Last night saw both the Divas Championship from Raw and the Women’s Championship from SmackDown on the line at Money in the Bank. Alicia Fox and Eve Torres did battle as did Kelly Kelly and Layla. Catch the reviews below:
Raw – by Steven
After being outsmarted by Alicia Fox during her last title match, Eve Torres is handed… er, I mean, earns another shot at the belt at Money in the Bank. Can the fiery Latina take back the goal? Will Alicia ‘outfox’ Eve once again? Check out the match below:
Eve makes her way out first, clad in a brand new orange and gold outfit, which looks phenomenal. She’s followed by the Divas champion, Alicia Fox, who is as sassy as always. She saunters to the ring the and the gets underway.
The ladies start off with a basic lockup that Eve muscled into the corner. Eve fights out, but is taken by Alicia who still has Eve locked in their Collar and Elbow tie-up. Eve makes her way to her feet and takes Alicia down with the very same move, sending Alicia across the canvas.
Alicia and Eve lock up again, but this time Eve quickly gets the upper hand with a side headlock. Alicia tries to dislogde Eve by whipping her into the ropes, but is taken out by a stiff shoulder block for a nearfall. Eve wastes no time getting back on the offensive with a jackknife and a sunset flip pin to no avail.
After a couple of dropkicks, a groggy Alicia stumbled to the corner and is met by a big clothesline. Eve whips Alicia across the ring, but Alicia counters and tries to get in some licks of her own. Alicia comes charging at Eve and eats an elbow for her trouble. Eve climbs up the ropes and sets up for a Tornado DDT, but Fox wriggles free and pulls Eve down to the mat hard.
Eve rolls to the outside and Alicia follows, slamming Eve into the apron. Alicia proceeds to pull Eve in the ring by the hair and goes for the pin, but only get a two count.
Alicia keep the pressure on the challenger, dishing out a couple of strikes to Eve’s lower back, followed by a few submissions. Eve finally finds an opening and unleashes a flurry of strikes but is quickly neutralized by Alicia’s patented Tilt-a-Whirl backbreaker for a nearfall.
Alicia goes right back to working on Eve lower back, which is visibly favoring at this point, but Eve gets the upper hand with a sketchy yet effective monkey flip. Finally with the advantage, Eve starts the usual babyface comeback offense, including but not limited to a few forearms, a couple of dropkicks etc. However, when She goes for a suplex, she screams in pain and clutches her back. Immediately, Eve executes Plan B: a kick to the knee, followed by a kick to the chest and a picture perfect standing moonsault, which only gets her a two count.
Alicia lands a kick to Eve’s head, who stumbled to the corner to regroup. Alicia come charging and Eve lands a kick to her head. Looking to finish this off, Eve goes up to the second and executes her senton. Unfortunately for her. Alicia gets her knees up and nails her in the lower back. As Eve struggles to her feet, Alicia hits her axe kick for the win.
Very solid match for the Raw Divas at Money in the Bank. I’ve haven’t really been a fan of Alicia and Eve’s work in the ring together, but I think they really put on a good match and exceeded everyone’s expectations.
One of the best things about this match was the story that was told. These days, most Divas matches are move after move with no kind of psychology, but not in this match. Alicia made a point of going after Eve’s lower back the entire match and Eve milked it for all it was worth, selling like a champ from bell to bell.
Speaking of Eve, I was really impressed with her tonight. As of late, I’ve found her rather bland between the ropes, but tonight I saw a bit of spark and personality, two things she’s in desperate need of. Alicia also impressed me. Her sassy personality is a breath of fresh air after the generic reign of Eve Torres. I can’t to see how she develops as a champion and as a personality over the coming months.
All in all, an impressive showing from the red brand. Not their best work, but PPV worthy for sure. Both ladies came out of the match looking great and I can’t wait to see what happens between them tonight on Monday Night Raw.
Match Rating: 4/5
SmackDown – by Melanie
After a good Divas Title bout from Raw, it was the turn of the SmackDown Divas — Kelly and Layla to battle for the Women’s Title. Watch below:
Kelly is out first accompanied by Tiffany. K2 is dressed in army green tonight while Tiffany seems to have replaced Maria as our resident ‘Leopard Print Diva’. They’re followed by the co-Women’s Champions, Michelle, who I am certain was wearing a bathing suit tucked into jeans and a flawless looking Layla. Easily the best dressed of the night.
Kelly runs at Layla immediately as the bell rings, showing some great aggression, and the two lock up. Kelly is backed into the corner by the Women’s Champion and then shoved back into the corner, following a spat with the referee. As she takes a moment to flaunt her authority over K2 to Michelle on the outside, Kelly is back in the game launching a Thesz Press on Layla and smashing her head against the canvas. Kelly hits a forearm and then tries to whip Layla into the ropes but she counters, Layla bends to hit an overhead toss but Kelly manages to find her footing and kicks Layla. This is followed by some huge open-handed slaps as Layla is backed into the corner. Kelly smashes Layla’s head against the turnbuckle and follows through with some stomps before going for her patented handspring elbow. Layla moves out of the way but is met with a boot to the chest by Kelly from the corner. Kelly then goes for a victory roll but Layla kicks out at two.
As Layla stumbles and leans on the bottom rope, she is kicked out of the ring by a feisty Kelly. Kelly climbs out of the ring and walks along the apron going for a crossbody but Layla pulls the ring apron away and traps Kelly’s leg between the apron and the ring in very Finlay-esque fashion. Layla then hits a few vicious kicks to Kelly’s leg. Great spot.
Back in the ring, Layla goes for a pin but Kelly kicks out. Layla then moves Kelly nearer to the ring ropes, wrapping her leg around the bottom rope and using it to apply pressure to her leg.
Odd spot here as Michelle taunts Kelly, almost kneeling so she’s at eye level with Kelly. Not sure if Layla didn’t see Michelle there or if this was part of the plan, but Layla hits a baseball slide and Kelly falls off the apron to the outside and top of Michelle. Just looked awkward. Layla then throws Kelly into the barricade. K2 is taking some punishment tonight!
As the referee is distracted by Layla and Tiffany, Michelle hits some cheap shots on Kelly, then perches herself atop the barricade, taunting her. But the challenger is not in the mood tonight, viciously shoving Michelle off the barricade to the floor below. Another great spot.
Layla jumps out of the ring but walks into a kick to the gut by Kelly. Kelly then smashes her against the side of the ring before rolling her back in. Layla walks into some clotheslines and then Kelly hits a jackknife pin but Layla kicks out. Layla hits a knee to the stomach and throws Kelly into the corner. She runs at Kelly who moves out of the way. Kelly hits a weak K2 and goes for the pin. Another awkward moment, as Michelle goes to put Layla’s foot on the rope but it looks as though Layla has lifted it to sell the roll up. Kelly then ends up lifting Layla’s other leg and placing her foot on the rope. Things begin falling apart.
Kelly and Tiffany on the outside hit a double shoulder block on Michelle, taking her down.
Back in the ring, Kelly goes for a sunset flip from the middle rope on Layla but Layla doesn’t go down. Again, awkward. Layla kind of shoves Kelly’s head down to the canvas and pins her in less than memorable fashion. A really bad finish.
Nonetheless, Layla retains the title for yet another day as Lay-Cool celebrate.
Compared to the Raw Divas Championship match, this match certainly lacked luster. There just didn’t seem to be much of a focus on Kelly and Layla, as you had with Eve and Alicia, and it took away from the match. I did enjoy seeing the spots with Michelle, Kelly and Tiffany but the match should have been solely about Kelly and Layla and I think those spots detracted from what was going on in the ring.
The in-ring action itself wasn’t very memorable. It didn’t feel like a cohesive match, with the only spot that stood out to me was Layla catching Kelly between the ring apron and the ring itself. Despite having wrestled so often in the past, there’s almost a disconnect between these two Divas and they lacked chemistry in the ring. There was nothing to write home about, if you ask me.
There were some real misfires in this match including the baseball slide taking out Michelle — I’m still undecided if this was planned or not, but it looked silly as you had Michelle swan off as if nothing happened and Layla ignoring the fact that she just took out her own partner. The pin attempt after the K2 was sloppy, as was the final sunset flip counter.
Given the short amount of time that this match had, it seems as though they tried to cram in too much in such a short space of time. As a result, the emphasis was on spots on the outside (i.e. Michelle on the barricade), rather than the match itself. I understand why these spots were put in — to gratify the audience — but they just detracted from the in-ring work.
To Kelly’s credit, I think while the match wasn’t great, she showed a real fire in this match that we have never seen before. I could feel the aggression and intensity coming from her. Kudos to her on that. I really liked seeing a stronger, more feisty side to her because we usually see the smiley-happy Kelly that doesn’t work when you’re in a title feud, where there’s so much at stake. She played her part and actually came out of this match looking more like a top Diva than before she went into it, despite the match not being very good. I also really appreciate that she seems to have dropped the usual headscissors and hurricanranas. Surprisingly, she was the more memorable of the two Divas in this match.
Minus the three spots mentioned, I didn’t find the match to be as sloppy on second and third watch as it seemed when I watched it live. I just didn’t find the match to be memorable and that’s not a good thing, especially on pay per view.
Hopefully, if we get a rematch, the emphasis will be placed on the match itself and not cramming in every little spot that they can.
Match Rating: 2/5
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