Welcome one and all to the RAW RECAP presented by THE REVELLEUTION! We are fast approaching the Royal Rumble event, with more female Superstars announcing they will be in the match. But there’s more drama alongside the hype, with Lacey Evans now apparently in a relationship with Charlotte Flair’s father Ric Flair. Will this put the Women’s Tag Team Championships in danger of changing hands? Plus, who will emerge the winner of a rare in-ring appearence of Alexa Bliss as she takes on Raw Women’s Champion Asuka in a non-title match? Let’s get into it, and find out…
CHARLY CARUSO tried to get comments from LACEY EVANS and Ric Flair, but she was vague with the details of what their relationship really was.
Women’s Singles Match
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion CHARLOTTE FLAIR defeated PEYTON ROYCE
Royce blindsided Flair during her entrance for a brief brawl before a commercial break. When the match started Flair charged at Royce, getting in plenty of stomps but her rage came back to bite her when Royce sidestepped a charge to send Flair into the middle turnbuckle. The two scrapped, rolling to the floor where Flair hit chops. The brawl went to the other side of the ring when Royce scurried out to the other side, only for Flair to slam a head into the table. Flair paid for going for too many chops, as Royce ducked one and Flair hit the ringpost, and then got shoved into it before Royce rolled her in for a near fall.
Flair rallied out after a resthold with a Clothesline, then in heelish mode bending Royce against the top rope. Royce used a hairpull counter for a charge to get a two count. A bit after, Flair used the vault over counter when sent into the corner, catching Royce then with a Shoulder Thrust and then torpedoing in for a roll-up for a two count. Then swinging Royce’s legs into a corner for more of a hairpull down than a Neckbreaker for a two.
Ric Flair’s music hit as he brought out Lacey Evans, wearing a Flair robe. Royce used her Roundhouse Kick and nearly stole it with a two count. Back after a commercial Ric Flair and Evans were nowhere to be seen. Charlotte Flair rallied back with a back roll pin but got sent into the corner, then returning the favour. Royce showed off her kicking ability with a Hook Kick, and soon after a Pendulum-like Kick that caught Flair over the top rope while Royce was on the apron. A Double Stomp ate nothing, and Royce was soon caught as Flair hit her Backbreaker followed by the Complete Shot to the corner combo to get Flair a two count.
Flair hit a Queen’s Boot to send Royce off the apron, and Flair yelled for Evans to come out but she was nowhere to be seen. Flair stomped at Royce when she slid back in. Flair went for the Knee Drop to the rope-hung leg but Royce snuck out, catching Flair with a wicked side-on Knee Strike. Royce hit a round of strikes including another Hook Kick and a Jumping Kick to get a near fall. Royce when for Deja Vu but Flair slipped down the back, hitting a Chop Block then targetting the knee with dropdowns. The Figure Eight soon forced Royce to tap but Flair wasn’t quick on letting go of the hold after the win to send a message to Evans.
Reckoning was not part of Retribution on the show, and her name (and why she wasn’t there) wasn’t adressed.
SARAH SCHREIBER interviewed ASUKA backstage, as Asuka didn’t know what to expect from Alexa other than her ‘dark side’.
They showed the WrestleMania date announcement video with STEPHANIE MCMAHON and SASHA BANKS.
ALEXA BLISS had her playground. Bliss bragging about the fireball she threw last week to Randy Orton. She invited Asuka who strutted out, but was instantly freaked out when Bliss told Asuka not to sit on the free swing as it wasn’t hers, and when Bliss was talking to someone who wasn’t there. Bliss announced she would be in the Royal Rumble match, and then noted she could face Asuka at WrestleMania. However Bliss didn’t take too kindly to Asuka doing her own take on Yowie Wowie or Asuka’s own brand of dancing. Bliss was breaking down as she spoke to The Fiend who wasn’t there, and eventually Asuka just left the ring freaked out when a rocking horse started moving on its own.
Women’s Singles Match
SHAYNA BASZLER w/h NIA JAX defeated MANDY ROSE w/h DANA BROOKE
Jax joined the commentary team so not even being in the corner. Rose got a Roll-up early for a one count, before Baszler got a kneeling Knee Strike to get a two count. Jax admitted she doesn’t get along with Baszler but dismissed the notion they weren’t on the same page. Baszler controlled the match with a neck hold and rough strikes. A kick to the back for Rose got a two count as Jax openly admitted that since Baszler doesn’t have her back, she had no problem eliminating her at the Rumble.
Baszler hit a version of the arm stomp, but almost lost the match yelling at Brooke as Rose used the good arm for a Roll-up for a two count. Rose ducked a boot and went into House on Fire mode with Clotheslines then a Flapjack. Rose hit strikes and stomps but Baszler hit a kick to the bad arm to stop the comeback. A joint manipulation into an arm wringer then led to the Clutch and the tapout win. Jax and Baszler bickered on the outside and for no reason, Brooke flew off the apron and hit a Dropkick to send both heels into the ringpost before the Sexy Muscle Friends retreated up the ramp.
Caruso interviewed Baszler and Jax as the heels stated that they’ve never gotten along, and Baszler stated that they should get a rematch for the tag titles. An idea that Jax didn’t seem overjoyed with.
Schreiber interviewed Charlotte Flair, as Flair ranted about how she’s been accused of living off her father’s name, but called Evans out for now living off of her and her dad’s last name. Flair didn’t comment at all about that tag title challenge.
Non-Title Women’s Singles Match
ALEXA BLISS defeated Raw Women’s & Women’s Tag Team Champion ASUKA
The women traded Wristlocks as Bliss kept smiling, before Asuka shoved off a Headlock and took Bliss down with the misdirection Shoulder Check. Bliss used a short dropdown to trip Asuka up and a Cradle pin got a two count. Bliss sat down and posed to lure Asuka in, ducking a kick and using a Roll-up for another near fall. Asuka then hit a series of strikes, leading to the Pop-Up Knee Strike and then the sliding Shining Wizard kick for a two count. Bliss was still smiling away as Asuka tried to lock on the Asuka Lock but Bliss fought it and eventually got the ropes.
When Asuka went for a Baseball Slide Bliss ducked and went back into the ring as her own version of the lights going out for The Fiend happened. When they came back on Alexa had on thick black lipstick and a black top on while the lights were all pink on the ring. Bliss stayed standing still as Asuka circled, but Bliss eventually started moving. Sinisterly dodging and blocking Asuka’s shots before levelling Asuka with one of her own. Asuka came back in and hit a Pop-up Knee Strike, but when Asuka charged Bliss was leaning back in the corner with a Fiend-like pose.
Bliss smeared her lipstick onto her fingers, and curled them looking for a Manible Claw of The Fiend. Bliss hit a KO Punch but Asuka kicked out at two. Bliss was toying with Asuka, pacing back and forth before slowly pulling Asuka up who responded with Head Kicks and Spinning Backfists. Out of nowhere Bliss hit Sister Abigail and pinned the Raw Women’s Champion. As Bliss stared out at the camera, the screen buzzed with a flashthrough of insane Bliss imagery before we cut back to ‘non-Darkside’ Bliss who grinned manically. Before she mouthed the words ‘Let Me In’ but The Fiend was the one speaking.
A lot to take in here tonight but that’s a good thing! Three matches, two of which were great and lengthy with the Rose/Baszler being shorter but fitting its purpose with the clear issues (or should I say more issues than usual) between Baszler and Jax. First although Flair got a win back despite a distraction, her match with Royce worked to continue the feud with Evans. This was a really great match showing how far Royce has come, looking good even in defeat. We will see how long they stretch out the relationship (yikes) between Ric Flair and Evans.
To be honest, as cheesy and corny as the Bliss Playground stuff and then the end part of the Asuka/Bliss match was, I loved every moment of it. It’s a natural progression for Bliss’ Fiend-controlled character and they’re taking advantage of the Thunderdome and TV editing to allow for these kind of wacky moments. Of course some will complain about Asuka taking a loss as champion while the woman who beat her is going to be in the Rumble match, but considering how badly Asuka’s been booked since the autumn of last year? This might be the kick that Asuka’s reign needs to spice things up a bit more. It certainly leaves things open for who might win the Women’s Rumble Match with another top name in the mix now.
That’s your lot for this week! Be sure to stop bny in seven days time and we’ll have all the coverage with the next edition of the RAW RECAP! See you then!