Well, folks, WWE's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is now over, and we were treated to some truly great wrestling tonight. Natalya and Michelle McCool, who engaged in a battle for the Unified Divas Championship, are certainly no exceptions to that rule. If you saw the show, you already know that Natalya won via disqualification thanks to Layla tossing her shoes into the ring. Therefore, the third-generation grappler did not gain the title.
There are definitely 10 things we learned from tonight's contest, and without further ado, let's get to them.
Watching Natalya in the ring really tells you a story. Not only is she an incredibly skilled wrestler, she is also amazing at selling for her opponent! Of course, it's only been recently that we've gotten the privilege of seeing her in matches again due to her being used as a valet for the longest time, but tonight was definitely a treat. Natalya was dominated for a period of time, especially early in the bout, and she did a terrific, highly convincing job of making the much less powerful Michelle McCool appear dominant and strong. Perhaps there's something in McCool's contract that states her opponents MUST sell for her like there's no tomorrow, but Natalya is simply amazing at selling. I think this shone through most brightly when McCool reversed her first Sharpshooter attempt into her heelhook submission maneuver. In reality, it doesn't look the least bit painful, but the Canadian diva made it look excruciating. That's true talent for you.
Natalya is definitely in the top three as far as the most talented divas in the WWE are concerned. Come to think of it, she may just rank at number one. Along with that talent, she has the ability to carry a less talented competitor to a truly great match and make her look even better in the ring than she really is.
Don't get me wrong—I fully acknowledge that Michelle McCool is a good wrestler. However, there are definitely several other women in the WWE who are better than her. She really didn't do much of anything spectacular during tonight's title match, but Natalya pretty much made her look like a million bucks.
Tonight's divas match was longer than the customary five minutes, as, sadly, more often than not, the WWE seems to treat them as fillers. There was a good amount of time for a buildup during Natalya vs Michelle McCool, with Layla of course involved in the mix on the outside. All three got to tell their proverbial story with their actions during the match. Is this a sign that the WWE may actually be starting to view women's matches as more important? Let's hope so.
Like it or not, Michelle McCool actually needs Layla.
Why, you ask? Well, there are a couple of reasons: One, Layla is her only means of getting over in any way, and two, a win against someone the likes of Natalya Neidhart would be highly unconvincing without someone in her corner.
Yes, this one's about Layla yet again.
Whether you like it or whether you don't, Layla is more entertaining than Michelle McCool. Yes, it's true, to quote Kurt Angle once upon a time.
Much like her performance during the eight-diva tag match on SmackDown!'s debut on Sy Fy this past Friday, Layla definitely outshone her LayCool partner. She proved her worth outside the ring during Natalya's title shot tonight, and definitely earned the heat she received from the fans. McCool alone isn't enough to get that kind of crowd reaction.
OK, I am going to sort of contradict my first slide, so be forewarned...
It is unconvincing that Michelle McCool could dominate anyone in the ring. I'm sorry, but she's too skinny, bony, and needs to put on a few pounds of bulk and muscle before I can truly believe that she's trapped a much more substantial woman in a submission hold. It made me have flashbacks to Beth Phoenix's Women's Championship match against her in the Extreme Makeover match at Extreme Rules back in the spring. I just don't buy it.
I still say Natalya is amazing at selling, though.
This fact speaks even more loudly after tonight than ever. LayCool looks to be more than intact, and it's looking more and more doubtful that they'll ever split up. But Michelle needed Layla in order to retain her title, because if it were her against Natalya for real, she would be in serious trouble.
Given the DQ outcome of tonight's Unified Divas Championship match, Natalya should certainly receive another chance to gain the belt. For the WWE to not grant her that and just let it stay as is would be preposterous. Hopefully, she will get another shot at the championship and not get buried like I expected she would tonight.
In spite of the fact that Natalya gained the opportunity to face Michelle McCool for the Unified Championship, it seems that the WWE women's division is still in poor shape. Last Divas champion Melina was buried in her last three matches, and Natalya most likely wasn't even considered as a possible winner in tonight's pay-per-view. That speaks volumes about how the WWE views its female wrestlers.
Despite the fact that they actually had a woman more than worthy to be number one contender for the Unfied Divas Championship at Hell in a Cell, the WWE really don't want to take the title off of McCool. Evidently, they would rather have someone tenfold talented than her win via DQ and therefore have no chance of becoming champion. Isn't that a crying shame?