Saturday, September 25, 2021

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WWE Superstars Redux (March 4th, 2016): Nattie and Summer Reignite Their Rivalry


This weekend, we extended the (possibly unforeseen) streak of Divas matches gracing both WWE Superstars and WWE Main Event. On the Main Event side, we were treated to a rather explosive tag team match. On Superstars, we have a slightly quieter affair… slightly.

In one-on-one action, Natalya and Summer Rae square off, surely feeding off of their massively underrated feud from Total Divas. Watch the Divas blend reality and fiction below:

Natalya and Summer start by circling and tying up, Natalya quickly taking control and going for an early pin attempt. Summer kicks out, but immediately finds herself caught in a front facelock. Natalya switches to a side headlock and takes Summer to the mat. Summer turns the tides by locking in a headscissors submission, but Natalya soon kips out of it, celebrating triumphantly.

They circle once more, and Summer takes control this time, but it’s fleeting. Natalya easily breaks out of her waistlock, again taking her down for a pin attempt. Summer kicks out, but Natalya keeps hold of her with a waistlock. Summer gets to her feet and backs Natalya into the corner to gain freedom. She pie faces Natalya for good measure, but is spooked by her angry reaction and attempts to flee the ring. Natalya catches her in the ropes, though, and has to be forced off by the referee.

Summer tries to fire back with a kick, but Natalya catches it. Summer pleads with her to show mercy, but she gets none, Natalya sweeping her legs out from under her and causing her to land face-first on the mat. Natalya takes Summer down for a Sharpshooter attempt, but Summer scrambles to the ropes and avoids disaster. She slips out of the ring for a breather as we head to a commercial.

When we return, Natalya’s sending Summer into the corner. Summer dodges Natalya’s attack, sending her into the turnbuckle instead. She gets in a few stomps on Natalya before the referee forces her to stop, and then does it again, drawing the ref’s admonishment. She poses gracefully before dragging Natalya away from the ropes and going for the pin. Natalya kicks out.

Summer pulls Natalya towards the center of the ring and locks in a leg submission, putting pressure on Natalya’s knees. After a moment, she changes positions and flattens Natalya’s shoulders to the mat. Natalya kicks out and folds Summer into a pin of her own. Summer kicks out and springs into action, taking Natalya down with a clothesline. She hits a legdrop and goes for another pin, Natalya again kicking out.

Summer follows Natalya to the ropes and chokes her there. She then snapmares her towards the center of the ring and locks in a submission, pinning Natalya’s shoulder to her neck. After a bit, Natalya frantically tries to fight herself free, but Summer manages to put her back down on the mat. She attempts a pin and earns a near fall.

Summer remains cocky, stepping over Natalya’s body and immediately paying for it when Natalya rolls her up for a surprise pin. Summer kicks out and doubles Natalya over with a kick, locking her in a headlock. Natalya again fights to near freedom but is taken down at the last moment. Summer grabs hold of Natalya’s boot, prepping for a submission, but Natalya kicks her face-first into the corner.

Natalya takes full control, hitting Summer with right hands and a side Russian leg sweep. She hits two clotheslines and baits Summer into charging into the corner before taking her down with a springboard drop and flattening her with a low dropkick. When she tries to seal the deal with the Sharpshooter, though, Summer kicks her away. Both Divas get to their feet quickly and go for simultaneous attacks, taking each other out.

Natalya gets to her feet first, but Summer fends her off, sending her into the ropes and taking her down with a spinning heel kick. She locks in her leg submission again, but an unsure positioning gives Natalya an opening to take control and lock in the Sharpshooter. Summer taps out!

Thoughts: Natalya and Summer put on a really entertaining show here. Their chemistry is solid and both play their roles so well, Summer the cocky Diva with an inflated ego and Natalya the level-headed technician. I’d love to see them have an actual feud to draw on their (frankly awesome) sparring matches on Total Divas.

I think their Total Divas history helped flesh out this match, in a weird way. Sure, it’s not exactly kayfabe, but their dynamic on that show is so unique, it’s hard to disassociate it from what goes on in the ring. Their love/hate relationship (heavy on the hate) would easily translate to a deliciously catty feud.

With the rumored multi-Diva tag match on the hypothetical WrestleMania 32 card and the Divas involved getting paired off into mini-feuds, I’m all for Natalya and Summer locking horns. As mentioned above, there’s plenty of chemistry and history to mine from. For those not susceptible to the charms of Total Divas, this match should serve as proof that their dynamic is well worth exploring.

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