We've survived Jerry Springer and the Bella Twins. We thought it would be sad, but it actually turned out to be fairly devastating.
|And this is where we are.|
Things are starting to get redundant at this point. Yeah, Nikki's great with the heel stuff, but it's the same heel stuff all the time. It's been the same promo week after week and we're now four weeks beyond SummerSlam and not a damned thing has happened in this rivalry. Jerry did very well; much better than celebrity guests tend to fair. I like him quite a bit, actually. But, oh my god. Trish Stratus would be rolling over in her grave.
|Hmm. Yep, when I watch the replay it's even worse the second time.|
The sad fact is no one is watching Smackdown. I highly doubt the casual Mondayers are tuning in Friday night to see a less impactful version of Raw. There's been a running theme for years now that no major story events go down on Fridays; it's the way WWE has built Smackdown since the consolidation of the brands (which I will loathe and grieve over until the end of my days) and it's the reason I literally only tune in to the blue show to see the Divas.
Paige and AJ at least served the title picture in proper fashion on Monday when they teamed together against Natalya and Rosa, who are still doing their mentor/pupil shtick. Rosa got selfish with the tags in an effort to prove herself, but got owned when AJ Lee tagged in and made her tap out.
Postmatch, Paige and AJ took turns literally making out with the Divas Championship belt. It was weird. It was awesome.
|Charisma and chemistry are rampant between these two.|
Paige defeated Summer Rae on Smackdown with AJ Lee's Black Widow finisher. AJ returned the favor by attacking Layla with the Paige Turner. Again, I wish I could find the words to express how delightful it is to watch Paige in her role. She has mastered it and I think she's earned the crown as the current top heel Diva. I hope her title reign lasts for a good long while.
By the way, why can't WWE decide if Summer Rae and Layla are heels or babyfaces?
Anyway, the story of the week is easily the NXT Women's Championship match from Takeover on Thursday. It's been said for a long time now, but it bears repeating that NXT is the finest example of mainstream American wrestling. The entire show was just phenomenal and Charlotte versus Bayley was billed as the co-main event, which is a big deal.
You won't see this quality of wrestling out of pros like Charlotte and Bayley once they make it to Raw, not until some major overhaul takes places. The main roster Divas division is in better shape now than it's been since Trish Stratus and Lita retired, but there is still lots of work to do; WWE's hard-working female athletes are nowhere near getting the respect they deserve.
What we can hope for is that, since NXT is promoted as the future, we'll eventually see matches like Charlotte/Bayley on Raw. It was thrilling. The prediction was that Charlotte would drop the NXT Women's Title and be prepped for a jump to the main roster. What happened instead was Charlotte retaining, but in such a way that really had Bayley come out looking like a serious fighter despite her charming demeanor, Following Charlotte's win, Sasha Banks strutted to the ring and assaulted a tired, helpless Bayley but was stopped by the Champ. Charlotte threw Sasha across the ring and just left, showing signs of new respect for Bayley and perhaps making a babyface turn.
So Charlotte's still the Champion, but this actually makes a lot of sense if she's still to be called up. That she might be embracing the crowd soon does seem to bode well for a possible pairing with her father, Ric Flair, because there's no way she's getting booed with the Nature Boy at her side. I really hope they're planning to go in that direction because having Flair active with the WWE Divas could help bring a lot of attention and respect to an often sideshow division.
The match at Takeover will draw obvious comparisons to Charlotte's instant classic with Natalya, but this one stands on its own for Bayley going in as the underdog instead of Charlotte and for the individual narrative it told. There should be no argument by any stretch of the imagination that this was the women's match of the week and possibly the best since that five-star encounter at the inaugural Takeover.
I was disappointed to see there wasn't a lot of Knockouts action on Impact following last week's riveting title match and the debut of Havok. Velvet Sky teamed with The BroMans to take on The Menagerie in six-person tag action, but the presence of Velvet and Rebel was rather short and silly. Otherwise, we only got a fleeting moment with the women of TNA this week but it did cover a couple of important bases.
|This. Was. Awful.|
But the real story came when Havok made her second appearance for the company by interrupting Velvet's celebration. Upon making her entrance, Havok was rushed by Gail Kim, of whom she easily disposed. She then stepped up onto the ring apron and was greeted by Brittany, who got a Chokeslam for her efforts. Havok apparently only wanted the Knockouts Championship, because once she got her hand on the belt she turned and left without harming anyone else. I think she thinks she won it just because she picked it up or something.
Whatever's going on, I anxiously await the inevitable Gail Kim/Havok match in a very Kim/Kong type of way. Also, I hope TNA takes this opportunity to use the Beautiful People to show WWE how the Bella Twins split should have gone down.
Aside from the awesome NXT Women's Championship match at Takeover, it was a pretty slow week in women's wrestling. Join me next week as we prepare for Night of Champions and FOLLOW ME on Twitter!