree after the match.
Show looks good because he’s at 395 pounds. It’s the lightest he has been in 20 years. He’s in his mid-40s now and is likely retiring after a WrestleMania 33 match against Shaquille O’Neal (that match is not official yet). But if he can stay in good shape, maybe he’ll stick around more. He still has some value as a veteran giant. Look for WWE to push him as a threat at the Royal Rumble like they do every year, even though he’s never won the match.
Jack Gallagher defeated Ariya Daivari
Gallagher won easily with a corner dropkick. This was done to promote the Cruiserweight division. Gallagher has a unique look and offense, but winning with a corner dropkick isn’t going to impress the bigger Raw crowd.
After the loss, Daivari did a cheap attack on Gallagher’s left leg. They’ll likely have a match on the 205 Live show on WWE Network tonight.
Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn
These two have had many great matches together (I highly recommend their Battleground 2016 match), and this was a lot of fun as well. Zayn can’t seem to win many matches, though, so that aspect of it sucks. The match was basically full of near-falls for each guy where one guy hit a move, the other kicked out and hit a move of their own to almost get the pin. After Zayn nailed an Exploder Suplex into the barricade, they went back in the ring and Owens dropped him with a Powerbomb to win the match in about 13 minutes.
A positive here is that Owens, the Universal Champion, actually won a non-title match. Champions losing non-title matches is my biggest frustration with WWE booking, so at least he won.
Rich Swann defeated T.J. Perkins
Here’s another cruiserweight match, as new Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann beat T.J. Perkins in about five minutes. Good moves by both guys, as Swann got the win with a reverse kick. This was the second match in a row where a champion won non-title. Good job, WWE!
Bayley defeated Alicia Fox
Easy win for Bayley in about three minutes. Next.
Mark Henry defeated Titus O’Neil
Easy win for Henry in less than 30 seconds. Next.
Roman Reigns defeated Chris Jericho to retain the United States Title
Best match of the night. I’m amazed at how good Jericho still is, even in his mid-40s. They had a competitive matchup full of near-falls for both guys. Reigns never wins with the Superman Punch and Jericho doesn’t win with the Lionsault, but both moves are good for making the crowd think they are going to win with those moves.
The key storyline aspect of this match saw Owens come down to the ring (even though Jericho told him not to) and hit a superkick on Reigns, which led to a Codebreaker from Jericho. It got a two-count. Jericho yelled at Owens and told him to go the back. Reigns took advantage of that to recover and hit a Spear on Jericho to win the match.
It feels like the Jericho/Owens split may happen soon. I still think they’ll get back on the same page and have Jericho help Owens retain the Universal Title against Reigns at Roadblock. There’s no need to do a title change.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. Sheamus & Cesaro ended in a disqualification
The New Day were at ringside because the winners of this match gets to face them next week for the titles. It ended in a disqualification, as all of them started brawling on the floor.
There will be a triple threat tag match on next week’s Raw. If New Day retains, they will beat Demolition’s record for longest Tag Team Title reign in WWE history. If New Day loses, then they will fall one day short of the record. Oh, the drama.
Other Key Items From Raw
1. Rusev beats up horny Enzo, thanks to Lana’s games
In this week’s episode of “WWE Babyfaces Acting Like Idiots” (I just made that up), Enzo Amore witnessed a backstage argument between married couple Rusev and his lovely wife Lana. The acting was pretty bad during the segment, as Lana took off her ring and Rusev stormed off, even though the argument was in a foreign language. So the majority of us had no idea what they were saying. Big Cass told Enzo to be careful, but Enzo decided to listen to her problems. She invited him to her hotel room.
Enzo needed a ride to the hotel. He bumped into the great Ric Flair in the parking lot, who showed up in a limo. Flair let him take the limo because the Nature Boy knows all about the hotel rooms with the ladies.
Big (Dumb) Cass was waiting in the ring for a match with Rusev. It didn’t happen because Rusev never showed up. Cass tried to call Enzo to warn him, but his mind was focused on Lana.
The scene cut to a hotel room where a camera was inside the room and in the hallway. In WWE world, performers aren’t supposed to act like the cameras are there when they are outside the ring. I wish I could explain the reason why, but that’s just how WWE is. Lana flirted with Enzo, he was in his boxers, she was in a robe and she brought in hubby Rusev to beat up Enzo. Rusev beat up Enzo pretty good, ending it by smashing a vase on his head. The scene ended with Enzo’s lifeless body in the hallway of the hotel, while Lana and Rusev put up the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. It was pretty obvious what was coming, but apparently Enzo is an idiot and had no idea.
All of this is most likely leading to a Rusev vs. Big Cass match at Roadblock. For the past few weeks, Enzo has taken beatings while Rusev and Cass haven’t locked up.
2. Emmalina is set to “Premiere” on Raw next week
For the past two months, there have been videos and photos airing about WWE women’s wrestler Emma changing her name to Emmalina. It likely means a new look of some kind for the gorgeous Australian, who has been in the company for a few years.
A serious back injury that required surgery sidelined her earlier in the year, but I’m glad she’s back and not just because she’s hot. She’s a talented in-ring performer that just needs something to gain some popularity. I’m not sure if she’ll be a face or a heel. It would make sense to book her as a heel, so that she can start a feud with Bayley and perhaps reunite with her NXT buddy Dana Brooke as well.
I’m just glad that Emma is back in the picture.
Looking Ahead To Roadblock: End of the Line
The next Raw brand pay-per-view is called “Roadblock: End of the Line.” It takes place on Dec. 18 in Pittsburgh. Here are the announced matches so far.
WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns
Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte
Chris Jericho vs. Seth Rollins
There’s one more Raw until Roadblock, so WWE will likely announce more matches next week.
It was a slightly above-average show, thanks to good matches for most of the night. Only a few of them made me want to turn off the show. There weren’t a lot of promos aside from the opener and the main event promo by Charlotte. Raw is doing a solid job of building up the main storylines on the show. I just wish some of the booking for the midcard wrestlers were better.
Next week on Raw, The New Day defends the Raw Tag Team Titles in a triple threat against Sheamus & Cesaro and Gallows & Anderson. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do Jericho & Owens vs. Rollins & Reigns as well. I’ll be back next week to sort through it all.