Thursday, August 18, 2022

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SmackDown Redux (June 4th, 2010): Kelly, Can You Handle This?

It looks as though we have our next Divas feud on SmackDown as Team Lay-Cool scouted Kelly Kelly during her match tonight with Rosa Mendes. The co-Women’s Champions, Layla and Michelle McCool, watched on as K2 faced off against fellow her Raw import. Upon seeing spoilers for this week’s show, I have to admit, I wasn’t optimistic for a Kelly vs Rosa match — both seem so limited in the ring — so how did it all come together? Regardez:

Latina Rosa is the first out for her first match since the match that saw Beth Phoenix injured a few weeks ago. She’s followed by Miss Kelly who is having, not just a good hair day, but a great one, it seems.

The two Divas start things out with a lock-up but it’s Rosa who gets the better of the exchange with a knee to Kelly’s stomach. Mendes whips K2 into the corner but Kelly manages to gain momentum and stop herself, as Rosa comes charging at her, she uses the momentum to jump over Rosa and into a backflip. Kelly then charges at Rosa to hit a neckbreaker and pin attempt but Rosa kicks out.

Just as Kelly begins controlling the match, out come the co-Women’s Champions to the entrance ramp. Layla mocks Kelly by holding her nose, playing into the whole ‘Smelly Kelly’ thing and Michelle waves at Kelly sarcastically. Meanwhile from behind, Mendes grabs Kelly by the hair and smashes her against the canvas. Rosa kicks Kelly and goes for a pin of her own but Kelly kicks out this time.

Rosa now whips Kelly into the corner and runs at her with a stinger splash before taking a moment to pose for the crowd. Mendes props K2 over the middle rope and begins choking her out using her leg before the referee breaks it up. Rosa grabs Kelly by the hair and slams her face-first down against the canvas and again, shows off for the audience. Rosa then picks up Kelly for a nice snap suplex and pin attempt while we cut to Lay-Cool watching on. Rosa then pulls Kelly’s hair before wrapping her legs around her throat in a headscissors submission. The referee breaks up the hold which results in Rosa clubbing Kelly across the back and bouncing off the ropes, however Kelly counters but leaping atop Rosa with the Thesz Press and then bounces her head off the mat.

Kelly now gains momentum, screaming, “Come on Rosa!” in her usual shrill voice and hits clotheslines on Mendes. Rosa now whips Kelly into the corner but Mendes reverses and it’s Kelly who meets the turnbuckles. Rosa charges at Kelly but gets a boot to the stomach. Kelly climbs the ropes and hits a crossbody from the middle turnbuckle. Kelly goes for the pin but no three count.

Kelly picks up Rosa who fights back with a kick and then bounces off the ropes for a neckbreaker, Kelly manages to reverse however and hits the original K2 on Rosa for the 1, 2, 3. Meanwhile, Michelle and Layla look on perplexed. Well, they do say a picture’s worth a thousand words…

We finish with a staredown between Kelly and Lay-Cool as it becomes evident that these three Divas will eventually square off, perhaps for the Women’s Title.

The match was definitely not the disaster I was expecting. I didn’t have a lot of faith in these two putting on a decent match together without the guidance of a more experienced Diva in the ring with them. It wasn’t a bad match however, it wasn’t exactly a great match either — just okay and not very memorable. I felt as though I was just watching two girls go from one move to the next and trying to make sure they stringed together a cohesive match. If that’s what they were going for, kudos to them. They did their spots and credit to them for that. However, the problem I have with this match is that it felt like I was watching a training match, like someone was filming an FCW training session — move one to move two to move three etc. I didn’t feel passion, energy or intensity from either Diva — it felt a little like there were two Diva-bots in the ring. A match should have passion and fire in it and I didn’t feel that. As much as Rosa did try to ham it up to the crowd with her posing etc., it didn’t come across as natural and I don’t think the audience has really accepted Rosa yet. As for Kelly, she is extremely popular and manages to get the crowd into what she’s doing which is a good thing, but at the same time, I don’t feel her in-ring work backs up her popularity.

I did notice that Kelly strayed away from any of her signature moves that she would usually hit i.e. the whirly-bird or the multiple hurricanranas. I guess it was for the best considering who her opponent was. Again, however, it just shows that she too needs to work more experienced girls to be able to pull out moves like that.

It’s going to be interesting to see how she works with Lay-Cool because it seems like she’s in line for a feud with them — perhaps for the Women’s Championship. Can she handle it? I look forward to seeing her work with Michelle, who I think can bring out a lot in girls who are greener than her [see: Maria and Tiffany]. Seeing her with Layla could be touch-and-go, but I think Layla is getting to the level where she too can have great matches with just about anyone. She really brought out something in Eve during the commercial free Raw.

Verdict: Tonight’s SmackDown was so-so. Decent ring work, but nothing to write home about and nothing memorable that I will remember in the morning, unlike the Gail/Jillian and Tiffany/Michelle matches on Superstars.

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