Monday, January 30, 2023

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Raw Redux (April 20th, 2015): Naomi Bests Another Bella

Happy Tuesday Diva Dirt readers and welcome to this week’s Raw Redux. Last night was a Lana, Paige and Stephanie McMahon-free evening (DUN, DUN, DUUUUUNN!) yet does it matter when you have a roster full of talented females appearing left, right and centre? Not as much!

On last night’s Raw, we saw Naomi in action for the first time since her dramatic change in demeanour last Monday. She is on the warpath, ready to prove that it should be her receiving a Divas Championship opportunity. Having already beaten Nikki Bella three times (including her win on the apparent alternative universe that is Main Event, yesterday Naomi took on Brie whilst Nikki looked oh-so fine behind the announce table. She can rock a headset and smoking hot pink outfit that is for sure!

Elsewhere, Marine 4: Moving Target star Summer Rae continued to stand by Damien Mizdow‘s side as he faced off against The Miz in a match for Miz’s ‘likeness’. On top of that everyone’s favourite Diva never to score a pinfall victory, Rosa Mendes was also spotted. She came to the aid of a certain partygoer following his loss. Who did Rosa tend to? Let’s have a gander!

Our sole Divas match of the night is our first port of call in this week’s Redux as the segment opens with new music for Naomi…..

WHAT DO YOU MEAN FUNK IS STILL ON A ROLL?! Come on WWE, sort it out!

To seemingly distract viewers from the fact that they still haven’t finalised new music for Neysus, WWE shows a pre-recorded promo in the bottom right of the screen as Naomi discusses her new attitude. She says that after being told time and time again to “be a good girl” by people, she cares no longer about what they think. She removed Paige from the equation so that she can get the opportunity that she rightfully deserves. She is done waiting!

“You can look but you can’t touch!” Brie and Nikki Bella enter the arena next as Brie will be the one scrapping with Naomi. Nikki looks absolutely phenomenal- oh my god! Forget Beyoncé, those curves are where it is at!

After Michael Cole says he wants to look like the Bellas, Brie and Naomi lock up yet reach a stalemate. Naomi then roughs up Brie in the corner as Nikki begins to nail it at the announce headset. She majorly rubs in the fact that whilst Naomi is a dreamer, she is an achiever. Naomi manages to achieve something next as she shoves Brie to the ground and then wallops her in the face with an enziguri. The former Funkadactyl continues to use her legs to her advantage following that as she sends her shin into Brie’s face after being perched onto the top rope.

Nikki continues to act very diplomatically as Naomi works over Brie with a European uppercut and headlock takeover. After Brie breaks out she retaliates with slaps and a clothesline yet she is swiftly taken back down with a Naomi forearm. Brie musters up more energy to hit back with elbows yet Naomi shuts her down yet again, knocking her to the outside with a stiff kick.

“COME ON BRIEEEE” takes us to a commercial break (which I found absolutely hilarious for some reason) and when we return, Naomi has Brie in a front facelock. Naomi then sits a scoop slam and elbow drop before doing her best Ryback impression by shouting “stupid” every time she clubs Brie’s head. After Booker T ridiculously claims that Naomi may be the greatest Diva of all time (I love her yet that is a silly claim), Naomi locks in two chinlocks, separating the two by attempting to cave Brie’s skull in with repeatedly blows.

After a double clothesline, it is Brie who manages to fight back back as she clotheslines, dropkicks and knees Naomi all over the shop! She then hits a missile dropkick too for a near fall. Although seemingly down, Naomi is not out just yet as she hits a bulldog into the corner – move of the match for me!

Naomi goes airborne next yet she crash lands when Brie averts danger, leaving Naomi to hit the mat hard. Brie nets a two count following Naomi’s mistake – can she capitalise with a Bella Buster?

Naomi ensures that the answer is hell no! She slaps the taste of Brie’s mouth and then goes all Randy Orton on us – Rear View OUTTA NOWHERE! After her win, Naomi is all smiles as she glares at Nikki Bella. Nikki raises her title as the segment closes.

Later in the night we see Summer Rae standing by the side of Damien Mizdow… so that she can stab him in the back! Well, rake him in the eyes. Miz wins the match meaning he keeps his likeness and Summer keeps her heelishness. I don’t care if that isn’t a real word, it sums Summer up perfectly. Booker T brands her a hussy as she raises the arm of her WWE Studios co-star.

Our final sighting of the night is the one-and-only, Rosa Mendes. After Adam Rose gets annihilated by Ryback, Rosa tends to Adam. They had a brief alignment on SmackDown yet is this a sign of things to come for Rosa? Why must Rosa be stuck with jobbers? Well at least she is on TV!

Thoughts: The Divas Championship picture certainly feels a little more refreshing after last night’s Raw! Whilst I absolutely love Paige (as everyone who reads my Reduxes would know), having Naomi and Nikki mixing it up is certainly a nice few burst of energy for the division.

Naomi vs Nikki has now also been announced for Extreme Rules, with the stipulation still pending. A heel vs heel scenario is a rarity in WWE territory, especially on a pay-per-view. With that in-mind, are we to see a Bella Twins face turn? The pair still get good reactions due to their position on Total Divas and Brie still wrestles like a face, so the transition wouldn’t be too hard to pull off. It may lead to Brie and Nikki being affiliated with their real-life partners too. That would be especially interesting for Nikki given that her and John have never been seen together on scripted WWE programming. The Divas Champ and US Champ getting all romantic on-screen would certainly be a first-time ever scenario.

Now how might the turn fully transpire? I see Nikki winning the match at Extreme Rules causing Nikki to absolutely snap. Just like how she took out Paige, Naomi could then beat Nikki senseless. As Nikki is the Champion (and doesn’t have a film to shoot) she could bounce back without having to take time off, proving her strength and “fearless” attitude. Attempting to injure someone and shorten their career would cause this feud to get really personal, really quick. If Naomi targeted an attack on Niiki’s shin, that would throw extra salt into Nikki’s wounds.

Following that Naomi could win her first Divas Title, and then she could feud with Paige when she returns, leading to a lengthy feud between the two. The newly-face Bellas could then feud with Cameron and Summer Rae, both who are examples of Divas picking up steam as of late. With only Emma technically a face on the main roster (and even she is a tweener on NXT), I really wouldn’t be opposed to the Bellas and Paige acting as top faces of the division. You never know, a face Nikki may lead to her versus Lana!

I thought the match between Naomi and Brie was solid, although a little forgettable. Naomi’s striking offence with her unique kicks was a pleasure to watch yet I feel like she toned her moveset down way too much. She did still go for a diving crossbody yet I felt that her high-flying manoeuvres were missed in this instance. Just because she is a heel, it doesn’t mean she cannot perform flashy moves. Brie Bella still does it (although with a very face-like and screechy “BRRRIIIIEEE MOOOODDDDEE” attached) so why can’t Naomi?

Although Naomi used fewer athletic moves than we are used to, her mannerisms and attitude were excellent. I am all for her confident, ticked-off persona. I thought her mini-tron promo was strong and her declaring that is was “my time” in the match was fun. I especially liked her arguing with the referee – “Why you always onto me?” Keep that fire up Trin!

As for Rosa Mendes, I can’t really say I am massively impressed with her potentially becoming Queen of the Rosebuds yet I will wait with baited breath to see how this storyline progresses. At least Rosa Mendes is getting a storyline!

Finally, I was very impressed with Summer Rae’s performance in her segment. Thank god WWE kept her heel. Summer hasn’t came off well as a face in the very few moments we have seen in the past so I am glad she is still firmly a bad girl. A bad girl who looks SOOOO good. Jessica Simpson, who? Summer looked on fire last night. Whilst I don’t see her and Miz sticking together long term, I do hope Summer continues to get a push as a result of her minor role in Marine 4. Fingers crossed!

That’s it for this week’s Raw Redux. Join me on Friday as I swap WWE for Lucha Underground and enter the temple once again! With that shameless plug done and dusted, see you soon!

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