Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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WWE Main Event Redux (March 11th, 2014): Who Did the “Tamina Factor” Benefit This Time?

What’s up Diva fans and welcome to this week’s WWE Main Event Redux. It’s the second ever Divas Championship match on Main Event this week and yet again, it’s features the champion AJ Lee. Desperately trying to net the butterfly belt once again is Natalya. Last time these two met for the belt on Main Event, Natalya won by DQ, after Tamina pracically kicked her face off. Tamina and AJ haven’t had the best chemistry as of late, so will will the ‘Tamina Factor’ benefit this time?

TO THE VIDEO!

Out first on the red and blue brand is AJ Lee with her leather-clad lout Tamina Snuka. AJ takes to the mic and says she’s bored. Of what, doing rest holds 24/7? Apparently, that’s not what she’s bored of. She’s bored that she has no competition and the fact she has to defend the belt against Nattie yet again. I’m bored of AJ’s reign yet certainly not her clashes with Natalya; they are definitely the highlight! AJ declares that she’s been champion for 268 days and will be until… well forever. If you go about losing all the time like you have been recently, forever will be just a dream!

Natalya is out next and she’s looking cool, calm and collected. Looking pretty good in that new attire too. Natalya stares right at AJ, taking no time this week to get felt up by the audience members!

After some official in-ring introductions from Tony Chimel, who explains that Natalya is from Calgary and AJ is from nowhere, the match begins with Natalya hitting AJ with a headlock takeover. AJ counters, wrapping her legs around Natalya’s head, but the Dungeon Diva counters herself by nipping up. A headlock takeover happens again, with AJ getting out of this time by getting to a vertical base and shoving Natalya off. The problem with shoving people in a ring though is they tend to bounce off the ropes, which Natalya does, right into AJ.

After some more nipping up, Natalya floats around AJ and tries a schoolgirl to no avail. The pair stare and strut around the ring before Natalya hits a third headlock takeover. Aj worms her way out before kicking Natalya a few times, belting her in that weak bladder of hers! AJ twists Nattie with a wristlock before Natalya flips out of it and trips AJ, grasping her in a leg vice. AJ makes it to the ropes before seemingly talking tactics with Tamina on the apron. You can’t call AJ a coward though, as she steps back into the action.

Natalya exchanges side headlocks with AJ before rolling her up for two. After a scoop slam, Natalya winches AJ with that sick octopus stretch that she nails every time, yet AJ manages to elbow her way out and hit a hip toss. Natalya is quick to fight back, looking to hit her Dad’s Anvil Flattener by the looks of it, yet AJ wriggles to the apron. Natalya dropkicks AJ to the arena floor before we go to commercial.

Back from the break (WHY IS THERE A COMMERCIAL BREAK ON THE WWE NETWORK? NOT THAT IT AFFECTS ME YET AS I’M IN THE UK, BUT STILL…) and AJ has taken control, after Natalya was distracted thanks to a staredown with Tamina. Natalya is, yes you guessed it, crying after AJ has attempted to pin her. I think Natalya often sells like the best of them yet the crying is a little excessive at times. You’re meant to be feisty and have trained in a dungeon for god sake! AJ goes for her first, yes you guessed it, rest hold of the match in the form of a sleeper with body scissors yet Natalya gets to feet and crushes AJ in the corner to get out of harm’s way. She’s back in it the way within a split second though because AJ wallops her in the back with two boots.

Following a cover, Natalya bounces back, trying to successfully drop AJ with a scoop slam. AJ counters in quite the nifty fashion, shifting her hips so she can lock in a guillotine choke. It’s a rest hold yet that one was neat – no complaints! The crowd is eating this move up and although Natalya can get grieved at times, it’s pretty obvious that everyone loves her in-ring work and gets behind that. Natalya gets her forearm under AJ’s crotch (not the best wording of the situation) trying to slam her way out yet AJ pushes all her weight onto Natalya’s shoulders, hitting a crossbody for two.

Making sure Natalya can’t get any momentum going, AJ obliterates Natalya with an elbow. AJ does some more obliterating with a monumental slap before skipping around like only she can. It nearly costs her though, as Natalya hits a schoolgirl for two. AJ counters by bulldozing Meryl Streep Nattie yet it’s only enough to get a near fall. AJ goes back to Tal’s neck (surprise, surprise) yet Natalya has had enough of AJ smothering her neck and rolls her off and hits a basement dropkick.

The pair trade brutal kicks and I’m seriously fearing for Natalya’s waterworks after AJ’s kickfest. I then fear for her mucus glands as AJ gets her foot all up in Nat’s throat. Natalya is obviously fearing for her body fluids herself as she goes crazy on AJ, whacking her repeatedly with clubs to the back. AJ goes off on Natalya right away though, going back to the submission well again with a guillotine. Nattie hoists AJ to her shoulders yet AJ keeps her hold locked in, switching things though into a normal style sleeper with body scissors. Natalya does us all a favor and finally gets out of the sleeper before avoiding a charge from AJ to get the momentum going!

Natalya hits a clothesline, two suplexes, a snapmare and a basement dropkick. A slap to the face is next on the agenda, followed by Natalya’s slice of perfection, her sit-out scoop slam! Although it looks good, it doesn’t muster enough to get a win. Speaking of mustering, AJ needs to muster something to claw her way out of this one… and she does! Reversing a sideslam from Nattie, AJ locks in the Black Widow! It’s not locked in for long though, as Natalya powers her way to a vertical base, pressuring AJ into changing tactics. AJ goes for a sunset flip style pin yet the pair end up in a similar position to the way they were last Friday! Natalya uses her power and locks in the Sharpshooter!

*MARKING OUT* This is getting intense!

Unlike Friday, AJ doesn’t tap right away and she crawls her way to the ropes to try and break the hold. She gets a fingertip away yet Natalya pulls right back into the centre of the ring. The crowd are going wild as AJ looks close to relinquishing her belt. AJ goes for one last attempt at grabbing the ropes as we see that Tamina has taken her jacket off. Is Nelly in the house or is the situation just getting too scary for Tamina to handle? AJ is grimacing in pain and thanks to Tamina, she breathes a sigh of relief as Tamina pushes the bottom rope towards AJ, allowing her to grab it. What a scoundrel! As AJ recollects herself, Tamina gets on the apron, distracting Nattie. AJ belts Natalya with one of the nicest Shining Wizards I’ve seen before finishing her off with the Black Widow. The segment ends with Natalya tapping out and sobbing in the middle of the ring.

In addition to championship action, we also saw Emma on a date with Santino Marella. Unfortunately, there is no video of it online (that I can find).

Thoughts: I’ll talk about Emma and Santino first before talking about the main attraction. Remind me to never ask for pepper. This was actually funnier than I was expecting. I don’t mind Santino’s slapstick as long as it’s not too full-on and this was a good balance. Emma putting her napkin on and saying “Mmm, water” was hilarious. I’m not disliking the two being together as much as I thought I would! Could Emmarella fare better than Glamarella and Mariarella?

Onto the match and I really, really liked the ending. The start was a little slow and two thirds of the way in, I was starting to get sick of AJ’s constant reliance on sleeper holds, yet the finish was excellent. Breaking out of both submission finishers had me on the edge of my seat and I’m glad the audience were invested in it too. Tamina’s interference was different to the last title match on Main Event too, so I’m glad they didn’t just rehash that.

Onto the negatives, and I’m only going into the minor ones as I’ve discussed the major ones like AJ’s restholds and Natalya’s crying a lot already. The first was the way the match ended, with Tamina being the difference maker. I understand what they did and that was fine, yet it would have been cooler for the Brie and Nikki Bella to come out and take out Tamina after she helped AJ reach the ropes, only for Natalya to then blame them for distracting her, which ultimately made her lose. They teased tension between Tal and the twins on Raw, and with Total Divas back this Sunday, I’m surprised WWE didn’t shove it down our throats some more.

The final point I’d like to address is Natalya’s recent “comebacks” in matches. Her move sequences aren’t fluid and each move seems disjointed and I’d prefer to see a more flowing and speedy combination of moves. Even just holding onto her opponent between suplexes would help matters. Maybe I’m just being picky.

Overall, I’m giving a thumbs up to this week’s Main Event. As much as I think everyone is ready for AJ to drop the title, tonight wasn’t the right time. I’m hoping we get a six pack challenge at Mania with AJ facing Nikki, Natalya, Naomi, Tamina and Summer Rae. AJ and Tamina’s tension they sometimes have would be addressed, as well as the dislike all the other Divas have for AJ. Time is running out for AJ, and I’m hoping WWE end her historic reign in an interesting fashion come WrestleMania.

And with that, stay tuned, Jack will be back!

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