Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (November 28th, 2014): AJ Lets Her Fists Do the Talking

Hello, SmackDown watchers! I know there are a few of you out there. I’m filling in for Steven on this week’s Redux, which sees new Divas Champion Nikki Bella take on another Survivor Series victor: Emma. Let’s watch the match:

Emma is already in the ring when the Divas Champion makes her entrance with Brie by her side. After we recap what went down at Survivor Series, we begin the match. We’re reminded that Brie’s 30 day Cinderbella sentence expired after Raw, making Brie’s appearance alongside Nikki one of choice. Has she really patched things up with Nikki, or does she have something up her sleeve that she’s saving for Raw? The way she’s holding that Divas Title makes me suspicious..

In the ring, Emma and Nikki tie up, Nikki forcing Emma against the ropes and then shoving her to the mat. Nikki taunts the crowd a bit and distracts herself, allowing Emma to roll her up for a pin attempt. Nikki kicks out.

She stomps Emma and picks her up, slamming her bodily to the mat in a show of strength. Emma is tossed into the corner, but she dodges Nikki’s attack, trapping her in the Dil-Emma!

When she releases the hold, she boots Nikki in the butt for good measure. This pisses Nikki off, but Emma is unfazed, responding with a slap. Emma charges as Nikki in the corner, but gets an elbow to the face. Nikki uses the turnbuckle for leverage, leaping up and kicking Emma in the face.

Emma is dazed, and Nikki takes advantage of this, hoisting her up and hitting the Rack Attack. She pins Emma and earns the three-count.

After we replay the ending, we cut back to Nikki, who now has a microphone. She asks Brie to hold her belt and addresses the audience. She says it’s time that everyone knows the truth about AJ Lee. Everyone’s heard AJ’s sob story, she says, but she has worked harder than AJ has.

Nikki caps off her promo by telling AJ that she’ll forever be that “pathetic, manipulating little girl from New Jersey.” This brings out AJ, who isn’t in a talking mood. She attacks Brie while Nikki makes her exit. Brie quickly escapes as well, leading to a stare off between the Bellas and AJ.

UPDATE: Here’s the full transcript of Nikki’s edited promo, courtesy of WrestlingInc:

“I’m not going to say trashy, classless things like Ms. Lee did because unlike Ms. Lee, I actually care about the kids that sit in this audience. It’s time that everyone heard the real truth about AJ Lee. Yes, we heard over and over and over again your sob story. Yes, we have heard over and over about how hard you worked. But you wanna know what? I have worked harder. The biggest difference between you and me is that I don’t have to go tell everyone so they like me. And most important, that is what makes me fearless. You wanna know why you don’t have any friends? It’s because you’re so threatened by anyone who doesn’t like you. AJ, I want you to take a good hard look at what a woman is, a real woman, a classy woman! I want you to take a look at what a real Divas champion looks like. AJ, I want you to know that forever, through these fearless eyes, you will always be that pathetic manipulating little girl from New Jersey.”

Thoughts: As per usual with SmackDown, the match was short and largely inconsequential. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of Emma’s shenanigans. She’s just so good at it. It was Nikki’s first match as Divas Champion, though, so I suppose she needed something to prove that she’s not a slouch in the ring, despite the sneaky way she earned the belt.

The “cut a promo and prompt a babyface attack” thing is pretty standard, but I suppose it works as a rebuttal to AJ’s promo on Raw. AJ says that “talent isn’t sexually transmitted”, while Nikki says AJ is a little girl with a sob story. It’s not the best writing, but with TLC just around the corner, we don’t have much time for nuance, I guess.

The real question mark is Brie: is she really on Nikki’s side, or will she reveal some plan on Raw now that her month of service is over? I still find her heel turn perplexing, even though I much prefer her as a heel. That would, of course, turn the assumed Survivor Series rematch at TLC into a Triple Threat match, which I’m not opposed to. At least it would make this leg of the storyline something more than a trash talk tête-à-tête.

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