WWE No Way out 2012 Results: What Layla's Win over Beth Phoenix Means
At WWE's 2012 No Way Out pay-per-view, Layla El successfully defeated Beth Phoenix to retain her Divas Championship.
The shock finish came after the Diva Search winner hit her more larger foe with a impressive neck-breaker (or "The Lay-Out," as it is now apparently called) for the pin count.
The quality of match itself was largely fine. Granted, it didn't get nearly as much time as it should have, and the (flat) crowd at the Izod Center in New Jersey wasn't really into the action. But other than these issues, it was a perfectly respectable offering, with Layla's quick-thinking countering of Phoenix's gorilla press slam into an awe-inspiring DDT being one for the highlight reel.
So what can we deduce from Layla's strong victory at the show?
First of all, it likely indicates it is time for a new challenger for the Divas Championship.
After all, this is the second time in a row that Layla has bested "The Glamazon" on pay-per-view—she also managed to pull off a spotlessly clean victory over Phoenix at last month's Over the Limit event.
So, having now defeated her frequent foe twice, Layla really has no reason to face her again. What would be the point? Besides, judging by the lukewarm reaction they got here, it seems the vast majority of the fans are already tired of this program and want to see something fresh.
Thankfully, there are a wide array of options—on all three brands—for Layla's next opponent. For the (valid) complaints about the state of women's wrestling in the promotion, they do have a decent number of girls on the roster who would all make adequate challengers for the title.
Maybe the much-missed Kharma can make her long-awaited return to WWE's women division and start a feud with the current champion?
Or how about the conniving Eve Torres, currently a member of John Laurinaitis' administration? She could make her grand return as an active wrestler and go after Layla's belt.
Certainly, it would be interesting to see Eve wrestle again, especially considering the monster heel heat she currently garners in arenas all over the country.
It's hard for wrestling fans to get behind WWE's floundering divas division (the limited airtime the women's matches get allotted on Raw and Smackdown surely doesn't help). Maybe the presence of Eve can help turn things around?
Or, on Smackdown, there is third-generation diva Natalya. While they've never done much with her, she's easily one of the best female wrestlers the company has ever had. With enough airtime and support from the booking team, she and Layla could surely produce some terrific women's bouts that finally make people stand up and take notice of the long-ignored divas division.
There are also some new girls on the revamped NXT/FCW brand, like Paige or Kaitlyn, who would be interesting challengers for Layla (whether she would go on that brand to defend her title or they would make special appearances on Raw remains to be seen).
The result of the show also served to remind us of WWE management's faith in Layla. The former NBA dancer has been built up more than any other woman in recent times and is the first diva in a long time to come off as a credible wrestler and title-holder.
Ideally, this will continue. With her gorgeous looks, great mic skills and strong wrestling ability, she's one of the most talented and marketable women the company has ever had.
Ever since Trish Stratus retired as a full-time wrestler in late- 2006, WWE seem to have been searching up-and-down for "The Next Trish." Their attempts have so far come up short (anyone remember Ashley Massaro?), but, more than anyone else in recent years, Layla looks poised for this spot.
Summarily, Layla leaves No Way Out emboldened, as well as on the look out for a new challenger. Now let's just hope the booking team, who seem to have the women low on the priority list, can find her one.
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