Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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Money in the Bank in Review: Kelly Makes Bank, Bellas’ Stock Crashes

It’s time to break out my annual ‘bank’ puns — that can only mean one thing: The Money in the Bank pay per view is here again!

No surprises here. Kelly Kelly successfully defended the Divas Championship against Brie Bella, as predicted.

But was it worthy of a pay per view match? Let’s break it down…

Out first are the twins, Brie and Nikki, in matching green ring attire. At this point, shouldn’t the referees realise about the whole Twin Magic thing and stop Nikki coming out to ringside if she’s going to wear the ring attire too? Either wear street clothes or get sent to the back.

Hole-poking over, the twins look fierce in green and the matching eye shadow. Green and purple are definitely their colors. #ObligatoryFashionComment

Next out is Kelly Kelly, bringing Eve Torres with her for back-up. Good move.

Kelly’s entrance wowed me. She looked like a million bucks in gold attire — the jacket was particularly stunning. #ObligatoryFashionComment. But as well as her look, K2 strutted to the ring like a champion should — with an air of authority, hoisting her belt high above her and with her game face on. This is a title defense, not a birthday party. I’m glad Kelly left her smile backstage and came out to the ring with a stern look on her face.

As the bell rings, the champion and challenger exchange some smack talk as Brie does the ‘L’ sign on her head, indicating that Kelly is a loser, but gets a hefty slap for her diss. Kelly follows through with a Thesz Press, taking Brie down to the mat and mounting her with punches. Next, K2 runs the ropes and hits the headscissors on Brie. And when I say ‘hits the headscissors’, I really mean ‘Brie holds her and spins around a few times while Kelly screams’. An open-legged headscissors… You see something new everyday!

Clearly, this new deadly variation of the headscissors has inflicted so much punishment on poor Brie that she hightails it out of the ring and attempts to flee. She consults sister, Nikki, on the outside but soon Kelly is on the prowl again, leaping from the ring apron with a double clothesline to the outside.

Kelly rolls Brie back into the ring and locks in the tarantula, choking Brie while hanging over the ropes. Brie, however, wriggles free and sends Kelly flying to the floor outside. OUCH! That bump was crazy! Big props to K2.

Adding insult to injury, Nikki stomps on a fallen Kelly while Brie distracts the referee in the ring. Eve tries to come to her rescue but the referee has words with the former Divas Champ, as Brie rolls Kelly back into the ring.

Back in the ring, Brie goes for a pin but Kelly kicks out. Brie then steps on Kelly, further aggravating her front which just took a big bump on the outside. Working over her midsection some more, Brie then applies a body-scissors on the champion, squeezing the life out of her as the fans — and Eve — try to will her back into the match. Kelly hits some big elbows to Brie and manages to break free. However, as Kelly struggles to regain her strength, Brie takes advantage hitting a low dropkick on K2, sending her back down to the mat. Brie then drapes Kelly over the middle rope, using her knees to drive the weight of her body down on Kelly who coughs and splutters. She then gets out of the ring, guillotining Kelly over the middle rope and goes for a pin but no three count this time.

Kelly now begins fighting back with forearms but Brie hits her with a knee to the stomach and plants her back on the mat hair-first.

Brie, now frustrated, applies a pretty impressive abdominal stretch on Kelly, adding strain to her injury from earlier, while also clubbing her in that area with her arm. Kelly tries to fight break and eventually, out of desperation, manages to hit a jawbreaker on Brie.

Kelly with a drop toe-hold on Brie, followed by repeatedly smashing her face into the mat. Kelly lets out her patented scream, tossing Brie across the ring and hitting her with a clothesline. The Divas get on their feet as Brie misses a clothesline and walks into a neckbreaker from K2. Kelly with forearms and a Kelly Killer attempt but Brie tries reverses into a backslide. Kelly, however, won’t go down and hits a butt bump on Brie. Kelly with a bulldog on Brie, followed by a pin but only gets two.

Brie sweeps Kelly’s legs out from under her and then snaps her leg against the mat. Pin attempt by Brie now but again, only a two count.

Kelly pushes Brie into the ropes, kicks her in the stomach and sets up the Kelly Killer. This time she connects and it’s all over!

After the match, the twins retreat up the ramp as Nikki grills Brie for not being able to defeat Kelly, because “she doesn’t even eat.” The Bellas mock Kelly some more over her weight but the fact still remains, Kelly is still Divas Champion.

Thoughts: Watching this live, I was not impressed. However, after rewatching it, it wasn’t a bad match but not a great one either. There was definitely miscommunication between the two Divas in the ring and certain spots looked whack, but for the most part, I think they managed to tell a story with Brie working over Kelly after that awesome front-first bump Kelly took on the outside.

I think Brie did a lot of the legwork in this match and was more confident in the ring than she’s been in her previous outings. I’ve always considered Nikki to be the better worker of the two, but Brie has shown growth in the ring especially since holding the Divas Title, and helped this match glue together.

As mentioned, Kelly’s risky bump to the outside was hands down the highlight of the match. She has been known to take some great bumps. Remember that crazy barricade bump earlier this year on SmackDown with Michelle? That really helped the match have one ‘wow’ spot.

In my opinion, this match was better than their match at Over the Limit a couple of months ago and a lot better than the match on Raw a few weeks ago. Still, I wouldn’t call it ‘bad’ or ‘great’ — just okay.

I truly hope that this ends the Bellas/Kelly feud and we move onto a new challenger. I have my money on Alicia Fox taking that spot which would be a nice change of pace, giving the girls on SmackDown more spotlight. Alicia has definitely proven in the past couple of months that she can go in the ring, especially that 10-minute plus match with Natalya, and also drawing a good match out of rookie Kaitlyn. It’d be interesting to see her and Kelly feud, too, considering they came into WWE at the same time. Perhaps they could acknowledge that in the feud with Alicia pissed that Kelly is WWE’s golden girl and not her even though they’ve both been there the same amount of time. Alicia has a lot of spark and personality that she hasn’t had many chances to show. While I think her personality is better suited to a babyface role, I’m sure she can make it work as a heel too.

Let’s see if they determine a new challenger tonight on Raw.

Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Who should be next in line for the Divas Title? Vote here!

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