First, let me welcome you to this weeks Raw Redux. Cryssi is not able to make it this week, thus I am here to step in and cover all things Diva related that took place on the illustrious three hour Slammy edition of Raw.
Speaking of which… Ahh the Slammys. I’ve never been a fan of awards shows that involve a fan vote because 99% of the time, the majority tends to think something different from what I do. I mean, how could anyone not named Tyson Kidd walk away as Superstar of the Year? Why wasn’t Johnny Curtis chloroforming Matt Striker the most shocking moment? And best kiss? BateMax? Kaitman? Curtsine? I rest my case.
In all seriousness, tonight we had the something annual edition of the Slammy Awards, and while Diva of the Year got shafted to the pre show and didn’t get a snazzy video showcasing the nominees, we still had quite a lot of Diva appearances tonight. So much so that I’m sure I’ll be up past six in the morning writing this because I can hardly contain myself with all that went on.
We had Kaitlyn battle Eve Torres in a match that still leaves me questioning if teleportation was used to get them in the ring, but more on that later. We also had AJ Lee and Vickie Guerrero involved in the main event, as Lee teamed with Dolph Ziggler and Guerrero with John Cena. Yes, you read that right. Adding on appearances from Layla, Natalya, Cameron, and my sparkling green attired woman of the decade, Naomi, and you’ve got a stacked edition of Raw. So enough time wasting, let’s jump right in so I can let out my enjoyment and then get back to my nonstop listening of Robin Sparkles!
Even though this particular video doesn’t showcase it, Kaitlyn and Eve just sort of appear inside the ring right after a Slammy award is presented like they just popped up behind someone in a scary movie and let out an earth shattering scream. The bell sounds and Eve sort of laughs at her, which we can assume is due to the fact Eve cost Kaitlyn the battle royal win last night at TLC. Nonetheless, Kaitlyn doesn’t give a flying you-know-what at any reaction Eve presents her, as told by the fact she just runs forward and spears Torres to the canvas. Kaitlyn goes insane, as the two roll around a little and the referee tries to break it up.
Eve slides to the floor outside, but Kaitlyn follows and proceeds to slam her face against the barricade over and over. She follows it up with a slap and both women end up in the ring. (Blame the video as it was the only one I could find that didn’t skip half the action.) Eve is now in control as she throws Kaitlyn to the corner and kicks her painfully in the chest area. Torres then ascends to the second rope and locks a corner choke in until the referee forces it to break. The Divas Champ continues her reign of terror, until Kaitlyn elbows out of it and hoists Eve onto her shoulders. Kaitlyn then drops the champ with her gutbuster for the victory! She proceeds to grab the Divas Title and hold it over the fallen body as a measure of revenge for Naomi… or so I choose to believe and refuse to be told otherwise. Spin the bottle everyone!
Vickie Guerrero is now out to the podium to present the Slammy for Kiss of the Year, which brings us into a wonderful video package highlighting the nominees. AJ/Kane, AJ/Bryan, AJ/Punk, and AJ/Cena. If you know anything about me, it’s that my love for AJ is only matched by my love for well put together video packages, thus combining the two into one screams perfection. Even if the music sounds like something Rebecca Black or Nicole Westbrook would put out.
Personally, I’m rooting for AJ/Kane… or hey, even AJ/All! Unfortunately, AJ/Cena wins. And I say unfortunate because it was nothing compared to anyone from the Summer of AJ. Out comes AJ as the only person to accept the award, but Vickie Guerrero wants the pint sized Diva to explain her actions from last night at TLC. AJ steals the Slammy, because why not? She then says that she doesn’t owe us anything. Over the past year, she’s cared too much about what everyone thinks of her, but not anymore. Vickie decides to call her a two bit piece of trash! Suddenly, the two women begin to get in each others faces, sparking Dolph Ziggler to run out. He seems to want to hold AJ back a little bit more than Vickie, provoking our coveted crazy chick to let out one simple phrase:
“You know what Vickie? That might have been kiss of the year, but it’s nothing compared to this…”
And just like that, she latches her legs around Dolph Zigglers waist and proceeds to make out with him. The sound of Vickie screeching is only to be topped by that of the ten million computer keys clicking profusely (in all caps mind you), as a mob of female fans angrily dub AJ Lee the devil in the denim jean shorts for stealing another WWE superstar. Dolph seems to be enjoying himself, as the two go at it and Vickie runs to the back in a flurry of anger. With that in mind, AJ jumps down from Ziggler’s waist, skips around the podium, grabs her slammy, and heads to the back. He looks confused, but she looks accomplished. My guess would be she’s probably a little bit happy she’s not in FCW anymore… you know, because she can’t be sent angry hate mail.
Skip to 4:14.
Since I don’t have really that much to say for Natalya’s appearance acting solely as a manager, I’m just going to take this time to mention that I oddly don’t hate her connection with The Great Khali. Maybe it’s because she always looks so ecstatic to be around him, whereas he always looks a little confused like he doesn’t know what’s happening. Maybe it’s because I remember “Fart Gate 2012” and realize anything is a step up. Or maybe it’s because her over the top reactions to the post match dancing kill me with laughter. Whatever the reason may be, I oddly like the two together which is something I never predicted to say. Of course I’d rather see her in the ring each week, but I’m glad to at least get her on TV than for her to just sit in the back.
It could be a fun side feud with Rosa Mendes if they continue what’s been going on between the two as of late. Tonight didn’t seem like any indication they were, but we’ll see what happens on SmackDown. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Nattie and Rosa go at it in the ring on an episode of SmackDown or something to that extent, but until that day comes, I’m going to enjoy actually getting to see her and her lovely dances gracing Monday nights to come.
P.S. – the crowd member at 4:20 is the greatest person that ever lived. We all secretly react that way when Khali’s music hits, don’t shy away from admitting it!
Naomi! Now is where I want to discuss TLC, or as I like to call it, the greatest night of my life. Even though I predicted Naomi to win in the prediction thread, I actually pretty much chose her because it was the only time I felt I would ever get the option to select her in one of the threads. With no clear cut winner sticking out in my head, I was like why not just pick her? Now, I fully prepared to have her be tossed out within five seconds to make all my excitement meaningless, but the fact she actually won is astonishing to me and still pretty unbelievable. It made watching the Dexter and Homeland finales even more gut wrenching as I wasn’t able to watch the title match as it happened.
I know the actual title match elicits different reactions from different people, and while I would’ve liked it to be longer of course, I loved the little teaser we got of what Naomi could do out there. I said it last night, but Naomi could’ve honestly walked out to the ring and gotten rolled up in two seconds without me being even the slightest bit upset. Plus, she got the crowd to actually get behind her when following something as phenomenal as The Shield vs. Kane, Bryan, and Ryback, which only added to the amount of times I had to regain my composure from the excitement.
Delving into tonight, I kind of knew that nothing would come of it and she’d be back to dancing, and I’m honestly completely fine with it. I’ve been pleading for WWE to just give her one match for now. I didn’t care if it was on Saturday Morning Slam, as long as I got to see her compete in a match on the main roster. (Still reeling over Savannah never getting one if you want to know where this “I just want them to get one match” stigma comes into play.) So the fact she got to be in two, win one, and the other was a title shot on a pay per view? Completely over the moon with excitement still.
Do I want her to continue wrestling? Well of course I do. But for now, I’m going to be patient. I waited every week for a little over thirteen months to see her just get called up. Then I waited eleven more months for her to get that first match. Clearly when it comes to Naomi, I’m a patient kind of guy and realize that it’s going to take time. Call it being a pushover, but the knowledge that I finally get to relive an actual WWE match involving her (and secretly burn it to twenty DVD’s so that if the world ends Friday, it gives me twenty chances that one copy survives and can be shown to the next generation of humans), is enough to hold me over for a good long time before I get antsy for more.
Wow I talk a lot when it comes to Naomi. Anyhoo…
Skip to 13:20.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler is hunting feverishly for Vickie Guerrero following a failed attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase when it was thwarted by John Cena. He confronts her and asks why she didn’t do anything to stop what just transpired, but Vickie is still upset over the kiss from AJ earlier! He demands to know what she was even doing interfering last night at TLC, but she felt it was her job to help him. Queen Diva Guerrero believes that Dolph got AJ to help him, but he denies the allegations. Ziggler declares their relationship over, being that her jealousy is getting tired, old, and plain ugly… much like her! Youch. She does not look happy by this, and announces that tonight, our damn main event will be AJ and Dolph Ziggler against Vickie Guerrero and John Cena!
Layla, looking great as always, joins Zack Ryder to present the Slammy for Trending Topic of the Year. Some Ryback thing wins because #YellowRopesForever wasn’t nominated, and poor Layla has to plug how to vote on the WWE app for the billionth time since the show began in case we missed any of the others. Zack Ryder makes me proud by stealing the award and forbidding to acknowledge Ryback’s victory, as Layla gives a faint wave and heads to the back with the Long Island Iced Z.
Let’s Light It Up! Curt Hawkins may hate this theme music, but the sight of AJ skipping down the ramp to it makes it pop. (Sorry Curt, but you’re still awesome) AJ orders two crew members to do something, as they run across the ring and pull out a ladder. Suddenly, I notice a man dressed as Santa Claus in the front row that is positioned almost right near AJ’s bottom. The two men set the ladder up, sparking the crazy chick to grab a microphone and ascend to the top as we head to break.
Once we return, AJ is atop the ladder smiling creepily, before grabbing the microphone and taunting us at how full of surprises she can be. Everyone wants to know why she turned on John Cena last night at TLC, and the reason is… EXCUSE ME! Here comes Vickie Guerrero to interrupt just as we were about to find out what was behind AJ’s mindset. Queen Diva Guerrero feels no one cares why she did what she did, and instead they want to see her get her scrawny self off the ladder. Both women come face to face before being interrupted by the entrances of their male counterparts.
AJ looks enticed by Dolph, albeit deathly angry by Cena. The men start things out until Dolph tags in AJ. She walks in and comes face to face with John Cena, looking strangely enthralled by the “Superstar of the Year”. Suddenly, Vickie charges in and spears AJ to the canvas. The two brawl around like an old fashioned catfight, until AJ slides outside and decides to leave the entire match! She heads up the ramp, as Vickie follows suit following a brief confrontation with Dolph. The match goes on for a little bit, but then AJ walks out with none other than NXT superstar, Big E. Langston of all people! The two walk slowly down the ramp, before Big E struts into the ring and demolishes Cena! He lays John out with his finisher, as AJ looks on psychotically aroused by what she sees! Dolph appears confused, as Big E stands over a fallen Cena and AJ skips around the two. That was certainly a surprising ending to say the least.
Thoughts: Starting off with the Kaitlyn/Eve match, it was what it was. I personally thought for the time given, they delivered to the best they could. It always excites me when wrestlers use the items around ringside to their advantage, such as the barricade or steel steps etc., thus Kaitlyn slamming Eve around and then slapping her as if to get even for TLC was great. I’m excited to see the two face off again, and I’m extremely happy their feud hasn’t just been forgotten. Kaitlyn has been stepping up her game a lot since she moved into the title picture, and Eve’s improvement in transitioning into a more mat based style as opposed to flips since becoming a heel is beyond impressive in its own right. Provided they get the time, I don’t see why they can’t have a pretty entertaining match.
Being that the one at Survivor Series was more of a drag out brawl, I’d like to see it changed up a bit this time unless we get some sort of amazing segment before their next encounter that gives Kaitlyn a big reason to want to just beat the crap out of Eve. Tonight sort of did that for what happened at TLC, so whenever they meet for the title, I think it would be awesome if the story could sort of be like Eve not considering Kaitlyn any more than just a rookie, and the reason she slapped her wasn’t because she wanted an easier win in facing Naomi (being that WWE wise, nobody was really familiar with Naomi’s skill level unless they’d seen her in NXT or FCW), but rather that she felt she was helping the Divas division by not allowing Kaitlyn to get another “fluke” victory in the battle royal as Eve claimed the first battle royal Kaitlyn won was more of that and less of Kaitlyn actually outlasting everyone on her own merit.
Eve and Kaitlyn CAN have a solid story building into their next title match if they are given spotlight and time. Matches like this where it honestly feels like WWE just tell them to appear in the ring like ghosts and leave after two minutes aren’t going to do that though. Give them a segment where Eve teases Kaitlyn about her lack of experience in the ring in comparison to her, and have the tension build and build until Kaitlyn gets the title shot and takes Eve to her limit in ways that no one has been able to do yet. Make it actually look like Eve has finally found a threat, and it’s in the woman that she didn’t think could pose any due to how new she is compared to some of the other women Eve’s faced.
I may have put more thought into that than what will actually happen, but I really hope they get something more than just four or five weeks of random matches that feel rushed.
In AJ/Vickie related thoughts, I love their feud. AJ as a heel should be very entertaining if handled correctly, and tonight it certainly was for me with her climbing to the top of the ladder and sort of calling everyone dumb for not figuring out the reason she turned on John Cena that she felt was obvious from the get go. Vickie interrupting added icing to the cake because even though Vickie is teaming with Cena, it’s not like she’s going to just suddenly start getting cheered. AJ still gets cheers because I don’t even know what she actually is. It’s like, I feel we need to make history and open a fourth disposition to choose from between face, tweener, heel, and crazy chick.
Big E debuting was interesting. I’m happy for him because he’s been at FCW longer than I’ve even been going to their shows, and that started in early 2010. He deserves it and I’m excited to see what’s going to happen. Of course, part of me wishes it was Corey Graves who took that role because he and AJ would’ve been perfect together, but I get that they wanted someone who looked like a monster to portray AJ’s bodyguard so it does fit. Whatever happens, I’m loving actually having more things to discuss in these reduxes than simply a rushed match and that’s it. 2012 certainly brought us an improvement in that way, so let’s hope in 2013, the actual division and title get some much needed spotlight as well. If the tag team division can be rejuvenated, anything can happen!
I guess my negatives would be that it looks like both Rosa Mendes and Tamina‘s storylines have been dropped. With Alberto appearing kind of face lately, it’s understandable, although still frustrating that things are started and then just forgotten about (Cough Fandango), and Tamina I don’t even know what to say about. Returning on an actual pay per view and making a statement lasted all of about two to three weeks before she was just back in the division’s annual battle royals. Maybe 2013 will bring her some luck, but hopefully it’s something that will actually last and not be taken away within a month.
And also, happy holidays to everyone reading this recap. It’s been awesome writing reduxes over the past year and I wouldn’t change anything aside from keeping NXT Redemption afloat of course. Whether you agreed with me, disagreed with me, or simply x’d out of any article once you saw I was the writer (no hard feelings), recapping the happenings of these shows is a blast. Plus, where else would I get to share my strange wrestling obsessions and throw in random phrases or clips from The X-Factor or The Nekci Menij Show and not totally be viewed as a psychopath?
Until next time, peace!