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RAW’s women shined in the main event, now it’s SmackDown’s time to upstage them

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Tuesday’s Rude Awakening looks at RAW’s successful main event, and what SmackDown is up against as they host Money in the Bank v2.0.

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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.