Thursday, August 5, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (May 30th, 2017): Put your money where your mouth is

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A Fatal-5-Way Elimination match is set to take place. Each of the five competitors have made their bid for the title, and all five are ready to stake their claim. So let’s see who came out on top!

At the beginning of the show the five competitors discuss why they believe that they will win tonight’s match. In individual (and consecutive) backstage promos, we hear Charlotte Flair discuss her genetic superiority, whilst Becky Lynch states that the champs days are “numbered.” Natalya states that she is the “best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be” whilst Carmella reminds us of her pinning the champion twice. Tamina then says that unlike the rest, she has yet to have her opportunity.

Before the match starts, Naomi wishes the ladies good luck (via a similar backstage promo) but insists that she’ll remain champion, regardless.

The ladies soon make their way down to the ring, but the contest doesn’t go quite as expected. The women argue in each other’s faces, trying to get the better of their opponents, and this soon leads to a brawl. And by “brawl”, I mean a BRAWL. Women are being shoved into corners, punched in faces, and we even see some flying.

At one point, Tamina seems to be taking charge of the situation and aggressively rips open the commentators table. She looks to be taking down Charlotte, but Flair tosses her into the ring-post, avoiding the hit. Natalya soon tries to smash Charlotte through the table finds herself being thrown onto the side of the stairs. Miss Flair then clears the announcing table and slowly – but affectively – smashes Neidhart straight through it.

At another point we see an aggressive side to Becky as she throws Carmella over the barricade, jumping on her and then punching her head.

The scene is chaotic, but it is Shane McMahon that comes to end it all.

As the match hasn’t even started at this point, the Commissioner of SmackDown Live realizes something: these women are so focused on proving themselves, they don’t care how they do it. They don’t need rules to be placed, they need something that will let them tear each other apart. So, with this in mind, at June 18th, at the Money In The Bank pay-per-view, these five women will compete in the very first female oriented Money In The Bank ladder match! This is really happening!

On the post-show ‘Talking Smack’, the ladies of the blue locker room are our guests of honor! The segment consists of the trying to prove why they are the best, with a lot of in-character banter thrown between. We hear a lot about how fired up the women are for this historic moment, with Shane making sure to emphasize on how big the match really is.

Naomi also talks to us in a Fallout clip about how she’s “ready” for absolutely any woman – but again, states that they will be wasting their time on Miss Glow.

Thoughts: This is a phenomenal step for the women of WWE! These women are incredible talents that all deserve this opportunity. From women like Charlotte that have constantly wowed us with their overachieving status, to underrated ladies like Tamina and Natalya that have only been improving and waiting for their moment to shine: this is definitely something to watch.

This match stipulation feels extremely necessary. These women want to tear each other apart, and they want the gold. Each one has been able to shine – arguably to an equal standard – and they have all proven to be tough talents. We’ve seen the Princess of Staten Island pin the champ whilst the Queen of Harts won the first pay-per-view match since the Shakeup. We’ve also witnessed the Lass Kicker tap competitors out whilst the Queen and Snuka have fought their way, looking tough the whole time. A Money In The Bank will allow the women to prove what they can do on a different kind of platform. And based on previous matches, they definitely seem worthy of such.

The post show segment was also another treat. I always love it when the women’s division gets to talk altogether – we really see a special kind of bond each time. Although it may not be the same kind of connection the original SmackDown Six had, it’s still special. We see the drive, the humor, the chemistry, and it’s always a great one.

One thing that I noticed is that Becky is still somewhat hinting at a heel turn. It may be light, but she is the only woman to directly mention Naomi, a face, and call her out. We know that Becky is a fighter, but she’s the lovable kind. She’s the one to appreciate competition without bringing others down. And although as a standalone performance this doesn’t say much, it does speak volumes in comparison to the rest. The other women are pretty generic, and very much focus their words on their own abilities, yet Becky calls the champion out directly. So maybe there could be something hidden behind those words…

Are you pleased with this episode? Who do you see walking victorious in the Money In The Bank ladder match? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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