Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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SmackDown Redux (June 18th, 2010): Extreme Exposé Reunion

Some years after their time as dance partners as well as a near year-long feud on ECW, Kelly Kelly and Layla had a high school reunion moment this week on SmackDown. The two Divas squared off and showed each other, as well as the fans, just how far they have come from the days of the uncoordinated [coughKELLYcough] dance troupe.

But before we get to the match, we have a backstage segment with Lay-Cool and Rosa Mendes:

“The Joker called… he wants his make up.” No Layla, not a good one. *Tumbleweed* Nonetheless, this segment made me laugh and yes, I even felt a little sad for poor Rosa who broke down into tears after Lay-Cool teased her. I think it just goes to show the strength of Lay-Cool as characters: not only are they bitchy to the babyfaces, but the heels too. As for the ‘real talk’, real talk indeed. Rosa does need more training and she has yet to win a match. How ironic. But to her credit, the tears made me go ‘aww’. Nicely acted. I think it’d be interesting to see her want to exact revenge on Lay-Cool but still be a heel.

Also, just a couple of quick notes: I loved Michelle’s rolling of the R’s. So funny! And I loved her digging her little fingers into Kaval’s face and him not looking the least bit amused. Bless him. So adorable! I’m loving Lay-Kav-Ool.

And now it’s time for the match!

Lay-Cool are out first and Michelle gurl, don’t think we didn’t notice that fumble in your entrance! Damn, those heels are fierce, but you’re lucky you didn’t break an ankle. Next out is K2 with her mascot for the evening, Tiffany who is looking fierce herself in all black.

Match kicks off with Layla applying a side headlock on Kelly. Kelly begins fighting out of it and shoves Layla, but the Women’s Champion manages to pivot and hit her with a forearm. Layla then whips herself off the ropes and knocks down K2 before bouncing off the ropes again and jumping over Kelly and bouncing off the opposing rope. In that time, Kelly manages to get on her feet and Layla comes at her with a beautiful roll through pin combination that we’ve seen Layla hit in the past. Such a complex-looking move but Layla hits it with such a speed, it just looks amazing. Great spot already.

Kelly kicks out of the pin and Layla picks her up by wrenching her arm. K2 fights back with some really flimsy looking shots to Layla’s stomach. Kelly then uses the ropes to hit a standing somersault into an arm drag. Another great spot.

Kelly then follows through with a Thesz Press and smashes Layla’s head against the canvas, rather viciously and out of character for the usually ‘girly’ wrestler. Kelly then hits a low dropkick which sends Layla out of the ring. As Layla gets back on the apron, Kelly goes to greet her but gets hung on the middle rope by the Women’s Champ. Layla then kicks Kelly and goes for a cover but no three count.

Layla now applies that great head-scissors submission move that we saw last week against Tiffany, but Tiffany soon counters out of it. Kelly takes Layla off her feet and hits her with a jack-knife pin but Layla kicks out and goes for a kick to the midsection but Kelly catches her leg and hits her with a clothesline. Kelly then kicks Layla and throws her into the corner where she goes for a handspring elbow but Layla wisely moves out of the way. Layla, however, is met with a boot as she tries to get close to K2.

Kelly now mounts the turnbuckles but the other half of Lay-Cool, Michelle gets up on the apron and distracts Kelly which allows Layla to get on her feet and hit a beautiful straight kick to Kelly. Meanwhile on the outside, Tiffany knocks down Michelle but Layla, through the ropes, kicks Tiffany in the head, sending the fledgling blonde Diva down. I just want to take a moment to commend Tiffany’s selling here because she fell to the floor like she had just died. Even when she’s not in the match, her one spot looked so impactful.

Back in the ring, Layla drags Kelly to the center of the ring for the Lay-Out but Kelly counters and hits the K2 for the 1, 2, 3.

This bout, like last week, was a great little match with some memorable spots. I really enjoyed it and I don’t often say that about Kelly’s matches. I think it’s a testament to Layla in particular, who as I continually say, has developed into a great worker and is able to bring Kelly — who in my opinion, not the best wrestler — to a great match. Compared to their matches on ECW a few years ago, both Divas should be ever so proud of themselves because you can see the improvement in their work since then. They had a good chemistry, a nice fast pace [without any iffy/botched spots] and delivered a fun match.

I particularly took note of the fact that a lot of Kelly’s usual repertoire: whirly-birds, hurricanranas etc. weren’t used in this match, nor were they used in her match with Rosa a couple of weeks ago. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that she’s working with less skilled girls in the ring and girls who are of a similar stature. It seems like she needs to be in the ring with a Michelle or Beth to pull off those moves. And considering how boring those ‘flashy’ moves become after a while, I’m glad that she hasn’t been able to use them lately. The one spot she did do that was a little flashy, the standing somersault, was actually a really nice spot and led into a nice armdrag. Little moves interspersed into the match like that are great. The danger with Kelly though is that most of her matches are made up of moves like that and they lose their luster and it becomes apparent that she is something of a one trick pony. So I’m glad that it was more toned down here because Kelly looked better in the ring, and all the more competent a wrestler, for it. Good job.

I’m loving seeing Layla in singles matches, in fact, I’ve feel quite spoiled over the past couple of weeks. I’m sure we’ll go back to a Michelle singles match or a tag team match next week, but in the past two weeks Layla has had the opportunity to shine on her own in the ring and I’m really liking what I’m seeing. She brought Tiffany last week, and Kelly this week, to two good matches. I’m excited to see what else Layla has to offer as a singles wrestler and look forward to a day when we can see her against the likes of Michelle, Melina, Serena, Natalya and even Eve Torres.

Another solid match on SmackDown.

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