Friday, December 8, 2023

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SmackDown Redux (July 4th, 2014): All Red, White and Blue Everything

Hello all, and welcome to this week’s edition of the SmackDown Redux! On our nation’s birthday, WWE has treated us to new WWE Divas Champion, AJ Lee taking on Total Diva Eva Marie Can AJ assert herself in her first match as champion again, even with former champion Paige looking on at ringside? Check out the match below:

We kick off our match with Eva Marie already in the ring. AJ is out next and we get a video of her surprise win on Monday Night Raw.

The official signals for the bell, and Eva starts off by taunting the champion, but flees when AJ comes charging. Surprisingly, Eva gets the upper hand, tossing AJ out of the ring and even getting a nearfall off of a clothesline.

Eva whips AJ across the ring, but the champ nails her with two boots to the face, before locking in a chokehold.

Eva quickly escapes and sets AJ up for sidewalk slam, but the former Geek Goddess reverses it into the Black Widow to pick up the win.

Thoughts: Super basic match meant to reestablish AJ as a dominant champion, even though you don’t really need to be a ring technician to outshine Eva Marie (no shade). In that respect, I think the match did its job well.

I think Eva played her role well as a cocky heel, and played up to her stronger suits, so her more obvious weaknesses didn’t show as much. So, kudos to Eva for that.

I know the Divas fan base has been very divided by AJ’s reemergence and meteoric rise back to the top of the division, but in my opinion, this is just what the doctor ordered.

When Paige debuted and won the title, she was just thrown out there for the WWE Universe, with only her NXT portfolio to lean on. While she took on all challengers and put on some really solid matches, I don’t think she really resonated with the audience much. Enter AJ Lee.

AJ has been loved and/or hated by the fans for a while now, so having her feud with Paige is the best way to get the audience to feel anything for the young upstart, good or bad. To be honest, if Paige would have entered into a program with AJ straightaway, she could be one of the most popular Divas on the roster. I’m so excited to see what these two young ladies bring to the table, because I believe this has the potential to be the great Diva rivalry of this generation if done well.

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

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