Thursday, September 23, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (February 11th, 2016): A Legit Showdown


The road to FastLane heats up, and it has become a collision course to be honest! With the TWO matches for the Divas on the Pay-Per-View next week, bodies have been flying and emotions are at an all time high. With the upcoming tag match at FastLane, Team B.A.D.’s in the driver seat in their war with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch from Raw when Tamina bested Becky. How will things look after Sasha Banks and Naomi face off on SmackDown?

Becky makes her way to the ring to do some guest commentary when we get a clip of her match with Tamina on RAW. Sasha makes her way to the ring as the commentators question Becky’s motives for helping Sasha. Tamina and Naomi make their way to the ring (and Sasha’s name is STILL on the mini-Tron, some graphic designer is sure to get suspended for this).

The bell rings and Naomi hits a cheap shot, kicking The Boss. She runs to strike and Sasha his a Thesz Press and throws Naomi’s head to the turnbuckle and gets a kick to the head. Sasha snapmares Naomi for her patented slap. She goes for the cover and gets a one-count.

Sasha talks some smack to Naomi and throws her to the corner but Naomi counters hit a series of strikes before trying to whip her herself and it gets countered allowing to Sasha to set up the middle rope knee attack. Sasha goes for the cover but Tamina drags Naomi out of the ring before the three-count making Sasha not so happy as we head to commercial.

Back from the break, Naomi misses kick, allowing The Boss to place her in a jackknife pin attempt. They bridge off and try to pin each other several different ways. As they get up, Naomi dropkicks Sasha. She runs to strike and gets thrown over the top but lands on the apron. She aims to kick but Sasha sends her out of the ring instead and she lands on Tamina (kinda). Sasha gives Tamina the riot act as she stands on the apron, allowing Naomi to drag her down to the apron on her back! On commentary, Becky references that Sasha once called herself the Beyoncé of the group, and now she’s “Beyond Slayed”.  Smashing pun from the Lasskicker.

Naomi keeps the pressure by tackling Sasha to the apron before throwing her in the ring for a tw-count pin attempt. She continues with a back suplex, and says she is “just gettin’ started” as she stands on her hands. Naomi talks some smack and Sasha tries to get back into it before Naomi goes back and forth with left and right side kick before enziguri-ing Sasha back to NXT.

Naomi applies a chin lock as the crowd and Sasha powers out of an irish whip to nail a headscissors to Naomi. They both get up striking one another before Sasha gets the better of it, hitting a pair of clotheslines and another headscissors. She sends Naomi to the corner and knees her to the chest. She aims for the pin and only gets two. Sasha’s neckbreaker gets countered and Naomi pushes her to Tamina, who trips Sasha, allowing Naomi to deliver an intense headscissor driver, only getting the two-count! Tamina is having a meltdown ringside. On commentary, Becky’s had enough of the same old tricks Team B.A.D. has played, cheating in matches to get ahead. Becky leaves the booth and brawls with Tamina.

In the ring, Naomi misses a Split-legged moonsault. Sasha slides out the ring to fight Tamina resulting in Tamina taking one of the greatest bumps in pro-wrestling history.

Sasha Banks heads back in ring, and Naomi tries to roll her up, but Sasha’s the wiser and counters with a Banks Statement and Naomi has no choice but to tap out! Sasha has remained unpinned/unsubmitted! Becky gets back up and applauds The Boss on her victory.

Sasha spoke a bit about her win on SmackDown Fallout:

Thoughts: What a match! I have said time and time again, SmackDown has been so good to the Divas. They get more time and seems a bit more freedom in-ring wise.

This match showcased to me that Naomi can hang with the heralded Boss, Sasha Banks. One of my favorite moments was the rush of side kicks that Naomi gave to Sasha, followed by a picture-perfect enziguri. Naomi also shined with her heel work in this match. Her shit-talking was A-1! And technically speaking, this was a heel vs heel match (I know, I KNOW Sasha is leaning towards the tweener side) but Naomi really looked so great in this match. The match gave me an NXT feel with the brutality and the pacing. It was truly a great sight to see…..and on SmackDown!

Sasha’s has not had to worked the face side of things in quite along time, but she did well here. She worked amazingly to keep her tweener status by not really using the crowd to keep her going, only really interacting with them after that fury ending with the headscissors intact with the help of Becky Lynch’s reminders of her attacking the Lasskicker at Royal Rumble. Becky’s one-liner about that Beyoncé name drop was perfect. The Queen of Puns has done it again. Tamina deserves credit for her meltdowns for every nearfall and taking that crazy bump on the commentary chair. THAT WAS SO CRAZY!

As far as FastLane is concerned, this upcoming tag match is having perfect build. Team B.A.D. is playing the team role perfectly. They bend the rules and provide openings for one another to a tee. I must give Jerry The King Lawler credit, he really did a great job praising Team B.A.D. this week as well as creating doubt if Becky and Sasha could really co-exist at FastLane. With Becky losing her match and Sasha winning hers, could dissension be imminent as we head towards RAW? Sasha is a braggart and will likely throw this in Becky’s face. This match was a brilliant piece of wrestling and buildup towards the Pay-Per-View. One thing is clear: The Divas are stepping it up and it has really shown the past few months. This is going to be a Road to WrestleMania for the ages.

What did you think of the match? Do you think Naomi should have won this match? Let me know in the comments and thanks for reading!

 

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