WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Naomi (c) vs. Lana
Lana’s new gimmick is that she thinks she’s a dancer. Naomi actually is. Lana also thinks she’s a wrestler. Naomi actually is. Lana transitioning into wrestling is something that was always likely to happen, as WWE tend to only have people in their company with the capacity to blow off feuds in the ring. Lana is severely lacking in experience. Spending a few months training is no substitute for experience. To her credit Lana doesn’t expose herself too much. Her mid-match conversations are blindingly obvious and her timing and execution are patchy but considering her lack of experience it’s not a disaster. The positive is that Lana looks calm and doesn’t rush. The agent that put the match together has done a solid job of not exposing the newcomer. Carmella shows up to watch leaving both competitors distracted. Lana gets caught and submitted because of it. Naomi retains. Carmella doesn’t cash in, aware that Naomi isn’t as beaten down as she’d like. The match left a lot to be desired but could have been far, far worse. Lana, at times, looked completely out of her depth.
Final Rating: *1/4
Video Control gives us some Fashion Police gold. Including references to Miami Vice, Paul E Dangerously, Michael Jackson and Collisseum Home Video. We cut back to ringside…”those are two weird guys” says JBL.
From there we get the debut of Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis. The latter has deserved this shot, working tirelessly since WWE released her to become relevant on the independent scene. Her ROH run was solid, her New Japan stuff was good and the Bennetts also worked for TNA recently. Mike Bennett is an ok worker but he’s nothing exceptional and the fact he’s changed his name to “Kanellis” says it all about who WWE was really interested in. They’re both heels because they’re in love. I give it six months. JBL’s “he took her name…huh” reaction is marvellous work. I guarantee you he buries Mike Bennett every time he’s out here.
Video Control takes us back to ringside where St Louis legends are introduced; Greg Gagne (“legend” is a stretch), Larry Hennig, Baron von Raschke (who almost gives himself the Iron Claw, the absolute legend), Sgt Slaughter, Bob Orton Jr and Ric Flair. Harley Race would have been here but he broke his leg.
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