After coming out on top of the Divas Summertime Beach Battle Royal, AJ (who I have decided to nickname CrayJ from now on) has earned herself a non-title match against Layla on Smackdown this week. Can AJ topple the Divas Champ and work her way into title contention or will she crash and burn? Check out the match below:
AJ skips her way down to the ring first and we are treated to a recap of her Battle Royal win and her Daniel Bryan-esque celebration. AJ giggles coyly, obviously pleased with her win on Monday night. Next out is Layla, and it seems she has dropped her signature LayCool theme for the perkier, babyface-friend theme of former Diva, Tiffany… and I am not impressed…
Anyhoo… Layla does her usual song and dance, the official signals for the bell and out Divas match is underway.
The Divas kicks things off by feeling each other out with a exchange of chain wrestling that ends in a stalemate between the two. Layla gets the upper hand on the rookie with a kick to the gut, followed by a side headlock. AJ tries to fight her way out, but get leveled with a shoulder block from the champ. Layla takes a few seconds to taunt AJ, before getting a quick near fall with a lucha-style cradle pin.
The champion keeps the pressure on AJ with a armbar, but AJ fights her way with a few stiff forearm shots to the face of Layla. AJ whips Layla off of the ropes and grounds her with a drop toe hold, followed by dropkick to the face. Layla retreats to the corner, but AJ charges with a huge splash for a two count.
AJ pulls the champion to her feet, but Layla breaks away and takes AJ down with a spin kick/springboard crossbody combination for a near fall of her own. Before AJ can gather any momentum, Layla comes flying off the ropes and lands a nasty looking faceplant and goes for a pin, but AJ manages to kick out at two.
AJ tries to fight off the champ with a series of strikes, but Layla retaliates with a kick to the gut, before getting blasted in the face with a spin kick, courtesy of AJ. AJ smells blood in the water and is looking to finish off Layla, but is interrupted by Daniel Bryan and his hobo beard. Daniel skips around yelling “YES! YES! YES!”, much to the chagrin of his jilted ex.
While AJ is distracted by her former lover and his unkempt facial hair, Layla sneaks up on her and snatches the victory from between her fingers with a Ranhei.
Post-match, an enraged AJ attacks Layla from behind, sending the Divas champ running for cover. Daniel confronts AJ, which leads to a “YES!” duel between the two:
Unfortunately, this fantastic exchange is cut short by the Interim General Manager, Vickie Guerrero, who has some bad news for Daniel Bryan:
After finding out that AJ will serve as the special guest referee in his title match against CM Punk at the Money in the Bank PPV, Daniel Bryan makes a trip to the Divas Locker Room to get on AJ’s good side, but runs into Kaitlyn instead:
Daniel manages to find AJ backstage and offers her some help… of the psychological sort, and AJ responds with a simple “…Yes…Yes… Yes… YES! YES! YES!” and skips her cray cray ass down the hallway, leaving D-Bry to contemplate what lies in store for him at Money in the Bank:
What a week for the Divas! While I have been less than impressed with Layla since her return, I thought she put on a really good match with AJ. It got more time than the non-PPV Diva matches usually get and showed off some of technical skills both ladies possess. I can totally see these two clashing in the near future with the title on the line.
As for the DB/AJ storyline, I feel like we are getting closer and closer to the payoff of this storyline and I’m pretty excited. AJ has completely stolen the spotlight from everyone else that’s involved in this program, without overwhelming the fans with her presence, which can be a very tricky thing to do.
Personally, I have no idea where this will lead to, but I’m excited to find out. This is first time in a long time that a storyline driven by a Diva has had me this enthralled. I just hope that the end of this story is as enjoyable as the journey we took to get there.