Earlier this week, SmackDown Diva Layla made an announcement that she was going to have surgery to repair two injuries; a torn MCL and a torn ACL. That announcement just happened to coincide with the debut of a new Diva at Tuesday’s tapings, former Queen of FCW and third place NXTS3 rookie, AJ. A lot of people have been awaiting the arrival of the spunky life-long pro wrestling fan and it’s unfortunate that her debut has to happen right as Layla goes out from an injury. Whether AJ was brought up to take Layla’s place, I don’t know. But what I do know is that AJ’s debut was a rather dismal one. She teamed up with NXT winner and BFF, Kaitlyn, to take on the team of Alicia Fox and Tamina. Birthday girl, Natalya, was at ringside with the faces. Lets take a look at what went down.
Tonight we begin things with Alicia and Tamina in the ring.
Random Thought: I can only assume that Tamina and her cave-woman attire are heels by default now due to the severe lack of them on the blue brand, but who knows? Maybe Rosa won the coin toss this week and didn’t have to play the heel?
Anyway, Alicia and Tamina are waiting when Natalya’s music starts. The third-generation Diva leads her team of faces, consisting of Kaitlyn and AJ, to the ring. While they’re walking/playing to the crowd, a little video promo from earlier begins to play:
Natalya is talking to AJ and Kaitlyn and she says that both Alicia and Tamina are really strong competitors. Kaitlyn claims that she doesn’t like them because their names have to many A’s. AJ is just happy that she gets to make her SmackDown debut alongside Kaitlyn, and both girls want Natalya’s expertise at ringside. Nattie said she would be happy to support them at ringside.
Random Thought: Seriously? Melanie said it best on Twitter this morning when she said Kaitlyn’s character is a Brittany (from Glee) rip-off. I swear I think Brittany used a line either exactly like that or eerily similar. Ugh.
While that is going on, Nattie is giving her rookies some words of encouragement and it’s decided that AJ is going to kick things off against Alicia. The referee runs down the rules of your typical Diva tag team match and the bell rings to signal the beginning. The feisty little AJ is read to fight and Alicia just stares at her like she’s beneath her. AJ tells her to come on and the match is on. Alicia tries to bully AJ against the ropes, but the former Queen of FCW isn’t having it. She forces Alicia back with an elbow to the face and tries to capitalize, but Alicia chops her down to size with a knee to the gut. She pulls the smaller Diva up by the hair and whips her into the ropes. It looks like Alicia wants to hit AJ with a sidewalk slam (I am totally making that up, mind you) but AJ counters with what ends up being an extremely sloppy head-scissors take-down. AJ runs to the ropes, uses them for momentum, and ends up kicking Foxy in the face. AJ seems satisfied she’s grounded Alicia so she makes the tag to Kaitlyn.
The rarely seen NXT season three winner leaps into the ring over the top rope and attempts to pick up right where AJ left off. She allows Alicia to get up and when the ex-Diva’s Champ comes at Kaitlyn swinging, the Texan ducks, drops down, and is able to bring Alicia down to the mat. Kaitlyn goes on offense by slamming Foxy’s head into the mat more times than necessary. After that, she awkwardly forces Foxy into the corner and kinda-sorta but not really squashes her down. Alicia is able to push Kaitlyn away from her with her foot, but the blond quickly recovers. She pushes Alicia back against the turnbuckle and elbows her. Then Kaitlyn takes her opponent and executes a nice sidewalk slam (that I didn’t make up)! Kaitlyn goes for the cover but Tamina makes her presence felt by breaking it up.
AJ comes flying into the ring and attempts to take out Tamina but it’s just a really bad exchange between the two. They finally fall out of the ring and that leaves Kaitlyn and Alicia. Both have made their way to their feet and Alicia kicks Kaitlyn in the stomach. Kaitlyn doubles up which leaves her vulnerable. Alicia pounces on the opportunity and she sends Kaitlyn to the mat with a beautiful axe kick. Wow that was just flawless! Alicia goes for the cover and she gets a big win for the heel team.
Very cool to see Alicia and Tamina win, but unfortunate for AJ who becomes the first Diva to lose her debut match in God knows when. I feel kind of bad for AJ and her fans as they’ve been waiting for this. She got little to no hype. Had it not been for the little thirty second video before the match people who didn’t watch NXT would have been left clueless as to who she is. It was just bad booking. If you’re going to debut a Diva, at least give her some fan fare. I’m sure none of us expected a Kharma-esque debut, but AJ could have gotten something a bit better than a losing effort in a Diva tag match.
That said, it’s great to see new faces on SmackDown. Tamina, Alicia, and Kaitlyn were fun to watch despite the fact they, along with AJ, put together a sloppy match. Some of the spots were cringe-worthy, but I’ll cut them some slack. They’re all newish to each other (yes, Alicia was on NXT; yes, Tamina was in FCW with AJ; blah blah blah) and SmackDown is in a different league from NXT and FCW. I find it unfortunate that AJ has to play her annoying face character. Her heel work in FCW is delicious but at least we’ve got something new. And now we have something to build on. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing this whole “Nattie and her rookies” thing develop. Maybe Naomi can get called up next and Alicia can have her rookie, plus Tamina. So yeah, Alicia and her rookies. Maybe we could have a six-Diva war through out the summer? Girls on SmackDown need a storyline so writers, take notes! Stop stealing Glee quotes and make something happen.
SmackDown was average at best tonight.
Congrats to AJ for finally getting to the main roster. Here’s to many years, many wins, and hopefully a few title reigns thrown in.
Until next week, Cryssi out!