Wednesday, December 6, 2023

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Raw Redux (April 27th, 2015): Brie Mode Set to Easy Difficulty for Naomi

Hey guys! It is already that time of the week again – Raw Redux time!

Following Naomi and Nikki Bella‘s really nice contest at Extreme Rules, the pair were both on our screens again last night as Naomi faced Brie Bella, who Nikki accompanied to the ring. Lana, Natalya, Renee Young and Rosa Mendes were also seen on our first three-hour ride towards Payback, yet what was in store for them all?

A short but sweet visit to the Hart Dungeon kicks off Diva proceedings on this week’s Raw episode as Natalya accompanied Tyson Kidd and Cesaro to the ring for Tyson’s match. Why are these guys now faces? With the tag division and the Divas division, why can’t heel vs heel matches just happen? Why does someone have to turn face? Spoiler: Tyson lost.

A very brief appearance from Lana marks our second Divas sighting of the evening. After Rusev attacks Heath Slater on the apron, stopping him from challenging for the US Title against John Cena, Lana follows Rusev. She is strangely waving to the crowd (was she mocking them? It was hard to tell) and then Rusev rips the mic from her hand. He banishes her to the back as the crowd boo. And then I zoned out of the rest. I was enjoying this feud yet I think the burial of Rusev will be cemented at Payback and I no longer have any time for this feud.

Next up, the spotlight is cast upon the one and only (no not Chesney Hawkes) Rosa Mendes! Yes everyone, Rosa Mendes received more mic time than every other Diva but Brie Bella last night. Let that sink in.

Rosa is in full Rosebud get-up and she distracts Fandango, who is facing Adam Rose for the 67,593rd time. The Freakin’ Costa Rican’s distraction is enough to allow Adam Rose to get the win, further cementing Fandango’s status as irrelevant. Remember when he beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania? LOL.

Rosa is handed a mic and surely hell is in the process of freezing over. Rosa says that she cannot believe Dango picked the chance to dance with the fans over her. She says she has found a man who will treat her like the “flower” that she is. Or something along those lines. Rosa then looks into Adam Rose’s eyes and the pair roll around on the floor and snog. *Awkward turtle*

At this point, I’m sure Fandango wishes he was still pouring milk over himself in the locker room…

It is now time for a ‘health update’ regarding Daniel Bryan from Brie Bella, and she tells Renee Young that “only time will tell”. Riveting stuff. Naomi attacks Brie after her whole “yada yada yada” speech; shame she didn’t attack her during! Naomi says that “NO 1 CURR” about Brie or her husband. Preach!

As commercials conclude, we return to see Brie posing in the ring as her sister – and Divas Champion – Nikki is supporting her at ringside. THAT. WHITE. ATTIRE. <3 The ama-may-ay-ay-ay-zin' Naomi enters the arena next, alongside with her fluorescent glasses and light-up shoes. Apparently it is 1993 in Naomi's new world. I bet Sasha Banks is fuming about those glasses though. That’s main roster budget I’m afraid Sasha!

Due to the backstage altercation earlier on in the night, the match starts aggressively as an angry and upset Brie Bella mounts Naomi with her fists swinging. Brie gets the best of the tussle and Naomi sandwiches herself between the ropes so that the referee will halt Brie’s rough offense. Brie addresses the referee for a brief second, a short moment that was enough for Naomi to utilise and capitalise upon. Brie is blasted to the mat as Naomi channels Brie’s sister Nikki with a devastating forearm smash.

Naomi works over Brie’s face again, ramming it into the middle turnbuckle with an impressive running bulldog. Sidenote: that move is definitely a nice addition to Naomi’s arsenal now that she is a heel. It still has an element of flair and style to it yet it is also pretty dangerous looking. Naomi is gleeful sat on the ropes and she has every right to be pleased with herself. Her pleasure continues as she hits a backbreaker whilst asking the crowd ‘how they like her now’ – love the sass.

Brie is then locked into a pretty boring reverse chinlock yet she soon breaks out, meaning I avoid nodding off. The match takes a more exciting turn soon after as Brie is shut down again by Naomi who this time smacks her with a jumping calf kick. Naomi nets a near fall (it made Brie look good to kick out of Naomi’s more dominate pin, normally seen after the Rear View) and then yanks Brie with a chin lock once more.

The tide turns after Brie throws Naomi from out of her personal space and then the two collide with a tandem hairgrab takeover, one that Naomi seemingly gets the brunt of. Brie hits back with clotheslines and her vintage running knee, and Naomi sold the set-up to that excellently. A missile dropkick later and Naomi is flat on her back, yet not for a three count. Brie tries to figure out her next move yet Naomi kicks her in the head. A tight small package later and Naomi has bagged yet another win.

Naomi dances during her celebration as the ‘Fearless’ Nikki doesn’t try and run after her. Nikki was dressed to compete and could have totally chased Naomi up the ramp, at least halfway.

“How do you like me now, twins?”

Thoughts: WWE are still giving a lot of Divas a lot of chances and I must say that whilst I wasn’t overly impressed with this week’s show, I was content.

Whilst Lana acted out of character and Nattie and The Bellas are flip-flopping all over the shops, I am pleased to see them on screen, regardless of what they were doing. Lana’s appearance was cool as it is clear that her and Rusev’s dysfunction is leading to something – global domination for her and 2015’s answer to Great Khali for him.

Whilst WWE have put some effort into cementing the Bella Twins as faces as they are slap bang in the middle of the Divas Title picture, I’m not keen on Natalya and the former tag champs also blurring the face/heel divide. Just because the fans are chanting for someone, it doesn’t mean they should be turned face. With a turn so lazy that has had no care put into it, why should fans care? Some clearly are, yet I’m not currently.

One thing I do care about though is Rosa Mendes getting some mic time. What alternative universe are we in? Despite the feud Rosa is a part of being utterly pointless, Rosa is being given a chance to have the focus completely shifted onto her, and for that we should be grateful. Rosa could be an excellent manager given the opportunity. Let’s hope that this is that opportunity.

Whilst I appreciate WWE giving Brie Bella some interview time (her affiliation with D-Bry again on-screen signifies her face status then I guess), my god was it boring. I shouldn’t pick at this as it was only really there to serve Naomi’s attack which I enjoyed, yet Brie is just not a natural on the mic. “No one cares bout you or your husband!” Amen!

Brie is much more comfortable in the ring however and I am glad that she is performing as a face again as this means that her shouting “BRIE MOOODDDDE” actually makes sense. The match was so-so to be honest, with nothing really standing out as memorable. I thought the finish was pretty odd at first yet it kind of made Naomi seem crafty in a way. If you really clutch at straws, it could be argued that she used a roll-up as she knew that would be enough to take advantage of a ‘distracted’ Brie. If I am the one making up drama that even WWE didn’t bother to tease, I think we have a problem. Anyhow, I preferred last week’s match between these two.

If I am being really nit-picky, I think Naomi should have attacked Nikki, which would have led to distracting Brie yet never mind; you can’t always get what you would like. I’m glad that the match was solid (despite the bland rest holds) and that Naomi is killing it with her role.

Moving onto SmackDown this week, I would really like to see things get a little more personal between Nikki and Naomi. Now that Naomi has been established as a serious threat, things need to get more personal. Naomi should trash Daniel Bryan and John Cena or injure Brie to really allow this feud to kick up a notch. Here’s hoping that happens. If only I had £1 every time that I had wrote “here’s hoping” in a Redux…

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