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WWE Superstars Redux (March 18th, 2016): Vying for the Tap Out

It’s time for another Superstars Redux! In a rematch to the last Divas match to take place on this show, Natalya takes on Summer Rae.

Will Natalya defeat her Total Divas foe again, or can Summer recapture the magic that allowed her to pick up that shocking win over Paige last month? Let’s watch:

Off the bell, they start with a tie-up, Natalya taking Summer to the mat with aside headlock. Summer turns the tables with a headscissors, which Natalya quickly kips out of. They tie up again and Natalya turns it into a hammerlock on Summer before rolling her up for a pin attempt. Summer kicks out, but Natalya stays on her, locking in a waistlock. Summer gets to her feet and fights free, knocking Natalya off her feet and flipping into a pin attempt. Natalya bridges out, locks her arms into Summer’s and pulls her into a backslide pin. Summer kicks out.

The Divas’ arms stay locked and they get to their feet together. Summer spins free and strikes first, but her kick is caught. She begs Natalya not to do anything with her in this compromising position, but Natalya doesn’t listen, sweeping Summer’s leg out from under her and causing her to land face-first on the mat. Natalya runs the ropes, stepping over Summer along the way, and returning to plant a dropkick to her chest.

Natalya tries to grab Summer by the legs, but she frantically grabs hold of the ropes, forcing Natalya to let her go. She uses the ropes to create distance between them, calling for a time out. Natalya charges at her, but Summer moves behind the referee, blocking her way again. When Natalya charges once more, Summer sends her into the corner, stomping her to the mat. She pulls Natalya away from the ropes and goes for the pin, but Natalya’s arm causes a rope break.

Summer drags Natalya away from the ropes even farther and takes hold of her left leg, dropping to the mat with it. She then locks in her signature leg submission, which she switches into a mounted position, using a boot to pin Natalya’s shoulders to the mat. Natalya tries to fight free with a slap to Summer’s face and manages to flip her over, reversing the hold. Summer manages to grasp the bottom rope and break the hold quickly.

Summer gets to her feet and takes down Natalya with clothesline. She goes for the pin, but it’s not enough. Summer scolds the referee, allowing Natalya to surprise her with a pin attempt. Summer kicks out and immediately doubles Natalya over with a kick to the midsection. She locks in another leg submission, stranding Natalya in the center of the ring. After a few moments of agony, Natalya uses her legs to get free.

When both Divas are on their feet, they exchange slaps and Natalya gets fired up, taking Summer down with a side Russian leg sweep and then attempting to lock in the Sharpshooter. Summer fights free and hits a spinning heel kick. She covers Natalya, but only earns a near fall. Summer argues with the referee over the count before going for a leg drop. Natalya rolls out of the way and springs to her feet, immediately locking in the Sharpshooter. Summer taps out!

Thoughts: That was a fun match! Though we saw this same bout two weeks ago, it still felt fresh, thanks to Nattie and Summer’s ingenuity. The dynamic was the same, but the action was different enough to feel like this was a combination they were building on rather than repeating for lack of other options.

Summer’s return to the ring has gone better than I ever expected – I bet she’s wrestled more matches in the past few weeks than she did in the whole of 2015. I mean, she wrestled twice this weekend alone. And man, she’s improved a ton. She’s quick, comfortable and infuses her character into everything she does. Her expanded moveset is great, too – the leg-focused submissions are unique and play up her legs as her primary weapon. In a way, it’s what I imagine Stacy Keibler‘s moveset could have been, had she been a Diva today. Both had “dancing Diva” personas, but that was never the extent of their characters. Summer’s gone far beyond what Stacy ever showed us, though, so the comparison kind of ends there. I’m just so glad to see Summer finally get her due, since 2015 was so unkind to her, what with all of her dropped storylines.

Natalya was, as always, a treat to watch. She’s such a pro, I bet you could put her in the ring with just about anyone and she’d put together a decent match. Of course, she deserves more than to be a “good hand” for the division, but her contributions on that front don’t go unnoticed. On the horizon is a potential WrestleMania match, in which I’m sure she’ll play a pivotal role. Long gone are the days of Nattie sitting on the sidelines during the Diva Revolution. Though, the way things are shaping up, we may be witnessing the true Diva Revolution right now. How appropriate would it be for Natalya to have laid the groundwork?

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