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WWE TLC Sets The Table For The Raw Women’s Division’s Future

October 19, 2017 | Posted by Steve Cook
Alexa Bliss Mickie James WWE TLC

The last couple of years have seen a lot of firsts for women in WWE. The first women’s Hell in a Cell match. The first women’s PPV main event. The first women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. WWE TLC 2017 will not feature the first women’s TLC match, but it will be important to the Raw women’s division in other ways.

Three matches will impact the division going forward. The Kickoff match features one of the top stars against the longest-tenured member of the division. The newest member of the division will make her debut. The championship will be decided between one of today’s top stars & a star from the 2000s that still has it.

Alicia Fox & Sasha Banks Kick Things Off

Sasha is in an interesting spot right now. Does anybody buy her as a champion anymore? Four reigns with the Raw Women’s Championship and not a single successful title defense. It’s tough to put her in title matches right now, so she needs to stay busy doing other things. Nia Jax was reportedly a planned opponent at one point, but she went home on Monday and we’re not sure when she’s coming back.

At one time the end of 2017 have been a good time for a newly-heel Sasha to feud with Bayley. Any idea of that was nixed by Bayley’s popularity completely dying off. I guess they could turn Bayley heel and drive anybody still invested in her character completely insane. That leaves us with Alicia Fox…which isn’t the worst thing in the world. It’s better than nothing, right?

Right?

The Kickoff match is one of the most important matches on the show. Even if the seats aren’t entirely full yet, a good effort from the performers is needed to get a good buzz & flow going. Alicia isn’t the best in-ring performer & I don’t know if Sasha can get something out of her, but Sasha has enough heat to get people interested in what’s going on.

Alexa & Mickie Battle Over The Championship

Alexa only has herself to blame for the emergence of Mickie James as a title contender. It was Alexa that convinced Mickie that all the current woman SuperStars didn’t respect the women that came before, and had Mickie dress in the La Luchadora outfit to help her retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship. It was a good idea at the time because Alexa needed some backup. Everybody on SmackDown hated her.

The downfall was once Mickie realized that Alexa had sold her a bill of goods. Everybody else respected Mickie’s accomplishments. Alexa’s plan was foiled and now she had Mickie James chasing her along with the rest of the women of SmackDown & eventually Raw. Now Mickie has emerged as the top contender for Alexa’s Raw Women’s Championship.

It’s been a nice change of pace to have a regular singles feud for Alexa that doesn’t involve everybody else on the roster. Multi-woman matches are fun, but it’s tough for people to stand out. Alexa gets to embrace her dark side by giving Mickie some Depends & a rocking chair & saying horrible things about her.

Alexa seems like the obvious pick to go over here. Unfortunately for Mickie, Natalya is already doing the veteran champion deal over on SmackDown. Also, the next challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship will likely be supported against whoever they face.

Asuka Debuts Against Emma

The Founder of the Women’s Revolution is here to serve as cannon fodder for the Empress of Tomorrow. All indications are that Asuka is kind of going to be a big deal on Raw. She has the longest undefeated streak in WWE history according to the company, and I can’t think of anybody since Andre the Giant that would be close.

There’s a catch though. What if she isn’t?

It’s not like it would be the first time that somebody got over huge in the NXT Universe & came up short once getting called up. It seems like the hype that surrounds these people initially gets too big, and once they get exposed to WWE’s 50/50 booking their star fades a little bit.

Take Bobby Roode over on SmackDown Live. Dominant presence on NXT for most of the past year. He came in & everything was all Glorious. But WWE always has to even things out, especially for these new people. Gotta test them out & see how they react to the adversity. Why they don’t do these things in NXT so the main audience doesn’t have to suffer through it, I have no idea. Shouldn’t that be one of the things taken care of when Superstars are being developed? Why not test the whole response to adversity thing in NXT?

So Roode has his debut, gets over pretty well, then disappears for a few weeks so he can come back and feud with Dolph Ziggler. No explanation for the disappearance, he just went away and came back. Now he’s trading wins with a guy that is the epitome of meh. Roode will eventually win the feud unless he’s made the wrong people angry, but even then, it’s not like winning a feud with Dolph Ziggler impresses anybody.

It’s a damn good thing Roode has the Glorious theme song, because creative isn’t doing him any other favors right now.

Asuka not losing in NXT didn’t seem like a great idea to me. She should have put somebody over on her way out, whether it be Kari Sane or Ember Moon or whoever…but it didn’t happen. It is what it is. Now she’s on Raw as this indestructible monster that’s run through everybody that’s been put in front of her. What happens when she starts trading wins with Alexa?

Sunday night looks pretty easy to predict, as does the near-future of the Raw Women’s Division. Alexa beats Mickie, perhaps by nefarious means so that feud can go on a little longer. Mickie deserves some run here. Sasha beats Alica & Asuka beats Emma, leading to Sasha vs. Asuka at some point pretty soon to burnish Asuka’s credentials with the portion of the fanbase that doesn’t watch NXT. It all makes sense to me, anyway.

With my prediction record lately, expect Mickie James to win the Raw Women’s Championship and defend the belt against Alicia Fox & Emma at Survivor Series. Hey, it could be worse!

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WWE TLC, Steve Cook