Superstars Spotlight: Preparedness Meets Succession
Last week we saw Jillian face off against Nikki in quite the memorable confrontation. Although upping her game, Jillian still ended up on the losing end. I know the devious Songstress had her sights set on revenge, so let's see how this nicely progressing feud continued tonight:
The Bellas come out first in referee uniforms (although not traditional, I like). So, we learn they're both going to referee the proceeding match up. Okay, then.
Next out are Primo and Jillian. Jillian looks really pissed when she comes out, and I can already tell whoever she's facing tonight is in for one hell of a beating. We find out who that poor soul is when Yoshi Tatsu and Gail Kim finally enter the arena all bubbly and bouncy. Of course, Gail looks absolutely gorgeous.
Now onto the match.
Jillian and Gail square off first, one of the Bellas exiting the ring so the other can referee. They tie up, Gail wrenching in a wrist lock, but Jillian just elbows her down and off. Jillian flips Gail by the hair, earning a two count and shooting a dirty look at the current Bella in the ring.
The ex-Divas Champ takes the former Women's Champ to the corner, hitting her in the face and segueing into a snap mare. Jillian kicks Gail in the back for good measure.
She whips the cat-like competitor to the ropes, prepping for an overhead take down but finding a kick to the face and a clothesline. This seems to be enough for Jillian because she hustles to her corner for a tag. After Primo creepily stares at Gail (akin to a pedophile, really), the men tussle a bit.
After a few back and forths Jillian decides to insert herself into the match, latching on to Yoshi's leg when he whips to the ropes. Yoshi kicks Primo away, and turnabout is fair play as Gail hits a nice flying head scissors on Primo from the top rope.
The men continue to take center stage until Primo tags Jillian in. The Songstress tries to mess around with Yoshi, but he simply kicks her away as Gail preps for something on the top rope. The former Women's Champion dives into a cross body, rolling out of it and following up with a clothesline and dropkick. As Jillian heads to the corner Gail nails her patented shoulder block-into-the-apron move.
She climbs to the top rope yet again, but Jillian meets her there before they jockey for position. Gail seems to get the advantage, flipping over Jillian and trying to power bomb her, but Jillie' has none of this, holding on to the ropes and then pummeling Gail with shots to the face.
Both women run at each other, hitting a double-clothesline. Yoshi and Primo meet in the ring, and as Yoshi goes to continue his onslaught on Primo Jillian jumps on his back keeping him from doing so. The Bella in the ring pulls her off. She yells at Jillian about her being the referee and such, and then out of nowhere Jillian just nails her in the face! You have to love that Jillian!
As the twins' sister enters the ring to try and maintain control Jillian hits her with an elbow as well! At this point the former Divas Champion is quite happy with her handiwork, but then Gail slickly rolls her into a schoolboy as the original Bella referee counts one, two, three faster than I can say it! Jillian looks on in disbelief as her competitors celebrate.
Well, we wanted more and we got it! Although Jillian keeps losing, she is made to look quite strong. Her beat downs never cease to impress, and I like that it was toned down some in this match. I would've loved to have seen Gail hit that flipping power bomb spot in the corner, and they teased it so well! But, alas, that just wouldn't be "Diva-like".
It's too bad, because I know Gail and Jillian have so much more stored in them that they can't show! The work they did do was good, and I like the pairing of Gail and Yoshi. It just makes sense to me. I wouldn't mind seeing them enter an angle together, but that's way too far-fetched.
Now it's time to kick this feud into overdrive. I know Jillian can get over, because she's done that on Smackdown and even so on Raw. The Bellas are also very likeable, and although their twin gimmick is definitely holding them back it's time to capitalize on it with this feud.
Someone needs to kick someone else's butt, and I suggest it be Jillian who rips the Bellas to shreds. As I said last week, after this feud is said and done with Jillian could enter into the main title picture. She's loaded with talent, and it's time WWE utilize it.
Later in the night we saw some Smackdown Diva action as LayCool teamed to take on the ever-lovely Team Blondetourage. Watch what went down below:
LayCool are out first, and of course look fabulous as ever. After the commercial break the Blondetourage makes it's entrance and both are sporting new outfits! Tiffany's is quite bright and eye-catching, while Kelly's is the polar opposite as it's simple and subdued. After some mocking from LayCool the bell rings. Michelle and Tiffany are squaring off first.
They lock up, and McCool takes Tiff' to the corner. Tiffany reverses, turning the tables and shoving Michelle against the turnbuckle. As the ref makes Tiffany relent Michelle shoves Tiffany's face, signaling her finding Tiffany a joke in the ring.
The former general manager takes advantage, quickly locking the co-Women's Champion in a gutwrench. She then transitions into a headlock, followed by a wristlock, and then an armtrap. The more experienced McCool uses Tiff's hair to then lock in a wristlock of her own.
She sends Tiffany off to the ropes but Tiffany reverses into another wristlock, pulling Michelle into an elbow to the face and then a drop toe hold. I'm loving the chain wrestling and mat wrestling being used in this match! It makes it feel like something big is building, which is why these wrestling maneuvers are usually used in lengthy match ups. It's done to build a story, and so far I like this story.
Tiffany stays on the attack, hitting a nice atomic drop and sending McCool to the corner after two clotheslines. The former ECW general manager follows up with a monkey flip and clothesline before locking Michelle in butterfly position and having Kelly tag in.
While Tiffany holds Michelle, Kelly jumps off the top rope, using the momentum to roll into a sunset flip pin for two. Michelle stays on her toes, though, kicking K2 in the midsection and ramming her in the back. She takes K2 to her corner, tagging Layla who shoves Kelly in the face and to the ground from her elevated position.
Michelle kicks Kelly and picks her up, flipping her back and over as Kelly tries to go for a kick. Kel' uses the momentum to hit Layla with a lou thesz press and rams her head into the mat. She tags Tiffany in, who then proceeds to whip Layla off by her hair and dropkick her.
Lay-Lay tries finding refuge on the outside, but Tiffany stays on her like a hungry cat who just spotted a mouse. She kicks the co-Women's Champion in the gut, sending her back into the ring. As Tiffany goes to the top rope Layla kicks one of her feet and hangs her up on it. Tiff' takes a tumble into the ring and Layla then gains a measure of revenge, digging Tiffany's head into the mat like Kelly did earlier to her.
The British champ slams Tiff's face to the mat a few times, then tagging in Michelle. Mitchie toys around with her opponent a bit, driving her knee into Tiffany's midsection multiple times and holding out her hand for Kelly to tag.
The vicious co-champ instead nails Kelly to the concrete floor, taking Tiffany to her corner where she double-teams her with Layla before tagging her in. The other half of LayCool chokes Tiffany with her foot, taunting her afterwards. Tiffany sees this as an opening, crawling trough the champ's legs and heading to Kelly.
Layla abruptly stops this, though, and locks Tiffany in a butterfly position. As Kelly riles up the crowd, reaching for the tag, Layla swats her hand away using her leg. As the referee is distracted McCool toys with Tiffany herself.
Michelle's tagged in, rouging Tiffany up until she finds another opening to try and crawl for a tag. The co-champ has none of this, however, and tags in her partner-in-crime who dropkicks Tiffany right in the back for a two. She goes on to whip Tiffany back to the mat using her hair. She misses a leg drop and Kelly finally gets the hot tag.
K2 storms the ring, ducking a clothesline and hitting two of her own before knocking McCool off the apron. Kelly bounces off of the ropes, going for a sunset flip and getting a two in return. She stays on the offense, though, hitting a face smash on Layla for two yet again.
Kelly picks Layla up, who then reverses, nailing her in the gut with a spin-kick. She sends her opponent to the corner, running at her and earning a kick to the face and clothesline for her troubles. As K2 runs the ropes Michelle tries to trip her up. Kelly shoves her off before reversing Layla's attempted attack into a a roll up.
Right before the ref's hand comes down to three Michelle enters the ring and Tiffany causes a distraction after trying to stop Michelle. The ref takes care of her as Michelle plants Kelly in the face with a big boot for Layla to steal the win.
Great match! I'm not going to lie, I really would've expected a lot more out of this match, due to how much experience all these ladies have facing each other, but it still turned out great. Kelly avoided using her typical head scissors and it panned out nicely. The ending was quite controversial, but that's what made it so good. Fake or not, the crowd went with it and it made the end that much more important.
Tiffany has honestly seemed to have peaked as a performer, because this match really felt like all the others she's had with LayCool. I'm not complaining, but I think she needs to further expand her move set before she has any sort of push in the future. As for her Blondetourage cohort, I knew she could do it! See?
I've always liked Kelly, I just took notice of the rut she was in. Smackdown seems to finally have broken her out of that complacent spot, and I think it's definitely showing. When she faces Layla at Money in the Bank I really hope she pulls out all the stops, and I hope WWE doesn't screw it up. Let these two put on a match. Let them wrestle. Because I know they can both do it, all you have to do is give them the platform.
Overall, I found Superstars to be quite gratifying this go-round. The women were given time, they were able to develop, and that's something rare in this era. WWE proved tonight that if given the platform, the Divas can actually put on good matches, and they can progress. The story lines and characters involved all grew tonight, and I really look forward to seeing more. It's all up to WWE now to give us more.
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