Welcome to RAW RECAP presented by THE REVELLEUTION! The Elimination Chamber event is in the history books, and sadly the WWE decided to quietly remove Asuka and the Raw Women’s Championship from the show completely without any replacement. Meanwhile the Women’s Tag Team Championships were successfully defended with Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler retaining over the Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair. So with WrestleMania just weeks away, will we see clarity about championship plans? Let’s get into it, and find out…
SARAH SCHREIBER handled interview duties.
RECKONING was finally back as a part of Retribution as Mace & T-Barr lost to The New Day.
Non-Title Women’s Tag Team Match
Women’s Tag Team Champions NIA JAX & SHAYNA BASZLER defeated Raw Women’s Champion ASUKA & CHARLOTTE FLAIR
The announcers all too casually explained why the Raw Women’s Title match was pulled from the Chamber event during Asuka’s entrance. Asuka and Baszler started off with wristlock exchanges. Asuka looked for an Octopus hold but Baszler countered into a Stretch Muffler. Asuka brought Baszler to her corner but it seemed Flair was slow to want to tag in. Baszler escaped to tag Jax in as Flair soon hit a round of chops, then hitting an Exploder on Baszler when she same in. A Dropkick by Flair sent Jax out, and a Hip Attack by Asuka sent Baszler down from the apron.
Back from commerical Asuka was getting roughed up as Baszler hit some stomps then a kick to the back before doing joint manipulation. Baszler tagged out but hit the Arm Stomp before Jax pulled Asuka’s arm onto the ropes. Baszler was tagged back in, focusing on the hurt arm but a second Arm Stomp missed as Asuka got a kick in and tagged out. Flair taking Baszler to the corner for stomps but a corner Splash missed as Baszler got kicks to the leg in. Jax was tagged but Flair escaped from a Double Team Suplex. Taking Baszler out with a Queen’s Boot on the apron, but going for one on Jax she countered into a Powerbomb for a nearfall.
After a rest hold, Baszler was tagged as she went for a Kimura Lock but Flair countered into a pinhold for a brief 1 count. Jax back in but Flair countered a whip as she knocked Baszler down. Flair went for a spot to use a Sunset Flip to send Jax into the corner but the women were too far away from the turnbuckles so Jax just rolled out. Baszler was tagged in and knocked Asuka off the apron, but got taken down into a Figure Four by Flair. Jax snuck in and hit a Legdrop to Flair while she had the hold applied.
Asuka got a tag and hit a Missle Dropkick to Baszler, and the momentum sent Baszler into her corner for a tag. Asuka kept control, hitting Hip Attacks to both women, avoiding a charge that sent Jax hitting a Splash to Baszler, then Asuka hit the Double Knee Facecrusher to Jax. The Shining Wizard got a two count, but Baszler hit a wild kick to break it up that seemingly knocked Asuka loopy. Flair appeared and hit a Quuen’s Boot to Asuka by mistake. In the chaos of Baszler sending Flair out Jax hit her Legdrop to Asuka to steal a win over the Raw Women’s Champion. After the match Asuka swatted Flair’s hand away, and rather heel-like Flair just stormed off.
Backstage Charlotte Flair ranted to her father Ric Flair about her recent drama.
A hype video announced that former NXT and NXT UK Women’s Champion RHEA RIPLEY would soon be coming to Raw.
Women’s Tag Team Match
LANA & NAOMI defeated DANA BROOKE & MANDY ROSE
None of the women got entrances. Naomi and Brooke started off with Naomi getting stomps then a quick tag as Lana did a corner Headscissors counter. Before hitting a botched Running Facebuster as she jumped too high with the move for a two count. Baszler and Jax were seen watching the match from backstage as Brooke dragged Lana back for Rose to tag in. A Body Slam by Brooke set up a Running Knee by Rose for a two count. Rose worked Lana over with stomps, Brooke tagged in for a Handspring Elbow.
Rose was tagged in but Lana escaped a Slam attempt. Eventually tagging in Naomi while held by the arm, and using being whipped to drive her shoulder into Brooke’s stomach. Lana and Naomi then hit a Double Team X-Factor to get the win for Naomi over Rose in a very short match.
The Asuka/Flair versus Baszler/Jax match was scrappy at parts and not in a good way, but eventually served its purpose. I think clear seeds are being planted for the expected Flair against Asuka match at WrestleMania now that the Evans feud has been brought to a sudden end. It’s a shame on one hand since we’ve seen this before, and it does nothing against the clear pro-Flair bias the WWE has especially around WrestleMania season. But no one else has been built as a credible challenger, so I suppose the WWE has little choice right now. The other women’s tag match was Divas-era short but at least the WWE remembers who actual has a tag title shot. And finally we see where Rhea Ripley is headed to now after not seeing her again since the Royal Rumble. Ripley could be the shot in the arm that the singles division needs on Raw for some new excitement.