Sunday, June 13, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (March 12th, 2010): The Blonde and the Brawny

It’s okay to look — SmackDown has returned to form! Hurrah! After an iffy week with not much going on last week, this week’s show was infinitely better with the blonde babyfaces proving the Divas moniker to be true — they were smart, they were sexy and oh yes, they were powerful! You’d expect little else from the Glamazon Beth Phoenix… but Tiffany? Tiffany?! I was not expecting anything out of the former ECW GM upon reading the spoilers for this week but Tiffany girl, consider my eyes opened. Tiff Tiff shocked the hell out of me with her rather great in-ring debut on SmackDown — perhaps one of the better ones in recent years from the model-types.

This week’s action kicked off with Tiffany backstage with Teddy Long. Vickie Guerrero comes in and tries to put Tiffany in her place but Teddy tells Vickie that Tiff’s here to be a Diva in the women’s division, not a GM. Going all the way back to Tiffany’s first night as GM on ECW, I thought her acting was more convincing here — she’s improved. Still though, and this is probably the same for most of the Divas, she isn’t great.

Next we have Tiffany making her in-ring debut against Michelle McCool as ordered by Guerrero.

McCool makes her entrance first with Vickie now joining the Simply Flawless team and awkwardly taking part in their entrance. Next out is the newest Diva, Tiffany and for a second I had to wonder if I was watching the right show. She seriously looked like something fresh out of Wrestlicious. With that ring attire and music she comes across as a cliched character on TakeDown. It’s hard to take the girl seriously when she looks like that, I really hope she finds a decent ring attire with some pants or shorts soon.

As Tiffany approaches the ring, some nice expressions from Michelle with her looking bored and uninterested in the new Diva. McCool, taking Tiffany lightly, mocks her skirt [thank you!] and tries to intimidate the former ECW GM by shoving her down to the canvas. Tiffany jumps straight back up but McCool again mocks the Diva by taking a time up for some press ups. Tiffany runs at McCool surprising her with her feistiness and throws a few jibes of her own at the Women’s Champ. Michelle walks into a nicely executed atomic drop by Tiffany followed by two impactful clotheslines. Already, I’m impressed. Frankly, I was expecting a flimsy kind of Kelly-esque moveset from Tiffany with less than believable clotheslines but Tiffany’s clotheslines connected and they connected hard. She looked powerful and dominant which is great when you need to choreograph and sell your moves. Perhaps her background in power lifting helps? Tiffany then goes for a low dropkick on Michelle, kind of jumping in the air to execute it. Hmm, it looked a little odd but again, it connected and looked believable which is already the antithesis of some of the ‘model’ girls we see on Raw. Tiffany then kicks Michelle through the ropes and then somewhat surprisingly, jumps right out of the ring herself and goes after the champ some more! Gotta love that aggression.

Tiffany runs at Michelle, striking her hard across the back and then hits her head on the side of the apron not once but twice. She then hits her with a few forearms and then an elbow. Tiff then throws Michelle into the barricade with force. Tiffany grabs McCool by the arm and tries to throw her back into the ring but the champ holds onto the barricade. Then we see Vickie run at Tiffany, knocking her to the ground with Tiffany’s head smacking against the floor. Ouch! Tiffany struggles and props herself up against the barricade in pole position for Michelle McCool’s vicious knee strike that we’ve seen in the past on the likes of Eve and Melina. Just like Vickie’s takedown, this looked incredibly powerful and looked as though it hurt. Great selling by both Divas.

McCool rolls Tiffany into the ring for more punishment but as she begins choking her out in the corner with her foot, out runs the Glamazon Beth Phoenix. Phoenix throws Layla into McCool and hits them both with a double clothesline. Michelle rolls out of the ring and then Beth then throws Layla out of it and into Michelle on the outside. This leaves her alone in the ring with Guerrero. The crowd was incredibly, incredibly hot for Beth as a smirk comes over her face. Vickie tries to make a dash for it but the Glamazon grabs her by the arm and drags her back into the ring. She lets go of Vickie’s arm, teasing that she’s not going to hurt her as the crowd chants, “Do it!” Beth’s facial expression changes from smiley to anger and she hits Vickie with a clothesline! The clothesline could have been executed better but nonetheless, it doesn’t matter as the desired effect was obtained — the crowd was hot to see Vickie get her just desserts and it gave Beth an incredible crowd support because of it. Beth then goes to pick up Vickie for a Glam Slam but McCool and Layla interrupt and Vickie flees the ring. Beth helps Tiffany up and raises her arm as the two impressive blondes get the upper hand to end the segment.

From start to finish, I thought this was a fantastic Divas segment and I really, really enjoyed the work from Tiffany and Beth Phoenix. I never knew Tiffany had this in her but she came out and proved why she deserves to be a WWE Diva and in all honesty, I think her in-ring debut was far better than the likes of Eve who is getting a push right now on Raw. She had great ring presence and her moves actually looked like they were impactful. Most of the time with the newer girls it seems there’s more emphasis on how they look doing the moves — they try to be sexy and stuff and aren’t as concerned with how the move looked. It has to look realistic, it has to look like it hurts and I think Tiffany has that down. I do think she could become more crisp and more fluid in the way she hits her moves i.e. that low dropkick and the forearms on the outside but for the most part, she was really impressive. I really did expect a ton of flashy moves like Eve or Kelly but she didn’t go that route and went with the basics and did them well — something that’s taken for granted. Her aggression and fire in the ring is again, something that can’t be taught — she didn’t look like she was just going through the motions, she looked as though she was in the heat of the moment and fighting for her life. Great intensity. I didn’t know what to expect from Tiffany but I was really impressed and if she continues like this in the coming weeks, I can see her lasting. My only gripe as mentioned earlier is her choice of ring attire. If she changes that, I think it’ll do her the world of good in being taken more seriously as a competitor. But for now, I’m impressed and I look forward to seeing more.

As for the Glamazon, it’s like she was reborn on SmackDown. I guess she’s now a full-on babyface and what a first night. After playing the stoic Glamazon for so long, it was great to see that fire just burst out of her in the ring tonight and the crowd just loved it. What an amazing reaction for her and I can only hope she manages to sustain it in the coming weeks — I do think being involved with Vickie helped her but if she can keep that going post-Vickie, then great. There’s so much momentum coming out of this week with Beth that it’d be so, so hard to get it wrong and I can only hope that they book Michelle vs Beth for the title at ‘Mania coming out of this. The reaction to Beth taking out Simply Flawless was huge and they’d be fools not to book it for ‘Mania just based on the momentum gained this week.

Great stuff this week. I’m already loving Beth as a babyface, she looked lik she’d been given a new lease on life and just tore the house down. And Tiffany, well what a night for her too. Two thumbs up!

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