Saturday, May 18, 2024

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SummerSlam in Review: Bella Twin Betrayal and a Big Birthday Gift

I feel like I should start this SummerSlam review by announcing my retirement from writing these upon the completion of this particular piece because SummerSlam was just that perfect and nothing will ever be able to top it ever. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would live in a world where we got two Diva matches on a Pay-Per-View (several months in a row) that had such perfect hype and build. Those two matches, Paige versus AJ Lee and Brie Bella versus Stephanie McMahon, were executed brilliantly.

Stephanie is a full-time wife and mother, with a full-time, demanding job. She has a ton of money and nothing to prove, but she decided to get back in the ring to help further a storyline and push for two other competitors. Both Bella twins, Brie and Nikki, have stepped up their game and worked incredibly hard to earn their time in the spotlight. AJ returned to the main roster earlier this summer, looking absolutely rejuvenated and captured the title back from Paige after losing it in April. Paige has also continued her rise, well on her way to becoming the next big thing in the WWE. Everything she has been doing lately has just been spot on. She’s nailing her character.

We are going to start off with someone else who is proving herself to be worth millions of dollars and that is Lana. She has shined brightly since coming up to the main roster and the feud between Rusev and Jack Swagger has been amplified thanks to Lana and Swagger’s manager, Zeb Coulter.

I can honestly say that this match was better than I expected it to be. Both guys brought it and it’s just so surreal to see Swagger and Zeb as faces. I think it’s because Rusev and Lana are just so darn good at being evil Russians. There’s not enough kudos I can possibly give Lana for how good she is becoming. She just owns her character. Her actions before the match was great. Her actions during the match were great. But man oh man, after the match, she was just everything. When she started crying with pride during the Russian national anthem, I just lost it. She is so just so, so, so good. A couple of friends of mine were at SummerSlam and said Lana went as far as selling Rusev’s victory as they made their way up the ramp. That’s amazing to me. She’s really into what she’s doing and I love it.

Paige is really into her character now, as I eluded too earlier, and it came to the forefront last night as she defeated AJ to regain the WWE Divas Championship. The ending of the match was creepy to say the least, as the British champ celebrated her birthday and win by cuddling her best friend?

Paige is the first competitor to make her way to the ring, skipping of course. She is mocking her frenemy in the most annoying way possible which is what you need to do to irritate someone, right? They play a video recap of Paige winning back in April, and of course the birthday girl is all smiles when she watches it. Out next is the champ, AJ, and they also recap her regaining the championship a few weeks ago. AJ is looking confident about her chances at retaining tonight and the referee holds the belt up. It’s time to get this show underway!

Paige extends her hand in a show of “sportsmanship”, and AJ doesn’t seem to keen on taking it. Eventually she does and instead of leaving it at that, she decides to summon her inner Luis Suarez and get her cannibal on. Paige isn’t impressed and AJ takes it one step further by ripping the weave right from Paige’s head. The youngster scrambles outside the ring and AJ follows her like a rabid dog. Paige gets her head slammed off the announce table. She gets her head slammed on the ring apron. She’s probably thinking at this point, screw my birthday.

She attempts to recover and kicks AJ as the champ makes her way back into the ring, but it’s short-lived. AJ goes back on offense and Paige is forced to play defense. She takes a tumble to the outside of the ring and then eats a nasty kick to the face before catching AJ in a compromising position. She then dumps the New Jersey across the guardrail much to the delight of the fans in the front row. And I have to say, what a nasty little bump. Paige begins to skip around while AJ is curled up on the outside in the fetal position, and breaks up the count inside the ring. She plays to the crowd and then decides to go capitalize on the damanage she has caused.

Paige rolls AJ into the ring and gets on top of her in a rather provacative manner. Instead of going for the cover, she decides to nail AJ with a series of headbutts. Then, to make things more fun, Paige rips out a loose piece of her own hair and drops it delicately on AJ’s face. This girl is good. She pulls AJ up by the hair and wraps her arms around the other girl’s neck. She’s determined to keep this advantage she’s gained for herself and rightfully so. She pulls AJ to the ropes, gets to the apon and begins to pummle AJ with some viscious knees to the chest. Paige decides to go up top and AJ starts to get her second wind.

So, needless to say, it’s Paige who ends up on the receiving end of a nasty spill to the ground. Womp. Womp.

AJ then comes at us with a gorgeous “wow” spot. She launches herself off the top rope and onto Paige, who folds up like an accordion. The crowd is very receptive to the effort from both of these women so far and I love it. After collecting their bearings on the outside, AJ gets them both back into the ring. A woozy Paige is trying to get up, but AJ manages to come off the ropes and catch her with a knee to the face. She goes for a quick cover, but Paige isn’t about to let this title opportunity go. She kicks out and AJ is forced to try something else to put her feisty opponent away.

AJ gets back up to her feet and helps Paige up as well, but Paige shoves her off. When AJ comes back at Paige, Paige is waiting and nails her with a sick kick to the face. The champ goes down and Paige starts to smell victory. She goes for AJ and gets her ready for the Paige Turner, but AJ counters into the Black Widow! Paige grits her teeth and digs deep, and is able to slid her arm under AJ to break the pressure. That leads her into countering with the Rampaige DDT and AJ is firmly planted. Paige covers, gets the three count, and becomes a two-time champion!

After the match is over, she celebrates her in her own unique way. Remember when I said it was a little creepy? She cradles AJ after laying the championship across the fallen girl’s lap, and slaps a kiss on AJ’s cheek. Paige skips off with the title in hand, and we are left with an image of AJ looking sad, frustrated, and everything in between.

So, so, so good!

This match was WAY better than their last one. The chemistry was on and both seemed to bring their “A” game. Paige’s new gear was GORGEOUS and she needs to wear more red. I wish AJ would change up her look, but she is who she is and that’s not going to change. There wasn’t anything I disliked about this match. Both women looked strong and capable of beating the other at any given time. It was very back and forth, and I was very surprised to see Paige win at the end. I have to say my favorite spots were done outside the ring. The opening when AJ just went at Paige, ripped her hair out, and then slammed her into the announce table was awesome. I love it when they let the girls just go at it like that. Also, Paige had her moment when she dumped AJ from her shoulders to the guardrail. And of course, the top rope spot with AJ showing no fear and going to the extreme to put her opponent away.

This match was an “A” for me, along with Lana’s segment. SummerSlam brought it, and the only question left was whether or not Brie and Stephanie would live up to their hype.

Before the match got underway, Brie got a chance to give a quick interview backstage to catch us all up on her week.

Brie spoke about her time in jail and how she used it as an opportunity to reflect on everything that has been happening. She made the point that the motto her and her sister live by, is that no matter how hard you get knocked down, you always get up. Brie said that she kept thinking about the times Stephanie called Daniel a “B plus player” and all the times she put Nikki in compromising situations. There was anger and determination in her voice as Queen Brie Mother Earth Bella vowed to take out the shebeast because of all the torture she has heaped on the entire roster, and said that beating Stephanie tonight is what’s best for business.

Gosh, I love this feud more than anything ever.

Before the competitors begin to make their way to the ring, we get treated to an amazing video package highlighting just how great this feud has been. Like, it literally gives me goosebumps just watching it. So good! Stephanie comes out first and my jaw hits the floor. Her outfit is the sun and stars of the world. She looks FANTASTIC. She looks better than any mother of three has any right to look and I’m insanely jealous of just how perfect she is. She is brimming with confidence, looking better than anyone who has ever taken a ten-year break from the ring has any right to look. Brie walks out next, confidence on her face as well. She’s more than ready.

Oh man.

The match gets started, with the two women feeling one another out. Stephanie has the power advantage in this match and Brie is forced to acknowledge early on that this isn’t going to be a cakewalk. She manages to take Stephanie down with a couple of armdrags, and it dawns on Stephanie that she’s once again inside a wrestling ring. Stephanie seizes control and uses her power to toss Brie around like a ragdoll for a bit, with Brie selling every move beautifully. Stephanie begins to mock Brie by doing Daniel Bryan‘s signature chant, and as our favorite earthy diva sits up, Stephanie goes for a big time slap. Brie blocks the shot, and nails Steph with her own resounding bitch slap and gets oh so close to putting the princess in the Yes Lock.

Stephanie scrambles out of the ring, not willing to have a repeat of this past Monday, and has to come to terms with the situation she has gotten herself into. Brie makes it easy for Stephanie but going for a risky move, and Stephanie is able to catch Brie as she is flying through the ropes. She absolutely clobbers her and Brie is down for the count on the outside of the ring. Stephanie taunts her foe before rolling back into the ring. No doubt she would be happy with a count out victory.

Brie stirs on the outside and finally makes it back just as the referee counts nine, and Stephanie is not impressed. She plants Brie with a pretty DDT and goes for a cover, but the reality star kicks out. Stephanie isn’t done punishing Brie yet, and the Total Diva has to endure even more. Stephanie is more than impressing and even gets another pin. Brie once again kicks out, but the crowd is just loving the fact Stephanie is working that ring like she never left it. Stephanie grabs both of Brie’s arms and pulls them back, while planting her foot right on the back of Brie’s head.

Um, that looks painful.

Brie’s a fighter and does her best to get back up, but Stephanie pulls her back by the hair and Brie’s head slams off the mat pretty painfully. To add insult to injury, Stephanie steps on Brie’s face just because she can. She goes right back to that submission hold, but Brie draws on the energy from the crowd to fight back. She finally starts to get some offense in and once she’s able to get Stephanie in the corner, she unleashes a series of furious kicks to her boss. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve dreamed of throwing my boss into a corner and just kicking the living crap out of him.

But hey, he’s not my boss anymore. I got promoted to a bigger store. So I guess me working insane hours and cutting off most of my ties with television and social media have paid off, eh?

At least now I can flirt with him without it being weird…

Okay, so back to this match. Brie is in full blown “Brie Mode” and after a series of “yes” kicks to Stephanie, she flies off the ropes with a beautiful missile dropkick. Stephanie is down and Brie goes for the cover.


Brie is frustrated but not ready to give up. And believe me, there is plenty of match left. Stephanie is desperately trying to get out of the ring, but Brie isn’t having it. She violently jerks Stephanie back and starts punching her, which prompts Triple H to come running down to the ring. And guess who came out right behind him? NIKKI!!!

This causes Brie to lose her focus. Once Trips hops on the apron, Brie goes right for him. She ends up getting dragged away by the ref, and Stephanie is able to get her in position for the Pedigree. Brie is able to counter it perfectly into the Yes Lock and a very desperate Triple H pulls the referee from the ring right before Stephanie can tap. A furious Brie releases the hold, while Triple H and Nikk engage in a pretty heated staredown. He runs his mouth to her and Brie has had enough. She decides to just eliminate that problem as well.

Brie completely destroys Triple H with a dropkick through the ropes and has the balls to actually stand over him while engaging everyone in the Staples Center in an amazing “Yes” chant. Ohmygod. Nikki sees Stephanie about to get out of the ring so she rushes over and gets in, making sure that evil billion dollar baroness doesn’t go anywhere. Nikki backs Stephanie up right into Brie and it looks like Stephanie is about to get hit with a double dose of double trouble.


Nikki goes the unthinkable. She nails her sister, knocking her out, helps Stephanie up, and Stephanie is able to get Brie with the Pedigree. Excuse me? Triple H has deposited the referee back into the ring and The Authority is able to come out of SummerSlam with a huge victory. A remorseful Nikki is seen backing up the ramp, with hurt in her eyes, as Triple H and Stephanie taunt Brie’s fallen body.

Holy crap.

Watching this for a second time didn’t dull my emotions one bit. If anything, it made me even more excited for Raw. I have to see the aftermath of this ASAP. Why, Nikki? Why?

This match was never going to be a technical wrestling clinic and it didn’t need to be. It was meant to tell a story and what a story it told. Stephanie McMahon is pure evil, and there’s not one single low she won’t stoop too in order to get what she wants. Triple H isn’t much better. The way he smirked when Nikki turned on her sister was just genius, like they had this plan all along, and the way The Authority celebrated after the match…. man oh man. This feud has had everything, and then some. SummerSlam was the perfect platform for it and as a Diva fan and a woman, it made me proud to see the crowd get so involved. They had every right to cheer for Brie, to cheer for Stephanie, to cheer for Nikki because all three of them, as well as Triple H, played their part perfectly last night.

There’s literally nothing else I can say about this match without running the risk of gushing uncontrollably so I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up.

Every single one of us who work for and visit Diva Dirt have always stood up for the Divas. It’s been a long, hard road for the past few years and not only have we suffered for it, the girls themselves have had to suffer. I’m so incredibly proud of Paige, AJ, Lane, Stephanie, Brie, and Nikki for all the work and effort that they have put in going into SummerSlam. I never thought we would get a chance to see the Divas flourish like they have been. This is a beautiful time to be a WWE fan and I’m so very glad that these girls are finally get the props and recognition that they deserve.

Clearly, I’m giving SummerSlam an “A”. It was the best pay-per-view of the year by far, and I was in New Orleans, living and dying with everything that happened at WrestleMania. I’m so incredibly glad and fortunate that I was able to watch and that I am a fan.

And most importantly, I’m glad that being a fan and living in this era is only costing me… $9.99 ;-)

Until Night of Champions, or Total Divas… whichever comes first, namaste bitches!

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