We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
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The main event of this week’s RAW was an apology of sorts for last week, when it felt as if creative had simply forgotten they had an entire division of women on the roster until they shoved all of them in one segment that took up just a tiny single-digit sliver of the show’s extra long runtime. This time around, the entire women’s division (minus those out of action due to injury and the champ) competed in a gauntlet match that saw Bayley, Mickie James, Dana Brooke, and Emma all get trucked by Nia Jax, leading to Sasha Banks coming in last and earning the victory after finding a way to lock in the Banks Statement on the division’s hoss.
Gauntlet matches can be real bad, since the normal rules are too often forgotten in favor of pushing competitors in and out of the ring in a hurry, as this particular match did to both Dana and Emma. However, the lengthy one-on-one match at the end between Sasha and Nia was the best work the latter has done in a WWE ring in a singles match, and that’s not a backhanded compliment: it was also damn good sans that kind of contextual rating, and it brought us a logical next opponent for RAW Women’s champ, Alexa Bliss.
It’s a good way to kick off a week where WWE is focusing things heavily around its women. While we’ve been over, again and again, the fact that WWE should be doing that more often, today, we’ll just look at how Monday was a good start to what should be an excellent week for women’s wrestling. RAW’s women’s division was the star on Monday, but Tuesday is bringing us the Lana vs. Naomi SmackDown Women’s Championship rematch, as well as the do-over for the first-ever women’s Money in the Bank match.
It would be real weird if SmackDown let RAW have the top women’s match of the week, given that they’ve made such a big deal of (re)doing a women’s Money in the Bank match. So, they’ve managed to build up my own optimism and excitement for it once again in the hopes they top what was an impressive Monday.
And hey, on Wednesday, we’ve got Asuka vs. Nikki Cross in a Last Man Standing match on NXT. More of all of this more often, please.
- RAW as a whole was a good show that advanced many of its angles and helped further excitement for The Great Balls of Fire Pay Per View.
- LaVar Ball somehow wasn’t the Ball with a live mic that WWE had to issue an apology for. Other than that, though, the segment worked out well in part because Miz was able to keep it from completely going off the rails.
- Braun Strowman throwing Roman Reigns into an ambulance is yet another bump/spot we have to give this pair credit for.
- Eva Marie is already teasing a return to WWE.
- Mauro Ranallo sounds excited to be NXT’s new lead commentator.
- Daniel Bryan talked a match with Cody Rhodes, and Cody Rhodes is into the idea.
- Just... be careful, Bryan.
- Sasha Banks didn’t just win the number one contender gauntlet match, she also walked the red carpet like a boss at the BET Awards.
- In Tuesday’s Rumor Roundup: Alberto El Patron and Paige both took to social media to say they’re still together.
- We’ve got the streaming schedule for the Mae Young Classic, and it was also announced that Lita would be joining Jim Ross on commentary.
- Randy Orton finally gave a more thoughtful version of his dive critique, and he made some real good points while also praising the indies.
- Torrie Wilson didn’t appear on this week’s RAW, but the former WWE performer was backstage for it.
- James Ellsworth is the living proof that WWE has a way to go with the representation of women and LGBT stories.
- 10 years after the Chris Benoit killings, David Bixenspan writes for Deadspin that pro wrestling has yet to fix itself.
- So we end on a happier note, here’s Alison Brie talking to With Spandex about the inspiration for her GLOW persona.