Welcome one and all to the RAW RECAP presented by THE REVELLEUTION! The Championship picture in the WWE has dramatically changed over this past week. Sunday saw Charlotte Flair lose the NXT Women’s Championship to Io Shirai at Takeover In Your House. Before that, Bayley and Sasha Banks captured the Women’s Tag Team Championships on Smackdown from Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. How will this effect Monday Nights now? And what will happen at Backlash? Considering that the WWE had been advertising on social media that Asuka would be defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Flair this week, just days before a clash with Nia Jax. Let’s get into it, and find out…
ASUKA came to the ring, planning to face off against Charlotte Flair but no mention of the title being on the line was mentioned, despite a title match being hyped on social media. However instead of Flair, the new Women’s Tag Team Champions SASHA BANKS and BAYLEY came out instead using the dual-branded defence status of the tag straps. Bayley mocked the ‘crowd’ saying they should be thankful for their presence. Asuka had heard enough, yelling that this was her ring and wanting to start a fight. CHARLOTTE FLAIR came out, staying in heel mode and trying to dismiss the tag champs.
Except that BILLIE KAY and PEYTON ROYCE came out. The IIconics stating they would be in a Triple Threat at Backlash for the tag titles to make Backlash IIconic. After more insults, a brawl broke out as IIconics worked over Asuka then Bayley and Banks over Flair. Before Flair and Asuka dumped the (fully) heel teams out.
Non-Title Triple Threat Tag Team Match
Raw Women’s Champion ASUKA & CHARLOTTE FLAIR defeated The IIconics (BILLIE KAY & PEYTON ROYCE) & Women’s Tag Team Champions SASHA BANKS & Smackdown Women’s Champion BAYLEY
Banks and Royce started off as Royce tried to steal with a quick roll-up. Banks and Royce did a nice selection of counter work leading to duelling Dropkicks. They shoved one another before knocking Flair and Asuka off the apron. Bayley got the tag, getting a two count off a Knee Drop on Royce. Kay got a tag and used a unique counter at the corner with her legs to escape Bayley, before hitting her arm-clutch Side Suplex for a near fall.
After a bit of comedy with Kay standing on Bayley’s hand before Bayley bit Kay’s foot, Flair blind tagged herself in off of Kay. The ‘crowd’ chanted for wanting Asuka in, but Flair refused. Flair tried to work over Bayley but Bayley charged her into her team’s corner so Bayley and Banks could double team Flair. Flair managed to fight the numbers, but Asuka tagged herself in much to Flair’s anger. Asuka knocking Bayley off the apron with a Hip Attack, then mowing over Banks. Banks got a Hip Attack in the corner, then Asuka dealt with both IIconics, stunning Royce with a Roundhouse Kick before hitting a Clothesline on Royce while delivering a Bulldog to Kay at the same time!
Back from a commerical Kay took control over Asuka after a Royce distraction, hitting Eat Defeat for a botched pin as the ref refused to count shoulders not being down. Royce tagged in for a Knee Strike double team for a pin attempt that Banks broke up. Royce hitting a Gory Bomb into a Double Knee Buster to Banks, and Kay coming in to cut off Bayley with a Shades of Kay Big Boot. Flair blind tagged in and hit a Fallaway Slam on Royce. Asuka blind tagged back in so she could hit kicks on Kay but once again Flair tagged herself in. Hitting chops then a Big Boot on Asuka. When Flair mouthed off telling Asuka to watch as she went up for a Moonsault, Asuka tagged back in again, locking on the Asuka Lock on Kay for the tap out win. After the match Flair decked Asuka with a blow off the ropes, and posed with the Raw Women’s Championship.
CHARLY CARUSO and SARAH SCHREIBER handled interview duties during the show, including an interview with Flair as she bragged about her accomplishments before Asuka taunted Flair with her title before slapping her.
ZELINA VEGA was ringside as Andrade took advantage of Triple Threat Match rules to steal a pin over stablemate Angel Garza to get a US Title shot. During the match the friendship between Andrade and Garza broke down as they traded blows on the outside, leading to Vega being knocked over in the fight as she was taken to the back. Vega clearly furious, ordering her men away in a short backstage skit.
LANA would watch from backstage as her husband Lashley competed in a tag team match. When Caruso interviewed Lana, she claimed that she had been neglecting her own career and vowed to make 2020 the year of Lana.
Non-Title Singles Match
CHARLOTTE FLAIR defeated Raw Women’s Champion ASUKA
Before the match (which was the main event of Raw!) even started Sasha Banks and Bayley came out to join commentary. Asuka caught Flair between the ropes with a Knee Strike and Kick, but in the ring Flair hit shoulder tackles to the corner. Bayley taunted Flair saying she looked like garbage in the ring, and Banks taunted about Flair losing the NXT Title. Flair hit a Big Boot to Asuka, then sent Asuke over the announce table.
Flair was in control after the break before Asuka hit a Roundhouse Kick. Asuka applying the Octopus Stretch but Flair escaped, hitting a Low Dropkick for a two count. The IIconics then seen watching on from the other side of the ‘arena’ in the crowd. Flair hitting stomps to Asuka as the tag champs to exception to being reminded about their WrestleMania loss of the tag titles last year. Flair hit Knee Strikes to Asuka through the ropes, but soon after Asuka hit a Dragon Screw to Flair onto the ropes. Then a Hip Attack to Flair on the outside but Flair got back control with a Clothesline to Flair against the barricade and plexiglass.
Asuka almost snuck the win off a Small Package, and Flair looked angered when she didn’t get a win off a Clothesline. Bayley and Banks kept putting themselves over on commentary, as Asuka rallied with rapid kicks to Flair’s leg. But a Big Boot sent Asuka off the turnbuckle. The IIconics then went after Bayley and Banks with a blindside attack. Hitting their Magic Killer finisher, seemingly called ‘Fall From Grace’, onto Bayley to dump her on to the top of the announce table.
After annother commerical Flair lit up Asuka with chops and the announcers said The IIconics and Banks and Bayley were ejected. Asuka hit a Hip Attack to a kneeling Flair, and soon after countered a roll-up into an Arm Bar. Flair fighting out to strike from a mount position. A Deadlift Belly-to-Back Suplex got Flair a near fall. Soon after Asuka used momentum from a whip into the corner to move to the middle ropes and hit a Missile Dropkick. Hitting the German Suplex after then a Hip Attack followed by a round of Kicks and another Hip Attack sending Flair to the floor.
Asuka caught Flair with a Sliding Kick along the apron, but a Big Boot with both women on the apron stopped the flurry. Flair hitting a Moonsault to Asuka off the crowd barrier. Flair working over Asuka’s leg with shots to the post but Asuka pulled Flair into that post. Flair dodging a Hip Attack and hitting a Big Boot while Asuka was in the ropes, but it only got a near fall much to Flair’s rage. Asuka kicked her away out of a Figure Four attempt, and managed to counter a Spear with a knee to the face for a near fall.
Asuka went for the Asuka Lock but Flair countered for a pin attempt. Not long after, Flair finally hit a Spear but Asuka still kicked out. They traded blows before Asuka tried again for the Asuka Lock but Flair refused to go down. NIA JAX ran down and provided a distraction as Asuka took her off the apron with strikes and a Hip Attack. Asuka turned around into a Running Big Boot as Flair stole the win, but it looked like Asuke may have gotten the shoulder up just at the three count. As Flair celebrated Jax hit a Samoan Drop to Asuka while Flair just stood back and watched.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Both matches were refreshingly lengthy and of good quality. Kay could take a loss here to the singles champ and not suffer too much, and The IIconics got their heat back during the main event with the attack. Asuka was barely protected with the loss in the main event, but it does seem a case that the WWE really doesn’t know what to do with Flair other than blindly handing her wins over and over and protecting her ‘losses’ with Triple Threat rules. The experiement to try and get ratings with Flair on all brands clearly backfired and there’s been far, far too much of Flair across the WWE.
This was also another week of no Liv Morgan, no Shayna Baszler, no Natalya and no sign of Bianca Belair either. Instead, two Charlotte Flair matches. The WWE has a serious issue with relying too much on the Four Horsewomen and they need to remember how much talent outside of them that they have. The lockdown won’t last forever and when restrictions lift some women on the roster may look elsewhere for chances to actually complete. At least the WWE appears to understand that a surefire way to make sure Nia Jax doesn’t hurt someone in a match again is to not put Jax in matches to begin with. Jax against Asuka at Backlash likely won’t be pretty, but we can only hope it’s short, painless and most of all injury free.
That’s your lot for this week! Be sure to stop by in seven days time for the post-Backlash edition of the RAW RECAP! See you then!