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Raw Redux (May 4th, 2015): The Force is Strong With Naomi and Tamina

May the Fourth be with you!

Last night’s Raw may not have referenced Star Wars Day like it should have (WWE should have showed more respect to the films that are so bad, they are good) yet that didn’t stop us from seeing the ferocious return of a fearsome Sith Lord known for her trademark love of leather and heavy breathing. No not Darth Vader…

DARTH TAMINA!

“I am here to make a statement, Luke.”

That is right everyone. The followers of Snukism are rejoicing as the almighty Tameezus made her triumphant return, in a rather interesting new role. Yet still with the leather jacket. And a raging bouffant – woohoo!

On top of the resurrection of the Superfly Sith, we also were treated to noteworthy appearances from WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Lana, Naomi, Natalya and Renee Young, in a night crammed with potential-filled moments that nearly made me wet myself with excitement. Oops, a definite TMI moment.

Renee Young was all over Monday Night Raw last night, and rightfully so. Her first appearance saw her look cute as a button as she interviewed Ryback in the ring. She asked him if he knew why Bray Wyatt has attacked him on several occasions recently. And then I zoned out as the segment featured Ryback.

Dominattie is the next Diva in the spotlight as she cheered on her hus-brat Tyson Kidd and Cesaro when they faced the Flopscension. I think you can guess who won that one. More from Natalya later.

Everyone’s favourite PG-version of Terri Runnels, Renee Young is back on-screen next and she catches Seth Rollins backstage. She asks for his reaction to having to face Dean Ambrose, and the implications of if he were to lose, D.A would be added to the Payback main event. Of course, Seth is livid and he says that Kane is a moron. Is that PG?

We head backstage to Byron Saxton next and he is standing by with Lana. The Ice Queen (who is seemingly being thawed by the WWE Universe’s affections) is asked how she feels about the reach positive reaction she has been getting off of the WWE audience. She smiles yet then dismisses such claims. She says her business in WWE is simple. She will steer Rusev on the right path back to the United States Championship.

Before Lana can utter another word, Fandango arrives on screen, He says that Lana needs to experience the euphoria of having the WWE Universe behind her. I like that Fandango is still a total creep now that he is face again. Fandango backs away as the Bulgarian Brute Rusev then storms his way into the picture. He demands (in Russian) that Lana end the interview and get ready for his match. Lana retreats looking a little down in the dumps. FYI, I’m not a translator, I as just guessing.

Lana is back within our sights not too long after her interview as she accompanies Rusev to the ring to face Fandango. Fandango starts the match by smacking Rusev in the face before dropping to the outside of the ring. He turns his attentions to Lana, and gets her start Fandango-ing with him! Rusev is beside himself and it isn’t long before Lana is sent to the back and Fandango is locked in The Accolade.

We get a glimpse of Brie Bella and WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella next as they make their way to the ring for Naomi and Nikki’s upcoming non-title match. Brie and Nikki laugh at The New Day who are still celebrating their big win from earlier.

You guessed it, Renee is back again! She is trying to receive comments from Sami Zayn following his near-miss at capturing the United States title earlier in the night. She is unsuccessful, yet she does get word from The New Day, who are clearly trying to beat Renee in how many appearances they can make in the one night. Renee cringes as The New Day go on and on and on and on about being victorious over Randy Orton and Roman Reigns in the opening match of the night.

Renee soon managed to thankfully flee the scene when Tyson, Cesaro and Natalya come face-to-face with their rivals. Natalya shimmys as her fact-loving men tell New Day that they suck. What is going on with her character? Send answers on a postcard.

It is time for our final segment of the night now and we are set to get a non-title match between Nikki Bella and Naomi. The Bellas make their way to the ring first before out of nowhere, Naomi and Tamina Snuka come charging at them with a head of steam. The pair in black begin to viciously assault The Bellas. The announcers are in shock to see Tamina and her bouffant back in action and she makes sure that she lays into Nikk Bella. Tamina superkicks Nikki’s neck off whilst Naomi slaps Brie and then decks her with a sharp enziguri.

Naomi then takes to the mic. She says that the Bellas hold over the entire Divas division is over as her and Tamina are what family is all about! In case you don’t know the link, Tamina is the cousin of Naomi’s husband, Jimmy Uso. Now is a convenient time for WWE to mention that again it seems!

Afterwards, we get a quick glimpse into Naomi’s mind when she’s interviewed on Raw Fallout:

Naomi berates Renee for questioning her actions, saying that she and Tamina don’t owe anyone an explanation.

Thoughts: Holy coconut tree from the Redemption days of NXT! Whilst this week’s Raw only featured short moments for the Divas, they were absolutely all over the show, and sometimes giving short and sweet moments certainly makes for more interesting television.

The perfect example of the aforementioned point being Naomi and Tamina’s attack on The Bella Twins. The beatdown was surprising, emphatic and absolutely brutal. Both Naomi and Tamina’s impactful kick spots gave me a new lease of life. I thought that the sneak attack was the perfect way to showcase how dangerous ‘The Family’ can be. It was certainly more effective in putting over both Naomi and Tamina than say, if Tamina was to interfere in the match, allowing Naomi to get the win. I imagine Tamina’s presence as an equaliser will come into play on SmackDown or next week’s Raw, earning Naomi a future Divas Championship opportunity.

I certainly feel that whilst Tamina’s connection with Naomi was unexpected, we really should have expected it as it makes total sense. With Tamina being 38 years old too, I honestly don’t see her winning the WWE Divas Championship at this later stage in her career. I am a big fan of her in-ring work yet she honestly doesn’t have the mic skills to pull off a championship reign, so with those factors in mind, her serving as Naomi’s muscle works perfectly as she definitely still has talent that should be utilised.

Whilst the beatdown was short, the Divas were still given a chance to showcase what they could do. The Bellas sold the attack really well and Nao-mina looked red-hot as they stood tall. Props to WWE for allowing Naomi to take the mic too before walking off. That time to talk lifted the segment even more so.

As for Lana, I am very intrigued to see how WWE will package her following her split from Rusev, which is inevitable. The crowd are so over for her at the moment so it is good to see that WWE are capitalising on this. It is even better for them considering her movie will be out shortly too I presume.

Props to Renee Young too tonight, who was seen about 65 times within the broadcast. She is by far WWE’s best backstage announcer and even getting an in-ring moment instead of one of the announce team was a nice touch.

Finally, what is going on with Natalya? Tal is a way more comfortable heel and I am still annoyed at WWE’s random face turn for her and her boys. Frankly, WWE are capitalising on crowd reaction yet are not giving a storyline any time to mature before cementing the turn, like they are with Lana. At least Natalya is being considered as dominant and serious face character here unlike when she was farting and Bollywood dancing with Khali and Hornswoggle.

That is it for this week’s Raw Redux. Myself and everyone’s favourite Diva Dirt writer Bobby are switching things up later in the week as I will also now become Diva Dirt’s NXT Columnist, with Bobby taking over Lucha Underground. It will be sad to let Lucha out of my grasp, yet I may just do a Naomi and take it back and juggle all three!

Until Friday, have a great week!

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