What’s up Diva fans and welcome to this week’s SmackDown Redux. I’m covering for Steven this week as he’s busy living it up in New York like he does every week, (I’m not jealous of his place of birth or anything) but that’s ok, as you’ve got me, WAHEY! As I throw my trumpet away that I was blowing, I’ll tell you what we’ve got in store this week. In-case you can’t tell from the title, this week’s match features Layla going one-on-one with Tamina Snuka. Tamina is looking for momentum as she heads into her clash with Divas Champion Kaitlyn for the title at Elimination Chamber on Sunday, whereas Layla is looking for a bit of spotlight after being an afterthought in the Divas division recently. Which Diva will get what they want out of the match? Only time will tell!
“I’M INSATIABLE” blurts through my earphones for the first time in such a while and out skips Layla, who I’ve definitely missed. Layla is wearing a new purple camo attire that looks like Barney the Dinosaur just threw up on it but hey, everyone loves Barney, so that means Layla looks good, right? She’s looking nice to me anyway! Lay channels Barney and hugs a small child at ringside before performing her patented pose on the ropes. Back from a small break (good job it was now instead of in the middle of the match) and Tamina has already started strutting down the ramp in the cold and calm way that only she can. Tamina looks focused in the ring as Kaitlyn looks epic on the Elimination Chamber graphic, hyping this Sunday’s match, which I’m surprised isn’t exclusively on the WWE App! So who’ll win this match? Will Layla attempt to sing “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family” or will Tamina make this perky little dinosaur extinct?
The bell sounds and the girls clash with a collar and elbow tie-up, which Tamina gets the better of, before shoving Layla into the ropes, causing the fake audience to gasp in horror! Tamina stares down Layla as the ‘Little English Muffin’ regains her composure and starts to rally the crowd. The girls lock up again, with Layla then going behind her foe to a waistlock position. Tamina fights out with an elbow and proceeds to whip Layla against the ropes. Ms El rebounds off the ropes and hits her patented spider-like roll-up, which manages a one count, before tripping Tamina up and hitting a jackknife cover for another one. The last ever Women’s Champion then kicks Tamina in the gut before bouncing up the turnbuckle and hitting LOL, Lots of Layla on her Samoan opponent. Layla then charges at Tamina with a hairgrab takeover before using her ass-ets; catapulting those cheeks into Tamina’s face, which knocks the Samoan Princess to the outside.
Layla then basement dropkicks Tamina for good measure and looks to go for a crossbody next, but as she runs off the apron, WHACK! Tamina proves that she is craftier than Albert Einstein (well, maybe not) and pulls the ring skirt away from the apron, causing Layla to slip and crack her back right off the apron. Tamina stomps Layla’s back against the solid steel apron before sliding her into the ring. Tamina then works over the neck of Layla with a sleeper (the neck is connected to the spine, so I guess that’s sound-ish strategy) as the crowd begin to chant Layla’s name and get behind the English export.
Layla begins to feel the energy from the fans, yet there isn’t quite enough of it yet as Tamina grabs Layla by the hair and slams her to the mat. The self-proclaimed ‘Chaotic Exotic’ then goes back to the well so to speak and wrenches at Layla’s head and neck once more. We then see Kaitlyn backstage scouting the match and it’s good to see Kaitlyn at least do something on a main brand show. Back to the in-ring action and I’ve realised that the bottom of Layla’s shoes are green, just like Barney the Dinosaur’s belly, so I’m quite proud at how my at first seemingly rubbish metaphor has now paid off quite nicely. Layla starts to get very physical as she gets back to a vertical base and although Tamina manages to get one knee in, Layla is dishing out most of the brutality.
The daughter of Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka then whips Layla into the turnbuckle, but that said corner is seemingly good friends with Layla and the former LayCool member manages to swirl around it and avoid Tamina’s splash – allowing her to roll Tamina up in the process. The pinfall is not enough however, as Tamina kicks out at 2. Layla then tries to Olkahoma roll Tamina up, and although the pin doesn’t work out as planned, she still manages a two count. Layla then hits a trademark spin kick to her adversary’s stomach and then hits a sloppy looking Bombshell – sorry, I have to be honest Layla! Layla decides not to go for a cover and instead tries to hit a running crossbody, but this seems to be a pretty bad judgement as Tamina catches her in mid-air. The #1 Contender then Samoan Drops Layla, before sealing the deal – hitting an Ice Age-like Superfly Splash to wipe Layla out.
Thoughts: I really liked this match. Even though we’ve seen this same match a few weeks back, this week it felt much fresher for some reason and it was really nice to see Layla back on TV again, as I’ve definitely missed her. Layla looked fantastic and her selling was really nice, especially on the apron bump and when Tamina slammed her to the mat by her hair. The offence towards the end was slightly sloppy, although that kind of helped the fact that Tamina practically had to no sell one of Layla’s top moves in the Bombshell to allow her to quickly come back into things and Samoan Drop Layla. Layla did pretty well, yet I still think she needs to revert back to using the Lay-Out as her finisher. The move is much more consistent and looks a lot more painful, so if your reading this Layla, please bring that sick neckbreaker back! And while you’re at it, just turn heel as well please, that would be brilliant! And with that, stay tuned, Jack will be back!