It has emerged that a botch by the referee during Tamina vs Nikki ASH on WWE Raw led to the wrong person winning the match.
The confusing finish saw Nikki ASH hit a crossbody on Tamina, and then the ref, Danilo Anfibio, counted to three despite Tamina clearly kicking out at two.
To make things even more baffling, ring announcer Mike Rome announced Tamina as the winner and Tamina’s music played – we now know why that happened.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said:
“Tamina was supposed to win that match. That’s why the ring announcer said, ‘The winner, Tamina’. If you watch when the match ended, it was Tamina’s music that played, not Nikki’s music, and the ring announcer got the wrong call.
“What happened was, the ref botched the call. You remember, Tamina kicked out. She kicked out, the ref did not see her kick out and called it as a shoot. She totally kicked out. The ref backstage just said, ‘I didn’t see it’, and was apologetic and everything like that, but it was the ref’s fault. He did blow the call.
“That’s why the music guy had Tamina’s music cued up, so that’s why it played. How the ring announcer messed up is really an indictment of the ring announcer because it shows he was not watching at all. He knew what he was supposed to say, but the TV announcers – (Corey) Graves, Jimmy Smith and Byron (Saxton) – they knew enough to not say Tamina had just won. And the ring announcer did not, he was clearly not paying attention and that was bad.”
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Despite the ring announcer and music being Tamina’s, WWE did officially rule Nikki ASH the winner.
The match was followed up by ASH’s tag team partner Rhea Ripley picking up a win over Tamina’s Women’s Tag Team Champion partner Natalya.