Going into Money In the Bank, Smackdown had all the build while Raw got the backseat treatment. Eve versus Alicia was made in one week, and expected to be a filler, while Kelly vs. Layla was expected to shine. Did the Raw girls top Smackdown? Or was the Blue Brand too hyped not to deliver more?
Eve vs. Alicia
Eve is out first to a great pop, and in one of her gold and orange super-hero outfits.
Next out is Alicia in a great black outfit to a pretty good reaction, actually. So far the girls look fabulous, and I'm totally pumped for the match.
The bell rings and the usual tie up commences. The Foxy Champ shoves Eve against the ropes, glaring at her evilly. The ref makes Alicia back up and the champ instead flips Eve over and on to the ground. Alicia piles on top of her challenger, still holding the collar and elbow, and as the women stand up Eve does the same flip move on Alicia, but does not pile on top.
The women study each other before locking up again. Eve goes into a headlock, being whipped to the ropes and coming back at Alicia with a shoulder block for two. Eve, the challenger, then ducks a clothesline, going for a jackknife cover that gets her yet another two. Finally, Eve reverses a clothesline into a sunset flip for another two before hitting a dropkick on the champion.
The Foxy One heads to the corner, but finds no refuge as she's hit with a pretty sloppy clothesline from Eve. She's sent to the corner but reverses, sending Eve there instead. She runs at her to find an elbow to the face, and as Eve sets up a jumping DDT, reverses the move by pulling her legs from under her to slam her to the mat. Good selling from Eve here as she heads to the outside for some recovery time.
Alicia gives her no time, however, following Eve to the outside, but finding another elbow to the face. Eve, the former champion goes after Alicia, but finds her back planted against the side of the ring awkwardly.
Alicia drags Eve harshly into the ring by her hair, going for the cover and receiving two. Alicia then flings Eve to the ropes before hitting her in the back twice. She places Eve's back on her knee, pushing Eve's head back with the palm of her hand.
Eve fights out of it, only to be put in the same position again by a backbreaker. She fights out again, this time coming back at the Foxy Champion with a knee to the gut and shots to the face. She swings Alicia to the ropes, but instead ends up there herself before being hit with a vicious tilt-a-whirl backbreaker that gets a decent crowd reaction.
Alicia only got two, but I think a lot of people had to watch that back. I know I did!
The champion yelps something at the crowd before locking Eve in a submission maneuver where her arms are yanked behind her while her back is tortured by Alicia's knee. She fights nearly out of it, but is hit in the back with another knee from Alicia instead. The former champion flips over and out of the submission, then using her feet to launch Alicia overhead and into the mat.
This allows Eve some time to gather herself. She hits Alicia a few times, ducking out of a hit herself and then bouncing off the ropes and into a nice crossbody. Eve goes for the pin but receives only two. The women are unaffected, and as both get up, Eve remains in control, nailing two slick dropkicks. As she goes for a suplex, though, her back gives out!
I am loving the selling of the back here! I think it adds an extra layer to the match, and makes it that much more interesting.
Eve goes forward still. She knocks Alicia to the ground with two nicely-placed kicks before hitting her beautiful standing moonsault that elicits a great pop from the crowd. Alicia kicks out of the pin attempt, nailing Eve in the face with a kick of her own. Eve heads to the corner, knocking Alicia to the floor with another pair of boots, the second being quite flashy. She goes to the second rope, and in a really interesting spot goes for her somersault splash from the second rope! Alicia gets her knees up in time, and Eve finds herself in a world of pain as the crowd gives their biggest pop of the night!
Stupid Matt Striker yelped just as it happened, and this keeps you from fully hearing the crowd.
Thanks a lot, Matt!
Whatever, that spot was fantastic, and definitely pushing the boundaries in this new era of 'Diva'. Back in the match Alicia measures Eve, hitting her patented Axe kick fiercely for the win.
That match surpassed all of my expectations! It was certainly good, and they got some great crowd reactions throughout, so overall it passed for me. One of the best things about PPV matches, or matches that peak a feud, is that you don't have to think about anything else but the ring work. It's what you've been waiting for from the start, so you don't have to think about anything else besides the match itself.
And since this is the case, let me just say, that match was great! It was smart of them to focus on Eve's back, because it built a story.
The fighting challenger had to surpass the odds of her injury to overcome the champ, but in the end the sly champion was too much for Eve.
It was perfect!
The sickest spot I've seen come out of Eve was also placed here. She jumped from the second rope into two knees! Can you imagine how much that must've hurt?!
Although the build wasn't really there, this match definitely satisfied me. I would say this is Eve's best WWE match to date, as well as Alicia's. Now that this little mini-feud is over where does WWE go from here? Do they continue on with this feud? Or does Melina come back for the save? Maybe Gail Kim can be inserted into the picture? I think they should have Melina in Morrison's corner, and then turn Jillian face.
We know Jillian can wrestle. We know she can talk. And we know she has all the tools needed to get over, as she already is over with the crowd.
So, what does WWE have to do, really?
All they have to do is come up with a decent angle where Jillian turns face. Maybe have her team with Alicia and then be screwed by having Alicia walk out? It's simple and effective, as seen in the past with Beth and Melina. Then Alicia can see herself above any other WWE Diva, and there you go! A simple way to start up a feud between the two. Plus, Raw hasn't had a nice, long, Divas feud in a year an a half!
Natalya vs. Tamina
This could set them straight again!
Later on Natalya managed the Harts against the Uso's and Tamina. In a nice spot that got them a pretty big pop, Natalya bodyslammed Tamina on the outside.
Pretty good. I liked the little interference there from Tamina, but she could've done a little more! I mean, really? That's it? You stand on the apron and then what? Well, it was still good, and both women looked gorgeous!
Moving on, later Maryse was in Ted Dibiase's corner. She took her spotlight for just a few moments.
Maryse checks on her beau, Ted, before getting on the ring apron and studying the ring before taking her heels off and setting up the ladder. She tentatively begins to climb as the crowd watches on in shock. She's trying to grab the briefcase for her man, but John Morrison of course makes it in in time to stop her. The crowd pops as it seems he might hurt her, but then the attention is turned back to the men as Ted takes advantage of the situation to go for the briefcase.
Well, that was a nice little spot! It built up Maryse's character a little more while still progressing her relationship with Ted Dibiase. It showed that she's willing to go that far for her man and her money. Remember, Ted said that he was going to shower Maryse in money and such if he won the briefcase, so of course Maryse went after it hoping to get her payoff. It would've been funny afterwards if Ted rejected her for taking the briefcase for him. But, I digress.
It's also good to note that there was a great opportunity to bring Melina in here. You could've had her return to help John Morrison by taking Maryse out. I understand she isn't medically cleared to wrestle, but that doesn't mean she can't do some things. This is why Melina could've been managing John for weeks now! I think it would've been an epic return, and definitely one of the better ones n recent women's wrestling history.
Kelly vs. Layla
Finally, the last Divas action of the night took place when Kelly went up against Layla for the Women's Title.
Kelly is out first to a nice pop with her Blondetourage cohort, Tiffany. Kelly looks great, but Tiffany? Not so much...Anyways, a replay of her backstage segment with Layla a few weeks back is shown and then cue LayCool entering. I kind of like Layla's outfit, but it feels like too much is going on. The color is gorgeous, even if just a tad too dark. Maybe its all the strapping?
In any case, the bell rings and we're underway.
Kelly's already shrieking as Layla drives her into the corner. A shove from Layla elicits a ear-piercing yelp from Kelly and a lou thesz press. Kelly continually smashes Lay-Lay's head against the mat before nailing her in the face and throwing her to the ropes. Layla reverses but gets a kick to the face anyhow. Kelly continually shrieks as she slaps and rams Layla's head into the turnbuckle.
She signals the crowd, receiving a nice reaction, and then goes for her handspring elbow in the corner.
As per usual, she misses, then kicking her opponent in her face. She goes for a victory roll, getting two, and then kicks Layla right out of the ring. As she heads over to the champ Layla smartly pulls the ring apron, causing Kelly's leg to fall through and her body to crash down onto the mat. Layla kicks and pounds Kelly's leg, heading into the ring to do the same.
Layla tries to damage Kelly some more, pulling on her leg using the rope. The ref pulls her back and as Michelle taunts Kelly there seems to be a miscommunication. The champion dropkicks Kelly, perhaps accidentally, right onto her teammate!
She goes on, however, throwing Kelly into the barricade strongly. Michelle sits on the barricade, maybe indicating she's 'above', so to speak, Kelly? She taunts the crowd, actually getting a face reaction.
Michelle taunts Kelly some more before being shoved into the crowd by a yelping K2. That was a nice spot, and it got a great reaction, but man Kelly's yelling is annoying!
Miss El' tries going after Kelly, only to find herself on the end of two clotheslines in the ring. K2 goes for a jackknife cover and gets two. The co-Women's Champion gains control momentarily in the corner, but finds herself in the Kelly Killer.
Apparently Michelle was supposed to hook Layla's leg on the rope to render the move useless, but obviously there was another miscommunication here.
Tiffany and Kelly take Michelle out of the equation, tackling her to the floor, but as Kelly goes for a sunset flip pin Layla hooks her legs for the win, and thank God!
The match, to me, was not fitting for a PPV. It just felt a bit draggy, and more befitting on a Smackdown show rather than PPV. When Layla worked over Kelly's leg a little, they could've went with that. You could've had Layla work over Kelly's leg ala' Eve and Alicia, and a higher quality match could've been turned out.
It's saddening, because this was the match that was more focused on, but in the end it flopped!
It's even more saddening because the bad spots were Layla's fault! She seemed to be off tonight, and it's unfortunate because I toot her so much! If anyone could've carried Kelly to a good match, as seen a few weeks back, it was her. Add to that the fact that they worked together over in ECW before and it makes the whole match seem like a mess!
Now, Layla might've been bad tonight, but Kelly was great! She hit her spots nicely, and never seemed to miss a beat at all. She looked great, and aside from that ear-piercing, hellacious, utterly annoying, incessant shrieking, everything was on point with her. So kudos to you, Kelly!
The outside action pretty much overshadowed the in-ring action, so kudos also go out to Michelle and Tiffany.
Overall, this match was really boring, laggy, and disappointing. Now the PPV for the Divas as a whole was great, and two matches is better than one! Hopefully WWE will only go up from here, but knowing them it'll probably go downhill fast.
Here's to hoping I'm wrong!