Friday, September 24, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (November 18th, 2011): Adventures in Divaland

Well hello there. Yes, it’s me, your resident Redux jacker, Bobby here. Steven is MIA this week… alright he’s really at the WSU iPPV, therefore I am filling in to bring you all of the greatness that comes with Friday Night SmackDown. I like to call tonight’s episode “Adventures in Divaland” because there seems to be a lot going on right now involving many different women. Tonight we had two of my top three favorite Divas, AJ & Kaitlyn, in tag team action against the polarizing duo of Beth Phoenix & Natalya. On top of that, we also got to see appearances from Alicia Fox, Aksana, and my other favorite, Maxine!

Okay enough blubbering. Let’s get down to business.

Because I like to start things off with the match (unless it’s NXT because there’s usually so much going on), we will kick things off with the Divas of Doom entrance. Beth Phoenix & Natalya walk out in their finest pink & black gear, as they pose on the ring apron with Beth’s Divas Championship. During said entrance, we discover that Beth’s match against Eve Torres has been turned into a Lumberjill match, which brings many different reactions from fans I’m sure. Following this up, we finally get to see this new kickass theme of AJ’s on TV, as the Chickbusters step out from the back in some red gear to combat the sinister Sisters of Salvation. Once all four Divas are inside the ring, they head over to their respective corners and the bell sounds as we get underway.

Beth and Kaitlyn start things off, as Beth shoves the plucky NXT winner back into the ropes. Kaitlyn fights back with a punch and a nice dropkick to send Beth into the corner. Phoenix then gets drilled with a flurry of kicks by Kaitlyn, before backing up to the center of the ring and taking control with a bodyslam attempt. Kaitlyn, however, being the improving hybrid diva she is, manages to escape out the back and shove Beth right into the ropes. She runs up towards the Divas Champion, however, Phoenix hoists her up and drops her throat first onto the top rope. Ouch!

As both Kaitlyn and I grasp our throats from the pain of either experiencing or watching that move take place, Beth immediately goes to work on the stomach with some kicks and punches before tagging in Natalya. The two then grab Kaitlyn and slingshot her into the air, before dropping her back first into the ring! I immediately relate this back to the feeling I had riding my first roller coaster, as I imagine Kaitlyn to be very dizzy and loopy after going through it as I was at the time. Natalya hurriedly makes pinfall attempts, but Kaitlyn does not give up.

The two taunt Kaitlyn as if it’s tear time, and Nattie then locks in an abdominal stretch. AJ begs Kaitlyn for a tag, as I believe Kaitlyn spots a mustache in the crowd which gives her the energy to flip the veteran diva over with an arm drag. Kaitlyn struggles to tag into AJ, but Natalya ends up bodyslamming her and going for a leg drop. Kaitlyn manages to roll out of the way and finally makes the tag!

AJ ascends to the top rope and leaps off with a beautiful crossbody onto Natalya, before continuing it up with some punches to the face and kicks. AJ runs off the ropes and goes for a sunset flip, but her small stature isn’t enough to pull Natalya over. Nattie takes it upon herself to lock in the Sharpshooter, before falling backwards to add even more pain and force me to cringe as I watch AJ get bent into a pretzel. Sadly, AJ is forced to submit, as the Divas of Doom take pride in their Diva Dominance. Kaitlyn, however, does not seem too pleased that she lost, as she puts her hands on her hips and questions AJ as to what went wrong…Could the Chickbusters (unfortunately) be heading to splitsville?

Let’s follow up the match with what I’ve been begging WWE to do since NXT Season 3, and that’s put Maxine on SmackDown where she belongs! We head out to the ring to see Ted DiBiase make his grand entrance for an upcoming match against Derrick Bateman, who has the vivacious vixen in his corner. During Ted’s entrance, we head to a video interview with Batemax taken earlier in which they introduce themselves to the crowd as NXT’s power couple. Maxine follows it up by saying that tonight, they are bringing their love to SmackDown! Derrick goes to plant a kiss on his lovers lips, but Maxine stops him and says to save it for later.

Note: I would review the match, but Derrick Bateman does not emerge victorious so I refuse!

Up next with our “Adventures in Divaland”, we stumble upon Alicia Fox, as she is seen chatting up Justin Gabriel backstage. As I frown at the thought of no Fancy Fox Hood sightings this week, she claims that she has never met a South African before and calls Justin dreamy. Zack Ryder then walks into the scene and asks the two to sign his petition so that he can get a US title match against Dolph Ziggler. Suddenly, The Big Show interrupts and signs the petition himself, as Ryder explains to him what happened earlier in the night when Mark Henry attacked Daniel Bryan and claimed he was next. Big Show walks off, as the three stand there in fear of what’s to come.

Continuing on with this trend of “Adventures in Divaland”, we first stumble upon two non-Divas, in Ted DiBiase and Hornswoggle playing the new WWE ’12 video game. Out of nowhere pops my playa, Teddy Long, who asks if they are having a good time. Ted DiBiase, rocking both the movember mustache and the WWE ’12 shirt, says that they just recreated the main event to Survivor Series. Teddy Long then congratulates DiBiase on his recent string of victories, as well as his involvement with the DiBiase Posse Parties, when out of nowhere comes some saxophone music and pink strobe lights!

Here comes Miss Lithuania, Aksana! She calls for Teddy and both DiBiase and Long respond, before the latter excuses both DiBiase and Hornswoggle from the room. Teddy then asks Aksana what is going on, before she states that she heard someone was playing the new WWE ’12 video game. Aksana claims that when she was younger she wasn’t good at them, but as she got older she became more accustomed to handling a… joystick. Teddy asks Aksana to meet him back in this very room later so that they can play the video game, as she kisses him on the cheek and exits. Teddy then clutches his heart as I relive the greatest segment of all time in my head — Teddy Long and Kristal Marshall‘s wedding. If only I could have reviewed THAT episode of SmackDown we’d all be in for a treat.

Also tonight, we got to see AJ before her match as she tended to Daniel Bryan in the trainer’s room following his attack at the hands of Mark Henry earlier on in the show. The trainer walks off as she questions whether it feels any better at all, before the Big Show walks in and vows to get revenge for what Mark Henry did. He claims that if he would’ve been here, none of this would’ve happened and that he’s going to go find Mark.

Thoughts: Apologies, but I am currently in mourning at this very time. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the tag team match was great, as well as the fact that it was finally treated as more than just a squash where the Chickbusters don’t get an entrance, but I don’t want to see them split. They put on great matches against one another in FCW, but in a roster where the faces are limited, I fear that if Kaitlyn turns heel she could become lost after a feud with AJ and I don’t want that happening. She really impressed tonight though, as I think she held her own in the tag team match where she was the least experienced of the bunch. Thumbs up to the match (and the fact both teams got an entrance!)

It was also great to see Maxine and Derrick Bateman take to Smackdown. Whether she chooses Bateman or Dirty Curty, Maxine can make anything work in my opinion, and I want her on this show every week making great segments like she does on NXT. The video package was especially nice to see because it gave people who don’t watch NXT some back story of the two and so you didn’t feel like you were just watching a local talent or anything. Thumbs up to them, as well as the AAA (Alicia, Aksana, & AJ) sightings backstage!

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