A Women's Title match pitting champion Asuka against Mickie James was a big part of this week's WWE Raw 'In Your Face' sales pitch, with the promotion presenting it as potentially James' last shot at the gold, though the match was undone by a sloppy botched finish that was no fault of the workers themselves.
Mickie rolled an attempted Asuka Lock into a pinfall attempt. The referee abruptly called for the ball, sparking confusion, with a bewildered announce team trying to cover the slip-up by saying they thought James had tapped out. She hadn't, however, and the official spent a few seconds talking to her after the match had ended, before it was announced the clash had been brought to a close as Mickie couldn't continue, despite the veteran executing an offensive manoeuvre when the bell was called.
Per Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Radio, the blame is on the referee. The clash was supposed to end with James tapping out to the Asuka lock, though it is believed the official thought Mickie was injured, hence the call. He got this wrong and found himself in a situation where he was too late to go back on it.
A shame that such an anticipated bout ended on a whimper, but accidents happen.
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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.