Friday, June 18, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (March 26th, 2010): No Vickie, Excuse Us!

The final SmackDown before WrestleMania promised a Beth Phoenix vs Vickie Guerrero match, but anyone could see a mile away that it wouldn’t be a straight one-on-one match. Last week I predicted that Vickie would likely change it to a 3-on-1 match with her teaming up with Lay-Cool but oh no, that wasn’t enough — Raw’s Maryse and Alicia Fox were tacked on too. Why? God knows. I get that it’s all in the name of WrestleMania, as the Divas will have a last minute multi-Diva tag match but there’s been no reasons given as to why the various Divas of Raw and SmackDown are coming together and fighting. And frankly, it’d be a waste trying to figure out why.

The big story however was not WrestleMania, which wasn’t even mentioned on the show. Instead that match was quietly announced on the WWE website, and I do mean quietly! Not even a slide in that flash player thing on the homepage, it was literally just tacked onto the ‘Mania page where only those who were looking to find it, would find it. Doesn’t instill a lot of confidence about this match, does it? Anyway, I digress…

The big story was the continuation of a rather fun feud on SmackDown where Beth Phoenix once again, looked golden and Vickie Guerrero, well we saw a little too much of her. Watch below:

So as explained earlier, before the match begins Vickie announces that it will now be a 5-on-1 match. Despite the switcheroo, Beth shows no signs of being intimidated and can’t wait for Layla to get in the ring to start things out. Beth extends her hand to bump knuckles with Layla [really?] but as Layla comes closer, she nails her with a forearm. Layla tries to tag out but is dragged across the ring by Phoenix and cue some funny screams from Lay-Lay. Layla begins fighting back with some forearms and again, some beautiful kicks. She then tries to hightail it to her corner but Beth grabs her in mid-air. “Michellllllle… Please help me!” Gotta love this girl!

Beth runs into the corner with Layla and begins stomping into her but is dragged away by the referee and somehow, she herself falls straight on her butt. As Beth exchanges insults with the other Divas on the apron, Layla mounts a comeback and hits Beth in the jaw with an elbow. She then tries to jump on Beth who picks her up and hoists her in the air in gorilla press slam position. Meanwhile from the outside, Michelle tags Layla and hits Beth in the back of the head. Beth uses Layla as a human weapon as it were, using her to hit Michelle off the apron before dropping her to the canvas.

Beth drags McCool into the ring and throws her across it before bringing in Alicia Fox the hard way and knocking Maryse off the apron with an elbow. Back in the ring, she hits Lay-Cool with a double clothesline before throwing Maryse into Alicia and then hitting them with a double clothesline also. All four Divas then begin clamouring around Beth as she does her best to fight them all off. The referee tries to restore order by getting Maryse out of the ring. Meanwhile, Layla grabs Beth by the legs as Michelle delivers a stiff & swift big boot to the Glamazon. From the outside of the ring, Vickie screams “Excuse me!” wanting to be tagged in to make the pin. McCool tags her and Vickie, getting into ring the first time in the match, promptly takes credit for the Women’s Champion’s handiwork.

After the match, it’s not enough as Lay-Cool prompt Vickie to climb the ropes and hit a frogsplash, her late husband’s signature move, on Beth Phoenix while Maryse & Alicia hold her down. But just as she climbs the ropes, she notices the babyface band of Gail, Eve, Mickie & Kelly hitting the ring and tries to alert her teammates. The babyface Divas clear the ring of the heels and leave Vickie alone in the ring with the Glamazon… ruh roh!

The Glamazon comes to and begins smirking as she spots Vickie. Vickie does a hilarious, “I’m just going to go…” expression and tries to hightail it but Beth grabs hold of her pants. Beth pulls down Vickie’s pants revealing pink underwear with a bejewelled ‘Excuse me’ on it and the audience goes wilde! Beth is in hysterics and mouths, “I’m sorry” to a humiliated Vickie who then runs out of the arena. Meanwhile, the crowd roars for the Glamazon who has most definitely arrived as a babyface.

This was an extremely fun segment that I feel got lost in the shuffle of WrestleMania. This would have been just as great any other week building up the SmackDown storyline, instead it was overrun with the girls from Raw to build to Sunday’s WrestleMania — yet they didn’t even mention a match at ‘Mania. I now wished they’d have held off this segment to next week perhaps, after WrestleMania to really make it mean something and use it to build up that rivalry between Beth, Vickie & Lay-Cool. You could have easily cut Maryse & Alicia from this match and you could easily have had Mickie and Tiffany, SmackDown Divas, be the ones that made the save. The use of Raw was unneeded. Two days before ‘Mania, this great segment I feel will be overlooked perhaps in coming weeks.

The match was obviously not a full-fledged competitive match, rather a device to keep continuing the storyline and that’s fine. Again, Layla’s comedy was on-point and really, I’d rather see her in the ring with Beth than Maryse or Alicia as she’s actually part of the storyline so I’m glad the two Raw Divas were kept out of it for the most part.

The crowd ate up Beth Phoenix and I think she has so much momentum behind her right now that it’s hard to go wrong. I think fans are getting behind Beth and she’s so much more interesting and multi-faceted as a character than she’s ever been before.

SmackDown has been delivering and this week was no exception, but I’d have made some changes — no Raw necessary!

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