Best Moments from 2012: Naomi’s Night in the Spotlight

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As 2012 draws to a close, the Diva Dirt writers have each picked a personal highlight to reminisce on the year gone by.

Today: Bobby shares his best moment from 2012 — Naomi winning a #1 contenders battle royal at TLC to earn a Divas championship match later in the night.

Where do I even begin with this? Let me just say how last minute this decision was. I actually already had selected a moment and wrote the entire post up before this happened, but I didn’t even care because I was so over the moon that I had to change it. My moment of 2012 actually just happened pretty recently you could say, and it was Naomi shocking my beat skipping heart as she won a #1 contenders battle royal with the opportunity to face Divas champion, Eve, later on in the night at TLC on December 16th.

I’ve pretty much been a huge (and that’s an understatement) fan of Naomi since, not even joking as cliché as it sounds, the first match she had. I still remember it being a tag with Rosa Mendes against AJ and Courtney Taylor, and how enthralled by her I was. She was different, and while extremely new, she actually looked competent in a wrestling role for only being trained such a short time. Over the next several months, she just got better and better, choosing to execute many moves that I’ve honestly never seen other Divas do before. Everything about her was stood out, and those are the types of wrestlers I find myself gravitating towards.

NXT’s third season was a fun experience because we finally got to see her compete in an actual WWE arena against some of the main roster Divas. Her match with AJ was definitely the best one from the season for me, but as much as I hated seeing her place second in the end (on her birthday no less), I had hopes that she’d be back on TV relatively quickly.

… And that’s when the first waiting game started. From December 2010 to January 2012, every week I was hoping she’d debut to no avail. Finally, on the fateful night of January 9th, 2012, out she danced alongside Cameron Lynn and Brodus Clay. It was one of the greatest things I had ever seen (yes, primarily due to the hysteria of the waiting finally paying off), especially getting to see her actually appear at WrestleMania in person.

Unfortunately, as the months went on, it seemed the dance troupe’s air time was getting shorter and shorter. That brings us to TLC, where the shining beacon of light shown down on me and granted her an entry into the Divas battle royal that would take place on the pre-show. As much as I hoped she’d win, I knew there was pretty much no shot. So my main goal was just that she get to have a spot in it to stand out and not simply be tossed out within the first ten seconds. Needless to say, as the match went on, my excitement level began to grow.

Down to the final two, Naomi saw herself up against Kaitlyn, ironically the same woman who stood in her way from winning the third season of NXT. I’m sure everyone probably knows (and is annoyed by) the fact that I mention how much I like Kaitlyn… but there was no way I could have rooted against Naomi when I saw her make the final two. Thanks to a slap from Eve Torres, Naomi was able to capitalize and seek a measure of revenge by taking Kaitlyn out and winning the coveted contendership slot against the Divas champ later in the show. There were tears, celebration and nonstop jumping, plus Naomi was excited too!

Whatever your feelings may be on the actual title match in terms of the time it was given, the fact of the matter to me is that I honestly didn’t care about the little details. What I mean is that time was never an issue for me. Naomi could’ve walked out and got rolled up in three seconds and I’d still be over the moon. I didn’t mind if she lost because who honestly has good title reigns when they win it quickly with little to no build? I think even Gail Kim felt she wasn’t ready back in 2003, and while I understand Naomi has been on TV for a while, I think she needs to be involved in more matches and storylines within the actual division before that happens. All I’ve been wanting is to see her competing, and it actually got to happen after me beginning to feel like the day would never come.

The icing on the cake is that she got to win her first match, and the second was a title shot. Here I was just begging them to put her against anyone on Superstars, NXT, Saturday Morning Slam… something! So to see it actually be for the title on a pay per view nonetheless was pretty awesome.

Overall, this was a great way to end the year in Divas to me, and even if she isn’t immediately put into matches on a weekly basis, this was the taste that I wanted and I’m completely fine with whatever route they go in (as long as she’s on TV mind you).

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  • PeriodPalace

    personally i thought this match was bad , naomi looks like she could be great in the ring but it was clear she hadnt wrestled in a while

  • shameronstar

    The night of Naomi was a nice treat! I just hope 2013 is her breakout year as well as Cameron’s too since I like them as a duo too!

  • TNATaraNonstopAction

    what?

  • http://www.youtube.com/xDivatoxicV3 MiPiMafia

    naomi and cameron need to be placed in tag matches to show off their tandem work. The only divas they can face are aksana, tamina, rosa and eve.. unless alicia goes on another attack again and turns heel.

  • WWFoverWWE

    It’s my favorite moment of 2012 :D

  • AndieMcPhee

    I love how passionate you are in your writing Bobby, it always makes for a fun read. You seem so optimistic and never come off as jaded or cynical. It makes for such a nice change of pace on the internet haha.

    I loved this moment. In the back of my mind I was rooting for Naomi when it was announced that she was in the match, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up so it was such a great surprise when she won it. The title match wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t need to be. Naomi showed what she could do, got the audience behind her in minutes and just seemed so joyful that she was given the opportunity that it transferred across to me as a viewer. Here’s hoping that opportunities continue to open up for her in 2013.

    • Bobby

      Wow, thank you very much for that. Completely made my day

  • NY Pollard

    Naomi did so good and this was a great surprise! Loved it. :-)

  • Christo82

    This is one of my favorite moments of 2012. I was so excited to see Naomi in a match after a year of waiting. This is the most I have been excited about wrestling in a long while. It was a great night with many more to come.

    Naomi is definitely 1 in a million pick for the WWE. Outside of Victoria and Michelle McCool she is their best home grown talent ring wise bar none.

    And just think she started training in late 2009 and had her first match in 2010. So she has been wrestling about 2 to 2 years and some change. Just a wrestling prodigy.