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WWE Main Event Redux (January 29th, 2014): Whose Bark is Worse Than Their Bite?

I have earned the fine distinction of bringing you this week’s Main Event Redux which, dare I say, surprised me a bit, both in a good way and a bad way. Let’s start with the backstage segment:

Backstage, we see Alicia Fox and Aksana trying to give wrestling advice to Tamina Snuka for her upcoming match against Natalya. Soon, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella and Natalya show up, Brie and Nikki delivering a bit off sass that reminds me fondly of their heel days.

Natalya tries to play peacemaker until Alicia calls her a “senior citizen” and Tamina makes an Old Yeller crack. Natalya brushes it off, sarcastically telling Tamina that she has a great sense of humor. She says, “No offense taken, sir.”

Oh. Um, I’ll comment on that later.

Let’s look at the match first:

As AJ Lee settles at the commentary table, Tamina gets the first licks in, pummeling Natalya into the corner and barraging her with some stiff shoulders.

She kicks her a bit and then tries to catapult her across the ring. Natalya manages to roll through it, landing on her feet and coming right back at Tamina, hitting her with the discus clothesline and sending her rolling out of the ring.

Tamina takes a breather on the outside, baiting Natalya and sweeping her off her feet, pulling her to the outside and slamming one of her knees against the ring apron. Ouch!

Tamina slams her knee down again and lets her roll back into the ring, going for an unsuccessful pin attempt. She continues to work on Natalya’s knee, hyper extending it. She tries for another pin, but Natalya kicks out at two.

Tamina then takes the bum leg and wrenches it into a submission hold. While Tamina has Natalya locked in a the hold, AJ comments on Summer Rae joining the cast of Total Divas, praising the show for finally adding someone with a personality. Burrrrn.

Natalya gets out of the hold and hobbles to the ropes, but Tamina is on her quickly, beating her down and hitting her with a snapmare and a Samoan drop.

She lifts Natalya up by her bad leg, forcing her to hop and go for a enziguri. No one’s home, though, and she falls the to mat. Tamina goes to finish Natalya off with a superkick, but Natalya ducks it, rolling Tamina into a pin attempt. It’s enough to keep Tamina down for the three-count, and Natalya wins!

AJ isn’t happy about this, and attacks Natalya as soon as she exits the ring. She tosses Natalya back in the ring, setting her up for a superkick from Tamina. AJ picks her up to talk some trash, and though Natalya tries to fight back, she’s no match for the two of them in her current state.

But here comes Cameron and Naomi! They storm the ring, and AJ slips out, leaving Tamina to take the beat down. They hit Tamina with a double suplex and Naomi caps it off with the Rear View.

Naomi stands tall, inviting AJ – who’s keeping her distance on the ramp – to come get some. AJ declines, obviously, and the Funkadactyls are left to help up Natalya and celebrate her victory.

Thoughts: I have to admit that it’s refreshing to see the babyface Divas be more aggressive when it comes to the backstage confrontations. This gave us a bit of that old Bella sass, and gives me hope that going forward, the Total Divas cast will no longer be bland good girls in these trash talking rows.

However, as many others pointed out when the spoilers came out, Natalya calling Tamina “sir” was a bit hypocritical of the WWE, given that they just joined and participated in the NOH8 campaign. Not to mention, that’s pretty much the same abuse Natalya suffered at the hands of Lay-Cool. When those two did it as heels, it was obvious that the WWE wasn’t endorsing that mindset. Here, not so much.

It makes it hard to root for the “good girls” when the things they say are forms of bullying too. I preferred the Bellas’ style of trash talk, bringing up Aksana and Alicia’s loss instead of resorting to more petty insults. Granted, Natalya being weak and weepy has been one of our main complaints about her character, but that doesn’t mean she needs to jump straight to delivering verbal low blows. Let’s hope this bit of offensiveness was a fluke.

As for the match, it served its purpose. It wasn’t particularly exciting, but I like the role it played in furthering the AJ/Naomi feud. We got to see some side characters compete while still reinforcing that Naomi is next in line for a Divas Title shot. I can really get behind them using multiple Divas in ways that highlight them individually instead of one big mass of women. In that way, this week’s Main Event was a winner for me. You know, aside from that tasteless joke. You’re better than that, Nattie!

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