The storyline rift in the Bella Twins' relationship seems to have taken a turn for the better following two full weeks of utter embarrassment. WWE laid off the trashy sibling bickering this week and focused more on the wrestling aspect of the rivalry, which is what needed to be happening all along.
|Finally! Some wrestling.|
segments in recent Raw memory. I mean, it doesn't outshine Paige's heel turn or anything, but the match actually went a halfway decent amount of time.
More importantly, though, the pairing made sense. Neither team pretended to be particularly happy about the arrangement; they all had their separate goals. WWE has a tendency to throw girls together and force them into phony, bubbly, inexplicable friendships regardless of the fact that most of them have hated and warred with one another for years. AJ and Brie don't like one another, but they functioned as a team. As did Paige and Nikki, though much less conventionally.
|The skip in stereo.|
The match was somewhat plagued with those atrocious Diva rest holds I've ranted on and on about. They'd might as well have Justin Roberts stand in the middle of the ring during some of these Diva matches and inform everyone that now's the time to hit the restrooms and concession stands. But they properly promoted their spot at Night of Champions and I'm officially sold on the union of these two completely different narratives.
The last stop on the way to the triple threat title match at Night of Champions came when Nikki met Paige on Smackdown, with AJ Lee doing commentary once again. And as usual, the Divas segment on Smackdown was much more intriguing than what we saw on Raw.
I don't care what anyone says; Nikki and Brie Bella are both great wrestlers. I think because they weren't so amazing upon their debut years ago people have had difficulty looking at them objectively and noticing how they've grown, sort of like watching your own hair get longer every day in the mirror.
Paige won the match and another stare-down between her and AJ ensued, but Nikki was there to yank the Divas Championship belt out of their hands and nail them both with it. It was pretty damn cool.
I'm pumped for Sunday, but I don't have high hopes that WWE will handle this one well. A triple threat match needs to be faster-paced and more exciting than a singles contest and WWE just won't let the Divas go there. This one will definitely snooze the live audience. I love that the Divas are getting all kinds of screen time lately, but it needs an extra kick to liven things up and get people interested. It's fun watching the chemistry of Paige and AJ but it's time things got personal. You will never see two Superstars fight over who's baby the WWE World Heavyweight Title is.
Elsewhere on Raw, Cameron and Naomi, formerly known as the Funkadactyls, clashed in a rematch from a couple of months ago. It could have been a decent filler match if only poor, poor Cameron hadn't tried to pin Naomi while she was face-down. And she even yelled at the referee for not counting, as if he were the oblivious one.
|Aw. Oh, Cameron. You're bombing.|
But for crying out loud, at some point, after years of teaching these women, WWE must see some of these results and realize that sometimes it's just not meant to be. Some people just don't have it in them. Sure, I say that while I'm sitting on my ass behind a keyboard, but you know what? Announcers have been critiquing the product for a hundred years from behind a table. I want every Diva to do well, but let's face it: Cameron's had years of training and, while that's not enough for her to be wrestling on worldwide LIVE television, surely she should have the natural instinct to pin someone face-up by now.
Right? Am I being too critical? I guess everyone has an off day. Just this morning I poured water in the coffee pot, then straight into my cup. Maybe Cameron will be okay.
Charlotte is still the NXT Women's Champion following Takeover when she defeated Bayley. Her next challenge was Emma, whom she decisively defeated this week. It was a good match. Too short, but long enough for me to feel incredibly sad for how underused Emma has been since being called up to the main roster. It's just another example of how the phrase "called up" is completely misleading in regards to leaving NXT for WWE.
There have been a lot of NXT success stories, but the Divas in particular are regularly downgraded when being moved to Raw. The length of their matches is cut drastically and they're given next to no developmental attention save for whomever is involved in the Divas title picture, and even then the storylines are much less fleshed out than they should be.
Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks and others are doing some amazing stuff in NXT right now. Savor it, because the Paiges and Emmas are living evidence of the drop in WWE support once they're out of there.
|What's up with TNA's weird photo angles?|
It was a number one contender's battle royal featuring Rebel, Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Brittany, Madison Rayne, Taryn Terrell, and Havok. In theory, it was a nice way to get Havok over as dominant and an Awesome Kong-esque type of throwback threat to Gail Kim's Knockouts Championship.
In execution, however, the whole thing felt very... well, TNA.
Right off the bat, Havok should have eliminated a couple of people. Instead, she got tied up with Madison Rayne for a good long while, instantly depleting her appeal as a dominant monster. She won the match and got most of the eliminations, but those eliminations came in such anticlimactic fashion that they just had no impact, so to speak. She was working people out to the apron, then using a fist or a forearm to knock them out to the floor instead of, say, a Chokeslam. Velvet Sky was the last eliminated, and she was simply lifted over the top in a very unceremonious way.
So, there's our number one contender, looking much weaker than when she debuted two weeks ago. I'm still very much interested in the impending title match if for no other reason than because Gail Kim will wrestle a classic with just about anyone, let alone someone like Jessicka Havok. It's just unfortunate that we've already seen the kinks in the beast's armor.
Night of Champions is tomorrow, so you know next week's Divas Debrief is going to be a lengthy one. Remember to come back and check it out and FOLLOW ME on Twitter!