Sunday, June 23, 2024

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SmackDown Redux (June 10th, 2011): Lay-Cool Called. They Want Their Gimmick Back.

It’s definitely been a dismal two weeks for new SmackDown Diva, AJ. Two tag team matches, two losses, and two weeks of non-helpful advice from the Queen of Harts herself, Natalya. But with a new week comes new opportunities and our girl finally gets a singles match. Her opponent is none other than second-generation starlet, Tamina. Will AJ’s losing streak continue or will Tamina continue to impress on Friday nights?

AJ’s big singles debut kicks off with her standing backstage with some random announcer dude that is not Matt Striker. He introduces her and when AJ starts to speak, she gets interrupted by Tamina and Rosa Mendes. They have a present for AJ and when she opens it, it’s a block of fake cheese. They call AJ a mousey loser, which is stupid, and AJ tells them that Lay-Cool want their gimmick back.

Oh boy. Rosa and Tamina are not convincing bitchy heel characters and that segment was all kinds of lame. I’m not usually so harsh but that was Kelly Kelly/Drew McIntyre bad. Yikes.

Surely the match will be better, right?

AJ and Natalya make their way to the ring first. Words can not express how horrendous AJ’s theme music is to me but nonetheless, the heels are waiting in the ring for her. Tamina looks confident. Rosa looks fierce. AJ is excited. The bell rings and we have a match! Welcome to singles competition, AJ!

AJ tries to get things rolling by locking her arms around Tamina’s waist. She eats an elbow to the face for her efforts and goes sprawling on the mat. Tamina bends down and taunts her opponent, and grips her by the neck. She pulls AJ up and to me, it looks like she wants to slam AJ down backwards. AJ has other thoughts and manages to reverse the move and end up on her feet. She kicks Tamina in the stomach and goes for a dropkick. It’s a total whiff because Tamina falls back way to soon and it just looks so awkward. The botch is covered when AJ pushes Tamina against the ropes and struggles for position with her. Tamina ends up with the upper-hand and headbutts AJ clear across the ring!

The referee goes to check on the former NXT competitor and Tamina follows him. She jerks AJ up by the hair, pulls her into the middle of the ring, and body slams her down. She grabs AJ by the arm, shoves her on her side, and tries to pull the smaller girl’s arm right out of the socket. AJ is clearly in pain and Tamina adds insult to injury by pressing her knee into AJ’s cheek to hold her down. This goes on for a few seconds before AJ fights her way up to her feet. Tamina immediately jerks AJ back by the hair and the rookie’s head slams into the mat.

Tamina backs up and throws herself into the ropes. She looks to squash AJ flat but AJ thankfully moves. Tamina gets back up but AJ has a second life now and she ducks a clothesline attempt from Tamina. AJ dropkicks Tamina’s legs out from under her and throws herself back against the ropes. She bounces off and catches Tamina in the face with a wicked knee. She goes for the cover but Tamina powers out.

Both girls recover and AJ forces Tamina into the corner of the ring with several convincing forearm shots. She wants to whip her larger opponent across the ring but Tamina is just to strong. She wrenches AJ’s arm around and throws her into the opposite corner instead. She goes to follow-up but AJ wisely gets the elbow up and Tamina stumbles back. AJ hops up on the second rope and throws herself off but Tamina is waiting.

She catches AJ and looks to end the match by throwing AJ across her shoulders. To her credit, AJ fights back, manages to slide from Tamina’s back, and rolls her up. She gets the three count and scrambles out of the ring and into Natalya’s arms almost as quickly as she was able to end the match itself! Tamina and Rosa are both stunned at the outcome and AJ is beaming from ear-to-ear having earned her very first victory as an official WWE Diva.

That theme music…. no. Where do I start?

AJ looks great in green, that’s for sure. It flatters her MUCH better than red. It was also nice to see her finally work a singles match. Granted she didn’t get to do much but bump for Tamina and her five moves of doom, but it worked. There wasn’t really any other way to book this match, I guess. AJ, being much smaller than Tamina, was never going to dominate. Couple that with the fact she’s a total rookie and you have the stereo-typical recipe for a heel dominated/quick face win match. What can I say about it, really?

A lot of people complain about tag matches but when you have “green” girls in the ring it helps mask their lack of skills a bit. Tamina isn’t exactly a seasoned performer and that came across tonight in a big way. She’s so limited in her move set and she didn’t even get a chance to try her big splash again, which was her highlight last week. I didn’t enjoy her performance and I hate saying that. AJ is light-years ahead of her in terms of skills and just pure athleticism and I wish AJ’s debut singles match would have been against either Rosa or Alicia, but oh well. It wasn’t meant to be.

At least AJ has a win under her belt and Natalya’s coaching record is almost at .500! Next week, I’d like to see Kaitlyn get a singles victory as I don’t think she’s had one yet since NXT (can someone look that up please?), and then perhaps finally the six Diva tag team match.

I wish this could have been a better report for the sake of both AJ and Tamina, but alas, it wasn’t. It’s not like it matters, regardless. It’s only my opinion and my opinion is only one of many. The great thing is we all have the right to express how we feel so love what I say or hate it, just remember, I have the right to think it.

And guess what? All of you have the same right as well. I respect that.

Until next week… Cryssi out!

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