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SmackDown Redux Does WWE Superstars (September 3rd, 2009)

SmackDown Divas Eve Torres and Natalya got the chance to mix it up on tonight’s edition of WWE Superstars, taking part in a mixed tag team match with their usual teammates–Eve with Cryme Tyme, and Natalya with the Hart Dynasty. It appears as though the WWE is reigniting their feud from a number of weeks ago, when Eve and Natalya mixed it up and had a few impressive matches with one another. But, like most good things, the WWE forgot about it and dropped it. But never fear, because they’ve (at least for the time being) brought it back. Let’s see how they fare:



After what seems like forever, with the men doing the legwork, D.H. Smith tags in Natalya, which brings in Eve. I feel like these matches would be a lot more interesting and compelling if the men were allowed to face the women–I know that they’re not gonna go toe-to-toe (Let’s not embarrass the boys!) but it would make things a lot more interesting if someone didn’t have to automatically leave the ring once a person of the opposite gender was tagged in. It feels like a function in a video game that you should be able to use a cheat code to get around. Then again, I don’t play too many video games, so there’s not much I could do other than pound on the controller and complain. Which, ironically, I’m close to doing now with this entire spiel. Enough with the diversions, onto the action!!

Natalya takes a quick advantage, sweeping Eve’s legs out from under her and latching her into a front face lock. Eve flips over and turns the tables, wrenching Natalya’s arm behind her back. She progresses it into a side headlock, which Nattie eventually gets out of, shoving Eve into the corner. She charges, and is met with Eve’s boots, which she catches, tosses aside, and eventually sends the back of her head slamming into the mat. Why do I feel like they’re rushing this? It’s like their work’s in fast forward mode so that we can get back to the dudes as soon as possible. Slow down, girls! Smell the roses!

Nattie drags a groggy Eve into the middle of the ring and locks her into a sleeper hold. The already loopy-looking Eve is starting to drowse even more. But, valiant as ever, Eve mightily (and quickly–we’re on a schedule, remember? Git the wimen out of tha ring!) stands up and tries to fight out of the hold. Natalya, seeing this, opts to just slam her head back onto the mat, cutting her losses. Hey, a head injury’s a head injury..

Dragging Eve back up, she punches her in the spine, latching her into an abdominal stretch. Eve frees herself pretty quickly, turning it into an arm drag and a subsequent dropkick. Natalya scoots to her corner, tagging in Tyson Kidd. Blah blah blah, men’s action..

Again, after some lengthy exchanges from the guys, D.H. Smith tags in Natalya just before being clotheslined by Shad. This stops a possible 3-count, and both girls are brought in. Eve gets advantage quickly, leapfrogging over Nattie and delivering a kick to the gut. A few forearms and a clothesline later, and Eve is amping up the crowd. She performs a few fancy gymnastics moves that, I’m not gonna lie, look extremely cool, but kind of look silly in the context of a match. (They look like balance beam moves with body impact.) She gets Nattie in the pin position, but it’s only good for two, as Tyson Kidd comes in and drags her off of her opponent. With that ,the match breaks down, and the guys battle outside, leading to your stereotypical tag team match ending–the two in the ring are left to fend for themselves as their teammates brawl. Eve hits a jumping lariat kick, and preps for her handspring body splash finisher, but Nattie telegraphs it and rolls out of its path. Natalya takes this opportunity to hit her “brutal” clotheline (Thanks Todd!) and gets the 1-2-3. Celebrations and angry glares ensue.

For such a long match, the Divas only got to see only a small portion of the action. I’m not saying I’m surprised by this, but it’s pretty crappy to have them rush through their routine so the men could take their sweet time. But I’m not gonna turn this into some investigation on sexism, so I’ll leave it at that. As for their actual performances, both Eve and Natalya did pretty decent. It’s just, with the action not really given a chance to build and simmer, it felt unnatural, and their performances suffered because of that. Natalya’s always great, though, and Eve is definitely coming into her own. I just fear that she’s heading into Kelly Kelly territory–the trainers show her how to do these fancy flipping moves and not much else, so all she does in her matches is *high spot*, *forearm*, *drop kick*, *high spot* *high spot*. I hope that’s not what it regresses into, but I’m seeing shades of it here. I’m not gonna lie, her athleticism is impressive (J.R. uses the word “athleticism” like it’s her freaking middle name.), but it just feels too showy and not all that substantive. I hope she eventually gets past the flashy stuff and embraces the basics, because she’s shown a good grasp on the little she’s done with them. Hmm, maybe Nattie can show her a thing or two…

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