Friday, September 24, 2021

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WWE Superstars Redux (February 16th, 2012): Aksana Faces the Test Against Maxine

Good morning, afternoon, or evening depending on when you’re reading this. If you’re like me and just finished re-watching Cougar Town’s return to television from this past Tuesday on ABC at 8:30/7:30 central (much like it airs in that same time slot every week!!!) then you know it’s time for some good old fashioned match recapping! This week on Superstars, we got to see Maxine and Aksana square off against one another in a match that isn’t new to our eyes. These two have faced off both in FCW and during their own season of NXT, but let’s be fair, it’s the first time they’re facing off after seeing so much improvement in the ring so this will definitely be one to judge.

Let us get started!

We head out to the ring and out walks my benevolent NXT Queen of Mean/Ruler of Life, Maxine! Sporting the gear from her vicious gooey assault on Kaitlyn from this week’s episode of the golden roped show, she steps into the ring as we get a recap of said attack. Once the video finishes up, the tune that I categorize as “sexy sax music” starts up on the sound system. Aksana makes her way out down the ramp and steps into the squared circle herself, as we prepare for these two Divas to square off with the bell sounding.

They lock up with Aksana taking the early advantage using two arm drags into a submission hold. The Queen of Mean tries to fight out by backing Aksana into the corner, but the Lithuanian beauty ducks a clothesline attempt and scores with a pair of kicks. From there, she snapmares Maxine over and completes the trifecta with a boot to the back for good measure and a two count. She briefly reverts back to the arm lock, before going for a few near fall attempts. Back to the submission she goes until Maxine bridges up and fights her way out with an Irish whip. Aksana stops herself on the rebound and boots Maxine in the shoulder, before going for a running maneuver that gets countered into a drop toe hold.

As Aksana tries to gasp for air, Maxine takes advantage with a face slam, until she begins choking out the Lithuanian on the ropes until a count is reached. Snapmare into a chin lock follows up, as the crowd begins to get behind Aksana and she begins to counter out. Maxine quickly takes control by slamming Aksana down by the hair and going for a few pinfalls that lead her to no victory. Maxine then locks in a dragon sleeper, but breaks out of it and goes for yet another pin attempt. (I guess “if at first you don’t succeed, try again” is a motto she strongly follows!) Aksana finally starts to mount a comeback, but as she runs off the ropes, Maxine plants her with a nice atomic drop and drags her into the nearby corner.

Maxine continues to dominate Aksana with a hair-mare until Aksana finally starts to fight back with a few shots to the face. Maxine with another hair-mare, before going for a pin and getting a two count. Maxine tosses Aksana into the corner, but meets an elbow to the face. Our Lithuanian then moves out of the way and misses a forearm to the face, before hitting Maxine with a clothesline that’s a little off. They recover nicely though, and Aksana sends Maxine off the ropes, before drilling her with a fist to the face. A shoulder block/clothesline combo follows, as Aksana uses her strength advantage to bodyslam the Queen of Mean to the floor and drop the elbow. Both women get to their feet, as Maxine sends Aksana off the ropes. Aksana proceeds to slide below the legs and NAIL her with the Devo Drop for the victory!

Thoughts: I honestly don’t know how I feel about this match. It dragged in a few parts, but there was nothing that was bad by any means. It just sort of felt “there”, like it never got out of first gear in terms of the submissions/pinfall attempts. I am glad Aksana got to keep her sick spinbuster finisher though, and that we FINALLY end a match on a show I recap in a way other than a darn roll-up.

Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but Aksana is such a better heel than she is face in the ring. It may just be because she hasn’t portrayed a face in FCW for so long, but she didn’t seem as dominant/comfortable as she does in her recent developmental matches. I think her move set is more accustomed to that of a heel which is why she kept reverting to submissions so much. As for Maxine, God knows how much I like her, but she also seemed a little off for some reason. Nobody is perfect and even the top guys have an off night… but who knows? Like I said, this could be because Aksana’s only matches on TV have been all of a combined 30 seconds, so she could still be getting used to playing a face and being given longer time, but it will just take some getting used to in my opinion. I really want these two to face off with each other again now that they’ve gotten to get a feel for one another after stepping up their games because I think there’s a lot of potential for a rematch.

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