Welcome one and all to the RAW RECAP presented by THE REVELLEUTION! There are just weeks left in the year before we hit 2023 and the Road to WrestleMania. But with the title picture unclear for both the singles and tag team titles in the Women’s Division, will anyone step up to challenge Bianca Belair or Damage CTRL? Let’s get into it, and find out…
It was announced that a mini-tournament of sorts would be held across this and next week’s editions of Raw. Two Triple Threat Matches this week, and the winners of those bouts advance to next week to determine the Number One Contender for the Raw Women’s Championship.
RHEA RIPLEY cut a short promo with the rest of The Judgement Day beside her, vowing to win tonight and that the locker room would be calling her Mami.
Backstage a ‘JBL Poker Invitational’ was held that included TAMINA, DANA BROOKE and MIA YIM.
Women’s Triple Threat Match – Winner Advances to Number One Contendership Match
BAYLEY defeated ASUKA & RHEA RIPLEY
Before the match started BECKY LYNCH came through the crowd, taunting Bayley on the mic before coming to ring. Making a point about how it’d been years since they’d faced one on one. Bayley dismissed the statement, saying that the past didn’t matter. Claiming that Lynch only cared about the spotlight and that Bayley was the only one who really cared about the fans, which of course the crowd didn’t buy. Lynch mocked Bayley, saying that only two-thirds of Damage CTRL were successful and sarcastically wished Bayley good luck so they could finally face off next week. As Lynch left, she and Ripley shared a long, cold staredown as Ripley made her entrance.
Asuka hit a Dropkick to Bayley right off the bell before Ripley tried to steal the win off a Roll-up on Asuka and then tried the same on Bayley. Bayley was soon tossed out after taking a few shots from Ripley, before Ripley hit Asuka with a Suplex for a two count. Ripley hit shoulder Thrusts on Asuka in a corner, and Bayley tried rolling her up but Ripley blocked the attempt. Going for a stomp on Bayley but she rolled out of the way. Not long after Bayley got driven into the corner for her turn taking Shoulder Thrusts before getting dropped by a Ripley Suplex.
Ripley controlled things by giving each woman a hard Irish Whip into corners then tossing them by the head. But Asuka came back with a flurry of strikes, as her Bang Kick set up Bayley’s Low Forearm to the back, which led to Asuka nailing the Sliding Kick on Ripley. Briefly working together as both women sent Ripley into the ringpost shoulder-first. But Bayley soon reminded Asuka it was every woman for herself with a gut kick, and moments later Bayley avoided Asuka’s Hip Attack while on the apron, dropping down before pulling Asuka to the floor and sending her into the crowd barricade. But Ripley soon hit a Con Hilo off the apron to wipe both opponents out!
After a commercial break, it seemed Ripley and Bayley were working together as Asuka was held Camel Clutch style by Ripley leaving Asuka open to take a boot from Bayley. It didn’t last long as when Ripley whipped Bayley towards Asuka in the corner, Asuka sent Bayley up and over the ropes to send her down to the floor. Asuka firing off the flurry of strikes with the Spinning Backfists. Moments later, Asuka avoided a charge from Bayley, sending her towards Ripley in the corner who planted Bayley with a version of Kingdom Falls. Asuka tried using Bayley being downed a step ladder, but almost slipped, barely catching Ripley with a kick.
Asuka tried for a two for one special, but her Bulldog attempt on Ripley was shoved off so she settled for the Neck Breaker Drop on Bayley. Catching Ripley with a Codebreaker to get a two count. Asuka fired off kicks to both kneeling opponents’ chests before Bayley managed to duck one and got a near fall from a Roll-up. Asuka countered a boot from Bayley, turning it into the Ankle Lock. Bayley tried pulling on Ripley’s hair to try and get out of the hold, but Ripley just delivered a Headbutt that sent Bayley reeling back, and into Asuka’s leg-trap German Suplex.
Bayley and Ripley traded blows, but Asuka flew off the top rope to catch both women with a Double Super Codebreaker! Asuka could only get near falls off of both women though, and got another two count after hitting a Dropkick off the top rope onto Bayley. Asuka locked the Asuka Lock onto Bayley, but Ripley hit her Running Low Dropkick on both opponents to break it up, getting a two count on Asuka. Ripley hit Short-Arm Clothesline on Asuka but going for a third Asuka counted with a Flying Armbar. That hold broken up by Bayley and a Starstruck Elbow to get Bayley a near fall.
The Bayley-to-Belly was delivered to Asuka, but Ripley broke the pin up. Ripley hitting a trio of Headbutts as she hauled Bayley into them, and then hitting the Alicia Fox Suplex for a two count. Ripley ducking a Head Kick from Asuka, then planting Asuka with the Front-Drop Electric Chair to get a two count. Ripley Dropkicked Bayley off the apron, and went for a wild Con Hilo after a run to vault off the ring steps, but hit only the ringside floor as Bayley avoided it. Back in the ring Asuka countered a Bayley-to-Belly with a roll-up for a two count. Bayley took some of Asuka’s strikes but avoided one of the Backfists, charging Asuka into a corner. Swatting away a middle rope Missile Dropkick attempt before hitting the Rose Plant to pin Asuka.
After the match Ripley was furious with the outcome, attacking a lifeless Asuka and hitting her with the riptide. Ripley seemed to be favouring her arm however with a nasty bruise on her shoulder. Was that just mere selling or something more?
CATHY KELLEY interviewed BIANCA BELAIR. Nothing of importance was said.
Mia Yim accompanied The O.C. as they beat Baron Corbin and Alpha Academy.
ALEXA BLISS was seen stretching backstage and she not only had a Lily doll back with her, but a video screen in the back flashed the Uncle Howdy/Bray Wyatt video briefly.
CANDICE LERAE was interviewed as she was informed she’s be facing the other half of the Tag Team Champions Iyo Sky after beating Dakota Kai last week. It looked like NIKKI CROSS was again creeping in the background to watch Lerae from afar (just like in the past) as LeRae admitted she was a marked woman but had to send a message last week. The interview was interrupted by her husband Johnny Gargano showing off the poker money Dexter Lumis had ‘won’.
Rhea Ripley, who seemed like her arm was all fine now, accompanied Dominick Mysterio alongside the rest of The Judgement as he beat Akira Tozawa.
Women’s Triple Threat Match – Winner Advances to Number One Contendership Match
ALEXA BLISS defeated BECKY LYNCH & NIKKI CROSS
Despite being seen with a Lily doll backstage, and having it as a graphic during her entrance, Bliss didn’t come out with the doll during her entrance. Cross slammed her jacket down to the mat several times before tossing it at Lynch, trying to provoke both opponents only to take a Throat Chop from Lynch and then a Dropkick from Bliss. Lynch was able to counter a Leapfrog by Bliss, trying to go for La Magistral but Bliss countered that with a Roll-up for a two count. The women traded pin holds, leading to Lynch doing a Matrix push up and hitting a Low Kick to Bliss.
Lynch used a Baseball Slide to keep Cross out of the match, but turned around as Bliss held Lynch in the clutch for a Sistar Abigail and had a definite Fiend-era look on her face. Lynch escaped, only for Bliss to turn things into a Samson Clutch for a two count. Bliss hit her STO and then the Double Knee Drop, but before she could go for the second half of Insult to Injury Cross rushed in, hauling Bliss back by the hair to make her it a Senton of sorts onto Lynch. Cross hit corner Splashes onto both opponents but went for one too many on Bliss who avoided. Leading to Lynch using Bliss as a springboard to just about hit a Forearm shot to Cross. Lynch used the ropes to hit a Springboard Kick to Cross then Bliss, before planting Cross with a Bex-Ploder Suplex.
Bliss hit her trio of strikes, followed by the Low Dropkick but missed a Running Meteora to the corner. Lynch tried for another Springboard Kick but Bliss countered, sending Lynch over the ropes. Moments later, Cross hauled Lynch down from the apron, slamming her into the apron a few times and then into the ring steps. Bliss tried to jump off the steps for a Tornado DDT on Cross, but Cross countered with a shove into the apron and then hit her Swinging Neckbreaker onto Bliss on the floor!
After a commercial break Cross was in control of Bliss, with a long Japanese Stranglehold then hitting a version of a Regal Neckbreaker. Lynch raced back in with a Flying Shoulder Block to Cross, then a flurry of strikes leading to a Facecrusher. A back kick setting up a STO from the corner that led to the Legdrop off the middle rope for a two count. Cross blocked a Man-Handle Slam attempt but got hit with another Bex-Ploder. Bliss returned to the ring, trying for the DDT but Lynch countered with an attempt at the Dis-Arm-Her only for Bliss to escape it. Moments later Lynch sent into the ring post from the apron by Bliss thanks to a distraction by Cross.
Bliss hit the Con Hilo from the apron onto both opponents and getting a two count on Cross back in the ring. Bliss went up for Twisted Bliss but Lynch managed to block with a leg grab before moments later a Tower of Doom spot saw Lynch hitting a Powerbomb on Cross as she hit a Suplerplex on Bliss. Later, Cross hit a top rope Crossbody on Lynch but Bliss broke up the pin. Cross going to work on Bliss with Shoulder Thrusts, stomps, a corner Splash then a Bulldog out of the corner. Bliss tried to fight back, but it just led to Cross hitting a unique Crossbody onto Bliss standing against the ring apron.
Back in the ring Cross tried for ther rope-hung version of the Neckbreaker but Lynch hit a Double Legdrop from the middle rope, hitting Bliss and the momentum more slammed Cross right down than anything else as Bliss tumbled down too. Cross and Lynch fought on the apron, leading to a Man-Handle Slam to send Cross into the apron. But rolling Cross in, DAKOTA KAI and IYO SKY hit the ring, pulling Lynch out as they took advantage of the No DQ rules of the match. Damage CTRL hitting a Double Team Powerbomb to send Lynch through the announce table! Back in the ring, Bliss hit Twisted Bliss on a prone Cross to get the victory.
Two fantastic matches from the women, aside only from the minor scuffs of the ‘off the back’; spots in both bouts. What a turnaround it’s been for the women’s division on Raw to have actual time for matches and this week showed when the good workers are involved we get great TV. With Lynch being attacked to cost Lynch the win, it seems likely the favour will be returned next week to man for an obvious outcome but regardless, it should still make for a far better match than sort of ‘Kendo Stick on a Pole’ bout we saw years ago from Bliss and Bayley.
That’s your lot from this week! Be sure to stop by in seven days time for the next edition of the RAW RECAP! See you then!