SmackDown Redux (May 27th, 2011): AJ Debuts In The Most Lugubrious Way

Earlier this week, SmackDown Diva Layla made an announcement that she was going to have surgery to repair two injuries; a torn MCL and a torn ACL. That announcement just happened to coincide with the debut of a new Diva at Tuesday’s tapings, former Queen of FCW and third place NXTS3 rookie, AJ. A lot of people have been awaiting the arrival of the spunky life-long pro wrestling fan and it’s unfortunate that her debut has to happen right as Layla goes out from an injury. Whether AJ was brought up to take Layla’s place, I don’t know. But what I do know is that AJ’s debut was a rather dismal one. She teamed up with NXT winner and BFF, Kaitlyn, to take on the team of Alicia Fox and Tamina. Birthday girl, Natalya, was at ringside with the faces. Lets take a look at what went down.

Tonight we begin things with Alicia and Tamina in the ring.

Random Thought: I can only assume that Tamina and her cave-woman attire are heels by default now due to the severe lack of them on the blue brand, but who knows? Maybe Rosa won the coin toss this week and didn’t have to play the heel?

Anyway, Alicia and Tamina are waiting when Natalya’s music starts. The third-generation Diva leads her team of faces, consisting of Kaitlyn and AJ, to the ring. While they’re walking/playing to the crowd, a little video promo from earlier begins to play:

Natalya is talking to AJ and Kaitlyn and she says that both Alicia and Tamina are really strong competitors. Kaitlyn claims that she doesn’t like them because their names have to many A’s. AJ is just happy that she gets to make her SmackDown debut alongside Kaitlyn, and both girls want Natalya’s expertise at ringside. Nattie said she would be happy to support them at ringside.

Random Thought: Seriously? Melanie said it best on Twitter this morning when she said Kaitlyn’s character is a Brittany (from Glee) rip-off. I swear I think Brittany used a line either exactly like that or eerily similar. Ugh.

While that is going on, Nattie is giving her rookies some words of encouragement and it’s decided that AJ is going to kick things off against Alicia. The referee runs down the rules of your typical Diva tag team match and the bell rings to signal the beginning. The feisty little AJ is read to fight and Alicia just stares at her like she’s beneath her. AJ tells her to come on and the match is on. Alicia tries to bully AJ against the ropes, but the former Queen of FCW isn’t having it. She forces Alicia back with an elbow to the face and tries to capitalize, but Alicia chops her down to size with a knee to the gut. She pulls the smaller Diva up by the hair and whips her into the ropes. It looks like Alicia wants to hit AJ with a sidewalk slam (I am totally making that up, mind you) but AJ counters with what ends up being an extremely sloppy head-scissors take-down. AJ runs to the ropes, uses them for momentum, and ends up kicking Foxy in the face. AJ seems satisfied she’s grounded Alicia so she makes the tag to Kaitlyn.

The rarely seen NXT season three winner leaps into the ring over the top rope and attempts to pick up right where AJ left off. She allows Alicia to get up and when the ex-Diva’s Champ comes at Kaitlyn swinging, the Texan ducks, drops down, and is able to bring Alicia down to the mat. Kaitlyn goes on offense by slamming Foxy’s head into the mat more times than necessary. After that, she awkwardly forces Foxy into the corner and kinda-sorta but not really squashes her down. Alicia is able to push Kaitlyn away from her with her foot, but the blond quickly recovers. She pushes Alicia back against the turnbuckle and elbows her. Then Kaitlyn takes her opponent and executes a nice sidewalk slam (that I didn’t make up)! Kaitlyn goes for the cover but Tamina makes her presence felt by breaking it up.

AJ comes flying into the ring and attempts to take out Tamina but it’s just a really bad exchange between the two. They finally fall out of the ring and that leaves Kaitlyn and Alicia. Both have made their way to their feet and Alicia kicks Kaitlyn in the stomach. Kaitlyn doubles up which leaves her vulnerable. Alicia pounces on the opportunity and she sends Kaitlyn to the mat with a beautiful axe kick. Wow that was just flawless! Alicia goes for the cover and she gets a big win for the heel team.

Very cool to see Alicia and Tamina win, but unfortunate for AJ who becomes the first Diva to lose her debut match in God knows when. I feel kind of bad for AJ and her fans as they’ve been waiting for this. She got little to no hype. Had it not been for the little thirty second video before the match people who didn’t watch NXT would have been left clueless as to who she is. It was just bad booking. If you’re going to debut a Diva, at least give her some fan fare. I’m sure none of us expected a Kharma-esque debut, but AJ could have gotten something a bit better than a losing effort in a Diva tag match.

That said, it’s great to see new faces on SmackDown. Tamina, Alicia, and Kaitlyn were fun to watch despite the fact they, along with AJ, put together a sloppy match. Some of the spots were cringe-worthy, but I’ll cut them some slack. They’re all newish to each other (yes, Alicia was on NXT; yes, Tamina was in FCW with AJ; blah blah blah) and SmackDown is in a different league from NXT and FCW. I find it unfortunate that AJ has to play her annoying face character. Her heel work in FCW is delicious but at least we’ve got something new. And now we have something to build on. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing this whole “Nattie and her rookies” thing develop. Maybe Naomi can get called up next and Alicia can have her rookie, plus Tamina. So yeah, Alicia and her rookies. Maybe we could have a six-Diva war through out the summer? Girls on SmackDown need a storyline so writers, take notes! Stop stealing Glee quotes and make something happen.

SmackDown was average at best tonight.

Congrats to AJ for finally getting to the main roster. Here’s to many years, many wins, and hopefully a few title reigns thrown in.

Until next week, Cryssi out!

Cryssi
TV Reviewer - Read Profile
  • Lily

    The match was decent for what is was. It was pretty intense but it would have been great if it was past 4 minutes.

    Kaitlyn has improved alot but she has to stop pushing the girls in the ring so much because it always looks so ackward.

    Alicia Fox she did great for carrying most of the match. The kick at the end would have been better if she would have landed.

    AJ is so talented. She did great for only being in the ring a few seconds. Can’t wait to see more of her. I love her new look. Hopefully we get to see that tornado DDT but this time on someone who can sell maybe Tamina, next week?

    Tamina has such a big Jazz vibe (wrestling & attire wise), that’s why i love her.

  • Lily

    *it not is, erm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=-3&id=100000716103622#/Only.the.best.get.through?ref=profi Team Laycoolness!!!

    So Kaitlyn doesn’t like Alicia and Tamina because they have too many A’s in their names (I make that 2 each)

    But she’s willing to hang and train with Natalya? (I make that 3)

    Oh and I’m sorry AJ but Kaitlyn debuted aaaaaages ago!

    … EPIC FAIL!!! XD

  • Melina&Mickie4ever!

    Whoop! Whoop! For A.J. Im so glad she is finally called up , I’ve been a fan since her fcw days(b4 nxt). So Im glad she is finally here. She reminds me so much of Melina & Mickie. I think that’s why she caught my intrest. SHe has Mickie’s bubbly character , and reminds me of Melina in the face.

    Yeah the match was sloppy. Im kinda bummed out that A.j didnt get enuff time in the ring , hell she didnt even get a introduction , it would have been nice if we had gotten a nice little backstage segment introducing A.J , but many more matches with her is to come.But Alicia’s victory after 7-8 months made up for it. I can see A.J going one on one with Alicia and Tamina in the near future. Im guessing Alicia is the new top heel on SD. Whoop! Whoop! Im xcited for SD now. Also do I do like the idea of natalya being a teacher to the rookies….or just Kaitlyn. LOL

  • http://twitter.com/sieghrt sieghrt

    yeah it sucks losing on your debut, but what do you expect, WWE is good at making those things happen. Despite the negativity and all, I just wanna congratulate AJ in debuting in a much bigger brand, I hope that she gets better crowd cheers and at least 7 minute matches.

  • Melina&Mickie4ever!

    just realized wwe just turned Tamina face months ago , and now she is a heel again. Damn they gave Tamina the Alicia Fox heel turn treatment. Your face one week , then the next week your in a tag match , teaming with a Heel Diva.

  • Raekon

    What I liked:

    - fast paced, aggresive match on both sides
    - AJ and Kaitlyn got to show a tiny bit of what they bring up in fcw like the beautiful dropkick to the face to alicia from aj or the sidewalk slam from kaitlyn
    - Alicia looked SO pissed! I loved it.
    - Kaitlyn jumping into the ring and pulling a clothesline immediately looked powerful and was greatly executed by her and alicia

    What I disliked:

    - tamina got only to stomp kaitlyn to the face and behind her head

    - AJ coming in as a face even she was a great heel in fcw (even in her last match as divas champion in which she lost to aksana)

    - the hair pulling part is something kaitlyn NEVER did in any of her other matches and typical smackdown(hated it!!!!). It also looked as if a little accident happen there in which Alicias hair stucked into Kaitlyns attire so they had a hard to time get it off there when they were in the corner.
    Kaitlyn has shown powerslams, fireman carrys, over the head drops, electric chair drops, dropkicks to the back, various grabs and submissions, wedgie bombs and tons of other moves till now that they could had scripted for her to do in this match, what do they do? Exactly, they let her start a hair pulling parade. -.-

    - Kaitlyns dumb character was off, she never showed a “dumb blonde” attitude before but rather fun, sarcastic, smart and sweet. Are they trying to totally destroy her or trying to create the next “Jillian Hall” character so they can turn her heel? -.-
    PLEASE don’t destroy her wwe, she has tons of potential!

    - WHY did the girls have to enter in Natalyas music? Actually they never let wrestlers enter in the “Managers” music. Instead they are taking the music of one of the wrestlers from the tag team or there is a tag team music one.
    Since Kaitlyn has a titantron already, they could had let them enter to hers OR they could had pulled one out for AJ and let them enter to hers. It would look better in her debüt after all.

    The commentators were ok this time and better than in kaitlyns debüt in which matt stryker didn’t even knew in which nxt season kaitlyn even was. Ironically he had hosted it. <_<

    Alicia pulled her finisher awesomely this time and Kaitlyn sold it perfectly aswell.
    I would love to see a feud between them but without the hair pulling part please. -.-

    They both could deliver speedy, aggresive matches with tons of great moves so PLEASE WWE let them!

    @Cryssi
    Good review but AJ was the divas champion in fcw, the queen of fcw was aksana after she got the title from rosa. Aj was it a long time ago. :)

  • Lily

    I’m also guessing that the ackward backstage segment between Eve, Gail, Natalya and Tamina months ago was Tamina’s ‘heel turn’ as she did walk in the room giving both Natalya & Gail a dirty look.

  • Bdawg0701

    Bad way to bring AJ Lee up on her debut. A one-on-one match would’ve been fine. The match was the drizzling ish, with 1 minute to wrestle and AJ not getting much ring time.

    Kaitlyn, to me, has not improved at all. I wanted to pimp slap her for that GOD awful joke she made backstage. Not funny at all. She was just all over the place, and very akward in the match. And this is your NXT 3 Winner, that which the people voted. Way to go WWE Universe.

    The Scissors Kick was the only moment in the match, cause Booker T marked out on commentary. “I’ve seen that move before.” “Of course it will be successful” LMAO! Great Alicia got that win though.

    Again, wish they do more with AJ Lee (and Tamina, who still needs work), and hopefully things go well for the SD girls.

  • http://www.youtube.com/RingVixens Teri

    Ahhh, that was such a killer axe kick!

  • AdriRay<3Maryse

    They could have debuted AJ backstage in a more entertaining and logical way…

    Ok match….

    The kick was amazing! My jaw dropped, like honestly! I was expecting her to mess it up like she does a good majority of the time. These ladies deserve so much more time! The Big Show flashback that lasted like three minutes wasn’t needed. Or the five minute Booker/Cole segment.

  • JACKBLACK

    Don’t a lot divas lose on their debut match though? Layla did (I think), Eve did against Michelle and others did as well that I can’t think of right now..

  • Melina&Mickie4ever!

    Also is Rosa still a heel ? LOL there was a article saying she turned heel due to lack of heels on SD?. Guess they used Tamina instead..Eh dosent really matter Rosa will be teaming up with A.J and Nattie next week , then the following week she is gonna team up with Alicia and Tamina. Rosa dosent know what role she plays now a days…

  • AdriRay<3Maryse

    P.S.

    Everyone looked smoking tonight!

  • http://kringerspice.tumblr.com Irene_Cabrera

    “Random Thought: Seriously? Melanie said it best on Twitter this morning when she said Kaitlyn’s character is a Brittany (from Glee) rip-off. I swear I think Brittany used a line either exactly like that or eerily similar. Ugh.”

    It was indeed eerily similar. On Glee, Brittany said something about Mr. Schue (their teacher/choir director) teaching her the rest of the alphabet because she was stuck with M and N because she thought they looked alike and ended up getting confused. Just had to bring that along because I’m a Gleek. Hehehe.

    Regarding AJ’s debut, I thought she did good, but I think she really deserved better. The head-scissors takedown didn’t look sloppy to me. As for Kaitlyn… meh… :|

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeybicycle Kaledrina

    it’s really disappointing that we’ve only just had the draft but the smackdown division is still so out of balance.

    the match was eh.. it seemed as if they were told prior to just hurry it up, some spots it looked as if they were doing moves without thinking about what move they were trying to do.

    it was weird seeing alicia as the better wrestler in the ring. kaitlyn still needs a lot of work but she doesn’t look as uncomfortable in the ring as she used to. still not sold on tamina yet.. i mean, i like her and she has a great look, i’ve just not seen that much from her (she’s had less than five matches maybe in well over a year?).

  • AdriRay<3Maryse

    Don’t all Divas become jobbers for a good while after their debut match?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikeybicycle Kaledrina

    @Melina&Mickie4ever!

    on tv, rosa has been a face since the beginning of the year.. but she’s been working as a heel on the house show circuit the last couple months. it seems to be a case of “we’re one woman down, we’ll just use rosa”

  • gl83

    @JACKBLACK Yeah, lots of Divas lose their debut match. Layla lost to Krystal, Mickie James lost to Vince’s Devils, Eve Torres lost to Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox lost to Katie Lea, Kelly Kelly lost to Beth Phoenix, Maryse lost to Cherry and Tamina got beat by Natalya and the Hart Dynasty. And if you count returns, Beth Phoenix lost in her 1st match back in the WWE after fracturing her jaw, losing tot he team of Candice and Mickie James.

    If anything it seems more common for Divas to lose their debut matches than to win.

  • http://twitter.com/art1e art1e

    that was just sloppy & awkward..the only good thing about this match was Alicia didnt awkwardly do her axe kick she hit it the way its meant too..maybe losing all those months gave her drive to hit it right..

  • DIVAsupporter

    the match was going well even with kaitlyn in it until kaitlyn brought alicia to the corner and took like forever to get back in the middle of the ring.. Alicia winning was the best part… and I’ve missed that axe kick.. awesome!!

    alicia looked like rihanna in her s&m music vid…

  • xXxUniquelyiXxX

    On another note, can't wait to see what AJ Lee Brings to the Diva's. :)

  • bortman

    alicia almost chopped kaitlyn head with that beautiful yet vicious axe kick.. wow..
    booker T is impressed!

  • shokko22

    @Raekon “Kaitlyns dumb character was off, she never showed a “dumb blonde” attitude before but rather fun, sarcastic, smart and sweet. Are they trying to totally destroy her or trying to create the next “Jillian Hall” character so they can turn her heel? -.-”

    -I dont think she was intentionally trying to act dumb, but rather that sarcastic and random humor that persists throughout movies like the Hangover. But i agree that Kaitlyn’s characters did seem peculiar tonight.

  • beliEVEr

    Let me first start off by saying how incredibly jealous I am that Smackdown actually gave a explanation for the random show-up of Natalya for Kaitlyn and AJ. Uh, hello – Raw never gets that, it’s always just some random pairing or valet there to support the girls, etc. Anyway, I thought that match was great. AJ has natural speed in the ring. She reminds me a lot of a young Gail Kim to be honest. And, I felt Kaitlyn did well. Things did get a little slow when she was backing Alicia in the corner, but no biggie. It was still a pretty good match-up, wish it could’ve just been longer, though. Oh and, btw – Kaitlyn has to have one of the best builds I’ve seen of the girls. Her attires really compliments her look and build. And, I think I loved what Alicia did to her attire and hair. It was hard to tell because she kept playing at it in the beginning and was bringing TOO much attention to it that it turned me off. But all in all, good week for the ladies. I bet this will lead into a Natalya-Alicia feud. Hopefully, if it does, their feud will somehow benefit the younger girls too in AJ and Kaitlyn.

    @Raekon. I don’t really think that’s WWE giving Kaitlyn the “dumb blonde” gimmick. I’m sure that’s just apart of Kaitlyn’s natural character. Remember on NXT? Kaitlyn would always make quirky, cute jokes like that. It’s actually a lot inspired by how Celeste really is in real life. I’m sure she was just trying to be funny by saying that they had way too many “A’s” in their names. To be honest, I thought it was pretty cute, too. I’m glad to see Kaitlyn standing out in such short segments, because rarely Divas ever do.