Welcome one and all to the RAW RECAP presented by the REVELLEUTION! With the Clash of Champions event soon coming, Asuka’s title rival for the event seems to be set with an unlikely challenger of Zelina Vega stepping up. But following a botched finish last week between Mickie James and Asuka, will Asuka have more than one potential challenger to face? And how will the Women’s Tag Team Champions respond after their upcoming opponents The Riott Squad picking up a momentum win? Let’s get into it, and find out.
NXT Superstars MIA YIM and MERCEDES MARTINEZ were shown as part of Retribution although not yet named but you could easily see who they were from their hairstyle and their masks barely covering up faces.
SARAH SCHREIBER and CHARLY CARUSO handled interview duties. This included Schreiber interviewing the Mysterio Family as it appeared AALYAH MYSTERIO will be featured more often now as she was seen bickering before one of Rey Mysterio’s rivals Murphy seemed to apologise to her backstage.
ASUKA was interviewed but was quickly interrupted by BILLIE KAY as Kay mocked how willing Asuka was to dish out matches. PEYTON ROYCE stepped up and making a challenge but Kay seemed a little taken aback by Royce cutting in. Kay claimed that just because they weren’t a tag team any more it didn’t mean they couldn’t support one another, saying she had Royce’s back. Tellingly, Royce didn’t vocally return the favour as she stepped up to Asuka, who accepted the challenge.
Number One Contendership Match for the Raw Women’s Championship
ZELINA VEGA defeated MICKIE JAMES
The recap of last week’s events glossed over the botched finish and James’ look of disgust at the finish. A pop-in promo from James correctly pointed out she didn’t tap out. Vega started off with kicks and stomped away James in the corner before choking her. Vega paid for bad mouthing as she tossed Vega down by the hair then swung her by the hair. A Sleeper attempt by Vega was countered into a Snapmare, then a Running Boot to a seated Vega for a two count.
Vega countered a Suplex into a Small Package for a near fall. Then locking in an Octopus Hold forcing James down briefly before she powered up and backed Vega into a corner. Vega got a Spingboard Boot off the bottom rope in the corner but a second one was caught. Vega trying for a Double Leg pin but the shoulders weren’t down as James countered into one of her own for two. Vega choked James on the ropes with a Crucifix Choke.
Vega tried for a Tornado DDT but James shoved her off, going into House on Fire mode with strikes leading to the Flapjack with a kip-up. The Lou Thesz Press off the top got a near fall. James went for the Mickie-DT but Vega shoved her into the middle rope to stun her. Following up with a rough looking Backstabber for the win. However the WWE announced that the Raw Women’s title match would be relegated to the Clash of Champions Kick-off show rather than the main card PPV.
BIANCA BELAIR got a hype video where she acted like she was the strongest in a gym. Just a shame she can’t, you know, get matches on the show anymore.
Briana Brandy was plucked out by Shane McMahon to interview Braun Strowman at Raw Underground.
Non-Title Women’s Tag Team Match
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER defeated NATALYA & LANA
LIV MORGAN and RUBY RIOTT were on commentary in exact shades of last week when Baszler and Jax scouted them. Natalya and Jax started off with Natalya’s strikes having little effect. Morgan had to be guided on commentary to talk as Natalya and Lana hit their doublt team combo from last week of Natalya hitting a Shoulder Thrust, setting up Lana’s high Roundhouse Kick. Lana tried for a Crucifix then the Sunset Flip but Jax just hauled her up for a Headbutt.
Baszler was tagged in and took natalya off the apron before hitting a Gutwrench Suplex, then a Knee Strike to a kneeling Lana. The Clutch was locked in for the easy win on Lana. Post-match the champions shoved their challengers down and Riott saved her partner from taking the Samoan Drop through the announce table. Jax hit it on Lana anyway.
Non-Title Singles Match
Raw Women’s Champion ASUKA defeated PEYTON ROYCE w/h BILLIE KAY by DQ
Asuka fended off with kicks and an early Roll-up, before hitting a run of signature moves of the Pop-Up Knee Strike, a corner Hip Attack, the ankle-hook German Suplex and a Sliding Kick for a near fall. A kick was caught but Asuka got a Small Package for two, but soon after Royce hit a modified Widow’s Peak for a two count much to her anger. The Asuka Lock was countered with a pinhold for two and a Royce Roundhouse Kick also got a near fall.
Royce went up top, but was caught as Spin Kick just caught Royce to take her down. Going for a submission, Asuka was sneak attacked in the ring by Vega with stomps. Asuka fending off the attack as Vega fled from a Spinning Backfist to back up the ramp.
Royce protected with the DQ loss and Vega gets the expected rush push to be the challenger with a clean win over James then attacking Asuka. Of course, it’s straggering that Asuka has gone from a major storyline and frequent main events on Raw to now defending the top prize for women on Raw on the PPV pre-show. Granted, the Clash of Champions as a gimmick show has long been pointless but when it’s supposed to be where all titles are defended and those straps being important? It’s insane to shove the woman seen as the top star of Raw down on the pre-show. As far as the tag titles go it was more of the same really from last week which is fine enough hype and doesn’t make it clear who could leave with the titles.
That’s your lot for this week. Be sure to stop by in seven days time and we’ll have all the fallout from Clash of Champions with the next edition of the RAW RECAP! See you then!