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).