Raw Redux (December 3rd, 2012): Tamina Snuka Versus AJ Lee… Round One!

As the AJ/Cena train rolls on (and Cena UNFAIRLY gets a chance to take Prince Dawlf’s Money in the Bank briefcase), we found ourselves with a nice little wrestling match this week. AJ Lee stepped inside the ring, a place where she absolutely shines, and faced Tamina Snuka. As you can expect this match was filled with a LOT of power moves on Tamina’s part and a lot of fight from AJ. Overall, I thought it came off good. Lets take a look and break it down, shall we?

We kick things off with the hot referee I wanted to flirt with in Miami (but Bobby wouldn’t balls up and walk over to him with me) calling for the bell. The fearless AJ goes for Tamina not once, but twice and gets a couple of licks in on the powerful Diva each time. Tamina shoves our geek goddess to the ground both times, but AJ decides that perhaps the third time will be the charm for her. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way and Tamina finally powers her pint-sized opponent into the corner. Hot referee makes Tamina back away from inflicting further damage, and that gives AJ ample opportunity to recover enough to get her feet up when Tamina comes charging back at her. Wanting to capitalize, AJ scampers up the ropes but before she’s able to leap off, Tamina takes her down with a nice little arm-drag.

Tamina starts to show her authority at this point. She stomps and kicks our precious AJ, before slamming her head into the mat and going for a cover. Of course, my description is probably a bit out of sequence but I’m also updating my Amazon Wishlist as we speak. The point is, AJ kicks out because it’s going to take a lot more than that to make her lose. So naturally, Tamina picks up her opponent and just throws her face first into the turnbuckle. To follow it up, she seats AJ on the top and clubs her viciously in the back a few times. Then, I think she tries to break AJ in half – literally. That’s a pretty painful looking submission.

And people say wrestling is fake. Puh-leeze!

AJ eventually gets dumped to the ground but believe it or not, she still has some fight left in her. She is able to lay a few kicks into Tamina, but she goes for one to many. While coming at Tamina from the ropes, the gorgeous Amazon is able to once again knock AJ off her feet. AJ folds up like an accordian for no other reason than the fact she’s competing with Prince Dawlf for the “Best Seller” Slammy Award, and Tamina lumbers over her prey like a hungry mountain lion. She decides to go for the cover once again, but AJ kicks out. What spirit! Tamina has to go back to her bully tactics now.

She throws AJ chest-first into the corner a couple of times before nailing her with this ridiculous looking headbutt. Whoa! AJ basically goes down like a frail Robin Van Persie during a tense Manchester United game. What a joke. Tamina seems fine with this because after all, the match is going in her favor. She seemingly has this one all wrapped up. It’s time to finish the job. Grabbing AJ by the arm and hair, she positions her just so and looks towards the corner. Oh yeah! Superfly Splash! That’s what’s up! Go Tamina… it’s your birthday. Hey, hey, hey…

Oh.

AJ with the roll-up victory.

And naturally, AJ gets the heck out of there. I must say, Tamina needs to work on her angry surprised face just a bit more. Oh well. Nothing can ever be perfect, but I did enjoy this a lot. It went how it was supposed too, and the right person ended up with the victory. I hope we see a lot more matches from these two, but Tamina definitely needs to win the next few so AJ can get it in her head that her first win was a fluke. I think this is a nice side feud, and both ladies can benefit. Tamina will only get over by working with AJ, and AJ (even though we know how good she is) has to prove herself as a wrestler for storyline purposes. There’s so much potential here and I hope it doesn’t get messed up. My fingers a crossed for a lengthy program between these two. It’s needed and will be brilliant if executed right. God knows both AJ and Tamina have the talent for it.

Until next time… Cryssi out!

Cryssi
TV Reviewer - Read Profile
  • Lanoom

    I really hope they don’t oweruse the SURPRISE (not really) ROLL-UP again with this feud. AJ has a finisher, she was obviously working over the leg to get Tamina to kneel down and went for the Wizard before Tamina clocked her, let her hit it even once.

    Otherwise, good match.

    • perceval

      That’s actually a good in story strategy for Tamina: Prevent AJ from hitting the Shining Wizard (just as AJ has to avoid the Splash).

      That used to be basic psychology and storytelling with the Divas, the matches being move and counter-move, with strategies being built around avoiding or countering the opponent’s signature moves. Molly and Trish did it all the time in their matches with each other. The Stratusphere started as a counter to the set-up of the Molly-Go-Round. Molly had a counter to the Ma-Trish setting up the Chick Kick maneuver.

      That’s part of what made their matches so special, and how they got to the point with each other that they didn’t have to plan a match out. If they needed a match to fill some time, they could just send Trish & Molly out, only knowing how much time they had and who was to win, and they’d improvise a great match.

      The advantage AJ and Tamina have is they’re both well trained, and know the importance of psychology and having every move make sense. That’s part of why I always thought Melina was a better wrestler than her boyfriend. Her moves made sense in the context of the match, while Morrison seemed to be doing flashy spots just to do them, whether they made any sense relating to supposedly trying to win a wrestling match, or not. HBK and the Rock had their signature spots, but were always very careful with when and how they used them, so they were a logical part of the match. Triple H was never flashy, but every move made sense in telling the story.

      Naomi understands this, too. After their NXT match, when they returned to FCW, her thing in her matches with AJ was countering the Octopus that AJ had beaten her with because, while subtle, it’s the logical thing she would do.

      • Lanoom

        I never said they shouldn’t leave the surprise pin as an option, because it is a legit option. For an example, Daniel Bryan reversed Darren Young’s surprise roll-up into a pin of his own earlier in the night, and it was done well.

        The problem is that they *overused* it during the Kelly/Others vs. Divas of Doom angle, to the point that it’s no longer a surprise and just makes both women look weak, with the face unable to hit big moves and put the opponent down, and with the heel just looking goofy in that they keep falling for it after a match of solid domination.

        • DivaDestiny

          Hit the nail on the head.

        • perceval

          I wasn’t talking about that, but your bit about how AJ should have hit the Shining Wizard, and that Tamina shouldn’t have countered the set up for it. AJ working to avoid the Splash, as well, is just demonstrating, in story, that they’ve scouted each other well, and know each other’s moves. Each using counters to the set ups to the opponents finishers is actually very good storytelling.

          It’s a subtle detail, but it improves the quality of matches.

        • Lanoom

          Ah, I see, and agreed, the psychology of it was good. I’m just wary of it becoming a problematic pattern.

  • liamd

    Great match for raw! And got some pretty good time too! Loved the way AJ got up to the top rope! Very RVD!! AJ s a great talent and worked well with tamina whose also not too bad in the ring! Definatly want a round 2 between these 2! Good match ladies! :D

    • GailKim95

      I thought the exact same thing when AJ went to the top!

  • hemme Wilde

    love taminas look here!! thank god she got rid of that outfit from survivor series it looked like a rocket pop lol aj and tamina are definetly 2 of my favs, i hope wwe doesnt drop the ball with this side feud! cant wait to see more matches out of these two!! :)

    • perceval

      I think the concern might be the Divas Champion being overshadowed by the secondary feud. That’s what happened to Victoria-Gail in 2004. The were putting on great matches with each other, but the little side feud going on at the time, Trish-Lita, got more interest from the fans.

      • hemme Wilde

        so true!! victoria and gail got completely overshadowed by trish and lita, i hope they can find a way to make both feuds important, the problem is the divas championship, no one really saw the divas title as a legit championship until the kaitlyn eve feud, it had its moments but up until then it really wasnt considered that important, scratch that layla and eves feud also made the title seem important. it had cred at first when michelle won cause everyone was after it, but then somewhere after m,aryse won the belt it kinda became a joke which as a diva didnt set well with me its like they couldnt find a legit contender, so hopefully when eve and layla get back both feuds (tamina vs aj, and eve vs kaitlyn) can get some time with the title feud getting a lil bit more than tamin and aj. both feuds have been amazing so i wont complain either way i just wish aj wrestled more lol

  • hemme Wilde

    tamina completely destroyed aj with that headbutt that was sick!! have to say i love the look tamina had in this match from the hair to the outfit! not too crazy about the gray boot cover things but other than that she looked amazing! ajs attire was pretty awesome too! :)

    • perceval

      I’m getting some Trish-Jazz vibes with these two.

      Hmm… Who can play the Victoria role?

      • hemme Wilde

        tamina has always reminded me of jazz in a way, they could always bring in skyler moon when she gets back as the victoria role, paige could work too, or dare i say it make rosa mendes like psycho rosa from fcw and build her as a credible wrestler she could work as well, hell even aksana would work

        • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

          I can see Tamina Jazz comparison physically by looks only. Jazz was a legit wrestler, Tamina, not so much at all. Jazz was a ferocious trash talkin on point wrecking machine much like Victoria both very solid. Michelle McCool was another wrecking machine very intense very technical much like Beth Phoenix but much more aggressive. Tamina isn’t like that unfortunately but hey! Lets work with what we have! :)
          AJ is excellent! Kate and Layla are legit! Eve is ok and so is Aksana not to forget Natalya and Fox. We have a good team of girls who bring good cred to the belt! Tamina needs to step it up. She has the look of a powerhouse but she’s not of much use

          The roll up serve a good way to beat a bigger stronger threat like Tams for Aj to escape and fight another day without creaming Tamina like Melina did and making Tams useless lol

  • redsandman99

    They used their time to the fullest and I enjoyed the match. I’m not too upset about the rollup ending because we haven’t been getting those every single match like we were for awhile there. Plus it would allow for Tamina to claim AJ got lucky and if we’re lucky enough to get rematches (tag or single) Tamina can beat AJ and stuff can continue from there.

    • charovnica

      Exactly! Glad some people see the up side of things.

      • redsandman99

        I’m making an effort to do so. I get tired of harping on the negative. I want to enjoy wrestling no matter which show it is.

  • Goodvibes

    I personally didn’t like the match. The crowd was definitely invested in AJ which was great to see, and I liked the fact Tamina looks AMAZING finally, her new attire is the best she’s ever had.

    However, I think Tamina needs to work on her heel moveset. Because AJ is so small whipping her into the turnbuckle looked silly at one point, Tamina also should have been taunting the crowd at certain points when AJ was down, this is where Maryse was AMAZING, I think it would’ve definitely added to the match.

    • perceval

      I think the Jazz & Awesome Kong approach of being focused on destroying her opponent and nothing else works for Tamina with AJ. She’s more that type of Dominant Monster than she is a vain Maryse type of heel.

      How a face or heel is played best depends of the performer. Part of what went wrong with Kelly’s title run was trying to make her over into Lita when she worked best as the adorable plucky underdog.

  • Gail-Trish-Maryse

    Kinda irritates me that the crowd was actually into this match when it really wasn’t even that good. Yet we have girls go out there and put on a clinic, and get nothing from the crowd.

    I’m no Tamina fan, but for this to even be a decent feud they should of let her pick up the win here. And seriously WWE stop with the fucking rollup finishes!

    • perceval

      There’s more to being the best total package than pure technical ability. AJ has always been able to connect with the crowd in ways nobody else on the current roster has. And, before anyone says “It’s just because she’s getting pushed”, she was getting the “AJ” chants, last year, when the company was having her be nothing more than the jobber that was always easily squashed in less than a minute. She was over despite the writers constantly BURYING her.

      That’s what earner her her push, this year.

      • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

        aj was doing nothing last year or getting any chants while on smackdown the crowd is edited anyway….the crowd gets behind her because she got a massive push & its worked out for her….

        • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

          No Art, AJ chants on NXT were real chants the audience was visibly behind her. She always had the crowd behind her despite being squashed. Her freestyle matches with Maxine were backed up by the crowd AJ chants. Ppl didn’t care about a 40yo black dude or Derrick Bateman, they wanted Maxine to get beat up by AJ! Because Maxine would taunt the crowd like Lita n Edge would! And Aj was the chick the crowd wanted to kick Maxine’s ass lol I’m serious man AJ can connect! She’s awesome! Kelly maryse a LOT have attempted! And failed! Even my beloved Michelle mccool and she couldn’t connect despite being excellent wrestler.
          AJ is like Mickie James Gail Kim or Lita she’s just awesome bro not because she’s shoved down ppl…

        • perceval

          @ART

          Yes, AJ was getting chants during her matches, last year. Where do you think the whole “AJ is over with the fans, so why won’t they push her” argument, last year, came from?

          As much as you may resent it, the reality is AJ connected with the fans. And, for the Division to be strong, again (That IS what we all want around here, isn’t it?), it NEEDS that person who has connected with the crowds and has the in ring & mic skills to get the fans into what’s happening during the match.

      • Gail-Trish-Maryse

        I never said Aj wasn’t capable of putting on her own little “clinic”. Aj probably has the most interesting moveset on the current roster. I just meant this match was nothing notable on either side.

        • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

          @Ryan aj got chants on nxt when?? i dont remember them….maxine taunting the crowd will have people back up aj because maxine was awesome with what she got…
          kelly was way more over than aj & that’s because she had the blonde look down out of aj & kelly who do you think more men would want to bed so thats why kelly was popular…
          michelle had zero charisma or personality so of course no one cared…

          my point was if cena,punk & daniel weren’t wanting for aj to be pushed she would be the diva squashed with no reaction she was last year….

  • charovnica

    This is what I was talking about. When someone has a connection with the crowd it doesn’t matter how good the match was,they’d be entertained. I personally liked the match,maybe I would’ve booked a different finish,but it wasn’t bad.It had nice spots. Love the AJ chants…if WWE notice that the fans are entertained during the diva matches they will start pushing the in-ring action more. I believe the divas are in a transitional state and soon they will be a lot more stable then they are right now.

    • perceval

      Yep. For several years, now, we’ve been looking for the Next Trish Stratus, that one Diva who has the right combination of talent, skill, charisma, and popularity that you can build a Division around, and who can get other Divas over just by working with them.

      Maybe, just maybe, we’ve finally found her.

      • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

        Aj is more of a lita type than trish…so what wwe needed is a new lita….

        • perceval

          What I said was ” that one Diva who has the right combination of talent, skill, charisma, and popularity that you can build a Division around, and who can get other Divas over just by working with them.”

          That has nothing to do with who AJ’s ring style and persona most resembles (which is a lot more Mickie James than anyone else). Lita MIGHT have been that Diva that the Golden Era Division would have been built around… if she’d not been out with injury for most of 2002 & 2003. As it was, it was Trish’s feuds with Jazz, Molly, & Victoria that got the Golden Era going and popularized women’s wrestling.

        • Crazy_J

          I would agree with Art and say that AJ is a lot more on the level of Lita. She’s unique, and Lita was unique. Trish was great, but was she unique? Not really.. she is actually very cookie cutter as far as wrestling diva’s looks/etc. I don’t get why a lot of people seem to forget what Lita did in WWE before 2002, 2003, and 2004, etc. You described Trish in saying “that one Diva who has the right combination of talent, skill, charisma, and popularity that you can build a Division around, and who can get other Divas over just by working with them.” BUT you can say the exact same thing about Lita. Without Lita, would Trish have been just as great? It was the Lita/Trish feuds and the Team Xtreme/T&A feuds that got fans more invested in Trish. Lita already had a fan base before either of those fueds happened. I’m not saying Trish isn’t good, I’m just saying Lita had just as much charisma/talent/skill/popularity. So you could compare her and AJ, they come off more similar to me than AJ would with Trish.

  • Slapavel

    you guys! aj and natalya entrances for wwe13 came out today.. and aj’s is awesome, but natalya isnt all that good IMO , but her discuss clothesline is AMAZING !

    • Nostalgia

      I downloaded AJ. And what’s funny is the system made her first match against my tamina caw

      • Slapavel

        Ughhhh -_- what do people see in caws . Their soo ugly .

        • perceval

          While it’s not ideal, how else are you going to get a wrestler you want in there if they’re not part of the game?

        • Lanoom

          I could ask the same of people who buy the game only to play with the same people they see week in and week out; or, the people that they never see, that will never amount to anything, and no amount of Universe mode will change the fact that they are completely forgettable and expendable.

          But I don’t because I realize that the game is pouring over with options and one person’s playstyle will not affect me.

  • http://facebook.com/mykael.kennedy mykel1990

    I liked the match, AJ got that ass whooped and sold it like it was a Payless BOGO special. I hope to see more from these two with some kind of build up

  • javiousmckenzie

    The fans were into this match the chants the reactions it was all there Tamina im not so sure about the Glamasuit your not Beth I must have been the only one who peeped the outfit comparison. My only problem is that Tamina needs to work in NXT with Sara a lil more on her moveset its so generic unlike powerhouses like Jazz and Victoria. And also like Trish has said several times do what you can when your out there too stand out Tamina should have played up in the fans being invested screaming at the fans to shut up or your pathetic just like this little girl doing some Xena type poses worked the crowd to get more heat

  • DJ8946

    I loved this match. They better have a tag team match on Smackdown or the next RAW. Also with Eve being injured(its not offical) this match was a good filler for the divas.

    • flash1086

      Filler? LOL! Nobody cares about Eve. lol. AJ is the diva that the fans wants to see. The divas division is filler. NOT this storyline.

      • puppies

        No one cares about Eve? Lol Besides Aj, she’s one of the only divas people do care about.

    • perceval

      The AJ-Tamina-Vickie storyline isn’t “filler.” They’ve put too much time into it over the last few months for it to be described as that. It’s a regular storyline, not a one off deal.

  • AdrianRay

    Cryssi…that referee is gay. Just saying!

  • aldo

    Refreshing match! Tamina made a little change in her attire (thanks God!, i think she should go back to her black attire) and of course she needs to improve to finally turned into a more credible monster heel. Why not to have Vickie with her in the next match?

  • https://twitter.com/Qwon_23 3xplicit

    I dont see the point in AJ winning & this match was so random didnt tamina attack aj like 3 weeks ago?

    • DivaDestiny

      I agree that they should’ve had this match a while back. Once they came back from commercial break and I saw Tamina in the ring, I was like “Really?”. And not only that but then AJ gets her butt handed to her(and sells it very well) yet wins the match? She should’ve lost and then maybe won the next one. All this and I’m no longer interested in the feud, to be honest. I’m going to assume that they’ll end it here because there’s really nothing else interesting that can be done. But maybe I’m wrong…

    • perceval

      AJ’s been being beaten down constantly for the last few weeks. She needed a win to make her look credible to sustain the feud, but done in a way that maintains her underdog status.

      • gl83

        Yeah, the last thing we need is for her to get constantly beat up without getting anything back until it’s too late. We don’t need AJ to get the “Zack Ryder” treatment. She has to get the upperhand a few times otherwise you risk her looking like a glorified jobber.

  • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

    I like tamina & i think wwe needs to have her tell the crowd to shut up or something to get some heat if their gonna push her as a heel….her outfit is alot better but its like beth’s from 2008…..

  • GailKim95

    This win was good. Now Tamina needs to win all their other matches to prove to AJ that it was a fluke than have AJ eventually pull out a decisive victory to build her up as a credible challenge to Eve’s championship and then BAM! AJ vs Eve for the Divas Championship feud

  • http://youtube.com/kristalmelinafan kristalmelinafan

    Atrocious!!! They should of had Tamina attack her after the victory so it could continue, maybe tonight in the smackdown tapings.

  • TibarnEl

    The way I see it, the Divas division is sort of going backwards in time with its quality. Right around Raw 1000 is the lowest point. Right now, I think we’ve gone back to Raw 2010 style – where there is a (loose) story at least, and matches are roughly one to three minutes long. Hopefully soon we’ll get back to Smackdown 2009 and Raw pre-2008 quality Divas division.

    • puppies

      Why was Raw 1000 the lowest point? We had the first intergender match in ages.

      • hado

        @Puppies because there were no diva matches behind held on Raw or Smackdown at all, there weren’t even appearances being made by Diva’s Champion Layla and Beth who were meant to be in some sort of “feud.” And I wouldn’t say that intergender match between Lita and Slater was anything to write home about, or a reason to say that the divas were being used good because of that.

  • VarsityBaseDude

    The good:

    AJ finally wrestling
    Tamina’s outfit
    Tamina’s lost not impacting her push (roll up)
    Crowd

    The bad:

    AJ looking a bit weak
    Roll up win despite the purpose (this balances out with the top pretty much but has to be stated)
    Length
    No other divas were used much

  • Jack Newport

    I don’t know what some of the above posters are smoking, but they really should jump off Cloud 9…because that match was horrible.

    Barely even a match at all.

    What I watched was 2 minutes of:

    *AJ jumps on Tamina
    *Tamina knocks AJ to the ground
    *Rinse and repeat
    *Suprise roll-up

    Even the greenest of green Divas down in developmental could’ve done that.

    The only positives is that Tamina is finally getting some air-time and AJ is back in the ring. Other than that, that match was a perfect example of why people think the Divas matches are bathroom breaks.

    • shameronstar

      I sure had this match been on ppv, superstars, nxt, or maybe to a lesser extent Smackdown it would have been booked much better in terms of quality and quantity because Raw divas matches noticeably have lower standards than everything else:(

    • charovnica

      Or maybe you people expect way too much even tho you know this is no Attitude Era.I’m not smoking anything I appreciate that AJ & Tamina used every little second from this poorly booked match and it wasn’t as bad as some others.The spot when Tamina pulled AJ from the top rope was nice and nicely sold..this is all you have to do in a match like this.If you have one spot-do it right.

  • redsandman99

    Completely off topic but I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere else: does anyone know the status of Eve? The rumors were that she was possibly hurt since they changed the triple threats that were happening on the house show to a tag match where Rosa was doing all the work. Nothing’s been officially reported about her being injured but Tamina was gone for ages before it was covered as news. I’m just curious.

    • Raekon

      The only official thing we know was that she was by the troops after and that’s it. I doubt it though cause usually when the title holder or a diva that is used a lot is injured, there are always news about it.

      When Tamina got hurt she was only being used on NXT so they obviously didn’t put it out there as “important”. :/

    • Jack Newport

      Or, WWE could be having the current Divas Champion go weeks at a time without appearing on TV. They’ve already done that with Beth and Layla.

      • redsandman99

        True though now it is getting out WWE is giving Eve time off since she’s banged up and been working with minor injuries. Sucks that the champ is out though with Punk being reportedly worse off than they originally thought, it’s probably better safe than sorry.

  • Raekon

    The only things I liked about this match was Taminas new outfit and her hair.

    AJ still oversells too much and the match was WAY too slow looking as if Tamina didn’t knew what to do next. :/

    The top rope spot was good but other than that very poorly booked match with Tamina not working her character well while AJ overselling like hell.

    I mean rolling like twice on the ground after a slap is a bit way too much right?

    Tamina had showed tons of aggression in her match on NXT against Kaitlyn back then and I loved it.

    If she had shown that type of aggression here her character would had been sold perfectly.

    • perceval

      The Rock built a career on overselling. Remember how he would sell the Stunner? He’d bounce halfway across the ring. You’d have thought Steph was taking his head off from the way he sold a slap from her. :)

      • GrrMonster

        Yeah, when i saw that, i was like “really?” lol.

  • TheGamergirl22

    Let’s hope this isn’t the last round and Round 2 is at TLC.

  • TheGamergirl22

    If Eve is injured I think maybe Tamina should get the belt(have a triple treat with a face diva at TLC) then Eve can take it back in a dirty win before WM, then when AJ beats Eve, Eve can fued with Tamina for being screwed out her title. Then AJ fueds with an NXT rookie in 2013.