Monday, March 7, 2016

Smackin' It Raw: The Diva's Revolution, Fantasy Booking

Part 5: Fantasy Booking

Ok so this is the part where I really have fun and say how I would have done the whole thing myself.  I know, I know, everyone does this and its VERY easy to say how you would have done something better after something has already tanked and been disliked by so many.  Its also fun and really that’s always the name of the game here isn’t it?  Lets just have some fun.

Nikki Bella
            So first off I have things starting out exactly how it started out, no not with three women from NXT being promoted to the main roster and put in teams but before that when Paige was trying to get the other divas to stand up to The Bella Twins and make a change.  I still wouldn’t have any of the other divas stand up to The Bella’s with Alicia Fox still doing the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em thing.”  After The Bella’s defeat Paige once again I would have Nikki Bella in the ring the next night flanked by sister Brie and honorary Bella, Alicia Fox.  Nikki is bragging about how no diva has been able to get the title away from Team Bella and how Paige failed so miserably in getting anyone to help her out.  She says that the diva’s championship is staying with Team Bella and that no one else has the right to hold it.  At this point Alicia Fox asks if that means she gets a title shot.  Nikki and Brie exchange looks and then laugh it off with Nikki saying that she isn’t a REAL Bella and thus she wouldn’t give the title the prestige it deserves when being held by a REAL Bella.  Alicia looks upset but seemingly understands.  As The Bella’s are leaving the ring though Alicia grabs Nikki by the hair pulls her back in and starts stomping on her. Brie who was already outside sees what happens and dives back into the ring to save her sister but is also meet with stomps.  With both Bella’s down Alicia Fox shouts at Nikki that she was right she doesn’t need to be an honorary Bella because she is a Fox.  She then picks up Nikki’s Diva’s championship and lifts it above her head to the approval of the fans before laying the title on top of Nikki and leaving the ring.

Alicia Fox
            Right out of the gate here we are leaving the three NXT women in NXT.  Despite people calling for them to be promoted to the main roster.  There should be no rush to do this yet.  First we have to establish that there are women on the main roster already who have the chops to start this divas revolution. Speaking of which it will never be called the divas revolution, instead we will just be giving the divas more on air time for better matches and actual character development.  Alicia Fox is a good wrestler though you may not know that judging by what she has done on the main roster, but when in NXT she put on great matches.  Having her step up here changes a few things right on the get go first off to establish that she is a capable wrestler in her own rights who doesn’t need to ride The Bella’s coat tails and secondly with her turn against Nikki and Brie, Team Bella is now only a couple week thing that is quickly forgotten about and kills the whole team vs. team vs. team idea that was so prominent and disastrous to this whole divas revolution thing.

            With Alicia stepping up we get her having a title match at the next PPV with Nikki barely retaining with help from Brie and their “Twin Magic” move in which Nikki is beaten down and Brie takes her place in the match without the other competitor or referees knowledge to score a quick pinfall, usually a roll up or small package.  The next night the Bella’s mock Alicia Fox saying that an honorary Bella could never compare to the real thing and that they are done with her and her coattail riding.  Nikki proclaims that she can’t be beat and starts bragging saying that if anyone could last five minutes with her in the ring she would give them a title shot.  To the surprise of the fans and The Bella’s themselves out comes Summer Rae, another established wrestler while in NXT who has just been reduced to a managerial role and dance partner since coming to the main roster.  The Bella’s laugh at Summer Rae for thinking she has a chance and tells the referee to ring the bell.  Not only does Summer Rae surprise Nikki with her offence she actually takes control of the match for a while before Brie interferes giving Nikki the advantage.  Now full of confidence Nikki walking around the ring goading the fans as the clock is ticking down.  Around the 4:30 mark of the match with Nikki still mouthing off at the fans Summer Rae rolls Nikki up for a small package and gets the three count.  Not only does Summer Rae last the five minutes with Nikki, she wins.

Summer Rae
            A title match is set up at the next PPV once again Summer Rae starts the match off strong and we get a fairly competitive match until Brie once again sticks her nose in where it doesn’t belong and interferes in the match giving Nikki the win.  Once again we get another surprisingly good divas match with another challenger on the main roster established as someone who can take the title away from Nikki at any time.

            Once again the next night on Raw Nikki continues to brag about being the best and says that she will prove it because although no one may have noticed it she is starting to creep up on the record for the longest reigning Diva’s champion of all time with less than two months to go. At the mention of that Natayla’s music hits and she comes out on stage.  Natayla has been off TV for a little while helping her husband Tyson Kidd in his recovery from his neck surgery earlier in the year but says that Tyson is now able to take care of himself and that they were getting sick of watching The Bella’s cheating to keep the Divas Championship around Nikki’s waist.  She said that she had spoken to Stephanie McMahon and that she has been granted a Divas Championship match at the next PPV which is Summer Slam and vows to walk out of that match the new Diva’s Champion.  For the first time in a while The Bella’s look legitimately concerned that Nikki will lose the title.

            At Summer Slam Natayla is dismantling Nikki Bella.  She is controlling the pace and style of the match and looks to have the title won, even when Brie got up on the apron to interfere in the match Natayla clotheslines her off the apron.  Natayla continues her dominance for a little longer and then finally puts Nikki in the sharpshooter, the fans are going nuts it looks like we will have a new Diva’s champion.  Suddenly though Brie remerges in the ring with the Diva’s title and just before Nikki could tap out Brie clocks Natayla in the head causing a DQ victory for Natayla knowing that the title can’t change hands on a disqualification.  Brie helps Nikki out of the ring and hands her the Diva’s title as they walk backwards up the ramp not taking their eyes off of the fuming Natayla in the ring.

            The next night on Raw the Bella’s are as confident and boastful as ever.  Nikki says that she will become the longest reigning WWE Diva’s Champion of all time because the record will be broken six days before the next PPV and that she can go thirty days without defending the title without being stripped of it and she doesn’t plan to defend it anymore until the next PPV when she is the record holder.  It is at this point that Nikki brings up that Natayla may have beaten her by DQ the night before but wins and loses don’t matter because at the end of the day she is still the champion and she will become the longest reigning diva’s champion ever in three weeks which will prove that she is better than anyone else.

            It is at this point that Stephanie McMahon comes out to the ring. She has seen enough, this is where she gives her speech about the dominance of women in sports and how WWE needs to take that step as well. She tells Nikki that she is a good wrestler but wins and loses DO matter and that the way that she has been retaining her title is a disgrace to herself and the entire divas locker room.  She tells Nikki that if she wants to be the longest reigning divas champion she has to EARN it.  She says that she is the boss so the not defending the title for thirty days thing just won’t fly with her and that she will be tested in the next three weeks by defending her divas title against the diva’s that she has stolen victories from the last few months and that if she tries to get disqualified or counted out in any of the matches she will lose her title to that challenger.  First up she’ll defend the title against Alicia Fox, if she retains then the next week it’s the same thing again against Summer Rae and if she retains then she has to defend her title against Natayla on the eve of her breaking the record.  If she wins all three matches she will have earned her spot as the longest reigning divas champion.  Nikki complains about it but Stephanie just brushes it off and calls out a very game looking Alicia Fox stating that the match will start immediately.

Stephanie McMahon
            Nikki and Alicia once again have a very back and forth match and with the stipulation that if Brie interferes Nikki loses the title its all on the up and up.  After a hard fought match Nikki dodges Alicia’s attempt at a spear causing Alicia to run shoulder first into the ring post.  Nikki than takes full advantage and hits Alicia with her rack attack finisher for the narrow victory.  Nikki has done it the first week but she has two big title matches to go if she wants to be the longest reigning divas champion.

            The next week on Raw its Summer Rae’s turn.  Once again Summer Rae takes the fight to Nikki in another good match that goes about ten minutes. The fans are rallying behind Summer Rae but like Alicia Fox the week before Summer makes a small mistake which Nikki is able to capitalize on with a small package for the win.  Summer is upset with her mistake and clotheslines Nikki out of frustration but the match is over now and Brie jumps in the ring and attacks Summer Rae, Nikki soon gets up and joins her sister in the beat down.  As the beat down goes on though Nikki’s final challenger before she can call herself the longest reigning divas champion, Natayla rushes to the ring to save Summer Rae and chase The Bella’s out of the ring.  Nikki is holding the title high above her head as she backs away down the ramp screaming “The record is mine!”  Nikki screaming that shows that to her the title is secondary to the bragging rights she would get by keeping on to the title.  Natayla smiles and Nikki and makes a motion of the title being around her own waist next week.

            Finally comes the third match the one that everyone had been waiting for. The fans can sense a title change in the air.  They all believe that Natayla will dominate Nikki Bella again and without Brie to run interference this time around are sure that she will not get the record that means so much to her.  Things starts out just as everyone anticipated with Natayla taking control of the match early on and despite a few flourishes of offence from Nikki here and there its Natayla’s match.  Once again Natayla puts the sharpshooter on Nikki and it seems only a matter of time before Nikki taps out but Natyala put the move on to close to the ropes allowing Nikki to grabs the bottom rope forcing the referee to break the hold.  Natayla has no trouble doing this and just pulls Nikki out to the middle of the ring to apply the move again but when doing so this time Nikki has just enough wherewithal to catch Natayla in a small package to get the win.  Nikki’s music plays and the fans are stunned.  Nikki Bella will now be the longest reigning Diva’s champion. Natyala is stunned, she can’t believe that she got caught in a small package and lost the match fair and square when everything seemed to be going her way.  Brie jumps in the ring to help Nikki up and celebrate, Nikki can’t believe she won either and she has truly earned the record.  Natayla who still hasn’t left the ring finally offers her hand to Nikki shakes it and says “You win tonight but that title will still be mine eventually so hold on to it as tightly as you can because your days are still numbered.” Natayla then leaves the ring with Nikki watching her looking afraid.

Brie Bella
            At this point her music stops playing and Stephanie’s music comes on. She walks out on stage and congratulates Nikki on proving her and the entire WWE universe wrong.  Stephanie says that Nikki did earn the record tonight but that doesn’t entitle her to a night off because this Sunday is the Night of Champions PPV in which ALL titles have to be defended, including the WWE Divas championship. She said that Nikki has surprised her though, she has beaten every diva on the roster and doesn’t know who her challenger will be for Night of Champions but if Nikki is the longest reigning Diva’s champion of all time now then that shouldn’t matter to her, if she is the best she should be able to stand up to any competition without knowing who they are in advance.  Since she has no idea who she will choose to be Nikki’s opponent though she offers all of the divas a chance to come speak to her and plead their case to be the number one contender at Night of Champions. Stephanie then leaves the stage with Nikki’s celebration now ruined and looking terrified in the ring to what may come next.

            At Night of Champions Nikki, flaked by Brie is in the ring waiting on her opponent when Stephanie comes out.  Stephanie said she was surprised by how many of the divas came to her this past week pleading their cases.  She said that she even received calls from Diva’s that had long since left the company wanting a shot at the title to teach Nikki a lesson and to humble her, she mentions names like Lita and Trish Stratus but says at the end of the day despite their impressive legacies they are retired and not wanting to come back full time which is not best for business. What IS best for business is continuing to expand the diva’s division with stronger competition so when this next diva came to her she new she had found her new number one contender.  With that said Stephanie looks towards the stage when some new music comes on and we get the long awaited debut of Charlotte.

            Once again Nikki looks stunned but then smiles. This is only one of the women from NXT, the developmental system, there is no way that Charlotte will be able to compete with a real WWE Diva.  All of that goes away though when Charlotte gets in the ring and is standing face to face with Nikki.  Nikki isn’t scared and is just mouthing off to Charlotte saying that she isn’t even worthy of being in the same ring with her.  Charlotte looks around to the fans then slaps Nikki in the face. The bell rings and Charlotte takes the action to Nikki, much like Natayla in their first match Charlotte is dominating the match Nikki isn’t even getting any offence in at all and before she knows it Charlotte has her locked in The Figure Four Leg lock, her father Ric Flair’s signature move, in the middle of the ring.  Nikki is doing her best not to tap out when Charlotte does her father one better by bridging herself into what she calls “The Figure Eight” applying even more pressure on Nikki and forcing her to tap out. We have a new WWE Divas Champion, Charlotte.

            To show it was no fluke Charlotte does the very same thing again the next night on Raw when Nikki Bella evokes her rematch clause for the title.  With this done it takes Nikki Bella out of the title picture for the foreseeable future, shows that Charlotte is a real competitor to be taken seriously deserving of the Diva’s Championship after knocking off the longest reigning divas champion in her first two nights.  It also opens the floodgates for other new divas from NXT to start showing up to challenge for the title.

            Before they do that though Charlotte’s first opponent is named as Natayla.  This is because Natayla was the biggest threat to Nikki’s title reign and because both women had a match of the year candidate for the NXT Women’s Championship just the year before.  Natayla could also could also make a point to bring up that match and how she feel’s that if they were to wrestle again now things would be different.  Once again they have a show stealer with Charlotte coming out on top.  Natayla shakes Charlottes hand after the match giving her her endorsement as The Diva’s Champion and really solidifying her in the eyes of the fans.

            Once again the next on Raw Charlotte is in need of a number one contender for her title.  She says she wants to be a fighting champion and wants to take on the toughest competition that WWE has to offer.  With that said Paige comes out and says that none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for her standing up against The Bella’s and inspiring other women such as Charlotte to step up in the first place.  She says she is tired of sitting back and watching lesser talented divas get their shots at the title while she keeps being passed by.  She reminds the world that she was the first NXT Women’s Champion and that all the leaps and bounds the divas division has made (Note, she never mentions a Divas Revolution) was because of her.  She also tells Charlotte she can only be second best and the only reason she won the NXT Women’s championship is because she had to relinquish it because she had made the leap to WWE and won the Divas championship on her first night in the company, a feat that she neglects to acknowledge that Charlotte also did.  Charlotte hears enough of Paige’s ranting and grants her a match for the Diva’s championship which is set up for Survivor Series.

            The build up is intense with plenty of one-upmanship the entire time with each diva trying to prove they are the better with Paige taking the villain route and taking the cheap shots whenever she can to gain the upper hand.  Finally, a contract signing is set up in the main event slot of the Raw before Survivor Series with both divas once again taking shots at each other and saying they are the best.  Finally, Charlotte says “I guess we will find out who really is the best at Survivor Series and extends her hand to Paige over the table.  Paige slowly but eventually accepts the handshake only for her to let go and push the table over on Charlotte she than takes advantage and jumps on top of Charlotte and beating on her until the referees intervene and break them up. Paige says “I’ll see you this Sunday.” As she is being escorted away and Charlotte looks on furiously.

            Survivor Series comes with a great match between Charlotte and Paige that goes nearly twenty minutes and steals the show.  For any of the fans out there that were still doubters this match is the one that finally proves that the diva’s division should be taken seriously and is as must see as any of the matches from their male counterparts.  The match ends with Charlotte once again retaining her title by making Paige tap out to the figure eight.

The next night on Raw Charlotte comes out to a heroes welcome she says that she proved that she was the best last night by beating Paige and retaining the Diva’s Championship.  She says that she wants to continue wrestling only the best to prove that she is worthy of being the Champion.  Charlotte also shows the first sign of a heel turn when she mentions that although they tore the house down the night before that Paige doesn’t just get a rematch she explains this by saying no matter how good Paige was that she was better and that if Paige wants another show she has to earn it, which causes the fans to boo. She than says that she believes that the number one contender should earn her spot and that she won’t face anyone who doesn’t deserve it.  Charlotte insists that a battle royal take place featuring the top divas in WWE with the winner getting the title shot at the next PPV and that she is even willing to give the other divas in WWE a week to prepare.

The next week on Raw Charlotte comes out to ringside to give commentary on the battle royal and scout who the next number one contender for the title will be.  The battle royal consists of nearly every Divas on the roster including Paige, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, Natayla, Naomi, Tamina, as well as some filler like Emma, who although great recently went back to NXT and is just here for this match because she was a similar face as well as Cameron and Rosa Mendes.  Notably absent is Nikki Bella who is now out with injury.  After a hard fought battle royal it comes down to Paige and Naomi with Paige prevailing in the end and getting the title shot that Charlotte refused to give her.  After the match Charlotte gets in the ring with Paige and the two start mouthing off to each other Paige points to the diva’s championship around the shoulder of Charlotte points to her waist, smiles and turns to leave.  When she does though Charlotte completes her heel turn by attacking Paige from behind continuing to take advantage of her until the referees intervene much like they did at the contract signing.  The two have now switched roles with Charlotte the heel and Paige the face.

Charlotte and Ric Flair
Starting at the Tables, Ladders and Chairs PPV Charlotte is now accompanied to the ring by her father Ric Flair who professes that Charlotte is the new dirtiest player in the game and will beat anyone who stands in her way.  Paige then comes out and the two have another great match ending when Flair distracts Paige in a failed attempt to trip her from the outside.  It was enough to get Paige’s attention and for Charlotte to take advantage and roll her up for a school boy pin while holding a hand full of tights.  Charlotte retains but this time she cheats to do so to get over the fact that she is indeed now a villain.

The next night on Raw Charlotte comes to the ring with her father and talks about how she beat Paige twice in a row fair and square without any help from anyone.  The blatant lie only causes more people to boo her.  She then says that something has been bugging her though and that is the fact that she labeled the Diva’s champion.  She says a diva is usually a demanding bitch who asks for outrageous things.  She asks her father if he thinks that she is a demanding bitch to which he denies.  Charlotte then says she isn’t a diva she is a women and plans to be treated as such.  She says that the term diva and the divas championship does not apply to her and that starting the next week she will retire the divas championship and bring back something more suited to herself, The WWE Women’s Championship.

The next week on Raw the show starts off with a red carpet in the ring as well as a pedestal which is covered by a sheet.  Stephanie McMahon comes out followed by Charlotte who still has the diva’s championship and Ric Flair.  Stephanie says how excited she is by the leaps and bounds the diva’s division has made and tells Charlotte that she is right the term diva is old, outdated and has no place in todays WWE.  She says how from now on the WWE divas will be called what they truly are, women.  She then removes the sheet from the pedestal to revel the old WWE Women’s Title and hands it over to Charlotte who puts down the WWE divas title and parades The Women’s Title around the ring above her head.  She then says that she is the only TRUE woman in WWE and says that none of the divas in the back are worthy of a shot at her women’s title flushing away all the good will she made back with the fans for resurrecting The Women’s Title.  At that point we hear music that we have never heard on Raw before the music of NXT competitor Becky Lynch.

Becky makes her way to the ring and says that she has never been a WWE diva and was always called a woman in NXT.  She also says that she has been waiting a long time for an opportunity to get to the main roster and now that she is there she will make the best of it.  She challenges Charlotte to a match for the newly resurrected Women’s Championship at The Royal Rumble.  Charlotte however says no because she has done nothing to earn it.  She says that she can’t just come into WWE on her first night and expect a title shot because that is just not how things work around here.  Charlotte completely ignores the fact that that is exactly how things worked for her to avoid the challenge which the announcers bring up.  Unfortunately for her though Stephanie McMahon is quick to remind her who the boss is and thinking that the two would make a great match makes it for The Royal Rumble.

Becky Lynch
Over the next few weeks Becky wrestles several of the top women in WWE winning each time out to show that she is more than worthy of challenging Charlotte.  At The Royal Rumble they have another great match to be added to the list of great matches the women in WWE have had over the last several months that ends when the match is taken to the outside and both women are counted out.  Charlotte retains her title and Becky is beside herself for letting her dream of becoming Women’s champion slip through her hands.

Its not over for Becky though as on the next night on Raw Stephanie McMahon makes a rematch for Fast Lane between the two because she and the rest of the WWE Universe wants a definite winner.  Becky is ready for her second chance while Charlotte complains because Becky had her shot didn’t get the job done and should now move to the back of the line with the rest of the losers in the back.  Her words fall on deaf ears though and the rematch happens at Fast Lane.  Both women battle it out again in a hard fought match that once again spills to the outside and we get a repeat of the finish from last months Royal Rumble with both women being counted out.  Charlotte starts to celebrate but it quickly comes to an end when Stephanie comes out saying that the end of that match wasn’t good enough and she won’t allow it to happen a second time, she orders the match be restarted and this time there are no count-outs.  Becky is ecstatic about the announcement but as she turns around she is meet with a boot to the face by Charlotte as the bell rings again.  Charlotte takes advantage and then locks Becky into the figure eight forcing her to tap out.  Once again Charlotte retains the Women’s Championship. 

Unfortunately for Charlotte though the night still isn’t over as she grabs the Women’s title and holds it over her head her music stops and is replaced by more music that had yet to be heard on WWE but music the fans respond to at once, its former NXT champion Sasha Banks who has had several match of the year candidates in NXT over the last few months and is now moving up to the big time.  The fans are going nuts over Banks arrival in WWE as she gets into the ring.  Sasha and Charlotte have a stare down in the middle of the ring with the fans chanting “This is awesome.”  Sasha looks at the WWE Women’s Championship and then points to the WrestleMania sign hanging from the rafters. Charlotte looks at the sign then at Sasha and wanting to prove all of her doubter’s wrong nods her head and leaves the ring with her father in tow. As she leaves Charlotte points to the Wrestlemania sign and shouts that she is going to steal the show and retain the title.  As she disappears to the back Sasha Bank’s music plays again while she stays in the ring for a few moments soaking up the love from the fans…..

Sasha Banks

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