Monday, July 15, 2024

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SmackDown Redux (June 13th, 2017): History will be made

Former Team B.A.D. members square off tonight as Naomi and Tamina make their way to the ring for a match. However, before things can kick off, the Ravishing Russian Lana makes her way to ringside… to the tune of “we want Rusev” chants. Ouch.

The match quickly follows and begins at a particularly slow pace. There are some holds, some kicks, but a lot of holds. We see the match pick up towards the end as either woman inserts some dominant moves such as Snuka’s slam and Naomi’s split-legged moonsault.

The champ then picks up the win but is quickly knocked out with Lana’s finishing manoeuvre, a spine buster. The Ravishing Russian then holds Naomi’s title, boasting about how she’ll be the next champion.

Later on in the night, Natalya storms out to the ring for her match against Charlotte Flair – whilst Carmella (with James Ellsworth) and Becky Lynch watch from monitors backstage.

The pair have a particularly competitive match, with both being on top at equal points throughout. Natalya inserts impressive moves such as a dominant powerbomb, whilst Flair keeps up with her opponent through kicks, boots and a moonsault.

The contest comes to a close as Charlotte places a Natural Selection on Natalya and pins her for the three-count.

In the SmackDown Fallout, a few women give their thoughts on the Money In The Bank match announcement.

Stephanie McMahon stated that she was full of “pride and excitement” despite it being announced on her brother’s show. She then says that each five competitor has set the bar extremely high for themselves, but will “deliver, just like they do every other time.” After looking over the previous “first ever” matches for the women, McMahon says that the next step is the first ever WrestleMania main event match.

Becky Lynch then says that despite a Ladder match being “one of the most brutal” stipulations in WWE, she refuses to let that get to her head. She insists that her biggest wrestling goal is to prove that the women can do everything “just as good, and better” than their male counterparts. She then says that winning this match will be “another symbol” to prove how she is the best in the company.

She then discusses how she left the business for many years as she thought that her dreams would never come true, and matches like this historical one are why she came back.

Carmella soon turns up, stating how there is a ton of “pressure” on being a part of this contest, but as she thrives under pressure, she is “excited” for it.

She tells us that as someone that has never been a champion before, she has the most to prove. The Princess of Staten Island believes that everyone will underestimate her, but that will add “fuel” to her “fire”. Carmella states that she “can’t wait” to grab the briefcase and “shove it” in her opponents’ faces.

Charlotte is then approached and says that she “couldn’t pick a better group of women” to compete in the historic match with. She boasts about how great an opportunity this is for SmackDown Live, but the nerves of being in a Ladder match still kick in. However, she is still “looking forward to the women stealing the show.”

Flair discusses the history of women in WWE, slating that without a Trish Stratus vs Lita feud, there’d be no Charlotte vs Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss, a Money In The Bank, and so forth.

Tamina said that she felt the news really hit home on Father’s Day. She states that her father, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka made history in a Steel cage match, and she is proud as ever to also make history.

This match is both “exciting” and “emotional” for Snuka, as she will be making history on Father’s Day as this Sunday’s match coincides with the national holiday. She then says that the “Divas Revolution” has given the division a different “vibe” and allowed more young girls to look up to them all.

Thoughts: Whilst the episode didn’t do a lot, story wise, it was still a good one to enjoy.

Tamina vs Naomi didn’t do an awful lot, but it was decent. What I dislike about this is the fact that their history is hardly addressed. I wanted their first proper encounter to be a continuation from their Team B.A.D./Naomina days, but it’s not like that. Right now it’s as if they just met at the Superstar Shakeup, despite having a great history.

The two do a decent job, but it falls flat by the end.

Lana’s spinebuster finisher feels as though she lifted Naomi and then accidentally dropped her. It doesn’t look impactful, and can easily pass for a botch – but I think she did everything as told. Also, her attack from behind of Naomi feels more like a push – if only Naomi didn’t sell it like it meant more.

Lana being in the title picture still makes no sense to me. We have five of the best women WWE has, competing for a number one contendership, amongst ladders, only for Lana to waltz on in and get a title shot for…pulling the champ’s leg? She has yet to win a match in WWE, and she’s being treated as though she is above the rest of the division – it makes no sense.

On top of that, Lana’s booking has yet to improve from the last time she was a solo competitor. When she faced Brie Bella last year, the feud consisted of her interrupting matches, watching at ringside, and then attacking at the end. That’s literally all she has since her debut last week. Are we supposed to care for her? Or is this just a way to give Naomi a match on Sunday?

The other match tonight is a pretty good one. It definitely isn’t Flair and Neidhart’s best contest, but it is a great watch. The intensity these two have whenever they’re in the ring together is magnificent. Whether it’s on NXT, Roadblock or SmackDown Live, they always kill it.

But the best part of the night are the Fallout clips. The women have worked so hard over the years. Some have gotten rewards, others haven’t. And this Sunday’s match is showcasing a big portion of the spectrum.

We have women like Charlotte, who are constantly seen at the top of the hierarchy. A Hell in a Cell match, Falls Count Anywhere, Iron Man, pay-per-view main event, and six championships. She rules the division, and continues to do so every single week. This could be yet another accomplishment in her overhauled trophy cabinet.

Then we have Becky Lynch; the Lass Kicker has been seen as a Revolutionary, but has never been seen as the very best. She has some accomplishments such as being the first female draft pick for team blue, as well as becoming the first SmackDown Women’s champion. But her accomplishments get pushed under the rug as her counterparts have overshadowed her. This could be her moment to be seen as the top star she’s been stated to be.

We also have women like Natalya. Neidhart has been in the WWE for an extremely long time. She has a few accomplishments, but has constantly been overshadowed by the newer women. She has the talent to lead the division, but the shinier toys always get put on the pedestal before her. This could be the moment that puts her at the top, where she is destined to be.

And finally, we have women like Carmella and Tamina. They are talented, but the other women just keep getting pushed before them. Despite being a part of good matches, it’s their competitors that get the attention. They don’t have a lot of accomplishments, so this could be their time to put the spotlight on them.

Whichever lady wins on Sunday, I’ll be happy for them. They’ve all come so far, and each woman deserves their spot in the match.

I’m not too excited for the title match, though, which is a shame. It’s a little weird that the women will be sweating, crying and bleeding their way to the briefcase, just to win a title shot at a title that has had such a boring push for it. But hey, maybe after Sunday we’ll see an improvement.

What did you think of this week’s show? Who are rooting for on Sunday? Let us know your views in the comments below!

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