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What. A. Show!
The intensity and progression of these feuds are brilliant. The women of SmackDown are proving each week that they are the ones to watch, and it all started with a confrontation between two bitter rivals…
The women start off the show when Nikki Bella calls out Natalya, attempting to end the feud tonight. Unfortunately for the Fearless One, Natalya doesn’t meet her in the ring. Instead, the Queen of Black Harts is seen at the very back of the room, encouraging Nikki to take a look at the titantron. When our attention is taken to the big screen, we see Neidhart walking near the merch tables. The bitter Queen of Black Harts yells at the arena workers for selling Nikki’s merch but not hers. She then goes on to complain about how there’s merch of John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, The Undertaker and her “ex-uncle” Bret Hart, but not hers. She then continues to trash the merchandise and throw it in the trash. That is, until Nikki shows up and goes straight for the attack, knocking her to the ground. The two women jump into a huge brawl that lasts for a short while before the security separates them. Talk about making your mark.
Alexa states that Becky, the “human Chucky doll”, will give a reaction to her loss that we’ll never forget. Becky tells us that we know who she is as she’s shown her fighting spirit again and again. But we don’t know who Alexa is – and we definitely won’t be calling her “champ” after tonight.
The match then takes place in the main event and things are off to a great start. Alexa immediately attempts to leave the cage but Lynch stops her each time. The match goes at a decent pace, with the crowd even chanting “this is awesome” at one point. We see some memorable spots such as Becky’s Bex-plex from the top rope, as well as Alexa’s baseball slide into the cage.
As things are looking up for Lynch, she asks that the door be open. However, Bliss knocks her down, and thus stopping her exit.Becky manages to knock Bliss out of the way, allowing her the chance to exit through the door. But then she sees La Luchadora blocking her way. Bliss attempts to take control of this distraction by implanting a DDT – but before this can go ahead, Lynch forces in the Dis-Arm-Her. Things are looking really right for the Lass Kicker as the champ prepares to tap, but with the help of a kick to Becky’s head from La Luchadora, the challenger is knocked out. Alexa then inserts the snap DDT she was going for and pins her opponent for the three count.
The pair then attempt to take things further by beating down a vulnerable Becky Lynch. However, the Lass Kicker fights back and manages to get the champ to the floor for enough time to pull off La Luchadora’s mask… And who is it? None other than Mickie. James! Distracted by the surprise, Becky is caught off guard and attacked by the retaining champ, followed by a kick to the head by the returning veteran…
In a backstage segment, Mickie James and Alexa Bliss are asked to explain their actions. The pair glance at each other, smile, and then Bliss responds with, “and still, your SmackDown Women’s champion…” and then tells the interviewer to leave them alone.
In another segment, Lynch is asked for her feelings and she really lets us know them. The Lass Kicker tells us that she’s “disgusted” that her title is on the “Harley Quinn wannabe” that hasn’t got a “single ounce of integrity” to her. Lynch complains that tonight was about making a momentous day, yet Bliss stole the moment and “cheated her way” into the history books. She ends her speech in disbelief at the thought of even a steel cage not stopping outside interference from getting in her way.
Thoughts: The brawl between Nikki and Natalya was close to perfect. The intensity that the pair often gives out is brilliant, and it does everything it needs to do to extend this feud.
Natalya and Nikki’s rivalry is built off of personal hatred. Each woman aims to get under the skin of their opponent every time they’re handed a mic – and that’s exactly what we see this week. Natalya brings up Nikki’s inevitable loneliness, whilst reminding us of how Nikki is getting in the way of her own family drama with the Bret Hart line. I’m feeling every bit of jealousy, bitterness and anger each time these ladies hit it out, and I can’t get enough.
The other women’s rivalry is also on similar lines. This week we saw Becky Lynch and the champion, Alexa Bliss. The match goes at a decent pace, and though it is far from what I wanted, it does the job it needs to do. We see a good use of the cage and some memorable spots in general, which put both women over. And of course, that ending!
I’ll be lying if I didn’t see it coming, what with the spoilers floating around during the day and the speculation of the past month, it was hard not to expect it. But it happened, and it was great. It’s odd that WWE would decide to have James return as a heel, but based on the reaction from her return, it may have been the perfect one.
We did hear the “Mickie” chants from fans in the arena, but these quietened pretty quickly, and were soon replaced by the exact sound we hear every time Charlotte Flair wins her title back.
The crowd were disappointed. They didn’t want the Lass Kicker to take on yet another embarrassing loss to Alexa, but she did. And on top of that, a respected veteran in Mickie James allowed it to happen. Lynch, somebody who is always so vocal about the women of the past that paved the way for her today, has been stomped on by one of those women. One of those veterans that she adores has taken the side of her enemy and formed Lynch’s worst nightmare.
The storytelling here is perfect as it’s setting up Lynch to be the ultimate underdog. She has the crowd on her side – so much that they’re not even cheering for Mickie James at her expense! The audience are loving Lynch, and the more she gets thrown down, the more we end up loving her.
Now, before I end this piece, I just want to discuss the journey of Alexa Bliss a little..
This time last year, none of us thought that in the span of six months Little Miss Bliss would become the Women’s champion, fight in a Tables match, compete in a Steel cage match, have two pieces of official merch, be a part of the inaugral SmackDown Women’s championship match and compete in the main event of SmackDown Live… twice if you count the Glasgow match as that. It’s incredible how far this woman has come, and it’s hard to deny her of every bit of success that she’s earned.
What are your thoughts on the show? Are you happy with the match? Are you on team Natalya or Nikki? Let us know your views in the comments below!