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WWE RAW 9/25/2023: 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved – Wrestling Inc.


What a difference a week makes. Last week’s reported last-minute changes to “Raw” included nixing Tegan Nox accepting Becky Lynch’s open challenge for the “NXT” Women’s Championship. That begat the usual “Uh oh, Vince is running creative” panic, which is to be expected after several years of PTSD-inducing episodes of this show. But paired with the latest “Bloody Thursday” in WWE, which saw a multitude of releases, it also begat fear that Nox was one of those affected, making theoretical sense of why her purported segment would have been cut. (It didn’t help that Mark Henry erroneously namedropped Nox as one of the fallen on “Busted Open,” but hey, everyone makes mistakes.)

But here we are, seven days after not getting to witness an opportunity for Nox, actually getting to witness an opportunity for Nox! And what’s more? She earned yet another opportunity, with a shot at gold next week! Lynch even blurred the lines between realities, noting that she saw Nox by the curtain last week and was hoping, as she hit the ring, that Nox would be the one to answer her challenge — that’s always cool. Were the reports of changing script accurate? Or was this the plan all the while? Look, given the history here, everything was probably torn up near the 11th hour, but I’m okay with burying my head in the sand every once in a while, and I’m cool with doing it here given the way they’ve set up this story.

On top of Nox being easy to root for, with her battling back from knee injuries far more times than anyone should have to, being released, returning and not really doing too much so far, this works in several ways. One, there goes the whole “not much to do so far” thing, which is always great, because while returns are awesome, returns for no reason suck, and eventually you’ll end up on the scrapheap anyway. Two, this lets me walk back my hatred of Natalya’s place on the card last week, seeing as how this places her in a storyline just perfectly, using her veteran privilege to step in front of a less confident up-and-comer. And three, this could very well set up a smooth transition for the “NXT” Women’s Championship if a few things shake out — one that I wasn’t seeing until now.

Nox has earned #1 contender’s status with her win tonight, meaning next week on “Raw,” she’ll get the winner of this weekend’s Lynch/Tiffany Stratton rematch. I wouldn’t think a lengthy “NXT” title run is in the cards for Lynch, who will be just fine going back to Monday nights without that particular piece of gold. Does Stratton take the return engagement? By most accounts, she’s ready for a call-up herself. What better time to make that happen than next week, even in a losing effort? And sending Nox back to “NXT” for a while, strapped with the title, and set for a decent run will give her a chance to establish all kinds of credibility she hasn’t had the chance to previously. I think it fits in this “NXT” era, with a glut of female talent not quite at the main event level, especially if Stratton is no longer in the picture. Let them chase Nox for a bit. Let Tegan thrive there. Then let her help anoint the new face of the women’s division down in Orlando.

(But most of all, I’m just glad they’re telling a story that makes sense here.)



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