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REVIEW: The Empress Overrules The Goddess

The Women’s Royal Rumble is shaping up to be the biggest match in history for the WWE Women, literally and figuratively. Kurt Angle announced that the same rules for the Men’s Royal Rumble will apply to the Women’s Royal Rumble, meaning there will be a total of 30 entries! My mind is already spinning with what surprises we might get.

Throughout the night, we got to see many women make their threats and cast their Royal Rumble entries. Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Absolution (Mandy Rose, Paige, and Sonya Deville) made it known that they will be joining the elite ensemble of women who will make history on January 28.

Apollo Crews is set to face Bray Wyatt. Since he is with his trusty business partner, Dana Brooke, I became more interested. The match goes on and Dana casually takes notes and writes stats on a clipboard. Towards the end, Dana got hyped up and jumped on the apron, yelling for Apollo to get up. However, the creature that is Bray Wyatt, lunged at her, causing her to scream and jump onto Titus O’Neil. Apollo lost, but Dana looked like a winner in her ‘New York City Business Woman’ appearance.

Later on, Nia Jax was seen carrying a container of something backstage. Alexa Bliss runs up and tells her she needs her help tonight when she faces Asuka. Jax rebuttals and continues to tell Alexa that Enzo needs her. Bliss becomes flabbergasted that Nia is acting this way and says Nia has to choose between the two. It’s either her or Enzo. Nia states that her chicken noodle soup (ah, so that explains it) is getting cold, leaving Alexa high and dry. The end of Team Rude?

The time comes for Alexa Bliss to put her livelihood on the line against the undefeated Asuka. The two start off going around the ring in perfect unison, as if Alexa is tracing Asuka’s exact steps. ‘The Empress’ shoots a few kicks but Alexa dives into the ropes so Asuka can’t get her. She then tries to capitalize with two spinning backfists, but Alexa ducks in the ropes once again. Asuka eventually gets ahold of Alexa’s arm and begins wrenching it behind her. Bliss is able to stomp on Asuka’s foot and counter with the same arm maneuver. The two then spend time trading control and wrenching each other’s arms behind their backs. Asuka takes Bliss down and attempts to wear her out, but Alexa uses the momentum against her and tries to put a resting hold on Asuka. However, Asuka rolls over and gets Alexa in a kneebar, but only for a few moments. Asuka begins wearing Alexa down, until Bliss grabs Asuka by her hair and pulls her to the mat. She turns around and Asuka is already back on her feet. Bliss jumps right back into the ropes to prevent Asuka from doing too much. Still in the ropes, Alexa tries to kick Asuka away, but Asuka catches her leg and pulls her towards the middle, then nailing her with a running shoulder tackle. Alexa tries to run toward Asuka, but Asuka follows and hits her with a hip attack, sending her off her feet and out of the ring. Asuka attempts to get Alexa in her grasp, but Alexa keeps escaping to ringside. She eventually is able to get Alexa, but Alexa kicks Asuka in the gut and squirms out of the ring again.

Back from commercial and we see Alexa putting Asuka in a bodyscissor. During commercial, Alexa was able to counter a hip attack by Asuka and kicked her when she was in the ropes. ‘The Empress’ flips over and snatches Alexa’s foot into a gruesome ankle lock. Bliss screams in agony until she’s able to latch onto the ropes to force the break. Alexa uses the ropes to pull herself under and to pull Asuka right into them, sending her to the corner after being stunned. Alexa then grabs Asuka’s leg and hair and begins contorting her back around the ring post. Once she’s back in the ring, Alexa drills Asuka’s back with a series of forearms. Asuka battles back and rolls Alexa up for a one count. The champion ducks an incoming kick and replies with a pin of her own, but Asuka rolls through. She then tries to hit a clothesline, but Little Miss Bliss ducks and pulls Asuka onto her back. She keeps Asuka at bay by unloading with multiple forearms and reapplying the bodyscissors. Looking to escape, Asuka turns over, but Alexa counters into a guillotine. She manages to get Bliss’ arm and begins bending it in directions it shouldn’t go! Alexa gets ahold of the ropes to break the submission. She follows up by keeping Asuka down and getting her into the corner. Alexa runs straight for Asuka, but stops and unleashes a deadly slap across Asuka’s face. Asuka returns the favor and Bliss begins shoving her back, but Asuka retaliates with a comeback of dropkicks. Asuka follows up with hip attacks, and drills Alexa right into her knee. Bliss goes for a sunset flip, but she is able reverse into a pin of her own. Alexa kicks out and dropkicks Asuka out of the ring. Bliss tries to pull Asuka back in, but the undefeated superstar nails her with a kick to the head. She followed up with another skull-rattling kick, and then flipped her over into an armbar. Alexa taps! Asuka wins!

I enjoyed this match more than I thought I would have. It really seemed like Alexa studied her and had a counter for almost everything Asuka did. But since Asuka won, I wonder if she’ll get a championship match at Royal Rumble now. And if she theoretically wins the title, who’s going to win the Royal Rumble and challenge her come WrestleMania? I guess we’ll find out soon!

What did you think of RAW?