Welcome one and all to the RAW RECAP presented by THE REVELLEUTION! We’re just days away from the Hell in a Cell event and Rhea Ripley defending the Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair. But how will Nikki Cross, who has continued to get technical wins over the title rivals, play into matters this week? And what will happen when, according to the WWE at least, Eva Marie finally returns live and in person to Raw for a match against Naomi? Let’s get into it, and find out…
Raw kicked off with ALEXA BLISS recapping Lily’s supernatural stalking of Shayna Baszler from last week. NIA JAX appeared and said Baszler had challenged Bliss to a match at Hell in a Cell which Bliss was giddy about. Jax, almost sounding babyface, complained about Bliss being changed and referencing their friendship from years back. Bliss called the idea of them having ever been friends as ‘vicious alligations’. It led to Jax challenging Bliss for a match tonight, which was accepted.
Women’s Singles Match
NIKKI CROSS defeated CHARLOTTE FLAIR by count-out
Before the match Flair was interviewed by SARAH SCHREIBER and again Flair ranted about wanting her past match removed from the record. Flair barely got a hairpull in before RHEA RIPLEY walked out, and the distraction allowed Cross to sneak a Roll-up for a one count. Cross was knocked off the apron and then Flair roughed up Cross on the floor while taunting Ripley. After a commercial Flair was in control as Ripley was sat ringside. Cross slipped down the back to counter an Exploder attempt, then turned a Tilt-a-whirl into a La Magistral pin for a near fall. A Flair Clothesline shut the momentum down. Cross tried to fight back but ate a round of Chops.
Cross tried for a Sunset Flip out the corner but Flair blocked and stomped away. Flair continued to bad mouth Ripley, and it let Cross catch a break when she was set up on top, catching Flair with a Tornado DDT. Cross tried for a Crossbody off the apron, but Flair caught her and took a little too much time parading around before hitting a Fallaway Slam. Cross scrambled quickly around the ring as Flair got in Ripley’s face, leading to Flair being counted out as Cross had barely beaten the count herself. Cross celebrated like she won a title as Ripley laughed. Flair in her fury hitting a Queen’s Boot to Cross on the floor, but trying to put Cross in the Figure Eight left Flair open to be hit by Riptide as Ripley stood tall then proudly went back up the ramp with Cross and Flair left laying.
Women’s Singles Match
PIPER NIVEN w/h EVA MARIE defeated NAOMI
The WWE pulled a classic bait and switch, having advertised Marie against Naomi before Raw, but Marie came out with the NXT UK Superstar Piper Niven (formerly known as Viper). Niven, unnamed by the announcers, demanding the match and storming in as Marie watched the from the outside. Naomi’s strikes doing nothing before Niven caught a Crossbody attempt to Slam Naomi down, following up with a big time Back Senton. Marie proudly watched on as Niven hit a Low Running Crossbody, then finishing off Naomi with the Piper Driver for the win. However after the match, Eva Marie claimed that she had won the match implying Niven had just competed on her behalf. Niven looking giddy at the win while Marie didn’t seem too thrilled to be even looking at her protoge.
An earlier today video showed DANA BROOKE and MANDY ROSE in a photoshoot but they were distracted by hearing the loud sparring that NATALYA and TAMINA were doing in the nearby training ring backstage. The Women’s Tag Team Champions claimed that Rose and Brooke were too concerned about looking good than hitting the ring. Rose fired back saying the two only had their doors open because of their last names. The two teams brawled in the training ring before referees and officials broke it up.
Non-Title Women’s Singles Match
Raw Women’s Champion RHEA RIPLEY defeated ASUKA
Asuka teased Ripley early with a vault back counter to a corner charge, before the women traded a pinhold each before Asuka hit a side kick. Asuka tried using her quickness as she avoided strikes, but a Clothesline didn’t make Ripley budge. A Headbutt by Ripley stunned Asuka but Asuka came back with the Octopus Hold. Ripley powering out only to be trapped in a Sleeper Hold before Ripley dropped back for the Backback counter and got a near fall.
Ripley hit Short-arm Clotheslines before Asuka and Ripley played a little tug of war to trying and get the momentum. It led to Asuka avoiding a wild Dropkick attempt to the corner by Ripley who rolled to the floor. Asuka tried for a kick along the apron but Ripley caught the foot, putting Asuka onto her shoulders and doing a front Electric Chair drop to send Asuka into the barricade. Back from commercial Asuka was making a comeback with a Running Dropkick, but a double footed shoved from Ripley countered a corner charge. Asuka was set up on top but countered a Superplex attempt, shoving Ripley off before hitting the Missle Dropkick.
Asuka hit the Pop-Up Knee Strike, then later the Neckbreaker Drop Clothesline. The low Hip Attack got a near fall. Ripley hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Asuka then hit a Spinning Backfist, then an impressive German Suplex to set up the Sliding Kick for a near fall. Asuka hit kicks to the chest, but hit one too many as Ripley caught her with a Cravate into Knee Strikes. Ripley countered a wheelbarrow into her Inverted Cloverleaf but Asuka slipped out, trying for the Asuka Lock but Ripley broke free. Ripley then ducked a head kick then a backfist, and hit the Riptide for the clean win.
Charlotte Flair then hit the ring, brawling with Ripley as it appeared Flair had her nose busted open during the slugging before referees and officials hit the ring to seperate the brawl. Flair broke free a couple times, and at one point Flair tried to charge the ring but got kicked off the apron as Flair seemed to be acting more insane than before with screaming and yelling.
Women’s Singles Match
ALEXA BLISS defeated NIA JAX by DQ
Bliss started with kicks then applying a Sleeper but was thrown off before Bliss got into a creeping stance then tried again for the Sleeper. Bliss sidestepped a charge, allowing her to target Jax’s leg with a Knee Drop to the leg caught in the ropes. Bliss fired off repeated strikes, only for (as usual) Jax to no sell everything and crush Bliss with a body check. Jax tossed Bliss by the head, then hit a Running Hip Attack into the corner. A Bodyslam got Jax a nearfall.
Bliss got out of a rest hold then a Clothesline shut Bliss down. Jax went for a Legdrop but Bliss sat up creepily to avoid it. Bliss tried for a DDT but was shoved off and Jax missed a corner charge as Bliss slipped through to the apron. Suddenly Reginald appeared on the apron, but he didn’t really distract as Bliss lept from the ropes for a DDT attempt but was shoved off. Bliss managing to clip Jax down and hit a version of her Sister Abigail DDT. Bliss hit for the first time in forever Twisted Bliss but before the referee could count Reginald hit the ring, pulling Bliss off the cover to cause a DQ. Because the WWE has to find ways to protect Jax of course. After the match, Bliss seemed to be hypnotising Reginald as she tilted her head with a stare to make him repeat her actions, before she fled the scene when Jax charged at her.
The WWE spoiled us with so many matches and segments! If only this could happen every week. The rumours had been swirling about Eva Marie being brought in more as a valet/manager than to actually compete, which saves us from seeing in-ring work which wasn’t anything close to stellar during her first run. Piper Niven has been a standout worker for years including in NXT UK, and is a pleasant surprise to see on Raw. One has to worry if the sports entertainments fans who only watch the ‘main roster’ will give Niven a fair shot, let alone if this story doesn’t end up devolving into something like ‘Piggie James 2.0’. We could certainly do without that. Naomi meanwhile can’t catch a break. Going from carrying Lana in a tag team that went nowhere, to now being the job fodder on Raw. TV time is TV time I guess.
The WWE didn’t need to protect Nia Jax here, and if anything having to have Reginald break the pin makes Jax look weaker. It was good to finally see Bliss competing after all the speculation about her health and being cleared. A nice sight to see Twisted Bliss hit after what felt like a lifetime. And while the excuses of ‘You just care about photoshoots’ versus ‘You’re only here because of your family name’ agruement is tired on both sides, it’s at least a little extra boost to a potential tag team feud. But shouldn’t being the tag champs be enough fuel for any storyline?
That’s your lot for this week! Be sure to stop by in seven days and we’ll have all the fallout from Hell in a Cell with the next edition of the RAW RECAP! See you then!