Hello all and welcome to this week’s SmackDown Redux! The blue brand heads overseas to London this week and hometown girl, Layla clashes with Lithuania’s own, Aksana. Can Layla pull out the win in her homeland? Check out he match below:
We kick things off with Aksana already in the ring, awaiting her opponent. Layla is out next to a huge pop from the London crowd. The official signals for the bell and our Divas match is underway.
Layla and Aksana lock up to start off the match and Aksana gets the advantage, but Layla comes back with a kick to the midsection and a playful booty bump to the face. Frustrated, Aksana whips Layla across the ring, avoids a headscissors and sends Layla sprawling to the floor with and kick of her own. Aksana throws Layla back into the ring, but stops to taunt and crowd and ends eating a loww dropkick from Layla.
Looking to finish off her opponent, Layla goes for a series of rollups for a couple of nearfalls, but Aksana brings her momentum to a screeching halt with a hotshot over the top rope, followed by a brutal knee to the fact for a nearfall.
Aksana stays on the offensive, working over Layla arm with a vengeance. Layla attempts comeback with a kick combination, Aksana has her scouted and sends the former champ crashing down to the canvas. Aksana locks in a side headlock to wear down Layla, but the the British born beauty fights her way out and counters an Irish whip with a lucha style pin (now dubbed Infinity) to pick up the win.
Thoughts: I’d be lying if I said I was a fan of Aksana’s matches, but I really enjoyed this match. Layla and Aksana were both on point in terms of their in-ring work. It was pretty short, but since that seems to be the norm these days when it comes to Divas matches, I won’t pick on that too much.
My one complaint would probably be Layla’s new finisher. While it’s really flashy and memorable, I don’t know how I feel about a pinning combination being used as a finisher. When I think of finishing maneuvers, I think of powerful, high impact moves and submissions, not rollups. Perhaps we will see Layla incorporate new transitions into her repertoire, as I could see it being used to set up several submissions, but by itself I don’t think I’m feeling it.