Saturday, January 16, 2021

Winners & Losers: SmackDown 01.15.21

SmackDown this week was a lot like last week with the exception that we did get one match. The match centered around the storyline...

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Raw Redux (November 1st, 2010): Natalya’s Last Chance + Lita Returns to Raw

In an effort to get this Divas Championship feud rolling again after last week’s lull, WWE gave us another Michelle McCool vs Natalya match, but this time with a twist: If Natalya could beat Michelle McCool in singles action, she’d receive one last shot at the Divas Championship at Survivor Series. Can Natalya overcome the odds and get another crack at the title? Will Lay-Cool cheat their way to another victory? Find out… after this pointless Divas segment. Damas y Caballeros, I present to you: Diva Twister!!! (With a very special cameo):

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t expect the majority of the Raw Divas to be lumped into a segment with Pee-wee, so I wasn’t really surprised. The jokes were cheesy and the acting bad, no surprise there either. Another typical Guest Host segment, all in all. If I feel bad for anyone, it’s everyone in the audience under 21, who had no idea who Pee-wee Herman was and The Bella Twins for having to share their “Guest Host Arm Candy” spot with Eve and Melina and any other Divas that don’t happen to have a match on Raw or Superstars that week.

Believe it or not, there was a silver lining in this black cloud of a segment. Four-time Women’s Champion made a rare appearance, accompanying her self-professed idol, Pee-wee Herman in this segment. As a huge fan of Lita, I almost blacked out when I saw her pop up on my screen. She could have eaten a live puppy on the air and I’d probably say it was the best moment of Raw this week. That said, even Lita’s appearance couldn’t save this bomb of a segment. Thumbs down for Diva Twister and two thumbs way up (I wish I had more thumbs) for Lita’s cameo.

Next up, Natalya faces off with Michelle for a championship match at Survivor Series. Check out the match below:

Lay-Cool comes out to the ring first, saying they’ve gotten off on the wrong foot with the Divas, Superstar and most importantly, the WWE Universe. In an attempt to make us love them again, they declare they’re giving Natalya another go at the title. However, she has to beat Michelle McCool tonight if she wants it.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Natalya’s music hits and she comes strutting down the ramp, confident as ever. the referee signals for the bell and our match is underway.

McCool goes for the lockup immediately, but Nattie evades and locks in a waistlock from behind. Michelle fights out with a few elbows and charges, but Natalya reverses with a fireman’s carry into a armbar, which Michelle reverses with a legscissors. After a bit of struggling, Natalya kips up and out of the hold and goes on the offensive with a flurry of strikes, followed by a beautiful wheelbarrow suplex.

Sensing danger, McCool tries to call for a time out, but Natalya isn’t having it. Nattie keeps the heat on McCool with more strikes and an Irish whip to the turnbuckle. McCool reverses the whip and charges at her opponent, but gets a stiff elbow to the face for her trouble. Natalya seizes the moment and goes up to the second rope (for what, I have no idea), but Michelle sends her crashing to the canvas for a near fall.

Now in control, Michelle pounds on Natalya for a bit before going for another pin, but Nattie kicks out at one. Frustrated, Michelle lands another kick to Natalya’s midsection, before slapping on a bodyscissors. As Natalya tries to fight her way out, Michelle wiggles to the ropes and grabs them for extra leverage. Fortunately for Natalya, the ref sees Michelle and forces her to relinquish the hold.

Michelle stays on top of Natalya, whipping her off the ropes for a back body drop, but Natalya kicks her in the shoulder and goes for her signature double underhook suplex, but the champ has her scouted and counters into a beautiful bridging suplex of her own for a near fall.

Looking to finish Nattie off, Michelle goes for the big boot, but Natalya catches her and sets up the Sharpshooter. McCool manages to escape and Layla comes sprinting around the ring to help her BFF (“GET OFF OF MY FRIEND!!!”), but get attacked for her efforts. Natalya grabs Layla and slingshots her right into her BFF, Michelle.

With Layla neutralized, Natalya throws Michelle into the ring, but when she tries to follow, Michelle comes charging with another big boot. Natalya manages to dodge, sending McCool’s boot crashing into Layla’s face. While Michelle is distracted, Natalya rolls her up for the win and scores a match at Survivor Series.

Another solid match from Michelle and Natalya. I’d even go as far as to say that this match could be seen on a PPV, but the standard being pretty low for Divas PPV matches, maybe that’s not the best compliment. I thought this match was even better than Michelle vs Nattie Part One at Hell in a Cell. These girls have pretty good chemistry and it really showed here. I really hope we get Michelle vs Natalya at Survivor Series, because I really feel that these girls can and will deliver the goods when given the opportunity.

Another interesting element in this match was Lay-Cool’s miscommunication towards the end of the match. If WWE were smart, they’d play this up and make this the reason why Lay-Cool loses the straps. Hopefully, there will be some more development in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series.

All in all, a decent night for the Divas on Raw. Even though Diva Twister was a big ol’ dud, the match between Nattie and Michelle and Lita’s appearance more than made up for it. Let’s just hope WWE doesn’t drop the ball again next week with this Natalya/Lay-Cool fued.

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