WWE

Raw Women's Champion Charlotte def. Sasha Banks and Bayley

INDIANAPOLIS — One thing you can say about the Raw Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match is that everyone deserved to be there.

Charlotte, the reigning champion; Sasha Banks, the beloved challenger looking to recover from the ultimate humiliation; and, of course, Bayley, the insurgent upstart who hugged her way into the WWE Universe’s heart the second she showed up. All proved themselves worthy to hold championship gold, but only one of these women actually could, and that woman is Charlotte.

That’s right, the heiress to the wheelin’-dealin’ legacy of “The Nature Boy” found a way to win Flair and square, walking both in and out of the first Raw-exclusive pay-per-view as Team Red’s Women’s Champion. (The win was her 12th consecutive pay-per-view title match victory.) Bayley, surprisingly, was all but written off by both Sasha and Charlotte, who threw hands with each other throughout the entirety of the contest. Bayley wisely used that disrespect to her advantage, throwing a wrench into each of her opponents’ momentum when they least expected it. It took interference from Charlotte’s enforcer Dana Brooke — legal, thanks to the No Disqualification rules of the Triple Threat — to take Bayley out of the running and keep the battle confined to Charlotte and Sasha.

The downside to that was Bayley had more energy by the time she did rally, at which point Charlotte and Sasha had brutalized each other to the point of exhaustion. Bayley was quick to earn her competitors’ respect, but her more-seasoned foes had the veteran know-how to neutralize her comeback. Sasha, however, had taken severe punishment to her back, and was ultimately the first Superstar to be taken out of the equation when Charlotte hauled her off Bayley and threw her back-first into the barricade. Bayley unleashed a last-ditch effort in the pursuit of the miracle wins that have come to define her, but Charlotte would not be denied. The reigning Raw Women’s Champion escaped a small package and nailed Bayley with a big boot that also sent her stumbling into an interfering Sasha, then unleashed another boot that put Bayley down for three.