Hello, loyal readers. Hopefully you aren’t sick of me yet, because I used my deceitful ways to make sure that SHIMMER scheduled their event the same weekend that my WWE spirit animal, AJ, would return to in-ring action, thus forcing Steven to leave so I can get to recap her greatness. Chances are that you’ve seen SmackDown by the time this goes up, but if you haven’t, we are finally treated to the in-ring return of AJ, as she goes one on one with Nikki Bella (and of course, Brie is ringside) in a match set up by her bearded (yet sadly abusive) boyfriend, Daniel Bryan. And since I’m here and I love my former FCW Divas, we will also focus on Aksana‘s appearance in the opening segment this week as well! So, what’s the hold up? Scroll down… wait for it… now!
We head backstage to find the Divas locker room sign being focused upon by the camera, which can only mean one thing as soon as we see Daniel Bryan walk into the scene. He waits outside as dear AJ steps out in a new dress which she seems a little uncomfortable in. She lets him know that, while not wanting to see ungrateful, the dress he bought her doesn’t fit right. He beckons her to spin around, before claiming that he doesn’t understand how it could have looked so much better on the mannequin! Hell no! I’ve had to pause the video to allow myself time to calm from what just happened…
Okay, 10 hours have passed since I typed that, and while I’m still not sure if I can continue on, I un-pause the video to see AJ looking sad at what was said to her. Daniel claims that they are going to be the new power couple of the WWE so she must look the part of a true woman. He relates them to both Macho Man & Miss Elizabeth and Triple H & Stephanie McMahon, before claiming that since he’s the World Heavyweight Champion he also wants her to be champion. (Side note: If he helps AJ win the Divas Title, I would bow at his feet and thank him repeatedly, as well as inform him that he is my new favorite Superstar for life and forgive all of what was said just minutes before.)
He tells us that he booked a match for her tonight that could lead to a Divas Title shot down the road — only if she wins. Daniel claims that the reason he’s here tonight is because he wants to be in her corner, and all she has to do is listen to him. AJ thanks him and proceeds to smooch the beard, as he informs her that her match is next! She goes to get ready as Daniel watches over her locker room in preparation for the fight. Please win, AJ! Get that title first so we can focus on your action figure with exaggerated body measurements!
We head out to the ring to see the Bella Twins walk out as Lilian Garcia announces that Nikki will be the one competing tonight. I’m immediately brought back to the days of NXT 3 as we light it up for AJ and out she skips in her trademark red plaid. Once in the ring, Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he walks out to stand in her corner as well. Several “YES, YES, YES”‘s later, and the bell sounds as he orders her to pay attention to Nikki inside the ring. Nikki B gets on her knees to imitate AJ’s unfortunate height disadvantage, but the tutelage of Daniel is paying off as the pocket rocket leaps up with a nice front dropkick!
Nikki slides to the corner and slams AJ’s face into the turnbuckle before snapmaring her and scoring with a neck snap for a two count. She grabs AJ by the wrists and stands on her hair while pulling up, concluding by lifting her into the air. Nikki then locks in a submission hold which AJ struggles in until eventually fighting out. Nikki sends AJ off the ropes, as she slides through the legs and scores with a nice roundhouse spin kick! Nikki sends AJ into the corner, sparking the pocket rocket to boot her in the chest and leap onto the top rope. From there, she flies off with a crossbody that doesn’t fully connect, but AJ doesn’t let up off of Nikki.
Nikki holds onto the ropes as AJ tries to pull her off, but the referee then restrains her back as Brie and Nikki try to switch. Daniel quickly leaps onto the ring apron and screams to the referee that they’re trying to pull the old switcheroo, and the ref immediately puts a stop to it much to the Bellas’ dismay. Back inside the ring, Nikki starts screaming at Daniel, which allows Brie to hop onto the ring apron and shove a distracted AJ down by the hair. Nikki then goes for a sidewalk slam which AJ reverses into an amazing headscissors roll up for the win! YES! YES! YES! YES! The reaction that both Daniel Bryan and myself share at the thought of AJ being groomed for the Divas Championship.
Also check out Aksana’s appearance alongside Teddy Long during Christian’s return of the Peep Show:
Thoughts: SmackDown was awesome this week! I thought the match was finally something both refreshing and able to get more than 20 seconds of ring time. It was definitely great to see AJ back in the ring, and I love that they aren’t strictly turning her into a manager during this angle with Daniel Bryan because I feel she is one of the most skilled women on the roster that often gets overlooked because she isn’t built like Beth or Natalya. She and Nikki put on a nice match together and especially the finish came off so well. If you have to win with a roll up, make it something unique and creative like that. I know the crossbody spot may get a bit of slack, but eh, she just seemed to have her footing wrong at the top and nobody looked affected by it as they all just picked right back up where they were at.
I really want this to lead to AJ turning on Daniel at Mania even though I love them together so much. AJ must get her ‘Mania moment while I can be there to see it live and scream “YES! YES! YES!” in true Daniel Bryan fashion.