Extreme Rules in Review: A Flawless Return for Layla


Last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw shocked us all when one half of The Bella Twins, Nikki Bella, pinned “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix to become the new WWE Divas Champion. Nikki had earned the title shot two weeks prior on an episode of SmackDown, when she defeated Phoenix thanks to interference from Kelly Kelly.

However, during the match on Raw (which had been given a Lumberjill stipulation to prevent The Bellas from cheating), Phoenix suffered an injury to her ankle. She was still willing to compete, and challenged Nikki for the chance to regain her title at Extreme Rules.

Fast forward to the pay-per-view in Chicago, where we were treated to a night of surprises: Beth being unable to compete due to not being medically cleared, Eve finding a replacement opponent for Nikki, a certain Diva’s return to the ring, and a new champion being crowned.

Before we can get things going, we are treated to the Executive Administrator for John Laurinaitis, Eve Torres, overhearing a conversation between The Bella Twins (who are both looking pretty on-point tonight, by the way) and former champ Beth Phoenix. Beth claims that she will wrestle even if she has to hobble out there. To Beth’s surprise, Eve points out that she is actually not medically cleared to wrestle.

Brie is all ready to jet out of there, but before the Bellas can kick back and relax, Eve informs them that Nikki will still be competing as promised and that her opponent will be a surprise. Naturally, both of them start freaking out because this time last year, they earned themselves a very prominent spot on Kharma’s hit list. Eve reassures them that the mystery woman is, in fact, not Kharma (which became pretty obvious to me the moment Kharma herself Tweeted about it). Golly, who could it be? Nikki cracks a joke at Mae Young’s expense, which I admit, I did giggle at – and so does Brie. The twins walk off breathing a sigh of relief, while Eve stands there looking pretty satisfied with herself.

No less than twenty seconds later, “You Can Look But You Can’t Touch” hits and Divas Champion Nikki Bella makes her way to the ring, accompanied by Brie, and both sporting some cute black headpieces they’ve mysteriously acquired very quickly. The moments leading up to Nikki’s title win on RAW are re-played and that is indeed a pretty awkward looking fall. Poor Beth.

The Bellas take to the microphone and talk themselves up, saying the title is back where it belongs. Nikki tells the audience they better get used to the sight of her because she will become the longest running Divas Champion in history. A little bit of friction is teased here – “come out, come out whoever you are mystery woman, and face us” / “Uh, me!”

Some familiar sounding music is played and Nikki’s mystery opponent is none other than LAYLA, the last ever recognized WWE Women’s Champion. Layla, who has been out for almost a year with a serious knee injury, runs out looking happy and healthy. Nikki does not look impressed. Layla seems ready to go.

The referee calls for the bell, and it is time to get this Divas Championship match underway!

The girls lock up, and Layla immediately takes Nikki down with an arm drag. Another lock up, followed by another arm drag by Layla (as a “We Want Kharma” chant starts), who then sends Nikki flying into the ropes. Nikki retaliates by sending Layla into the ropes herself, but Layla counters with a nifty roll-up. Layla proceeds to kick Nikki in the shoulder, then goes for another kick to the abdomen, but Nikki smartly grabs her by the leg and throws her into the corner. Nikki charges at Layla but Layla kicks her and heads to the top-rope as the referee is distracted by the Divas Champion.

Meanwhile, that dastardly Brie pushes Layla off the top rope right onto her injured – and bedazzled – knee. Nikki immediately goes on the attack, viciously assaulting Layla’s surgically repaired knee. A quick cover, but Layla kicks out at 1. Nikki continues working over Layla’s knee, and looks like she’s about to lock on a submission, when Layla pulls her in with another surprise roll-up. Nikki kicks out.

The two trade blows until Layla nails a clothesline, then springboards off the bottom rope onto the second into a flying crossbody to take the champ down! Brie jumps up onto the apron, screaming, so Layla takes her down too with a sliding dropkick underneath the bottom rope! She pays for it a second later though, when Nikki pulls her down to the canvas by the hair. Nikki goes back on the attack, but Layla shows some fire and the two trade pins. Layla hits a spinning back kick on Nikki, who rolls out of the ring to recover. The referee is distracted by Layla for some reason, while the two sisters perform a bit of “Twin Magic” and Brie enters the fray.

Brie goes for the Bella Buster, but Layla counters and hits a brutal looking neckbreaker (The Lay-Out) on Brie! Layla covers her, and three counts later, we’ve got a new WWE Divas Champion! Nikki looks on in disbelief that her sister just cost her the match and the title as Layla excitedly runs around the ring in celebration.

Match Rating: 2.5/5

Thoughts: An okay match. Slotted into the typical Divas match spot on pay-per-view (right before the main event), the girls worked with what they were given. They get points for psychology – Nikki expertly worked over Layla’s injured knee. If her knee hadn’t been targeted during the match, that would have been very silly. Layla, who has clearly been working on her craft during her time away from the ring, showed little to no ring rust and impressed with some unique pinning combinations. She seemed very happy to be back in action and genuinely excited by her victory (the crowd was, too – always positive to hear).

However, I do feel as though Layla really needs new entrance music if she’s going to be marketed as one of the top Diva babyfaces. The “Not Enough For Me” song worked well for her as part of the snobbish LayCool team, but won’t get her over as much as a nice girl.

The fact that Brie accidentally cost Nikki her title also gives them a reason to be involved in an angle together tomorrow. And, were it to be The Bellas’ last night in the WWE (as has been rumoured), going out in a match against your twin sister would be an ideal way to leave.

And what of Kharma? Another rumour going around was that she was originally scheduled to be mystery woman involved in this match. Judging by her Tweets, she still seems as keen as ever to punish Nikki and Brie for their cruel comments just under a year ago.

As for the other Divas, Cameron, Naomi and Vickie made their usual appearances at the sides of Brodus Clay and Dolph Ziggler, respectively.

We also saw AJ very briefly – lurking in the shadows watching Daniel Bryan after he cut a promo about his match with Sheamus. She wasn’t seen or heard from after that, but it’s very interesting to think about where it could lead.

What did you think of Extreme Rules? What’s next for the Divas involved? Tell us in the comments.

  • Stratusfaction89

    wheres the video of the match itself?

  • BAD KHARMA

    Where is the match?

  • http://www.sexywomenofwrestling.weebly.com WweRules32

    I Am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Happy That My Layla Is Back Have Missed her and i am very very happy that she is the divas champ plus she looked sexy also wheres the awesome match of laylas win

  • http://rickalicious92.tumblr.com Rickalicious92

    Where’s the match??? D:

  • http://xlittlemissobsessive.tumblr.com/ KellyKellyAJFan

    At first, I thought it was holding her back, but I have to say now: Executive Administrator Eve > Hoeski Eve. This characters fits her so much better <3

    • majestylove

      I think that the “Hoeski Eve” is hidden behing the ‘Ex.Ad. Eve ”
      Laurinatis will probably regret his confidence… :D

      • http://xlittlemissobsessive.tumblr.com/ KellyKellyAJFan

        Lol. Possibly, but would that really do Eve any favors as a heel to screw over the one guy everyone already hates, anyways?

        • unscripted & flawless

          If it means getting into power herself and becoming even bigger of a heel, such as becoming the GM and being able to be corrupt on her own (an independent heel woman) I think she would and I’d love to see it happen.

        • majestylove

          KELLYKELLYAJFAN, you’re right but she already gave a title match to Layla ( a face ) and “fire” the Bella Twins ( heels ), so…

  • wl75

    Is it just me, or did the kid in the front row Layla hugged when she came out grope her?

    I don’t know if they changed things around or this was the original plan- we all knew both Layla and Kharma were supposed to be coming back soon, but we thought Kharma would be first to come back. If Kharma doesn’t come back tonight, I’ll be a bit shocked (unless we hear later on the Bellas signed a new contract)….

    I wasn’t totally shocked about Layla coming back though- I thought it would be a plan B. If Eve had put herself in the match and won the title, THAT would have been a shock…

  • OwenMccool

    I think it was the original plan! LAYLA is amazing. Her WWE video was emotional! I even cried when she came out! A year wait, and I am so happy she’s back! I like how Ever said “no it’s not Kharma” as fans would’ve probably booed Layla if they got there hopes up lol!

    I think Kharma could redebut her year on tonight too, but knowing WWE this could back fire! I think she could get rid of them like she did Michelle <3.

    LOVE Eve's new character, feels like it gives something more to the divas division! I wish they'd stop deleting the match videos that are uploaded!! lol

    • OwenMccool

      Also I feel you have to debut Layla before Kharma, as it wouldn’t have been as good if done the other way, IMO.

  • shameronstar

    Watching the match made me realize how solid of a wrestler Layla is now, but since the Bellas lost the title in less than a week it looks like the rumors of them leaving are active again, and if they leave who the hell is Layla going to feud with?

    • wl75

      Well if they make Kharma a tweener destroying all the Divas, you could do Layla/Kharma (if they plan on holding Beth/Kharma off for a while)- I could also see Eve abusing her power to try and get the title (especially if they pair up Layla with Zack Ryder…)

      • Liam ‘

        Well Beth wants her rematch. But I have a feeling they are going to do a Kong/Taylor fued with Layla and Kharma. Just my opinion though :)

        • Raekon

          @Liam
          A Feud like Kong/Taylor could work if they would have Kharma feud with Natalya, Tamina or Kaitlyn before they go into Beth/Kharma feud because all these 3 have the strength to stand against someone like Kharma.

          Layla along with AJ on the other hand would look like a girl that Kharma could squash with one hand and no matter how much offence they would bring it wouldn’t look as good cause even they are both speedy, they are not as strong as the other mentioned divas to make enough impact against someone like Kharma.

          Taylor was at least bigger heightwise and stronger too so it worked.
          Gail worked well too due to her high flying manoeveurs which both AJ and Layla lack off.

          On the other hand this is WWE so… I guess we will have to wait and see. :/

  • http://ashmultimedia.wordpress.com melon2617

    I don’t understand why people think Layla will feud with Eve, Eve gave Layla the match! It seems odd that they would feud.

    Not a fan of Layla winning, even though I love her. I wanted to see her develop without the title because she’s never really been away from it.

    Either two things happened here:

    1. The Bella’s worked everyone & go (& MH eats crow)

    Or

    2. The Bella’s worked Vince into giving them the belt to resign & then Vince worked them by pulling it off of them once they signed.

    • BAD KHARMA

      It makes a lot of sense, Eve can say that she gave Layla that Divas Championship match because she knew that it would be easy to beat her because she is weak, and then she could abuse of her power to make Layla´s life miserable (this makes sense if she pairs up with Zack) and try to take her championship!

      • http://xlittlemissobsessive.tumblr.com/ KellyKellyAJFan

        I think more people are hoping for Eve to feud with Layla, as opposed to thinking she will. Or, I am at least. I think Eve & Layla have pretty good chemistry in the ring, and that’s the only reason I’d really care to see them feud. But tbh, as someone stated, with Eve’s new role, I don’t see her being a serious ring competitor, either.

    • Nostalgia

      I agree with you for once! Lol. Eve won’t really be a serious in ring competitor as long as she’s in this role. She’s not in the title picture people!

    • Nostalgia

      and they can’t sign a new legal contract til the current one ends. It ends at 12am Tuesday morning, eastern time!

    • SigmaX

      If you have seen Laylas latest tweet and followed the rumors Laylas next feud or first feud as divas champion is going to be with EVE.

      I expect tonight a backstage segment where Layla and Ryder cross paths and they discuss the little tweet and Zack asks again about the kisses and if they were for him and she teases him by saying “maybe” or repeating her tweet , and EVE gets aware and we see her trying to maintain composure but is noticably displeased.

      And if this is not screwed up or cut off at the knees this is gonna be HUGE for everyone involved.

      • Nostalgia

        tweets mean nothing!… Haven’t we learned that by now???

        • SigmaX

          Tweets do mean things usually to tease/elude to a future storyline more often than not , especially when it comes to the divas who have gotten next to no screen time in long while , so they are forced to develop through social media.

          And Zack Ryders show and his social media is pretty much his whole character…and it has already been revealed that EVE has been the one having his shows edited so that feud is not over , and EVE was the one to bring back Layla lastnight , and then there is the tweet I mentioned along with the rumors that were circling Laylas involvement around WM 28.

          The pieces are pretty much there and tonight IMO there will be a serious push to start building it on tv.

        • http://ashmultimedia.wordpress.com melon2617

          there were tweets last week where Nikki Bella hinted at a possible romance between herself @ Ryder.

        • mariah.

          Exactly! One tweet doesn’t mean anything. Perhaps if it were continuous, there would be a case, but he tweeted her once, just like he tweeted Nikki. In regards to Eve censoring his show, that might not mean much either. Eve has been noticeably screwing with everyone, so I doubt Zack is a special case. That’s just her character now.

  • Liam ‘

    I’d like Layla to retire the Divas Championship and bring back the womens title, Seeing as the entire division has held the divas title. It’ll add prestige back to the division and thst way Kharma won’t hold that belt…cuz its nasty lol

    • number1AngelinaLovefan

      agreed but what about when Kelly get’s the women’s tittle?? people will Bitch their heads off (Including me) Lol

      • Jhonmarco

        Who’s to say she will?

        • Liam ‘

          I don’t think the women’s championship is in Kelly’s league. Don’t get me wrong bit she isn’t that good to hold it

        • Melina&Mickie4ever!

          If The Kat and Harvina can hold the womens title im sure kelly can too.

        • number1AngelinaLovefan

          Well i just think knowing WWE that if they were to bring back the Women’s Championship they would push her and that way she would hold it and would kinda ruein the perstige of it IMO

        • number1AngelinaLovefan

          *Prestige sorry

        • Melina&Mickie4ever!

          @Number1AngelinaLoveFan Well thats your opinion …Over 2 decades of history on that title i highly doubt Kelly Kelly capturing the womens title will ruin the prestige. Come on now…but hey thats your opinion

        • Air-Bourne

          “I don’t think the women’s championship is in Kelly’s league. Don’t get me wrong bit she isn’t that good to hold it”
          “she would hold it and would kinda ruein the perstige of it IMO”

          Load of crap. So you’re telling me she isn’t in the same league as the likes of Sable, Debra, The Kat, Hervina, Stephanie McMahon, Trish Stratus in her first few title runs, Gail Kim having the title thrown on her when she was still very inexperienced and green just for them to take the title off her 4 weeks later and Candice Michelle? Yeah whatever her holding the championship wouldn’t do anything to it’s prestige, Kelly had the best title run in YEARS in the WWE they actually put effort into her.

        • Choko

          Candice was better than Kelly.

        • MomoMufFinSsFTW

          Candice imo was worthy. i wouldn’t mind seeing kelly kelly as champ but…It’ll Have To Take Her A Long Time Of Training. Maybe Going Back To FCW For Awhile. She’ll Have to Get ALOT Better And I Don’t Mean a 1 year of training i mean like 2 or 3 before i see her as Women’s Champ Material.

  • shannymac

    The fact that WWE actually referenced Kharma by name last night makes me think her return might not be too far off. If it is the Bellas’ last night on Raw, maybe Kharma will be on hand to give them an extra special goodbye!

    As for the match, I think Layla and the Bella’s did well for what they were given. They got the worst slot on the card, very little time, and no build up, but I thought they had a nice little match. Regardless, it is really good to see Layla finally make her comeback!

  • Jhonmarco

    Nice match. Happy for Layla, she indeed looked flawless. Hopefully her run as a face is successful. I’m expecting Kharma tonight.

  • YouCanLookButYouCan’tTouch

    I felt this was a good match,even though they didn’t have much time.I’d say the match was about 4-5 minutes,but it was good.Layla pulled out some really impressive moves.I’m happy that she’s back and that she’s champion,even though in a way,it would’ve been better if there had been some sort of buildup before she won the title.But hey,I’m not complaining.I’m interested in seeing what’s gonna happen tonight on RAW.With Layla being the new divas champion,Kharma expected to return any day now,and Nikki Bella & Beth Phoenix most likely wanting the title back,it should be interesting and exciting how the divas division will be:)

  • Melina&Mickie4ever!

    Beth can be so mean and rough in the ring and some backstage segments but at the same time she comes of so sweet …

    Im happy Layla won , Yeah I would have liked to see her chased the title a bit to be honest but at the same time Im glad she won it. She deserved it Layla HAS WORKED HARD! Its her time to shine now no chelle !!! Go Lay 2012is all for you

  • MickieJamesluvslave

    Great having Layla back. She looks great and her wrestling skills were pretty good too. ;)

    But I never like seeing any wrestler getting a shot, let alone the tilte their first day back, male or female.

  • TheLadySamantha

    Why did Beth even drop the title if Nikki is just going to drop it after a week? Why couldn’t Layla have beaten Beth? It’d make much more sense considering Beth had “defeated the entire divas division”.

    • Nostalgia

      To not make Beth seem weak… Beth is going to disappear for awhile it seems like

      • OwenMccool

        This, and then whenever Kharma returns, they can bring Beth in, I say as far as Wrestlemania… and then the Bellas could be leaving WWE still, and behind the scene Vince gave her the title to convince the twins to resign? Orrrr (could be wrong) I read somewhere Brie was given the championship when the last contract was going to run out, so it could have been in a contract that Nikki was given the title….who knows! (totally out there i know lol)

      • stratagias@gmail.com

        Oh please…. “To not make Beth seem weak” ??? – really???
        Nikki beat Beth on SmackDown with one move (Facebreaker) – What can make Beth more weak than that???!!! …

        • Nostalgia

          She was distracted. Her full attention wasn’t on the match giving Nikki time to hit her finisher. That’s how

        • stratagias@gmail.com

          Ok, but that’s not a explanation…. If she is a good wrestler she’ll be able to break the pin… – Please…. C’mon, Distracted or not, that was only a one move !!! (Facebuster) And that’s move isn’t so powerful ….

        • stratagias@gmail.com

          Don’t get me wrong… Beth is a very good wrestler, one of the best in the Actualy Division, but WWE sometimes make Beth look weak… – That’s brutal true… ;/

  • Jaefoxx

    Layla’s return is one of those moments where JR was needed on commentary, it would have made the viewers that much more excited about her return.

  • http://facebook.com/mykael.kennedy mykel1990

    I liked the match, and I’m glad to see Layla has been working on her craft while away and looked like she hadn’t missed a step in that ring! Like I said before, I think the right diva came back last night, and Kharma’s absence makes people buzz a lot more. And from a diva’s fan perspective, there’s a lot more we storyline wise with Layla as champion, and Kharma going after the Bellas have Layla get a quicky feud, have Kharma wipe beat her and go on from there. I’ll also say this: if Kharma is the one to beat Layla, like I hope, then she will have beaten someone who’s actually a credible champion and it gives the win something more than a personal vendetta. I like the Bellas, but they to me aren’t championship material, and Kharma taking the title because she’s angry doesn’t add much legitimacy to the title.

    • TibarnEl

      This. I agree with this.

  • SigmaX

    Kharma has no reason to and should not be anywhere near Layla.

    Sorry to the ditractors but Layla should be built up not torn down for the sake of pleasing those that are beging just to go KHARMAS CHAMPION! YAY!.

    Have layla feud with EVE then have EVE bring back Beth and screw Layla outta the title and THEN you bring back Kharma to save Layla and get right into Beth Vs Kharma without sacrificing the rest of the division.

    The logic of tearing down the rest of the division just to put kharma on a pedistal is gawd damn ridiculous and it is what I am seeing majority want.

    • redsandman99

      There is a way for Layla and Kharma to feud without tearing Layla down. Kharma can return, target the Bellas and target a few others before going after Layla because she’s the champion. And Layla could want a piece of Kharma since Kharma attacked her the night she announced her injury.

      • mariah.

        Exactly! Regardless, what’s the hurt in Kharma targeting Layla? She’s been at the forefront of the division since late 2009-early 2011, so it’s not like she hasn’t gotten her chance and it’s not like Kharma would just come in and squash her. I see WWE setting up a legitimate feud between the two if rumours prove to be true.

  • TibarnEl

    Very impressed with Layla. It was a big risk to have her return now after teasing a Kharma return though, to have her fill those shoes was a huge ask. Still, she’s one of the only divas who could get a decent pop from a crowd with high expectations of Kharma reappearing.

    • http://facebook.com/mykael.kennedy mykel1990

      I think that Layla can be this division’s Trish Stratus

      • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

        @mykel1990 ^ i 100 % agree…

        • TibarnEl

          Absolutely. First match on TV back and she totally outperformed the Bellas. I don’t think they were ready for it.

  • 04bia

    good for layla, im glad shes back, we needed some freshness back into the wwe. not suer how i feel about her winning the title straight away (like melina) but i guess she was in line for a push before she left. the match was decent, layla did well, shes becoming solid, and when i heard her theme song, for a minute i tho it was michelle mccool, i bet fans thought so too! i miss michelle!
    but good for layla and congrats to her i hope she has a really good reign and i hope wwe put some effort into into building her into a good champ and give her a good title reign not like beths of the bellas,

    i was kind dissapointed kharma didnt make an appearence, i hope she does tonight tho!

    btw love eve the executive administrator!!

    • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

      Fans wouldn’t think michelle because laylas on the tron all over the arena…

  • http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/WWE_Divas/ art

    I’m not a fan of lay getting the title right away with any superstar/diva but if their leaving who better then layla….

    everything was on point,no awkwardness or anything..funny layla vs the bellas was better then kelly & eve vs the bellas lol….

  • Choko

    So damn happy for her!! She really deserved the title imo. I love how she did new moves. But I hope she slows down with new moves for a little while because she just came back and maybe her knee isn’t 100% yet. But still she was so beautiful last night. I was loving her celebration. I got goosebumps when she sat on the edge of the ring and kissed the title. Stupid how they turned the camera right to Laurinaitis.

    By the way, does anyone here know if she is going to wear the knee brace permanentaly or not?

  • Ouellet

    Please Michelle come back and destroy Layla and Kharma!!!
    I Want To SEE THIS:
    Michelle vs Layla vs Kharma For WWE Divas Championship
    Brie Bella vs Nikki Bella – Sister vs Sister (They STILL In WWE)
    Eve vs Layla and Zack Ryder

    • Choko

      How would Michelle destroy Kharma?

      • Nostalgia

        That’s apparently a kid

  • BlahBlahBlah

    if this was the attitude era… bellas twin would attack beth and injure beth even more during backstage…. so she wont be able to compete.. then kharma would come out.. but ahwell what can i expect from current creatives…