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SmackDown Redux (May 20th, 2011): Quality Wrestling From Two Amazing Champions

Today’s SmackDown Redux comes to you with a heavy heart and somber mood. The wrestling world lost an absolute icon today as “Macho Man” Randy Savage tragically lost his life in a car accident. If any of you are anything like me, you grew up watching him steal the show night after night. Savage’s talent, charisma, and personality made him the total package when it came to this sport as far as I’m concerned. His matches with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and a young, brash Shawn Michaels are instant classics that will live in my heart, the hearts and minds of many others, forever. For me personally, Savage was the last remaining childhood hero that I had. I’ve watched all the others have their lives end far to soon, most notably Owen Hart. I was watching In Your House that night and I’ll never forget what I saw. If we can learn anything from the events of today, and from the past, it’s that life is way to short. It can be taken from you in an instant. You’ve truly got to cherish every moment and live like it could be your last. Rest peacefully, Macho Man.

When things like this happen, I always find a comforting perspective. I’ve wasted my time for the past few weeks bitching and complaining about everything that is wrong with sports entertainment. I’ve written it off, refused to see the bright side, and have just basically been on a rampage about everything. I definitely stand by everything I’ve said, but I feel bad for wasting my time, and yours for that matter, by raging. At the end of the day, who cares who has a title? Do win and loss records really matter? Whether you’re a main-event megastar that the company is centered around or you’re a young hopeful paying your dues in the developmental system, you’re risking your livelihood with every step you take in that ring. You’re giving it your all whether you have two minutes of television time or thirty minutes. Sports entertainers are still pro wrestlers. They’re still athletes who work their asses off to be as gifted as they are and to look the way they do.

In my ridiculous and jaded sense of reality that I’ve been living in since Extreme Rules, I had forgotten that. And for that, I’m truly sorry.

Tonight’s SmackDown is a good example of how something great can be made despite having very little. Reigning Divas Champion, Brie Bella, took on the soon-to-be (I hope) Queen of SmackDown, Natalya, in a great little match that helped make Brie look strong going into Over The Limit where she’ll defend her championship against, Kelly Kelly. Lets take a look at how it all played out.

We open up with cutie pie Todd Grisham backstage with the champ and her sister, Nikki Bella. Todd begins the interview by asking Brie why she left Nikki to get destroyed by Kharma on Monday. Brie defends herself by saying she didn’t do anything wrong and that she attacked Kharma first. Nikki interjects that the only reason Brie even went after Kharma is because she knew Nikki was going to jump in next. Nikki also called Brie out on leaving her, and she’s not to thrilled by it. Brie cuts her eyes at her sister and says that she knows Nikki would have done the same thing had the roles been reversed. Nikki gets this look on her face and then admits that she would have. Satisfied, Brie starts to rant about how she now has to face Kelly Kelly at Over The Limit (they showed a graphic for the match right before the interview began) and on top of that, she has to go into battle with the “wench” Natalya. She wants her and Nikki to get back on the same page. Nikki says they were never not on the same page. That brings a smile to Brie’s face and the sisters lock arms and walk away. Todd wishes them good luck and we go to a commercial break.

Backstage segments for Divas are rare and this one was definitely a treat. The Bellas have great characters and watching their banter in the opening seconds of the segment was great. They’re rock solid when it comes to oozing attitude, and I love the fact they blatantly admit that they need each other to win more or less. We’ve not seen the Bellas on television nearly enough since Brie has been champion and it’s really unfortunate. Absolute gold could have been made from them as champions, and I hope that if Brie does lose on Sunday, another title reign is in her future. Nikki’s too!

The match begins after the commercial break and the twins are out first. Brie is proudly holding onto that title and Nikki plays it up. They get inside the ring and when their music fades, Natalya’s music starts to play. The third generation Diva makes her way out and Brie just glares at her the entire time. She also keeps that title high in the air which makes me lulz. Nattie taunts the crowd once she’s inside and the bell rings to begin the match. The girls lock up and Natalya tries for a scoop slam. Brie wiggles out and pushes Nattie towards the turnbuckle. Natalya stops the momentum easily, turns around, and both opponents lock eyes. Brie calls Natalya a loser, while the blond Diva just smirks. Natalya takes down Brie with a headlock, but the Arizona native is about to lock her legs around Nattie’s head to reverse it. The crafty Nattie bridges out and again we have a staredown between the two. Love this!

Brie is the first to strike, or try. She swings wildly at her opponent, but Natalya ducks and locks her arms around Brie’s waist. The younger twin fights her way to the ropes, wraps her arms and legs around them, and that forces Natalya to back off. However, Nattie rolls back towards Brie, who is waiting, but Natalya gets the upper-hand by taking Brie down into a lateral press. She goes for the cover but only gets a two count.

Nikki, clutching the title, looks worried for her sister especially when Nattie decides to try for the Sharpshooter. Brie scrambles to the ropes, fights off Nattie, and rolls to the outside. Natalya goes for it but Brie is able to bound Nattie’s neck off the ropes and finally catch a break. With Nattie down, Brie rolls back in and immediately goes for the other girl’s arm. She works it over for a few seconds before Natalya muscles her up on her back. It’s easy to see what happens next. Natalya falls backwards, crushing Brie underneath her, and now both girls are hurting.

It’s the champ that gets up first. She tells Natalya to bring it and once Natalya is up, she slaps the hell out of Brie. Brie goes flying back (love the dramatic crowd gasp!) and when she whips around, she is pissed. She looks to take Natalya’s head off with a clothesline but again she misses, and Brie is forced to eat a wicked shot from Nattie. The champ still refuses to stay down. She gets back up and tries to fight, but after a reverse whip that didn’t work out or something (excuse me, I’m incredibly overwhelmed by all the wrestling to be honest), Brie ends up on her back again because Nattie has hit her with her spinning clothesline signature move. Nattie, bless her, is still selling the work that Brie did on her arm earlier, and like a trooper she shakes it off. She goes for an extended powerslam, and for Brie, I’m sure it fells like an eternity. When she finally hits the mat, it sounds so painful, and Brie cries out in pain. Natalya keeps up the offense with a flying snapmare that forces Brie into a groggy sitting position and she follows it up with a dropkick to the back. Natalya goes for the cover, but Brie somehow gets out of the pinning predicament.

Natalya seems shock that she wasn’t able to get the pin, so she decides it’s time to put Brie away. Brie goes for the ropes and Natalya follows her. She begins pounding away on the champ in frustration and Nunzio is forced to make Natalya back up. Natalya forces her way past him and goes for Brie again, who once again sticks herself between the ropes. Nunzio has to physically restrain Natalya and that gives the chance she’s been waiting for. She cheaply kicks Natalya in the knee, which drops the powerful Diva down. Then she throws Natalya into the turnbuckles. Natalya cries out in pain and that gives Brie the chance to hit her finisher. She gets a clean victory over the former Divas Champion and Nikki climbs into the ring to celebrate. The twins embrace each other and Brie basically looks like a million bucks going into Over The Limit.

What a great match. The Bellas are NEVER given enough credit for just how good they are in the ring. The haters bash them for no reason whatsoever and it’s so annoying. The chemistry between Natalya and Brie was ridiculous. This should have been a pay-per-view match because I’m actually salivating over the thought of what else they could have done with more time. The Bellas should have had their title reign on SmackDown because they were booked better in one night than they’ve ever been on Raw. I loved this match so much.

And lets be honest, is it even possible for Natalya to have a bad match?

Great job to all three girls. I surely hope Kelly Kelly can put together something great with Brie for Sunday. Their first match wasn’t impressive. I’m going to hope for more come Sunday, especially after seeing how well Brie and Natalya worked together. No pressure!

See you guys on Sunday.

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