This might be the unpopular opinion, but I can’t help but agree with Charlotte Flair.
After her promo in ring to start the show, interrupting Nikki A.S.H. who had nice things to say about being the new champion and... still... almost a superhero (we’ll get to my feelings on that in a moment!), Flair said what a lot of people who aren’t into this gimmick say. The character of Nikki A.S.H. does not have the star power to carry this division.
That’s not to say she couldn’t! I truly do think that her super hero gimmick can be something great. But I’m confused about the messaging here. The messaging that essentially defines this character.
Nikki A.S.H. is a character that was born out of insecurity, and putting on the superhero outfit with the butterfly emblem and cape gives her the confidence to be Almost a Super Hero. She said in her opening promo that she was afraid to fail, and now she’s not afraid anymore. And she said if you believe in yourself, you can overcome and almost become a superhero.
That’s where I get confused. Because this promo is coming from the top women’s champion of the brand. So, without a championship, I can totally see someone almost being a super hero.
But... you’re still almost a super hero even with a championship? That doesn’t make much sense to me. Almost a super hero makes sense when you’re trying to attain something. When you do attain it, “almost” doesn’t fit anymore.
They’re sort of backed into a corner now with this because what are they going to do, call her Nikki S.H.?
Why I said that I don’t see the star power is because when mentioning her outfit and the butterfly (which her line about a metamorphosis in the division was great), it elicited some boos from the crowd. And it goes to prove that Nikki didn’t need this character to be champion. She’s been beloved for years. This was my worry about the character in the beginning. Let’s see how it goes to SummerSlam.
So, Flair whined and complained about losing the title, and Rhea Ripley came out to shut her up. Both women claimed they had rights to fight Nikki at SummerSlam, and Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville said that there would be a triple threat at the pay-per-view.
They also made Flair vs. Nikki for this show because Flair kept whining and Nikki accepted her demand for a match.
This match was not good. Flair barely sold for Nikki and Flair won, with Nikki challenging her for a rematch next week.
None of it makes sense. And her promo before getting beat up makes me feel vindicated for what I said above. “Almost” a super hero does not work when you’re the top women’s champion on Raw. Nikki’s promo was bad. I like her but this character is not working.
Most of what’s happening on Raw is in fact, not working out right now. So let’s get to the rest of it. For a full rundown of Raw, check out the live blog by Claire Elizabeth!
The Hurt Business reunion we didn’t want.
What was supposed to be a response to Goldberg, turned into a Hurt Business triple threat.
MVP got the sports reference in so that the crowd would boo.
He asked Bobby Lashley if Goldberg was in fact next, to which Lashley responded that he isn’t responding to Goldberg’s challenge.
Suddenly, Cedric Alexander interrupted and said he was excommunicated because Lashley knew that he was better than him. Shelton Benjamin interrupted him to say Alexander’s voice is terrible, and that he’s knows the Hurt Business is dead.
Basically both of them were there to do what Flair and Ripley were doing before, but Lashley just decided that he would take both men on at the same time right now.
Lashley threw Alexander into the ring post and wow did it sound nasty. Alexander and Benjamin decided to team up to take Lashley out, and then went for a double pin, which Lashley kicked out of immediately.
And then Lashley smashed ‘em, stacked ‘em, and pinned ‘em. Poor Cedric and Shelton.
Funnily enough, Lashley did the Jackhammer to send a message to Goldberg, but I’m way more interested in a Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley match.
Goldberg didn’t even bother showing up.
Damian Priest defeated Sheamus
Priest is another guy like Nikki ASH who should have more star power than they have right now. As I keep reminding you (and now WWE is too!) he was in a tag match with BAD BUNNY and won. And was then left to fend for himself and keep fighting the people that lost to him at WrestleMania. And then he was off television for weeks. Totally how you capitalize off of the momentum of BAD BUNNY. People... BAD BUNNY! Anyway, Priest and Sheamus hoss fought and Sheamus’ face covering fell off. Priest chokeslammed Sheamus after making him walk on the top rope for a two count. What I thought was a Brogue Kicked but was a high knee got Sheamus a near fall, but Priest won with the Reckoning. Yes I would like Priest to be the next US champion please!
AJ Styles and Omos defeated The Viking Raiders
The Raiders were smart in this one, isolating Styles and trying to get Omos knocked off his feet. However they keep forgetting that Omos doesn’t go down. He just charges, screams, powerbombs, and makes great facial expressions. Ivar cartwheeeled out of the way of a Phenomenal Forearm. That was cool. The Raiders fell to a springboard 450, not Styles usual finisher, but I like not always going to finisher to finish matches. Who could be next for these guys now?
John Morrison defeated Riddle
I am absolutely loving Byron Saxton getting squirted with the Dripstick every week. It’s so great, and wow reading that aloud does not sound PG. That’s fine though. Elsewhere on WWE programming the missionary position is being talked about. Miz squirted Riddle with the Dripstick, and Riddle kicked him so hard Miz fell backwards. When they came back from commercial, Styles and Omos appeared. Omos broke his scooter to distract him and Morrison pinned Riddle. Styles then gave Riddle a Styles Clash. No Randy Orton to come help his partner. And now we know who’s next!
Mustafa Ali and Mansoor defeated MACE and T-BAR
Ah the old RETRIBUTION get together. I am very much enjoying the dynamic between Ali and Mansoor. Ali is so involved with making sure that Mansoor doesn’t fall into the same trap that he did, and Mansoor is trying to get Ali to like him. Mansoor was giddy after seeing Ali’s tornado DDT to T-BAR on the outside. (Tornado DDT-BAR is an awesome name, WWE. You can use that one for free.) Mansoor hugged Ali after they won and Ali just looked at him like what are you doing, bro? It’s great.
Karrion Kross defeated Keith Lee
They gave Kross the decency of a commercial break this time but they didn’t decide to give Lee decency. Lee losing here was sad because I really like him a lot, and I could not give less of a shit about Kross. So Lee is back on a losing streak after being out of action for months, the first time to get Lashley ready for Goldberg, and the second time for just... reasons. Boo.
Drew McIntyre defeated Veer via disqualification
Jinder Mahal brought out his attorney and said that he would sue if McIntyre didn’t apologize. You know what happened. McIntyre Claymored Veer as he held up a chair and the bell rang. I’ll let Claire give you the result here - “Veer should win by disqualification as a result of that, but Drew is announced as the winner, because none of this matters and WWE changes the rules on a whim.” And then McIntyre threw the attorney in the ring and Claymored him. Mmm’kay then.
Natalya and Tamina defeated Eva Marieeeeeee and DouDrop
Interestingly, Marie started the match but Natalya gave chase and she ran tot he ropes and tagged DouDrop. At one point it looked like when DouDrop went for a pin attempt, Natalya got some sort of leg injury so Tamina was tagged in. Marie tagged in when she thought she’d pin Tamina. Then the Lilly-Lution video package distracted her and she got superkicked and pinned. Okay, I laughed out loud at that video package. Don’t know if it was because it was good or bad yet, though.
Reginald defeated R-Truth
Christ, Reggie is athletic as f***.
This is Lilly-Lution
So this new segment started on SmackDown last week, and I decided to bring it to Raw. Maybe we’ll keep this going!
Lilly-Lution and Miz squirting Saxton with the Dripstick were the funniest moments of the show. I have to give whoever deserves credit for this little video package. I laughed my ass off and thought that y’all needed to see it. Maybe I’m turning a corner on this? WWE will probably make me regret liking this next week.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?