Friday, September 24, 2021

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WWE Superstars Redux (October 6th, 2011): Slow and Steady Loses the Race

So, WWE Superstars is back on Given that last week’s show was posted on YouTube fairly quickly, I don’t think many of us noticed a big difference. Stil, it’s nice to see that the WWE recognizes the popularity of the show and has given it back its place on the website.

This week’s show has AJ facing Tamina. Watch the match below:

skip to 1:42

The match starts with a tie-up, which Tamina immediately takes control of, shoving AJ face-first to the mat. She hits her with a knee and then attempts an elbow drop, which AJ rolls away from. AJ runs the ropes, slides under an attack from Tamina and leaps onto her for an attack of her own, but Tamina reverses momentum and drops AJ on the top rope. Tamina pulls AJ to her feet and socks her in the chin, pacing leisurely around her foe before hitting her with a neckbreaker. Tamina drags AJ like a rag doll and locks her into a modified camel clutch.

AJ fights fiercely to get loose, but Tamina is strong enough to maintain the hold, even as AJ struggles to her feet and hits her with a few punches to the midsection. Tamina responds to this by simply shoving her to the mat. Tamina toys with AJ a bit before locking her back in the same hold, showing some nice attitude as AJ struggles. As AJ manages to fight herself loose a bit, Tamina stops her progress, knocking her in the head and regaining full control. AJ fights to her feet again and is almost free when Tamina knocks her loopy with a headbutt.

AJ is seeing stars, wobbling on her knees, and Tamina takes the opportunity to land a few knees on her before going for the pin. AJ kicks out, and a frustrated Tamina locks her into a chinlock. AJ eventually finds the strength to battle back and, once on her feet, stomps on Tamina’s left foot. Tamina releases the hold, but slams her to the mat by the back of her head. She pulls AJ to her feet and lifts her for a body slam, but AJ slips out behind Tamina, kicking her in the back of the knees and running for the ropes. Tamina, however, stops her momentum in its tracks by latching onto her hair, yanking her back to the mat.

Tamina lands a legdrop, dragging AJ to the middle of the ring, climbing the turnbuckle and going for a splash, but there’s no water in the pool. AJ rolls out of the way, and Tamina eats mat. AJ immediately seizes her opportunity, hitting Tamina with an Asai DDT, earning the pin and the win.

Thoughts: AJ pretty much played the rag doll in this match, being locked into submission after submission. She plays that role pretty well, battling back like only an underdog can. Tamina played her role well too, being very casual in her dominance, moving slowly and deliberately, halting the pace of the match to suit her needs and rob AJ of one of her greatest weapons: her speed. This served to show Tamina’s strength, while the ending demonstrated AJ’s perseverance, fighting back from the countless attacks to hit her impressive finisher. I liked the dynamic between AJ and Tamina, and I’d love to see them expand on it a bit more in further matches, with AJ learning ways to outsmart or overpower Tamina. I like it when an underdog can come from behind and win a match with a legitimate, decisive victory. Not to speak ill of recent underdog wins via roll-up pins, but it’s a lot more satisfying to see a babyface overcome the odds and solidly defeat her opponent rather than just narrowly manage to pin their shoulders to the mat for a few seconds.

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