Saturday, 21 April 2012

Week In Review For Women's Wrestling #43

Ello ello ello old chaps and welcome to a special edition of the wrestling week, the majority of which took place in merry old England. I may not live there anymore but it's still very close to my heart so you can imagine how excited I get whenever WWE tours Europe. Chances are if I still lived there, I'd be seen at a lot more tapings. Now then the UK episodes of plenty of goodness in some areas and a bit of disappointment in others. Thankfully the wrestling that took place outside of England picked up the slack and delivered where most of the stuff was lacking. Oh and there was a PPV as well.

Lockdown - Gail Kim* vs Velvet Sky (Steel Cage; Knockouts Championship):
Very disappointing match. Honestly, I much preferred their last PPV match to this one and even that wasn't a terribly good one. This felt more like a special title match you'd get on Impact and less like something people would be willing to shell out their money for. I watched the match several times and the cage was not used once. Judging from how Impact went this week, their feud *is* continuing and of course everyone's question was "how do you move on from a cage match". Obviously TNA's answer was "make the cage match completely boring and forgettable". If the Divas had gotten a cage match (we should be so lucky) you can bet they'd have big move after big move and all manner of impressive spots. The only actual contact made with the cage was when Gail missed her crossbody through the ropes. Excitement, girls! Also, the actual wrestling had its problems as well. Gail took control far too soon and just dominated about 75% of the match. Velvet opens with roll ups and all of a sudden Gail's got the power over her? The hope spots were uninspiring and the comeback nearly saved it from being a complete flop. I'll say the actual moves were done well and I did like Velvet's powerbomb off the top rope so the match wasn't a complete failure. Absolutely awful crowd though, they couldn't care less and that just hurt the match even more. Not necessarily a bad match, just very disappointing and not very memorable. 6/10

ODB & Eric Young* vs Sarita & Rosita (Knockouts Tag Team Championships):
Forget striking twice, lightning didn't even strike once for the girls tonight. Are TNA so dead set against having Eric not wrestle the women? If so why put the belts on him and ODB? I get that it's normally men as the heels in intergender situations due to size difference and what not but I've seen women be the heels in intergender matches before and it worked. Sarita and Rosita can both use their lucha moves to counteract Eric's size but then tweak them so they aren't too faceish. That being said, the interactions between them and ODB were incredibly sloppy. This might be the worst match Sarita has ever had. It looked like they just went out there and freestyled everything, which they probably did since it was added on the fly. But that's no excuse really. Beth and Kelly delivered a solid match at TLC on the fly and Sarita and ODB are two of the top workers so there should have been some excitement. There were about five moves I actually liked the look of and the rest of the time I was disliking everything else and wondering when the match was going to take form. I'd like to see this team given another shot with more time to work, hopefully more notice and Eric actually getting in the ring and wrestling. 3/10

Ring Ka King - Angelina Love vs Raisha Saeed vs Alyssa Flash:
Yes you did indeed read that right. It's the "return" of Miss Raisha and by that I mean it's clearly a man underneath the burqua since Melissa is wearing her Future Legend boots tonight. The opening parts were really fun to watch, especially all the creative ways they got into pins. For example Raisha did a sunset flip on Alyssa while she was school girling Angelina who in turn then did a crucifix on Raisha to break that pin. And I never thought I'd see Angelina do a headscissors. It's almost as though this time in Ring Ka King has breathed new life into her as she was so stagnant on Impact after the Winter/Velvet storyline was abruptly dropped. However this match had its downfalls as many triple threats do when it's 2 heels/1 face. The parts where Alyssa and Raisha kept double teaming Angelina just dragged on and on. As always with this problem, a bit more story between the heels would have given some excitement to that part of the match. They eventually did go that route and the innovative DDT spot was a brilliant idea. The final exchanges of this match picked it up and were very nice to see, if a little abruptly cut off. There was more love triangle hilarity at the end with Romeo giving Angelina a dazzling diamond necklace and Indian Hornswoggle giving her the keys to a shiny new pickup truck. The plot thickens and we're still left wondering which of her suitors she'll accept the proposal to. Perhaps she'll take a third option and wed Raisha Saeed instead. You do have to love all this mad soap opera stuff when it's doled out in moderation. 6/10

NXT - Maxine vs Kaitlyn:
These two are really churning out the matches aren't they? I was hoping for something more special for the UK episode, Natalya vs Maxine perhaps? Nonetheless I really enjoyed this match. They've had good ones and they've had bad ones but this thankfully was the former and almost as enjoyable as their great bout back in October. Kaitlyn looked much more solid with her moves than she did in the main event match and Maxine was her usual self, looking competent in the ring and oozing character. It's almost uncanny how far she has improved in the ring from her time as an NXT contestant. The commentary for this match was hilarious, especially Regal's non PG "more ups and downs than a bride's nightie". Maxine gets a win which is always good to see and her standing dragon sleeper looked much more effective than it has done in the past. I could have seen it continue for more time but as always what we saw was good enough. As for the aftermatch segment, who else wants to see Maxine and Johnny try to wrestle while handcuffed? 7/10

Superstars - Kelly Kelly vs Eve Torres:
And it's the match we were supposed to get at WrestleMania. First of all, a very vocal crowd. The UK crowds are always more enthusiastic than the US ones but having two women the fans normally would care about helped quite well. As always Kelly was very good at getting them involved and working them throughout the whole match. Eve however really should work on playing off the crowd a bit more. Since she is so hated by the fans she's guaranteed to get heat in her matches and the "Hoeski" chants. She should yell at the fans to stop and sell her frustration at the chants. Another thing I noticed is that Kelly hit the ropes a bit better than she normally does. Not excellently but an improvement otherwise. This did feel like a PPV calibre match and not like two women going through the motions on the show nobody watches. Eve is slowly improving her heel wrestling - she did resort to rest holds a little too much for my liking but she's headed in the right direction. It's good that she did have hard-hitting non flashy moves in her arsenal that could be used as a heel, and she can get away with the senton and the moonsault because they are so associated with her. She in turn sold Kelly's offence very well, particularly the hurricanrana. Kelly doesn't always seem to hit them well but the ones I've seen Eve sell have looked very clean. Kelly's clotheslines also looked very effective too. The end was iffy to me though. First of all, it looked like Eve countered the handspring elbow since she moved her own elbow up as if to block it but then she sold it anyway, and the pin on the ropes looked very sloppy. Still I enjoyed the match as both women were very over and delivered an entertaining show. 6.5/10

Impact - Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Sarita & Rosita vs Velvet Sky, Mickie James, Tara & Brooke Tessmacher:
Quite a lot to talk about on this week's Impact as the Knockouts managed to come off the heels of a dreadful Lockdown and produce a highly entertaining and entertaining match that utilised all eight participants in a nice way. I really like that they gave TNT a proper acknowledgement that they were returning to TV after such a long absence. I had to lol at Mike Tenay saying "Vel Vel" with a straight face. I mentioned before in another match with Velvet and Sarita that their timing together in previous matches was extremely patchy and slow but now Velvet has grown so much as a worker that she is able to match Sarita's style and keep up with her. Speaking of improvements, Rosita was looking especially polished here. She took a great bump at the start of the match and delivered an impressive spike hurricanrana. And that's saying something considering Mickie isn't exactly a five class worker. I was happy to see Tara and Sarita go at it because I can't recall if they've ever faced off properly aside from their tag feud last year. Though I refuse to believe Sarita would stay on the canvas for *that* long after a body slam. The absolute best part of the match was Brooke vs Sarita for two reasons - first of all it had three of the girls demonstrating a style of dance I have appropriately titled "Spastic Robot Salsa" and second of all the amazing chemistry. The counter of the tilt-a-whirl into the arm drag was so crisply done and Brooke followed it up with an equally crisp Mug Shot in the corner. Brooke and Gail seemed to work together really well also and it's certainly a fresh match-up amongst the Knockouts. I was honestly surprised when I went online after seeing the match and hearing people talk about a Brooke push. I don't see her getting one coming off this win. First of all, Velvet helped her get the win over Gail and secondly the entire focus was on Velvet when the match was over. While I expect Brooke might challenge Gail for the title at the Open Fight Night I think it'll just give Gail another strong title defence. As much as I love Brooke, it should be Velvet continuing to be pushed because this has potential to be feud of the year if TNA can keep it going and give them a better chance on PPV. Besides why push a girl who is active in the tag division? I know TNT are faces and therefore ill-equipped to feud with the current champs but really, killing the tag division for the sake of a singles push that won't go anywhere? Exciting night for the women anyway. 8/10

Smackdown - AJ vs Natalya:
What's this now? Do I smell an AJ heel turn coming on? It's doubtful but it could happen. Perhaps WWE intended for AJ to turn on Daniel Bryan and become massively over from it but annoyingly enough the fans are solidly behind Bryan despite WWE's best efforts to make him into a despicable heel and AJ isn't over enough to eclipse him in popularity. Perhaps they're rethinking their plans and turning her heel so they can become a proper power couple. That being said, everything is up in the air because Eve's storyline on Raw took a sharp U-turn from where it was supposed to be heading and she randomly became a heel and I honestly can't see where WWE would likely go in this direction. Though Natalya is clearly a face again. She showed genuine concern for AJ's mental state before the match started and didn't fight back like a heel would. It's almost funny that last year it was Nattie who did it to AJ so there's a nice little continuity nod there. The video showed AJ looking remorseful for what she did but then again Eve looked remorseful for kissing John Cena and the writers swerved us the very next week. And Natalya tweeted photos of a nasty lump on her forehead from AJ's attack. Knowing WWE's "Beauty Is Never Tarnished" policy she'll likely be off TV until it's recovered.

And the other big development this week that took place entirely off TV is that Nikki Bella may be getting a title shot at Extreme Rules. Her and Brie's contracts expire the very next night so perhaps this is WWE's way of nodding them out the door. I'd like to see Nikki and Beth give it a go on PPV because Nikki is the more skilled wrestler of the twins and the two personalities of her and Beth could mesh well together also. Just wondering if Beth is turning face again as well? While I enjoy her as a face I still want that darned Beth/Natalya match which won't happen if they're both faces yet again. Perhaps Kharma will return the night after Extreme Rules and demolish both the twins, setting up a feud with Beth. Then maybe Kharma will feud with Natalya? Also WWE is due to return from the overseas tour and Layla is expected to return to TV when they are back in the States. Hopefully the last Raw before a PPV will give some excitement Diva-wise.

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