Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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SmackDown Redux (February 25th, 2016): Who Wants It?

Welcome to this week’s SmackDown Redux, where we are fresh off of two very solid matches from FastLane and the Road to WrestleMania is getting more clear. On RAW, it was announced that Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch will compete in a Number One Contender’s Match in the near future for the chance to challenge Divas Champion Charlotte at WrestleMania. Tonight’s episode features the LassKicker taking on the Queen of Cattitude, Natalya. Let’s get to the action!

After a Total Divas promo, Natalya makes her way to the ring. The crowd loves her, she loves the crowd. Becky makes her way to the ring the crowd goes insane for her.

The bell rings, and the Divas start things off with a handshake. They lock up and Natalya gets early control with a headlock takeover, Becky counters with a headscissors, and Nattie counters into a pinfall attempt for the one count.

Nattie powers Becky up via a headlock and transitioned into a schoolboy rollup for a one count. She then goes for the bodyscissors and Becky counters with a drop toe hold. She follows things up with a front chancery and exchanges positions of control before shoving Nattie to the ropes where the Anvilette shoulder tackles and gains a nearfall as Becky floats through her kickout and dropkicks Natalya.

Becky goes for the cover and gains a two count. She hits a leg drop, elbow drop, but misses a higher leg drop. They both struggle to get up and Nattie German Suplexes her to the outside.

Naomi and Tamina come out to attack Nattie and the match ends via disqualification. Team B.A.D. sets their sights on Becky, who’s alone in the ring and begin their assault. Out comes Sasha Banks, who evens the odds and clears Team B.A.D. from the ring.

Sasha and Becky celebrate their besting NaoMina again when “Recognition” plays and the Divas Champion Charlotte makes her way to the ring with her pops, Ric Flair.

She got the mic and explains she has an update on the ‘bombshell’ she dropped on RAW Monday and announces Sasha and Becky’s Number One Contender’s Match will happen on next Monday’s RAW from Nashville. She taunts them by saing she has a front row seat at ringside and wants to see who wants the title more and she concludes by ‘wishing them luck’ followed by a Woo.

Thoughts: Whilst this episode may not have been as action packed and overflowing with Divas, I still think this was a solid and more importantly productive for the Divas.

First off, I cried (no, seriously) at the thought of Becky and Nattie having a match on SmackDown. Those two locking up is like when the food carrier at McDonald’s accidentally gives you a third Big Mac when you only ordered the 2 for $5, it’s a gift. And even those three or so minutes of actual match was so refreshing for me. Erin has said this many times in her Reduxes and I agree, Nattie’s sporadic appearances make her matches feel so fresh. It’s a double-edged sword because Nattie deserves to be more high-profile but more consistent matches take away that feeling of joy when you say to yourself “Oh wow, Nattie’s on my TV”.  I liked the opening sequence with the pinfall attempt a lot. (And as a wrestler on the indies, consider that stolen Nattie)

I understood a little why Team B.A.D. would be included in this match. I guess it was a way to get Sasha in the ring and get rid of Nattie so I guess it served a purpose. However, I am not of fan of how they felt like props to me. A heel team beatdown should be more impactful before another face comes into to turn things around. I thought the timing was a bit off and Sasha came to make the save too early. Going back to Team B.A.D.’s inclusion in this, I hope that their role in this is to at least keep them active on TV and that it may lead to them having a role at ‘Mania.

And on to Charlotte’s promo. I think it should have been a tad shorter, but it was effective nonetheless. She was being a snotty brat, and propelled the story forward by announcing the match. I swear Chris and Jake were going have another “I Want (?) This” moment towards the end of this promo when she was referring towards whether Becky or Sasha wanted her title more. Charlotte’s not exactly there yet with her promos, but she is DEFINITELY made huge strides and is effective in them as well.

This week’s episode did enough to move the narrative of the Divas Title forward heading into WrestleMania and teased of a future match that I can tell would blow the roof off the building. And I hope that there were some VERY subtle seeds planted for a second WrestleMania match for the Divas.

Welp, that’s all I got for this week! What did you think of this week’s show? Do you think Becky and Nattie should’ve had a full match? What did you think of Charlotte’s promo? Who’s going to challenge for the title at ‘Mania? Let me know in the comments you guys and thanks for reading!


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