Salutations, Diva fans and welcome to another edition of the SmackDown Redux. This week we are blessed with TWO Diva matches (Yes, you read that right), as Naomi locks horns with Nikki Bella, and AJ Lee takes on her former tag team partner (however briefly) in Layla. SmackDown is delivering twice the Diva action this week, but can it deliver twice the fun? Check out the matches below:
First up, AJ Lee vs Layla. Before the Divas Champion makes her entrance, we’re treated to a recap of AJ and Layla’s failed attempt at a tag team, and the beatdown that followed. Former Divas Champions Paige and Alicia Fox are introduced on commentary, as we watch a backstage vignette from AJ during her entrance. The official signals for the bell and our match is underway!
The Divas lock up and AJ Lee quickly gets the advantage with a flurry of offense, ending with a roundhouse to the face for a nearfall. Keeping the pressure on her opponent, AJ nails Layla with a kick to the gut, followed by a pair of neckbreaker, but gets another two count. AJ whips Layla off the ropes, but Layla is able to halt her momentum with some kicks of her own. Layla tries to choke AJ over the top rope, but opts to a ground submission when that doesn’t pan out very well.
After a few moments of struggling, AJ counters the submission into a pinfall of her own, but Layla kicks out and locks in a headlock. AJ fights her way out once again, and dodges a springboard crossbody, before locking in the Black Widow to pick up the win.
Post-match, Alicia Fox storms the ring and attacks AJ. The attack allows Paige to sneak in and hit AJ with the Rampaige, leaving the champ laid out in the ring.
Next, Nikki Bella takes the fight to Naomi ahead of her match against her sister Brie at Hell in a Cell:
We start off with Naomi already in the ring, and Nikki follows closely behind her. As the ‘Bad Twin’ makes her way to the squared circle, we’re treated to a clip of her confronting Brie (Who will surely be watching this match on a monitor backstage…) about their match at HIAC. Afterwards, the referee rings the bell and our match is underway!
Nikki wastes little time, immediately ramming Naomi into the corner, with a few shoulder blocks, before throwing her across the ring by the hair and stomping her in the corner. After slamming Naomi into the canvas for a nearfall, Nikki locks on a chokehold, but Naomi fight out and unleashes that high octane offense she’s known for. Naomi manages to hit the Rear View, but Nikki gets her foot on the rope, breaking the pin. Naomi tries to pull Nikki back in the ring to finish her off, but Nikki snaps her across the top rope, and hit the Rack Attack to pick up the win.
Thoughts: While I may not be the biggest fan of the storylines currently, I can’t dent that these matches were pretty fun, although short as hell. I think Naomi vs Nikki was a shocker, but both girls delivered and Nikki finisher looked amazing.
That said, I’m ready for HIAC to come and these storylines to be retired. I think they have run their respective course and we can move on to something new and fresh. I enjoyed them while they lasted… mostly… Maybe we could establish a new #1 contender? Thoughts? *waits for Naomi chants*
Well, that’s all for this week! Until next time… “Really?! Did you just call me fat?!”