Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (August 22nd, 2017): Natalya’s time is on Carmella’s watch

SummerSlam was full of surprises for the women. With two new champions crowd, the ladies of RAW and SmackDown had a fallout to look forward to. And on the blue side of things, it’s bound to be interesting.

Before the show starts, the newly crowned champion Natalya had her side plates installed into her title – with no glowing lights. It looks pretty nice if you ask me.

Natalya soon walks out to ringside – looking proud as ever holding her title – for her tag team match. But before the contest can begin, she grabs ahold of the mic. She tells us that “SummerSlam will forever be known as the day the glow was unplugged.” She claims that Sunday night also proved how she is “the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.”

Our “new and forever” champion states that she promises to bring “honor and dignity” to the title, as it is “no longer glow time, it’s my time.” Strong words. Now, cue Carmella and James Ellsworth!

Miss Money In The Banks says that despite it being Natalya’s “time,” she’s working on Carmella’s watch. She claims that at SummerSlam she let Neidhart have her moment, but when “the time is right” she’ll be trading in her contract for the title. Oh, it’s on.

Ellsworth then reveals that Carmella may even plan on cashing in after having Natalya beaten up during tonight’s match… To the dismay of the Princess of Staten Island that is – it was supposed to be a secret!

Naomi and Becky Lynch soon enter and the match is underway.

Carmella and Naomi start off the match but the Princess quickly tags Natalya in. For the remainder of the match, we pretty much just see the champ taking on both of her challengers.

At one point, Natalya attempts to tag in her partner, but Miss Money In The Bank jumps off of the apron and lets the champ take the match. Towards the end, Carmella – briefcase in hand – is yelling at Ellsworth on the side. So, to take advantage of the distraction, Natalya tags her in. Pretty soon Natalya chases ‘Mella into the ring but is kicked to the outside floor. Unfortunately for Carmella, Becky implements the Bexploder onto her, landing her in the corner. The legal partner, Naomi, then inserts the Split-legged-Moonsault and takes home the victory! It never stopped being Glow time!

A little later on the night, Tamina confronts Lana – whom is on the phone – and asks her what she’s going to do about her title hunt. The Ravishing Russian says that the race to the title will begin next week. And for now, Lana suggests she close her eyes. After Tamina hesitatingly closes her eyes, Lana tells her to imagine being in a lockerroom full of people, yet being alone. Those people talk about them – both – because they’re different. She tells her to make sure those feelings fester her until the anger boils over. And now that Snuka is angry, the two will “crush” the competition together. End scene.

Thoughts: With it being Natalya’s first day as champion, this was an important point. This is what would set the rest of her reign off. And did it do its job? Definitely.

Neidhart isn’t supposed to be the scary heel that dominates the division. She’s the cocky heel that overrates herself, and is the only one that actually thinks anything of her. And the fact that Carmella quickly overtakes her in the mic segment is perfect. The Princess of Staten Island is the person we all need to fear. No, she isn’t the physically dominant one, but she has the mind games, a sneaky manager and the all important briefcase. That is more than what the other women have and we need to fear her also.

The dynamic between the two heels is perfect. It allows both women to be noticed as individuals with shining personalities. Natalya is hilarious and isn’t to be taken seriously, whilst Carmella is sneaky and should be feared. It works wonders.

I can also appreciate the fact that Naomi isn’t looking like an afterthought either. The show didn’t offer much time for the women – which isn’t excusable – but in the short time they were given, Naomi came out the strongest. The heels looked cowardly and weak, whilst the former champ took home the victory and looked the strongest. She has quietly become one of the best members of SmackDown Live as well as being a top star in general, so losing her title doesn’t mean that she should go back to being irrelevant. She has worked her way up the ladder and deserves to be sitting at the very top. This should be the beginning of her reclaiming that throne – just give it some time maybe.

Now onto Tamina and Lana. This duo is working well. Lana is managing instead of wrestling – in which the former is stronger than the latter – and it seems that Tamina will be having somebody do the talking for her whilst she wrestles. The two exceed in different aspects of the business, so this pairing is perfect. And what makes this backstage segment so interesting is how secluded they are from the other woman. Not once is Natalya’s title win mentioned. They don’t discuss the fact that Naomi is no longer champ. Nor is Carmella’s briefcase questioned. The two simply focus on something we don’t know. And it could be anything.

Could Tamina take on a new debut? Could Lana screw up and have Tamina face Charlotte? What if next week Tamina gets a number one contendership match? There’s a ton of possibilities and I love how secretive it is. Something that would be great would be for The Iconic Duo, Billie Kay and Peyton Royce, to debut and take on Tamina. And even if they lose, they’ll still get a chance to be cocky/dominant later on. But let’s just wait and see for now!

What did you think of the show? What will happen next week with Tamina? When do you see Carmella cashing in? Do you think Naomi will reclaim her throne soon? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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