Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (October 8th, 2010): So Natalya Versus Lay-Cool Isn’t Over?

Previously on WWE television…

Natalya faced off against Michelle McCool, one-half of the self proclaimed co-Diva’s Unified Champions, in a riveting match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. The third generation Diva defeated the champion by disqualification when Michelle’s partner-in-crime, the vivacious Layla interfered by throwing her shoe. Natalya was left in the ring with a hollow victory and no title to show for it. The next night on Raw, Natalya got a chance to take three seconds of her frustration out on Alicia Fox, and picked up a win, while Lay-Cool fell to defeat thanks to a dastardly twin switch orchestrated by those darn Bella twins! Those events led the majority of us to think that perhaps Lay-Cool versus Natalya was officially over. But maybe it’s not! Tonight, Layla steps inside in the ring against long-time rival, Kelly Kelly. Michelle will be at ringside but guess who will be joining her…

The team of Lay-Cool are the first to enter the ring on this glorious Friday night. Layla is wearing her SmackDown best and Michelle is wearing a T-shirt that has been constructed to say “Flawless Dynasty.” Lay-Cool play to the crowd who thank their lucky stars that the two girls aren’t wearing microphones tonight. Their ring entrance is short lived because pretty soon Kelly and Natalya make their way to the ring. Kelly is supporting her American heritage with a red, white, and blue flag attire and Nattie is dressed in her usual pink and black. Layla and Michelle aren’t so excited to see Kelly and they immediately begin to hold their noses and act like her smell is the worse than the a men’s locker-room after football practice. From the outside of the ring, Michelle gives Layla some last minute instructions and when the bell rings Layla scoots into the ring and locks up with Kelly.

Layla wraps Kelly in a headlock and flips her down to the mat on her back. She goes for a quick cover but Kelly is out after the one count. Both girls scamper to their feet and Kelly goes for Layla and throws her down on the mat. Layla rolls out of the way and gets up, clearly pissed off. She shoves Kelly who takes it like a woman, and then shoves Layla back just a little harder. Kelly attempts to follow it up but Layla kicks her right in the stomach, wrenches the arm, and then follows it up with another kick, this time to the ribs. Kelly tries to hook her arms around Layla’s waist but Layla backs her up to the ropes and nails her with an elbow to the side of the skull. Layla kicks Kelly in the stomach once again and this time the happy-go-lucky blond awkwardly falls through the ropes. Layla distracts the referee and Michelle sneaks up behind Kelly and kicks her again just for the hell of it. That prompts Natalya to come around the ring from the other side. The referee stops her before she can do anything and Layla slides out of the ring to get her opponent. Kelly is tossed back into the ring.

Natalya starts to get the crowd into the match as Kelly slowly gets to her feet. Layla is quick to take the legs out from underneath the other girl and once again Kelly is down on the mat. Layla goes for a lazy cover and Kelly manages to get out of it after the two count. Layla gets back up to her feet and starts to work over Kelly’s left leg. Kelly slams Layla in the back a couple of times and reluctantly, Layla lets go of her advantage. Kelly gets to her feet and begins to throw some offense at Layla for really the first time in the match. She takes down the last ever Women’s Champion and starts to beat Layla’s head into the mat. Layla is forced to eat two clotheslines from Kelly and finally, Kelly tries for a pin. Layla kicks out. Kelly’s not really bothered and she takes Layla by the back of the neck and forces her into the corner. She slams Layla’s head into the turnbuckle and starts to stomp a mudhole in her. Kelly backs off, heads for the other side, and goes for one of her trademark moves. She nails a perfect round-off and is going to follow it up with an elbow but Layla has other plans. She kicks Kelly right down to the mat and follows it up with Layout. Kelly is pinned and Layla gets a well deserved victory.

Michelle grabs the championships and heads to the other side where Layla is so they can celebrate. Natalya slides into the ring to check on Layla. For whatever reason, Layla decides she wants to some of Nattie as well so she storms the ring. Natalya is waiting and Layla damn near finds herself locked in the Sharpshooter. Michelle thankfully saves the day and Natalya screams at them to just leave. She goes to comfort Kelly and SmackDown fades into a promo shot for MVP versus Dolph Ziggler.

Observations: This match was pretty darn good, in my humble opinion. Kelly’s more aggressive, kind of ghetto girl attitude really suits her for some odd reason and I love the fact that she’s not afraid to go for it in the ring. She’s never going to be a five star wrestler but she does the best with what she has and I applaud her efforts tonight. She seems to be getting better and I like that. If I had to pick one thing to call Kelly out on, it’s the fact that when she went on offense towards the end of the match she kind of forgot she had been selling a hurt leg. I’m probably being picky since wrestlers seemingly do that sort of thing all the time but it was just weird for me to watch Layla work the leg, Kelly sell it, and then act like that never even happened. I suppose we can chalk it up to 2K getting her second wind. I really don’t want want to nitpick what was a pretty good Diva match.

It made me happy to see Natalya at ringside. I refuse to apologize for being one of those people who jumped the gun and said that the ‘E dropped Nattie from the title picture because this doesn’t prove anything. I still think she’s filler until Beth makes her return. BUT at least the WWE gave us reason to feel like the feud with Lay-Cool could continue. Layla almost got dismantled with a Sharpshooter tonight but her BFF saved her. That was good even if seeing Layla storm the ring by herself was weird.

And speaking of Layla, how good is this girl getting in the ring? I love knowing how Layla started in wrestling and I love seeing where she’s at now. Her progress has been slow and steady, and now all her hard work is paying off. I would love to see her step into the ring against Natalya, and Beth when she returns. I also can’t wait until the day she finally faces off against Michelle. It’s inevitable and I have a feeling that it could very well be a most epic match. Pretty optimistic on my part but I don’t underestimate either member of Lay-Cool.

In other news…

The Kaitlyn/Dolph/Vickie triangle carried over from NXT. Towards the end of his Intercontinental Championship match, Dolph was on the brink of losing to MVP. Kaitlyn strutted herself down to the ring in hot stiletto heels and grabbed MVP’s leg when he went to hit Ziggler with “Ballin’!” The distraction allowed Dolph to turn and hit the ZigZag on MVP and retain his championship. After the match was over, Kaitlyn climbed in the ring and together, she and Dolph celebrated. The celebration was pretty hot until Vickie interrupted it. Dolph pushed Kaitlyn out of the way and swore to Vickie that Kaitlyn was nothing and he only loved her. Something tells me things are going to get pretty nasty on NXT this week.

Overall, I enjoyed SmackDown this week. It was a million times better than Raw ever thought about being and I look forward to more storyline progression come NXT and maybe Raw since Lay-Cool are likely to appear. Tonight’s show gets two thumbs up.

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