One of the more refreshing things WWE has done over the past year is actually let major feuds hash out.
Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair are getting that treatment.
This past Monday, the two played hot potato with the Raw Women’s Championship once again in a show-long story. Banks got her title match against Charlotte, and early in the show saw that title opportunity end in a double count-out. Not to allow Charlotte to walk out of her home town the easy way, the main event was booked to have the two wrestle for the title in a falls count anywhere match.
I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that once again the women headlined a weekly show. It’s become such a regular occurrence anymore that I don’t even think I saw that fact played up. We are long passed people making a big deal out of Lita and Trish Stratus headlining a Raw, especially since Sasha and Charlotte did the same at a pay per view not too long ago.
The main event was another well done match. The one thing I like about how these two work is that they naturally allow the intensity to ramp up. You’d think that Hell in a Cell was supposed to be the highest peak their feud could go, but Monday proved there is still more left in the tank for this feud.
Banks won back the title by applying the Bank Statement while using the rail in the crowd for leverage. A month after losing the title in her home town, Banks returned the favor by winning in Charlotte. And to rub salt in the wound, Ric Flair came out to raise Sasha’s hand while his daughter, who said he was dead to her, looked on in sadness.
Sasha and Charlotte are now each three-time Raw Women’s Champions. Is WWE going too far in having the title change hands back and forth?
It’s a nod to the Attitude Era when the WWF Championship changed hands 24 times from March 2007 to November 2009. (That includes 11 times in 2009 alone.)
What it does is keep the outcomes unpredictable. I didn’t expect Banks to lose at Hell in a Cell nor did I expect Charlotte to lose this past Monday.
But what it also does is it potentially hurts the rest of the Raw women’s division. The focus is put solely on those two while Bayley and Nia Jax barely get any secondary screen time. In the mean time, on a 2-hour SmackDown Live, there are two prominent women’s feuds.
This is an opportunity for WWE to get the rest of the Raw women involved in a major storyline. Because eventually, too much of a good thing can kill your interest.
Survivor Series record: 1-5 (not including preshow matches)
Overall record: 62-50
No Disqualification match: Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
This is one of the two women’s feuds I talked about that was done so well. Carmella doesn’t pull any of her punches when she trash-talks Nikki, and I like that. Some of her threats Tuesday went to a place we don’t normally see trash talk go, which is also nice. You can really sense a dislike between the two and this is going to be a great match.
Prediction: Nikki finally shuts up the Princess of Staten Island.
Chairs match: Kalisto vs. Baron Corbin
Corbin is the one who has kept this feud going. He attacked Kalisto at Survivor Series and hasn’t let up on his hatred for Kalist.
Prediction: Corbin squashes Kalisto and will continue his tirade on SmackDown.
Intercontinental Championship Ladder match: Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (c)
This has been one of the best feuds of 2016. The Miz continues to be a terrible human being (and an amazing heel champion) while Ziggler has clearly put out his best work since carrying the briefcase with A.J. Lee by his side.
Prediction: The Miz has to retain, but that’s what I said the last time these two had a match on a PPV.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Tables match: Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch (c)
Aside from the women’s feud I talked about at the top of this blog, this has been the best women’s feud on television. Bliss is the real deal.
Prediction: Bliss needs to win this championship. SmackDown needs to shake things up too.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship match: Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno (c)
The Wyatts “earned” their title shot Tuesday when they beat American Alpha in a No. 1 contender’s match. Beauty and the Man Beast may have finally run its course.
Prediction: If this is the reason Orton sided with Wyatt then I’m O.K. with that. Wyatts win.
WWE World Championship Tables, Ladders and Chairs match: Dean Ambrose vs. A.J. Styles (c)
These two have done a good job with the crazy twists and turns it took. This should be the end of this feud for 2016.
Prediction: Styles retains after Undertaker costs Ambrose the match because of Ambrose’s actions at Survivor Series.
Power 7 rankings
Week of Nov. 28 (previous ranking)
A ranking of the top seven wrestlers on Raw, SmackDown and NXT.
- Roman Reigns (2) - Earned his title shot against Owens.
- Kevin Owens (1) - He better mend his relationship with Jericho.
- Seth Rollins (3) - Took out Jericho in the parking lot.
- New Day (4) - Looks like they’ll cheat their way to the record.
- Sasha Banks (UR) - Became a three-time Women’s Champion.
- Rich Swann (UR) - Won the Cruiserweight title Tuesday on 205 Live’s debut.
- Braun Strowman (7) - His path of destruction continues.
Out: Charlotte Flair (5) - How will she bounce back?; The Brian Kendrick (6) - Can he get the title back?
On the bubble: Cesaro/Sheamus, Charlotte.
- Dean Ambrose (1) - The TLC match Sunday is gonna be good.
- A.J. Styles (2) - Did he knock Ellsworth out of the equation?
- The Miz (3) - A ladder match with Ziggler has him at a disadvantage.
- Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton (4) - Will they become tag team champs?
- Dolph Ziggler (5) - He will go as far as he has to for the title.
- Becky Lynch (6) - Loses her champion’s advantage with the table match.
- Alexa Bliss (7) - I feel we see a “Twisted Bliss” through the table for a win.
Out: Randy Orton (5) - paired with Wyatt.
On the bubble: The Undertaker, Nikki Bella, American Alpha.
- Samoa Joe (1)
- Asuka (2)
- Shinsuke Nakamura (3)
- Bobby Roode (4)
- Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa (5)
- The Revival (6)
- Authors of Pain (7)
On the bubble: Austin Aries, Hideo Itami