The show may be called ‘WWE Superstars’ but it was all about the Divas last night, as we saw not one, but two good, solid matches from the Divas of Raw and SmackDown. Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that both matches are rematches from pay per views that have occurred in recent months and in both cases, I felt the matches were much better than those PPV outings.
We kick off the show with K2 with #1 Contender, Natalya in her corner. Can this be considered the new Blondetourage? (Come back, Skirt Tiffany!) Next out is Lay-Cool and they are referred to as ‘the strongest Diva alliance in WWE history’. That is quite possibly true.
As the bell rings, Layla begins working out in the ring, before screaming “Boo!” in Kelly’s face. If I didn’t find Layla totally adorable & hilarious, that would have been really lame. It’s a good thing you’re cute, Layla. Kelly finally has enough and slaps Layla straight across the face and it’s on! The two Divas tussle, grabbing each other’s hair and back into the ropes as the referee tries to break things up. Layla runs at Kelly going for a kick but Kelly counters into an atomic drop on the co-Unified Divas Champ. K2 then kicks Layla in the back of the knee, taking her down, and goes for a pin but no dice.
Kelly hits another kick, this time to the front and once again, goes for a cover but Layla kicks out. Layla scatters to the side of the ring seeking comfort from Michelle but Kelly is not far behind and begins stomping into Layla’s lower back. Kelly hits a forearm and attempts to whip Layla into the corner, Lay reverses and runs at K2 but gets a boot in the face. Kelly attempts a crossbody from the middle rope but Layla moves out of the way and K2 instead meets the canvas. Ouch! Layla goes for an opportunistic cover but Kelly kicks out.
Layla hits a snapmare followed by a low kick before applying a nice body-scissors. Layla cinches the submission in tightly and even rakes Kelly’s face. K2 fights back however, pulling Layla’s hair. Layla then expertly rolls over into a pin but they roll back over before a 3 count can be made. She goes for the pin again but at two, Kelly manages to break free and goes for a roll up over her own but Layla kicks her off. Layla then hits a low dropkick on Kelly. Lay then begins pulling at Kelly’s hair but gets an overhead kick from Kelly who then begins smashing her head face-first into the canvas.
A fired up Kelly is on her feet now and riles up the crowd to get behind her as she gains momentum with some offense. Kelly whips Layla into the ropes, but Layla manages to hit that impressive cradle pin on Kelly and nearly has the match won but K2 kicks out.
As the Divas get to their feet, Kelly has the upperhand as she hits the X-Factor with authority and this time, she nearly has the match won but the champion kicks out at the last second.
Layla now hits a low spinning kick to Kelly’s knee, taking her down and then slams her head first against the canvas. Layla then arrogantly positions her opponent into a Sharpshooter, mocking Natalya at ringside by insinuating she has a beard. Layla, however, takes too long going for the submission and Kelly manages to roll her up into a small package but Lay kicks out.
Kelly then hits a hard clothesline on Layla which sends her out of the ring and into Natalya’s direction. Uh oh! Lay sees Nattie and decides to hedge her bets and jump back into the ring. Kelly tries to grab Layla’s hair on the apron but instead, Layla grabs her head and guillotines her neck off the top rope sending Kelly hurtling down to the canvas.
Layla gets back up on the apron while the referee checks on Kelly. Meanwhile on the outside, the usually good natured Natalya goes rogue, chop-blocking Layla’s knee and taking her down. *Gasp* Naughty Nattie! Perhaps a measure of revenge for shoe-gate?
The interference disorientates Layla and allows Kelly to roll her up for the 1, 2, 3! Kelly and Natalya outsmart the devious and delicious Lay-Cool on this night.
Highly enjoyable match here. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Kelly and Layla and this match was much better than their bout at Money in the Bank back in July. This was a lengthy match by Diva standards and allowed both girls to show what they can do. I enjoyed the constant near falls as it made you sit on the edge of your seat in a way, thinking that one of the Divas has the match won — but oh wait, a kick out! Good stuff. I really think Kelly has improved in the past few months and isn’t relying as much on her usual flashy repertoire of constant head scissors etc. The match was solid and told a good story. Great work from both.
As for Natalya using a heel-like tactic in taking out Layla, I’m always on the fence when a babyface acts heel-ish, especially when it comes to the Divas who are given little opportunity to be anything other than a shiny, happy, smiley face. If they had developed Nattie’s character a little more, making her more of a tweener, I think stuff like this could work. Natalya really is a force to be reckoned with in the ring and I think she’d be a much better tweener than babyface. It’d allow her to use any measure necessary to get her own back on the heels, even resorting to cheating, sort of like a ‘take no nonsense’ character. I think the fans could get behind that as she’s a face but unafraid to get her hands dirty.
But the focus of this match should be on Kelly and Layla, so I’ll end this by giving them kudos once again.
Out comes Melina first to a big applause. According to Melina, the crowd was incredibly lively in the arena on Monday night when the match was taped and it comes across on screen. Feeling the love for Melina here. She may not be getting a push right now, but is still extremely popular. Next is Foxy and her NXT Rookie Diva, Maxine (or Maxy, as we will now call her — Foxy & Maxy!) in a questionable red cowl-neck. (It’s not Christmas yet, Maxy!)
The bell rings and Melina goes for a lock up but Alicia is lightning fast and side-steps Melina and clocks her with a forearm. That girl is quick on her feet! Fox begins to wrench Melina’s arm but the five-time champion rolls through and hits a really unique move — she goes into a splits and then hits an overhead armdrag. Nice innovation there.
The A-List Diva locks in her own armbar submission and goes for the pin but Fox rises her shoulders off the mat. Alicia begins rising to her feet while Melina still has the armbar locked in. Fox backs Melina into the ropes and hits her with a knee strike into her stomach and clubs her across the back.
Half of Melina’s body is now outside the ropes and Fox uses this to her advantage, pulling on her hair. The referee breaks up the illegal move and Alicia is booed for her unsportsman-like conduct. Bad Foxy!
Alicia walks into a nice kick to the stomach from Melina. Now it’s Alicia’s turn to be stretched over the ropes and Melina wraps her arms and legs around her for good measure, choking her out. The move is broken up but Melina has just enough time to hit a knee, keeping momentum as the two move back into the ring. Melina goes for an irish whip into the ropes but Fox counters. Melina is in the corner and Fox runs at her but she manages to jump through the ropes Gail-style as Alicia runs into the turnbuckles. Melina hits a stiff forearm from the outside and climbs up the turnbuckles but wait — Rookie Maxine in her Christmas sweater pulls Melina’s leg down. Some nerve, right? You’re not a Diva yet, Maxine. Maxy gets her just desserts as Melina kicks her in the face. Oops. Never send a Rookie to a Diva’s work.
While Melina is distracted by the Rookie, Alicia takes the advantage by knocking Melina off the apron and sends her down to the floor outside. Fox rolls Melina back into the ring and goes for the pin but no three. Fox, holding Melina’s arm, whips her into the ropes and then knees her as she rebounds before kicking her while she’s down.
Aicia then steps on Melina’s hair and has what I can only describe as an epileptic hair fit. Oh Alicia. Between that and Layla’s ballet earlier, I’m beginning to wonder if the hairspray in the Divas lockerroom is intoxicating.
Alicia whips herself off the ropes and goes for a knee to the head but Melina rolls out of the way and hits a flapjack on Fox. Melina picks up momentum with some clotheslines and her patented hair smash. Fox retreats to the ring ropes which segues into another Melina trademark — her running knee surfboard move.
Fox then counters a whip into the corner, but as she runs at Melina, the A-Lister uses the ropes to hoist herself up and climbs onto Alicia’s back for the Last Call. Alicia however hits a fantastic counter, by locking her arms under Melina and hitting the Gory Bomb made famous by Chavo Guerrero. What a move!
Fox goes for the pin and seemingly has the match won but Melina kicks out at the last second. Fox then sets up Melina for her patented axe kick but Melina moves out of the way. Melina hits a backslide on Fox but not content with just that — she jumps over between Fox’s legs into her own unique pin combination for the pin and that concludes this great bout.
Well, Melina said that she felt this match was pay per view quality and indeed, it was. Much better than their match together at SummerSlam. This seems to be a recurring theme on this week’s show, as I felt Layla vs Kelly was much better than their PPV match too.
Melina and Alicia have had mixed luck in terms of chemistry — some of their recent work hasn’t been great, however I really enjoyed their work on SmackDown in early 2009 and also their match on this very show last December. This was perhaps their best match together yet. There were some top notch moments in this match — Alicia’s use of the devastating Gory Bomb, for example. That definitely needs to be added to her arsenal.
Speaking of arsenals, Melina’s already extensive move-set saw the addition of that impressive splits-into-armdrag that I’m hoping to see more of (if you’re reading this Melina, cough cough…) and also her unique pin combination.
Highly enjoyable match and a solid night for the Divas. Both matches were good and the Divas really owned the night. In fact, now that I think about it, this has been a pretty good week for the Divas from that strong promo on Raw, the Naomi vs Alicia on NXT to two good matches on Superstars. It shows that when given the opportunity to talk or have lengthier matches, the Divas can deliver.