Thursday, June 8, 2023

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SmackDown Redux (January 17th, 2014): Naomi’s Got Her Sights Set on AJ

Hello all, and welcome to this week’s SmackDown Redux! After picking up a loss on Monday Night Raw (along with her partner Cameron), against AJ Lee and Tamina Snuka, Naomi takes on Tamina in singles action. Can the Funkadactyl take out the champ’s enforcer or will she be looking at another loss? Check out the match below:

We kick off the match with the usual choreography from the Funkadactyls, and they point into the crowd and we see the #1 contender for the NXT Women’s title, Emma! Tamina (along with AJ) is out next, and our match is underway!

Naomi and Tamina lock up, and Tamina gets the upper hand, sitting Naomi on the top rope, before shoving her to the outside. Tamina rolls Naomi back into the ring, shoots her off the ropes and drops her right on her face in a really scary spot, for a nearfall.

Keeping the pressure on her opponent, Tamina locks in a submission hold, but quickly changes direction and catapults Naomi into the second rope, throat-first. Tamina whips Naomi into the corner and sends her crashing to the canvas, but eats a kick to the face.

Sensing an opportunity, Naomi goes on the offensive with a flurry of attacks, but is distracted by AJ, who is taken out by Cameron at ringside. Tamina tries to neutralize Cameron and ends up getting rolled up by Naomi for a two count. Tamina tries to regain control, but Naomi nails her with an enziguri, followed by a beautiful split-legged moonsault to pick up the win.

Thoughts: So I guess Naomi is the next challenger for the title? A bit out of the blue, but Naomi as a challenger is the freshest approach we’ve seen in the division in quite some time. Anyone who has seen NXT 3 knows these two girls have chemistry for days, so I’m guessing their eventual title match will be a showstopper.

As for this match, aside from the scary botched spot at the beginning, I thought both ladies did very well. I love that Naomi is incorporating that moonsault into her moveset, as it looks more impressive as a finisher, than the Rear View.

Last, but not least… EMMA! I have to say, these Emma appearances are so exciting to me, as a long time fan of hers since her days in SHIMMER. I’ve been lucky enough to see her wrestle live several times, interview her, hang out at the SHIMMER afterparties and watch her evolve as an entertainer over the years and it’s so incredible to see on the main shows, fullfilling her dream. Congratulations, Emma. You’ve earned this.

Well, that’s all for this week! Until next time!

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