The past few weeks for the women’s division on the blue brand has been tense – opportunities have been popping up and each woman is ready to step up to the mark. This week is no different, as we once again see the women trying to climb to the top of the ranks. Let’s see what happened in this week’s SmackDown: Live Redux!
Last week, Lana issued a challenge to impress Tamina, who she cited as one of her inspirations. Lana challenged Charlotte Flair to a match and so this week, it’s time for Lana to prove her point… which doesn’t work out too well. During the match, Charlotte really doesn’t take Lana seriously – it’s only until Lana hits her with a nasty slap that angers the ‘Nature Girl’, who finishes off Lana with a quick Big Boot and Figure 8 to make the Ravishing Russian tap out.
Backstage, Tamina catches up with Lana post-match and initially rubs some salt into her wounds following her defeat. Tamina mentions that Lana’s ‘ravishing’-ness, isn’t enough to get her to the top, but her ambition is what helped her get 3 SmackDown Women’s Title opportunities. So now, Tamina tells Lana that she needs to help Tamina to get her own shot.
Initially, Naomi has the upper hand when these two lock up with her regular speedy offence. The match only switches up when Carmella manages to block a kick and take down Naomi with a back heel trip. Carmella then gets to work on grounding Naomi – choking her against the rope and putting her in a reverse chin lock. When Naomi starts to get back to her feet, she manages to buy herself some time by hitting a backbreacker on Carmella.
Naomi climbs up to the top rope, but Carmella hits the ropes to stop her. Carmella attempts a Stratusphere, but it gets blocked. Once again, Carmella tries to snatch Naomi before she can take off from the top rope, but the referee breaks up that hold. During the referee’s distraction, James Ellsworth pushes Naomi off the top rope!
As he ducks down, Naomi tries to get back to her feet but gets met with a vicious superkick from Carmella. 1.. 2… 3! Carmella defeats the SmackDown Women’s Champion and #Carmellsworth are back!
During SmackDown’s Live Fallout, Naomi says she is determined to stay the SmackDown Women’s Champion no matter who faces, be it Natalya or Carmella should she cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase.
Following the commercial break, Carmella and Ellsworth bump into Natalya. The #1 Contender warns the couple that if they stick their nose in her business at Summerslam, Natalya will make Carmella’s chin look like Ellworth’s. Not too scared by the threat, Ellsworth wishes Natalya luck at Summerslam…
Thoughts: This week’s SmackDown wasn’t going to blow us away, but it was definitely interesting developments for the women involved. I usually do the RAW Reduxes, but I’m covering for Abir while he’s on holiday (also to note that I was on holiday too which is why we have no RAW Redux this week because I was away yesterday too!) but you can really feel the difference because there is so much more to write about. Obviously, this week on RAW we got all the women on the roster involved in matches, but the playing field is so much more level on SmackDown – that includes Lana.
Her whole gimmick with looking like the rookie helps to show how much better the rest of the women are. Making the women look out of her league is a much different way of showing dominance than by having her get squashed week in and week out, which is what Emma and Dana are suffering on RAW. She’s not the best wrestler, but she’s passable for now – I’m personally interested in her developments with Tamina. This duo can be fun, but Lana needs to be the manager and Tamina needs to be the wrestler – not Tamina being a bodyguard.
Another thing I need to comment on is Charlotte’s unfortunate wardrobe malfunction and hearing the crowd react. It’s annoying, but it just goes to show how far the women have come really. It just highlighted how rare T&A has become in the WWE now. Sure, it’s also due to being PG-13 too but there was a phase when SmackDown was the land of bra and panties matches and bikini matches. The reaction shows that wrestling is still always going to have that audience, but thank God we’re not in that era with these kind of fans chanting ‘puppies’.
Finally, Ellsworth is back… yay? Regardless of where you stand with him, he adds an extra dimension to Carmella’s heel act. The crowd hate them and you want to see them get their come-uppance, which we know will happen soon… but whether they will last is another thing. WWE.com’s upload of Carmella’s new titantron seems to show a lack of footage of the pair together…
Are you happy Ellsworth is back? Are you a fan of Lana’s ring work? Do you think Carmella will get involved in Natalya’s match at Summerslam? You know what to do in the comments section!