This week on WWE Smackdown, Layla, one half of Team LayCool, pinned Beth Phoenix in a 2 on 1 handicapped match and became the new WWE Women's Champion and the first Women's Champion of British descent. This kind of accolade is a long time coming for the 2006 Diva Search winner.
Over the last four years, Layla has been a part of a dance troupe, became the first Diva to be a part of all three brands, been both a heel and a face, and has worked on her in-ring skills as well as her persona. She really took off this past year after joining alliances with Michelle McCool, becoming Team LayCool, girls bent on embarrassing, humiliating, degrading and destroying anyone who comes in their way.
Though some would question putting the Women's Title on someone like Layla, it's actually a blessing in disguise. For one, Layla has the ability to get heat from the crowd. She's got a natural charisma and entertaining personality that can draw heat. She pays attention, and is constantly "in" the match. She sells great and always does her best to really work someone over.
Another good thing is that Layla can actually wrestle really good, and has been able when she is consistently wrestling. Go back a few years and watch her matches with Michelle McCool when she was a face. These two put on some solid matches. Even this past year Layla had some good, solid showings against Melina and Mickie James. I don't think she does good against someone who's not a good wrestler, but against a veteran, she does a solid job.
Layla as Women's Champion can also work because it will bring an end to LayCool. Obviously there will be strife between her and Michelle about who's champion, and McCool will most likely think Layla will just hand it over. Let's hope not. Although the group has been okay once and a while, let's face it: they're a knockoff a TBP and even other groups that came before them. But in the WWE PG Era, they really can't be as mean as possible, so the gimmick is a bit stale. Layla has pretty much the only one that's been remotely entertaining and interesting put of the group, so her splitting and disagreeing with McCool will be fun to watch. Fans could get solidly behind her if she were the one to bully McCool and tear her down.
Another reason it works is that it's a new and fresh step. Did anyone really want to see McCool as champion AGAIN? Didn't think so. Layla as champion does allow Kelly Kelly to step up and feud, though that may not necessarily a good thing. These two haven't ever really meshed well in the ring, mostly because they have nearly the same amount of ring time. But at this point, Kelly is the most over face in really all of the WWE, so it's necessary for her to be consistently on TV and in a feud. Layla herself might be able to turn face in a feud with McCool, but she works better as a heel. Plus, Melina(once she returns) or Gail Kim could be moved over to put a veteran over on the face side and both work with Layla well.
I will happily admit that I've been a major Layla fan since the Diva Search, and I'm happy the WWE put the title on her, and is seeing what she can do. At least we can say it's something different, right?