Saturday, October 16, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (May 22, 2009) – Oops, They Did It Again…

sd22may09

Sorry for the Britney inspired title, but it just made sense at the time. Anyway, after you watch this week’s dose of SmackDown action, you’ll realise exactly what I mean. This week’s Divas action is almost like a three course meal; you have your starters, your mains and your dessert.

For starters, we got gasp… an actual Divas promo. That’s right! Melina joined Josh Matthews backstage with Alicia Fox getting involved too:

I have to say, I think Alicia is well on her way to becoming the total package. She can more than hang in the ring with the best of them (see last week’s match) and this week, she proved that she can cut it in terms of promo ability too. I think she came across really well here and even better than veteran, Melina, who I felt was very stiff and wooden. It was passable for Melina, but something didn’t click for me, it just came across as 90210-style acting (read: the acting on that show is bad). Alicia on the other hand, I felt did a good job.

Now onto the mains. In their third singles outing, Gail Kim and Michelle McCool once again wrestled up a storm – however this time, the #1 Contendership for the Women’s Championship is at stake:

I have been a big fan of their work thus far, they’ve had two very good matches. Gail picked up the win last month and Michelle beat her two weeks ago on SmackDown, making this the rubber match of sorts. With the opportunity to face the Women’s Champion on the line, I felt the treatment of this match and the way it was executed was very well handled. From the in-ring work to the announcers putting emphasis on it, it really made this match feel like a ‘big time’ match that was worth watching and worth winning for the two participants.

Last week, I felt Gail Kim truly arrived. Since she debuted in March, she’s had some good matches but last week’s match wasn’t just good, it was great. It was the arrival of the Gail Kim who we saw reach a pinnacle of excellence in TNA that rivalled that of the company’s top males. The arrival of the first ever Knockouts Champion. Perhaps Internet rumours that WWE had ‘soured’ on her made her up her game, but whatever it was – it worked. And this week, we saw more of that fiery Gail Kim, with her unique and innovative style. And if you ask me, she has proven that she is the best female wrestler on the WWE roster bar none.

From the get-go, this match started out very technically, with submission-based offense from Gail. Wrapping her body around Michelle, who then reverses that but Gail manages to counter into an arm drag. Very good start. And to start as we mean to go on, we then have some ‘story’ added to the match as Michelle drives Gail’s knee into the ring post. This worked very well as it’s something that Michelle can work on throughout the match and allows the match to tell a story. Michelle continues to work on the knee, grounding the high-flying Gail Kim, however things pick up as we see the return of Gail’s fantastic submission move, the Christo now renamed the Flying Dragon. I really love this move and it was sold well by both Divas, as Michelle begins to ‘pass out’ and they eventually fall to the canvas.

Michelle once again goes for the knee to ground Gail and pulls her out of the ring. It seems every week, Gail does a spot that sees her take a bump to the outside. Ouch! As the match progresses, we see another hot spot from Gail, virtually climbing on Michelle and kicking her in the head, nice stuff. This is then followed by Gail’s finisher, the arm trap neckbreaker but super-Michelle manages to kick out.

Gail goes to the apron, where we get our regularly scheduled Alicia Fox interference. Alicia gets a nice shiner from the ring post to match Melina’s slap earlier. Gail goes up to, Michelle with a kick which leads nicely into the Faith Breaker, which I have to say was poorly executed this time. The last time these two had a match, Michelle hit it perfectly and Gail sold it perfectly… this time, not so much. Michelle gets the win (as expected) and is the #1 Contender for Melina’s title. Great match, though it was clear from the outset who would win.

And for a light dessert after a very filling meal, WWE teases a match between Eve and Layla next week on SmackDown:

The booking behind this storyline has been nicely done, giving us a little bit each week and making next week’s match seem important. Let’s hope these two can deliver.

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