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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It is not hyperbole to suggest that RAW is screwing up with their women’s division. Look no further than Extreme Rules, which featured exactly one women’s match over the course of a three-hour show. Not only that, but it was tied for the shortest affair on the entire card according to Kate Foray’s RAW Breakdown Project: Alexa Bliss and Bayley, in one of the few Extreme Rule matches with extreme rules attached, took up just six percent of the in-ring time of RAW’s June pay-per-view.
To make matters worse, this was a championship match getting out here getting cooldown time, and the match it was tied with was the other one with women (plural!) in it.
Yes, Maryse played a key role in Miz’s victory over Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship, and Alicia Fox’s and Sasha Banks’ roles in the mixed tag match were welcome. Overall, though, this was, as usual, a WWE affair dominated by the presence of men, with the mixed tag and RAW Women’s Championship match combining for the same length of time as the RAW Tag Team Championship match did by itself.
This isn’t an Extreme Rules-only problem. RAW briefly teased additional stories after Alexa initially won the belt from Bayley at Payback, but instead, they forgot entirely about the promising Nia Jax angle to the point that Jax tweeted about SmackDown’s superiority with utilizing their women. Emma and Dana Brooke had an angle going until Emma suffered an injury, but rather than fill the void that created with more women, RAW doubled down on the disappearance of Jax by making Brooke invisible, too.
It’s not that SmackDown is the perfect show for women’s wrestling by any stretch, but RAW somehow can’t find more than minutes at a time for its women despite having a weekly three-hour show, plus a one-hour WWE Network show, 205 Live, attached to it — that’s where Alicia Fox has been living for months now, and it’s where Sasha Banks had to go to find a story. This desperately needs to change: start adding depth, flesh out the women’s division(s), and start giving them the time you seem to have such a difficulty filling with intriguing men’s stories.
- Also, release Summer Rae from whatever prison you’ve locked her up in.
- Cesaro and Sheamus escaped the steel cage seconds before Matt Hardy pulled brother Jeff out of the cage, giving them the RAW Tag Team Championships. The match itself was wrestled fine, but man, someone in WWE creative needs to watch some old-school cage matches to make these feel like real events again.
- The Hardys, by the way, might have a chance in direction following this loss, assuming Monday’s Rumor Roundup has anything to say about it.
- Neville submitted Austin Aries in what was a good match to retain the Cruiserweight strap, minus the whole Austin Aries’ knee that was worked over the whole time not factoring into the finish thing that Geno Mrosko pointed out.
- Neville, by the way, has a tremendous promo on being a cruiserweight in a land full of giants.
- Samoa Joe is the one who won the rights to face Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire, a pay-per-view name I am super excited about typing for the next month.
- I’m not kidding, I laugh every single time.
- The video for the event is actually pretty cool, though, with the old-school vibe the name elicits. Also, though, the logo for Great Balls of Fire kind of looks like it has a dong in it.
- Here’s Geno’s full recap of the event, which he had some real problems with. I’m with him on most of it in my own recap, except for on Miz/Ambrose, which I actually thought was super consistent with how Miz operates as a heel.
- Baltimore Orioles’ star Adam Jones cosplayed as Virgil at Extreme Rules since the show was in town.
- Luke Harper confirmed losing in your home town is a thing wrestlers worry about, and that it blows.
- Brian Kendrick is disappointed with a mentality in today’s wrestlers, but don’t worry, this isn’t a “Brian Kendrick thinks millenials are killing wrestling” take.
- Jamie Keyes, who participated in season 3 of NXT as the competitor for the Bella Twins, has announced her pregnancy.
- Miz’s Intercontinental Championship reign is his seventh, putting him two behind all-time leader Chris Jericho. Think he’ll pass ole Y2J?