Sunday, June 23, 2024

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SmackDown Redux (January 21st, 2011): Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Last week, I proudly presented each and every one of you with the good, the bad, and the ugly of SmackDown. This week, we’re not going to be so fancy because not a lot happened. We had the usual continuation and follow-up, which is more than what happens on Raw so no complaints, please. Beth took on the other member of Lay-Cool in a singles match while one reader’s prediction of a Drew/Kelly/Trent love triangle may actually end up coming true. Let’s kick things off this week with the match featuring Beth Phoenix and Layla

SmackDown’s fierce duo make their way to the ring first. Michelle McCool is dressed to thrill in a gorgeous grey mini and boots, while Layla is rocking purple better than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life. So jealous. The girls have their Slammys and confident looks on their faces despite Michelle having lost to Beth on last week’s episode. They play to the crowd and to each other, and Beth’s music starts up. The Glamazon walks to the ring with a smile etched across her lovely face. Upon seeing her opponent, Layla’s look of confidence kind of dissipates. After Beth flips onto the mat, she eyes up Layla, and the match gets underway.

Beth and Layla lock up and jockey back and forth for position until Beth uses her strength to send the smaller woman into the corner. Michelle is right there screaming at Beth to get off her friend and when Beth backs up for a second, Layla strikes with a kick to the gut and a forearm to the face. Beth stares at her and lunges, but the crafty Layla moves out of the way and Beth eats the turnbuckle. Layla slams her in the upper thigh with two swift kicks and attempts to throw Beth across the ring. The Glamazon blocks it.

Layla gets tossed into the ropes but she comes flying back and levels Beth with a nice little strike to the jaw. Beth is reeling and Layla uses the opportunity to go back to the ropes for more leverage. This time when she comes back at Beth, the blond goddess is prepare and flips Layla down to mat by her feet. She grips her around the knees and begins spinning her around causing Layla to scream like she’s being murdered! Beth carelessly tosses Layla across the ring and the British-born former Diva Search winner hits the mat with a thud. Ouchies. Despite the headache, she probably has now and the pain she is feeling, Layla attempts to get to her feet but she’s knocked right back down. Beth goes for a cover.

Two count.

Beth isn’t sure that was just a two but nonetheless, she goes back to work. She scoops Layla up on her shoulder and it appears that she’s going to try and drive her into the turnbuckle. Layla refuses to let that become her fate and she squirms out of the Glamazon’s grip and shoves her into the corner instead. Beth hits her arm and stumbles back, and Layla grabs that arm, climbs up the ropes, and drives Beth down into the mat. Gorgeous. Beth grabs her left arm in pain and Layla follows it up with a kick to that very shoulder. Beth quickly goes for the ropes to try and pull herself up, but she gets stopped with yet another decisive kick that lands right between her shoulder blades. Layla pulls Beth from the ropes and goes for a cover.

One and a half count.

Layla doesn’t seem at all perturbed by not getting a near fall. She simply bends Beth’s arm into an awkward position and locks her in a modified version of a key lock (thanks to Matt Striker with your pretty blue eyes and melodious voice…)! The submission hold causes Beth an extreme amount of discomfort, especially when Layla starts to move around to make it more uncomfortable. It takes native New Yorker a moment to collect her bearings but when she does, Beth finds the presence of mind to roll through the hold and slowly but surely, lift Layla off her feet. ‘Lay finds herself hoisted high in the air and perched atop Beth’s shoulder, and then unceremoniously slammed down into the mat. Both women are down.

The referee starts the count and both Divas very gingerly make their way to their feet. Beth is still selling that arm injury but despite that, she manages to block to attempted right hands from Layla. Beth comes firing back with forearm shots and then a big clothesline, and still, Layla comes back for more. Beth drops her with an elbow and then a clothesline. Layla is stunned from all the takedowns, and Beth goes for the finish. She picks up Layla, bounces her off the top rope and slams her into the mat. She goes for a cover and Layla barely manages to get the arm up. The Glamazon picks up Layla and throws her into the corner. She attempts to slam into Layla, but Layla sends her back with an elbow.

Beth is off balance and Layla is quick to fling herself in her opponent’s direction. She immediately grabs that injured arm and tries to bring Beth down, but the Glamazon just isn’t having it. She scoops Layla up and drops her over her knee. A bent in half Layla suddenly becomes nothing more than an innocent piece of prey for the powerful former Women’s Champion. Beth locks her hands in Layla’s hair and throws her up in the air for the Glam Slam. Layla can do nothing to fight it and she finds herself planted into the canvas. Beth makes the cover and picks up her second victory in a row over Lay-Cool. She celebrates her victory while Michelle gets into the ring and checks on her friend.

I didn’t really like this match as much as last week’s but it was still so solid. The biggest thing that stood out for me is for the second week in a row they told a story during the match. This week it was Layla trying to take apart Beth’s left arm. Michelle unsuccessfully tried to take out the leg of the Glamazon last week and this week, Layla failed at her attempt of trying to ground the mighty Beth Phoenix as well. It’s telling in a sense that for two weeks in a row, Lay-Cool could not stop Beth in a one-on-one match. Beth is so strong and so powerful that even with weakened limbs she was able to fight through everything and keep the devilish duo on the losing end of things. Instead of a tag match next week, I’d like to see Lay-Cool challenge Beth to a handicap match and when they get the upperhand, have someone come down and make the save for Beth. It would be a great way to debut Kong perhaps, or maybe even Naomi or AJ. I’m just throwing out possibilities here. Either way, another enjoyable SmackDown match thus proving that the blue brand is the A show.

Switching gears now to on-going soap opera starring Kelly Kelly and Drew McIntyre. For the second week in a row, Trent Barreta made a guest appearance and judging from the looks of things, maybe his role will become more prominent?

The match itself is irrelevant unless you’re one of the three Trent Barreta fans on this site (I’m looking at you Bobby and Nessa… and myself, ahem), but it’s safe to say that things don’t exactly end well for Trent. Drew absolutely kills him at the end and picks up the victory. The match itself was pretty good but no, we’re not here to talk about that. Drew pins Barreta and afterwards looks at the referee and points at his wrist while getting up. I assume Drew wanted his hand raised?

The referee obliges the arrogant Scotsman and Drew makes his way over to the ropes. He shouts at the crowd in Scottish while Trent begins to stir on the mat. The referee starts helping Trent collect himself and that’s when Drew turns around to see what’s going on. The ref warns Drew to back off Trent, but Drew surprisingly extends his hand to his fallen opponent. Trent looks very hesitant to take it and rightfully so, especially after what happened last week. And instead of shaking Drew’s hand, Trent just knocks him right out of the ring. Okay, that was hilarious. Drew doesn’t find it very funny and he gets back into the ring and goes cray cray on Trent. Trent is unable to really fight back and McIntyre just pounds him into the mat. He goes to nail his finisher on Barreta, but Kelly has come down to ringside and made her way up the steps and onto the apron.

The hot blond who is sporting a dress that appears to have been painted onto her (…yikes) orders Drew to stop what he’s doing. McIntyre looks at her like she’s gone mad but to his credit he does drop Barreta. He pleads his case with Kelly, telling her that Trent hit him first, but Kelly doesn’t seem to care. She gets in the ring, storms past Drew, and heads to Trent’s side to see if he’s alright. Drew is basically in shock and he tries to reason with Kelly again. She screams at him to leave her alone and continues checking on Barreta. Drew exits the ring and he’s pretty pissed off.

And rightfully so.

Seriously? That basically left me with more questions than I have answers. How can Kelly get pissed off at Drew for attacking someone who hit him first? How can she scream at Drew to leave her alone when she’s the one who stuck her nose in his business this week? Why is Trent Barreta suddenly so interesting to me?

This whole little love story between Kelly and Drew is so weird now. Babyface Kelly came off looking like the heel tonight and I think I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is how Drew came off looking like a face. If Barreta and Kelly end up becoming the heel couple and feuding with Drew, I’ll just die. That’s not something I would have ever expected. They could also do this thing where Kelly aligns with Trent for this feud and half-way through turns on him to be with Drew. It’s so Christian/Trish/Jericho but why not? That’s how the WWE successfully turned their biggest babyface ever into a hated heel. Anything is possible. Intentionally or not, the WWE gave Kelly heel material tonight with her hypocritical actions and she worked it really well. Feisty Kelly is a fun character and I’m kind of excited to see where this goes next week. Can not believe one little segment actually put me on Team Drew. That’s actually a true compliment to Kelly because she made me actually feel something for someone who is usually just a nice piece of eyecandy.

As much as SmackDown failed to wow me like it did last week, I really enjoyed what I saw tonight. Not every show can be an A-List show, and the solid match and confusing little twist to our love story left me satisfied and excited to see the final show before the Royal Rumble next week. In my humble opinion, this is the most exciting time to be a WWE fan. The road to Wrestlemania is always filled with twists, turns, ridiculous angles, and fun stuff for everyone involved. This year’s element of surprise is probably heightened for me since I’m actually going to the Super Bowl of sports entertainment but that doesn’t take away from what it means to every single fan who devotes their Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and one Sunday a month to the biggest company in all of professional wrestling. I hope and pray that next week’s SmackDown continues this amazing trend of the blue brand shows that we’ve gotten recently and I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend.

Cryssi… out!

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