Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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WWE Main Event Redux (July 31st, 2015): Becky’s Disarming Singles Debut

Welcome to another Main Event Redux! Sorry for the delay – for some reason, quality copies of Main Event matches have become harder to find than a damn golden ticket.

I’m filling in for Eleri this week as we witness Becky Lynch‘s singles debut. Unfortunately, her scheduled SmackDown match against Nikki Bella was cancelled (due to an emergency, I believe was the excuse), and Brie Bella is stepping in in this main event Main Event match. Can they deliver despite the last minute switch-up? Let’s see:

The tie up off the bell, Brie backing Becky into the ropes. Becky shoves Brie off, and the two circle again. They tie up, and Becky finds herself backed up against the ropes once more. She manages to power back, though, taking Brie’s left arm and wrenching it.

Brie quickly reverses the hold, putting pressure on Becky’s left arm. Becky then turns the tides again, punishing Brie’s arm. She knocks Brie to her knees, but the Team Bella representative battles back with some forearms. She runs the ropes and gets knocked flat by a back elbow from Becky. Becky pulls her to her feet and continues the assault on her left arm. Brie elbows herself free after a bit, running the ropes and knocking Becky onto her back.

Brie covers Becky for the pin, but the former NXT Diva kicks out easily, standing up out of the pin. The two jockey for control before Becky sends Brie flying with two arm drags, turning the second into an armbar submission. Brie slowly gets to her feet and charges Becky into the corner, bashing her head against the turnbuckle to free herself. She lands some kicks to Becky’s midsection before pulling her to the center of the ring and setting her up for a suplex. Out of nowhere, Becky snatches back control, latching onto Brie’s left arm for another armbar.

Brie very quickly crawls to the bottom rope and forces a break on the hold. She slips out of the ring for a breather as we head to a commercial. When we return, Brie’s back in the ring and Becky’s back in control. She hits a legdrop and goes for the pin. Brie kicks out at two and stumbles to the corner. Becky follows, but is met with a series of kicks and is tossed into the corner. Brie exits the ring and grabs hold of Becky’s left arm, swinging it against the ring post.

After a bit of gloating, Brie reenters the ring and wraps Becky’s arm around the bottom rope, pulling it while pushing the rest of Becky away with her boot. She’s forced to break the hold, but Becky doesn’t get far, sitting prone in the corner as Brie stomps on her. Brie backs off, allowing Becky to get to her feet and block her ensuing attack. When she comes charging out of the corner, though, Brie flattens her with a clothesline. Brie covers Becky, but only earns a two count.

Brie takes Becky’s left arm and locks in a modified armbar, placing her boots on either side of the arm for added leverage. Becky start to fight back, but can’t muster enough strength, and Brie rolls her onto her shoulders for a pin attempt. Becky quickly kicks out and Brie relinquishes the hold. She fends off Becky’s attempts to regain control and leaves her seated against the bottom rope before hitting her with a running knee strike. She drags Becky towards the middle of the ring and attempts another pin. Becky kicks out.

Becky is propped up, Brie taking her bad arm and wrenching it back. It’s not long before Becky frees herself, as she quickly gets to her feet and tosses Brie away. A series of blows puts her back in the driver’s seat, and after two clotheslines and a dropkick, she covers Brie for the pin. Brie kicks out at two. Becky goes for a suplex, but Brie battles back, grabbing her left arm and dropping her onto her shoulder. Another pin attempt by Brie, another kickout by Becky.

Becky backs into the corner but dodges Brie’s charging attack and uses the ropes to leap up and kick Brie in the side of the head. She lifts Brie up to sit on the top turnbuckle, and the two battle back and forth for control. When they come face to face, Brie shoves Becky away, standing on the second rope and hitting her with a missile dropkick. She covers Becky for the pin, but it’s not enough.

Both Divas get to their feet, Brie going for the first strike. Becky catches her kick, though, and tosses her with an explosive suplex. She goes for the pin, but Brie kicks out. Brie immediately battles back, kicking Becky and knocking her to the mat. She grabs her by the hair and rolls her into a small package pin. Becky kicks out and instantaneously grabs hold of Brie’s left arm. She locks in the Dis-arm-Her! Brie has no choice but to tap out.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this match, even if it was a last minute switch-up. I would’ve liked Becky to go up against the Divas Champion, but I imagine it would have been tough for her to get a win in this scenario. Here, she’s able to get a clean, impressive submission victory that keeps her in the conversation. While she definitely deserved to have her singles main roster debut on SmackDown (at least), this was a great match and I don’t think the fact that it was on Main Event necessarily hurts her. As long as they remind us that this happened on Raw, she’s got momentum.

It was smart to make arms the story of the match, so Becky can be better defined as the master of the armbar. Every Diva needs her “hook”, her niche, and that’s Becky’s. It wasn’t as great of a story as, say, her TakeOver match with Sasha Banks, but a 10+ match with a bit of story tossed for her singles debut is nothing to sneeze at.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t sue Becky would be staying on the main roster full time after her debut, mostly because I felt she was just getting a real push on NXT and was poised for a title run. This match – and the matches the preceded it – have proven me wrong. She’s definitely ready for the big time. It’s all a question of whether or not the successes of Charlotte and Sasha will overshadow her. I think if she sticks to what makes her unique – her style, energy and ability to pull out an armbar out of nowhere – she can definitely stand out. I know there are plenty of little girls out there who will look at Becky and pick her as their favorite, much like they did for Lita once upon a time. She’s just “different” enough to feel like a misfit. Moreso than say, Paige who I think is more mainstream by comparison in terms of her look and the way she carries herself. That didn’t stop the WWE from marketing her as a “freak” or “geek”, though, so I’m confident that the WWE can find a way to market Becky as an off-kilter outsider fans can sympathize with.

I didn’t forget about Brie! It was nice to see her playing a 1000% heel here, since the WWE likes to switch the Bellas between alignments. If only they had the guts to do that against one of the other heels, like Sasha or Naomi. She hasn’t gotten many chances lately to have a lengthy singles match, so it was great to see her break out of the box she’s often put in, which usually limits her to short bursts of offense or rest holds. She got to work on a body part, exploit it and ironically fall to the same tactics. That’s more story than any Brie singles match has had in a long time.

All in all, a great outing for these two. They’ve proven that they are far from being the “expendable” elements of their teams. If given the chance to show what they’ve got, as they did here, they look as impressive as anyone. It’s up to the WWE to determine if they’re interested in supplying the division with enough depth to give these two a chance to shine alongside some of the better-pushed Divas. If there’s one thing I’d ask of the Divas Revolution, it’s depth. Otherwise, you’ve got a ton of Divas and nothing for them to do. That’s all I’m saying: don’t let those with true star potential ride the bench.

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