At WWE's Elimination Chamber, with her powerful GlamSlam finisher, Beth Phoenix managed to retain her Divas Championship over challenger Tamina Snuka in a hard-fought contest that managed to be the best WWE women's match in a long, long time.
Indeed, in recent times, frustrated fans have grown accustomed to short, sloppy women's matches filled with botches and miscues. This, along with an indifferent booking team that refuses to treat the women as anything more than an afterthought, is partly why the division has devolved into the dreadful state it has.
Thankfully though, at the pay-per-view, Phoenix and Snuka both worked incredibly hard to churn out a hard-hitting, very solid bout that went much longer than your average women's match in WWE (7:16). It featured some great. memorable moments too: Tamina's Snuka Spash from the top rope being the most notable.
While the more experienced Beth capably carrying most of the action, Tamina's performance here should also be commended. While still a green performer, she wrestles with a smoothness and competence that most of the models-turned-divas lack.
Indeed her performance in this match easily outstrips most of what we've seen from Kelly Kelly, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox over the last year. Even Phoenix took to her Twitter account after the match was over to praise her foe's performance.
This may not be not be surprising considering that, unlike most of the other women who were signed from either magazines of Diva Search, the second-generation diva has been around the business her entire life (she's WWE legend Jimmy Snuka's daughter, of course, something which the promotion has smartly played up heavily during her title chase). Certainly, WWE have something special in Tamina, and hopefully they can capitalize on it soon.
Aside from being a good and well-exectuded in-ring match, the bout also helped build up Beth Phoenix's credibility for her inevitable clash with monster heel Kharma (possibly at next month's WrestleMania) event.
Since winning the title from Kelly Kelly at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view last year, Phoenix has struggled greatly to catch on as Divas Champion. Her problems stem mainly from a lack of TV time and a division in which she has few fresh challengers. That her hastily formed heel tandem ("Pin Up Strong") with the equally under-used Natalya Neidhart went nowhere sure doesn't help matters either.
Hopefully, this Tamina match has helped remedy some of that, and she is on her way to being relevant in WWE again.
Summarily, with its competent in-ring work and its work to advance the careers of both women, the Phoenix/Tamina match at the Elimination Chamber can be considered a success. And, who knows? Maybe we get a rematch somewhere down the road.
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