SmackDown Redux (January 4th, 2013): Double the Divas, Double the Fun

Good day, everyone, and I will of course welcome you to the first SmackDown recap of the new year. Steven is currently not able to attend today’s festivities, so I’m here to step in and bring forth my bountiful Diva goodness like a Pilgrim on Thanksgiving. WWE chose to bless us with two matches this week involving the females, but let’s be honest… if one involves Hornswoggle, does it really count as something we can look forward to? I guess I’ll let you all be the judge of that.

Anyways, first up we’ve got a six person mixed tag team match as one of the most unpredictable trio’s in WWE history; The Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya team up to face off against the brilliance that is Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes. It’s Rosa’s first televised non-battle royal/bajillion Diva tag team match in God only knows how long, but will it work in her favor? Or will Natalya and her duo of oddities take the big victory?

Alongside that, we’ve also got a unique bout that pits former Divas Champion, Layla up against a woman who could make a big statement before 2013 is said and done, Tamina Snuka. While the sound of that excites me greatly if only for the hope of hearing Tamina’s symphonic theme song once again, we’ll get to that in a little bit.

First up… *ahem*

The Great Khali’s shamefully addicting theme song hits, and yes while it pains me to admit I love and jam to the song each week, my focus this time goes straight to Natalya. The power couple walks out from the back with their odd little friend, as we get a recap of the Mae Young pregnancy on Raw for some reason. …Oh wow. This is actually the first time I’ve seen the reveal of the “baby” and now I see why everyone on my Twitter feed was so against it. Although I’m ashamed to admit my first thought is that since Hornswoggle was confirmed to be Mr. McMahon’s son in 2007, does this mean Vince and Mae did the deed? Okay… that’s all we’re going to say about that. Just wipe it from your memory like majority of Hornswoggle’s segments.

The trio begins to dance, as we then head to a break. We return to the sight of Mendes-Mania swaying her hips on the ring apron. I still miss their first theme song, but at least this isn’t as brutal as the Primetime Players switch. The bell sounds and we get things underway with the two women coming face to face until Nattie gets piefaced. This does nothing but fire the Dungeon Diva up, as she takes Rosa down and mounts her face into the canvas over and over! A snapmare into a dropkick gets a two count, with Nattie going for the Sharpshooter until Rosa slaps her across the mouth and tags in to Epico.

The Great Khali steps into the ring and Epico tags into Primo. Primo doesn’t really have much of a choice, as Khali flips him inside and chops him in the face. Poor Primo is taken to the corner and smacked across the chest, before the ungodly tag to Hornswoggle is made and he enters the ring. Primo gets kicked in the knee and then both men get stunnered… until Primo shoulder tackles the green clad leprachaun to the floor. Primo continues to mount him, as Rosa shakes and laughs on the ring apron. A double team mini dropkick, as Epico is now the legal man in. Epico taunts him, but Hornswoggle nails a few moves and tags into Khali.

Khali with some sort of fist, then a chop or two, and an elbow, as Primo runs in and splashes Epico by mistake. Khali throws Primo to the outside, while Epico goes for a backstabber to no avail. He then runs forward and is met with a chop to the skull as the oddities and Natalya win. Some form of dancing then ensues, which urges me to wish Rosa would run in and have a dance off with Natalya involving the stipulation that the winner and loser get to take turns slapping Hornswoggle. But nothing of that note happens, as Rosa plans for another day.

Back to the arena, as Layla stands in the ring for a second female oriented match taking place tonight. Her opponent? TA-MI-NA! Yes, that’s right. Let me take a few moments to indulge on this wonderful theme song. Alright, now that I can focus, Tamina makes her way out and steps into the ring for some competition tonight. The bell rings, with a lock up occurring as Tamina backs Layla up into the corner. The camera then zooms in on Tamina, who has some of the best facial expressions as she always perfects the look of disgust (See: Sunny’s Hall of Fame induction).

Tamina throws Layla to the outside and hoists her into the barricade, before tossing her back in the ring. She looks to keep the momentum going, but Layla gets a small package for a two and then eventually falls victim to a clothesline by Snuka. Tamina locks in a sleeper hold as Layla sits in a split legged position which makes it look even more painful as she forces Layla to bend forward. Eventually, Layla kicks Tamina in the face and begins to score with a comeback of shots. A low dropkick and a facebuster follow it up, proceeding with a spin kick as she goes for the crossbody in the corner. Tamina runs up quickly and catches her in mid air, before switching it up into a Samoan Drop! She then climbs to the top of the nearest turnbuckle and majestically leaps off with the Superfly Splash for the surprising victory over the former Divas Champion.

Thoughts: Well, I want to go with the positive side and say it’s the thought that counts. We got two matches involving the Divas on tonight’s SmackDown, which is two more than we usually tend to get per week on the blue brand. So kudos to whoever decided they would give some of the lesser used Divas a shot in the ring this week.

Starting with the mixed tag, there’s not really much to comment on Diva wise. I guess my biggest surprise was that there wasn’t an obligatory catfight involving Rosa and Natalya right before the end of the match, but other than that it was pretty much the standard stuff. I liked that both got some ring time this week even if it wasn’t too much, and while I’m certainly no fan of Hornswoggle (if you couldn’t tell above), I’ll take Natalya and the Oddities over Natalya passing gas with Hornswoggle laughing at her near a cheese covered table anyday of the week! Plus, whatever keeps her on TV is good with me, as I still have my woes when it comes to Alicia Fox’s absence most weeks as of late. Hopefully next week we can get something like Nattie and the Funkadactyls vs. Tamina, Rosa, and Aksana (or Alicia if she decides to be a heel), because I’d love to see SmackDown be the place for the Divas not in the title hunt to have feuds and matches together like tonight showed us.

Layla and Tamina’s match wasn’t too great for me, which I hate saying because I enjoy both women. Something just didn’t click with their chemistry and a lot of moments looked a little off. The Superfly Splash was great as always though, and I’ll never get tired of barricade spots. Part of me really wants Layla to turn heel because she doesn’t work for me as a face. I don’t dislike her or anything, but she definitely is someone who needs to be able to show her personality off, and she’s not really able to in this light like she was during the Laycool days. The heel side is kind of low right now anyways, so I think it’d be a good time as any when you’ve still got Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Natalya, and The Funkadactyls available to fill in face wise.

Speaking on the face/heel ratio, regardless of what I thought about the match, I love that WWE is showcasing and building more heels up because when Eve eventually loses the title, we’re going to need more legitimate challengers besides just her. You’ve got AJ who’s off with Dolph right now, and then I think all that’s left is Tamina, Aksana, and Rosa. Of those options, I see them choosing Tamina to be the second in command, so it’s great that they’re spotlighting her ahead of time and giving her some momentum leading into the future. Hopefully it continues and we develop SmackDown into a program that can be used to build up future contenders with Raw focusing on the ones we’ve already got in the title hunts.

NXT Reviewer - Read Profile
  • TorrieStacyCandice

    I Think Laylas Face Characters Alright, At The Most But I Think She Would Work Better With A More Of An Underdog Gimmick As A Face.
    I Don’t Want Her To Retire Anytime Soon, But I Know Its Going To Be Sooner Rather Then Later And When She Does It Would Have To Be Ofcourse With LayCool.

  • DJ8946

    The mix tag, eh. At least Nattie got a win. Either Layla got extentions or she grew her hair because it was already long but her hair was looking good & it was a lot of it. The match was good for what it was I guess. I dont think they had to practice the match before taping it because if they would have probalby would be way more rememberable. The Superfly Splash was good & they finally named Layla’s crossbody Lots of Layla.

    • K2Evefan

      Layla definitely got her some extensions and she looks great. Her hair was thinning from the process of going blonde because her natural color is so dark so the extensions really helped fill her hair out. She looks amazing.

  • Mr. Asstastic

    Say what you want, but this Natalya/Rosa stuff is my favorite thing atm. :)

  • AndieMcPhee

    “Hopefully next week we can get something like Nattie and the Funkadactyls vs. Tamina, Rosa, and Aksana (or Alicia if she decides to be a heel)”.

    Ha. :D

    I enjoyed the singles match. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was a change of pace and Tamina was a little more interesting this time round compared to how she was during that match with AJ some weeks back. That stare was intense. I wish they’d have let her stay face though; I thought she was a lot more engaging in that role. She has a beautiful smile, her wrestling was more engaging and she has a lot of natural charisma that for some reason just doesn’t come across in a heel role, as intimidating as she could be. And she looks nice but I prefer the old curly hair; it set her apart.

    Layla I like but she just hasn’t really been able to get into her non-Lay-Cool character unfortunately – at least not on television. I have an issue with her moveset too because it just comes across as too choreographed. I don’t mind a bit of flash, especially if it gets a generally apathetic crowd interested in your match, but it shouldn’t come across as so slow and planned that it ruins the flow of a match. Don’t get me wrong, I think Layla has it in her to be strong in there (she’s proven that time and time again), but I wish she’d tone it down a little. I feel like even if she doesn’t go heel there’s a way to adapt her old moveset without feeling the need to fill it out with the likes of that cross body which feels like it lasts about five minutes.

    Natalya is perfect and I’m glad they’re letting fans get behind her again because she’s got so much likability. Just give her a title feud please. Rosa isn’t made for wrestling but I don’t mind it so long as they limit her to stuff like this.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

    Natalya and the Oddities haha Nattie reminds me a lot of Luna Vachon.. The hole crazy things but Natalya is incredibly sexy and the prettiest face ever!!
    Speaking of sexy, Layla looked incredibly hot too!
    I actually liked the match seems either Layla made Tams look good or Tamina has improved some. When she shoved Layla all the way down the Ring I’m like holy shit! Tamina actually looked threatening tonight. And Layla is one awesome little wrestler! Can never get enough LoL (Lots of Layla ) XD

    • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

      Also to whoever writes this review HELL NO! I don’t want Layla as a heel! I love her as the good guy!! Her move set is awesome and Layla has been heel for years; as a bitchy little mean girl and as LayCool a goofy mean girl.. I love Layla as the good guy
      Her moveset rocks!

      • BAD KHARMA

        I agree with you, she is a great face, she has a very good moveset, and lots of agressiveness!

        • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

          Ya ppl say she doesn’t display “personality”. I say he displays aggressiveness, technique, quickness, and her kicks are as brutal as Michelle McCools if not more!! Plus I love seeing her do her fireman carry takedown pin!!! Layla is the awesome veteran like Jackie Moore! And much like Jackie n Trish despite being allies didn’t always meet eye to eye, they didn’t hesitate to take each others head off to win the title and then immediately team up to take down the bad guy. Katelin and Layla might go after one another but WILL double team on Eve haha!! I love Layla!! She’s awesome!!

        • K2Evefan

          I love her face moveset. its flashy, technical, difficult, and very well executed. Its always been her lack of charisma that was killing her as a face for me. Fortunately in this match she actually had really high charisma. When she did her very own kelly kelly signature “COME ON” she was actually able to get the crowd into the match, which really impressed me. WWE is definitely trying to make her take the place of kelly kelly as the top babyface even if she isnt it in a title feud right now. Its totally visible with the transitions she has made since kelly kellys release. For example the blonder hair (which looks AMAZING with the extensions but hopefully the WWE doesnt try to convince her to go any blonder because i dont think her hair needs to be any blonder it looks great as is) then you have the kelly kelly esque screams, and finally the butt slapping. The difference between layla and kelly is clearly their in ring talent and their charisma. Layla is easily the the better wrestler while i think kelly had better charisma at least as a face. BUT in this match layla finally had charisma in her face character and i think she is definitely coming into her own as a face. I know layla will continue to improve her character which i actually look forward to.

          I think its weird i havent seen any comments about the divas crowd reaction as usual during these reduxes towards this match but i also havent sen anyone even praise that either. I guess it goes to show most people here dont see the positive things about a match when it comes to the divas.

  • redsandman99

    The mixed tag was kind of eh…seeing Natalya wrestling and being on the winning side was enough for me. Tamina and Layla’s match was just fine. Nothing ground breaking but nothing bad and it was nice to see some other divas get a little spotlight.

  • BAD KHARMA

    I loved Layla vs Tamina, it was a really good match! And I´m loving Tamina´s attires and hair! And she has been getting better in tthe ring!

    I would like to see a Tamina vs Kaitlyn feud for the title this year, they had great matches on NXT, and since then they improved a lot, so I would like to see it!

    • TheLadySamantha

      I think we watched two different matches. It wasn’t even remotely entertaining.

  • TibarnEl

    That awkward moment when Natalya is legit the best wrestler out of all of them.

    • BAD KHARMA

      Primo and Epico are awesome wrestlers aswell!

      • TibarnEl

        That they are, but I still don’t think they hold a candle to the Dungeon Diva! =]

  • puppies

    I didn’t like the mixed tag, I’m not a fan of Khali and Hornswoggle, but I’m loving the Natalya/Rosa feud. I want them to have a singles match, and maybe some gimmick matches like they used to do with the Divas. It would have to be something appropriate for PG TV, though, so maybe one of those arm-wrestling matches they used to do, or a a catfight match where you have to throw your opponent out of the ring to win.

    The singles match was ok for what it was. I liked the aggressiveness of Tamina and how intimidating she was looking. I love the Superfly! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t mind Layla as a face as long as she’s a face that will still talk smack and get in your face, which she seems to still be so I’m cool with it. Besides, it’s refreshing seeing her as a face, she’s tons of fun in the ring.

  • Lita-Sault-666

    Tamina Vs. Sasha Banks on not was better than this bout. Mixed tag is what it is.

    • Lita-Sault-666

      *NXT

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

    Mixed tag was meh having rosa do nothing when shes up before nattie & nattie just getting up & kicking rosa like really…awkward to me…..

    Layla vs tamina to me was decent,i liked the guard rail bit & that someone countered LOL & tamina looks alot better in ring…
    layla needs to be able to show her personality & if a heel turn does that so be it but i want wwe to make her a better face since shes always been a heel…..

  • NY Pollard

    lmao @ vince and mae young doing the deed. i think mcmahon is as colorful and unpredictable as wwe has been over the past twenty years, so my guess is that they did.

    i like seeing the girls and it wasnt that eventful because theres no storyline and obviously no real progress with their characters. layla is a good face, but she just needs more to do. let her be sort of the trish stratus type babyface only ofcourse, with her personality to engage us. i wouldnt mind seeing her turn heel by the end of the year, but for now just keep her face.

    sorry for the lack of caps and such, phone again..

  • Johnyfaction3

    Natalya wrestle like Kelly Kelly in that match lol. I like how aggressive Tamina was being too.

  • ricky_says_hi

    I’m surprised so many people want Layla to go back heel. I never thought she was particularly good at it at all. There was nothing unlikeable about her and I feel she suits the face role much better, especially with her new improved wrestling. Plus she was heel for five years, she’s run her course in that character. If she went heel again she’d just be generic since she doesn’t have Michelle with her anymore. Tamina is getting built up it seems and I guess that’s a good thing. Not sure how I’d feel about a Kaitlyn vs Tamina feud if/when Kaitlyn becomes Divas’ Champion.

    The 6 person tag match had three good wrestlers in it, unfortunately none of them could actually wrestle each other so what we got was completely forgettable. But Natalya got a win and dancing with Khali and Hornswoggle is preferrable to farting and jobbing isn’t it?

    • Choko

      She could play her ECW character or the Raquel Diaz gimmick which she made. None of these are generic.

      • Mr. Asstastic

        The Beautiful People made the Raquel Diaz gimmick.

  • Slapavel

    the match with tamina & layla was fine! and seeing nattie on the winning side was just jaw-dropping since she always jobs . bu double divas, maybe wwe is changing the division .

  • Divo

    I’m so over layla at this point, however tamina rocked in this match

  • madslam2009

    Rosa looked very awakrd taking Nattie’s offense. At least Nattie got a win, though.

    I might as well throw in my two cents into this heel vs face Layla discussion. Layla is like Alicia Fox to me. I like Alicia Fox better as a face, but her as a heel is quite alright to me. Ring-wise, I don’t see a big problem with Layla. I am never really that impressed with her in the ring in general, but she can become to accustomed to the whole ‘Oh, I am a heel, let me constantly grab the hair role’ (which is a bit of a cristscim to alot of divas) so I perfer her as a face, but if she does go heel, I’ll be fine.

    Her match was Tamina wasn’t amazing, but fresh.

  • K2Evefan

    Thank god natalya is a great actress so no matter what wwe decides to screw her over with next she will play the hell out of it. I think she is one of the most entertaining actresses in wrestling period especially in a comedic role, i just wish she could have a comedic character in a title feud so she can really showcase her in ring talent too.

  • lucky1now

    they should have done more with the tamina aj vickie thing it would have really helped tamina get heat from the crowd attacking poor aj

  • TOPHERISTIC

    IMO, Tamina does not suit the glam-monster that she’s playing right now. I like Savage Tamina better and the TA-MI-NA! theme is perfect for that wild, amazonian character. I hope Layla doesn’t become a jobber this 2013. As for Natalya, why is her moveset suddenly becoming Kelly Kelly-esque? The ring mat face smashes and mounted head smashes. Wish she’d bring out her technical prowess.

    BTW, I love your reduxes Bobby. It’s almost perfect and your humor translates well over the web. Compared to Crissy’s overdramatic reviews, which are filled with her personal stories, and that one guy who keeps using annoying filler names when he writes stuff(“the Dungeon Diva clotheslined the Hybrid Diva but the NXT Season 3 winner kicked out of the 3rd Generation Grappler’s pin attempt”). Just saying. (And I’m a Naomi fan too since her braided hair & leather pants’ days so it’s nice to see someone who marks as much as I do.)

    • Jack

      “that one guy who keeps using annoying filler names” – I guess that would be me then!

      • TOPHERISTIC

        I’m sorry Jack, I guess annoying is a strong word. I’m really sorry. It’s just, when one paragraph is filled with multiple aliases and nicknames, it’s so distracting. But that’s just my opinion, I’m not asking you to change or anything.

        • Jack

          It’s ok, don’t be sorry. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. To switch things up, I just like to use synonyms that commentators use to describe the talent and I use nicknames the wrestlers use to refer to themselves. Just to differentiate from the same old “Divas Champion” or first-names.

    • Bobby

      Ahhh the days of the braids, bright spandex pants, and neon sneakers bring me back to such great memories. And I’m glad you enjoy them, thanks =)

      • NY Pollard

        I like your style Jack and just like pro wrestlers, you will evolve and grow better. You’re right where you need to be. Not everybody will like the same stuff, no matter how good one is at it. Take for instance, some of the DivaDirt recap videos that I think Bobby does. I don’t really like them myself, but I enjoy all of the write ups here in DivaDirt. I think variety is the spice of life and DivaDirt has a good bunch. Keep up the good work guys and gals.

        • NY Pollard

          Not sure if its a recap video btw that Bobby does? Well anyway, I think they’re not that cool, style wise. I think if they had more of a “Ray William Johnson” touch…would be cooler imo. Then again, just one opinion, so do your thing guys.

  • charovnica

    Tsk,tsk…and I still wait for Nattie to pull a Punk and make an epic promo in which she’ll say all the things the fans have been saying about the divas division…

    About the Layla vs Tamina…I hate how Layla is so involved emotionally with the match and then you see the crowd dead silent.They do not care. I liked the match till the end came up.Usually this is the most exciting part of Tamina’s matches,but she wasn’t convincing this time. I liked the block of LOL but then the powerhouse diva picked up her opponent with an obvious struggle and botched her finish. I liked her match with Sasha on NXT way much more

  • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ebd751d8870fd0545e5dae93bebe7c49.png Giggles

    Happy to see their using the divas in multiple matches. Looks like Tamina might be rising in the ranks this year! Picked up a win on both NXT and Smackdown! Hopefully they do something with it…. Also, least Natty isn’t farting anymore!

  • TheLadySamantha

    Tamina continues to do very little that impresses me.

  • NY Pollard

    Tamina is still rough around the edges, but she still impresses me atleast. I’m thinking that because Beth has retired, they’re using Tamina to fill that powerhouse role in the division, which is a good thing IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/jeremysalvatico jeremycanrana

    I’m just glad Natalya was in the winning team and they didn’t make fun of her! That’s all that matters with her whole storyline with khali ! And she looked amazing! nice attire!

    I actually loved Tamina vs Layla! It was new and different! and that staredown at the beginning was awesome! I’m glad they decided to build Tamina this way ! And I hope they stick to it!