WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Total Diva On a Rampage Before the Show Return (July, 2nd 2015)

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Welcome to this weeks report from the WWE Blue Brand of Smackdown. The Follow Up to a Dramatic RAW (no reference to the crummy opener at all) saw some more developments in the “relationship” of Rusev and Summer Rae, and the expected put overs for Total Divas as the show makes a dramatic return this weekend…

Brie Bella and Naomi go at it in the only divas contest of the show. Tamina is Missing from Ringside as is your Divas Champion Nikki, all being due to the two traveling to Japan, and in turn Tamina takes the heel diva Naomi’s Place in the expected and now aired divas title match. However to equal Nikki’s Sneakiness is Alicia Fox playing Team Bella by accompanying Brie.

The Two Lock up, and Naomi cartwheels out of a wrist-lock counter. Naomi trips Brie then kicks her in the face. Naomi is quick to make the first pin attempt of the match, and one Brie kicks out of easily at the count of one. Naomi gets a wrist-lock, trying hard to force Brie away from the ropes. Brie uses the ropes to help with her balance, leaping her way out of the hold before smacking Naomi in the face. Brie mocks Naomi, but darts quickly from the ring within moments when Naomi attempts to strike. Naomi chases Brie around the ring, dodging a clothesline attempt from Fox, but running into Bries own. Brie follows Naomi back to the ring, and stomps down before her attempt to throw Naomi in the corner backfires.

Brie elbows Naomi to hit back, then nails a missile dropkick. Brie follows by attempting to pin Naomi, who kicks out at two, resulting in a near fall. Brie resorts to using a chinlock, but Naomi battles out and sends Brie away with a dropkick. Brie trips Naomi by the ropes, then nails the running knee. Brie yanks her from the corner to cover, only to get a near fall once more.

Brie sends Naomi head first into the corner turnbuckle. She hits with many high knees, before taking her down in the near middle of the ring with a running bulldog. Brie tries to pin Naomi once again, but its a similar result, one Brie is livid about as she tries to choke out Naomi in a headlock. Naomi starts firing back with forearms, and she dodges Bries clothesline into a codebreaker attempt. Brie stumbles, and a back and forth struggle ensues between Naomi and Brie from in and outside. Alicia looks to trip Naomi, and its a good enough distraction for Brie to hit with a facebuster from out of nowhere. Brie pins Naomi to win the match.

Moving onto a currently more intriguing storyline in the division that must not have the ball dropped on, we see Rusev and Summer come clean, more or less to mimic Dolph and Lana from RAW, but on a more antagonistic point of view. Rusev hushes the audience to offer Summer the microphone some time clear of Lana’s attack, and Summer insists that she is the better person, apologizing for stooping to Lana’s level on RAW, even as great as it felt to slap her “gold digging” face. Summer puts over Rusevs supposed kindness, before proclaiming Lana’s Loss is just her gain.

Summer smiles wickedly as Rusev takes her by the hand and kisses her. Rusev states Summer is a real woman, adding that Summer knows her place. Rusev also states he doesn’t need Lana anymore. Rusev states he has a better Lana…pausing before returning to correct his words, saying a real woman in replacement. Rusev takes time to address Dolph Ziggler, telling Ziggler that Lana is poisoning his brain, and he will no longer tolerate the threats and insults directed. Rusev goes on to threaten Dolph, with the promise that Dolph will feel the pain to lose everything like he did once.

(R Truth vs Adam Rose w/ Rosa Mendes)

(Naomi vs Brie Bella w/ Alicia Fox)

(Rusev and Summer Rae Segment)

(Lana on Smackdown Fallout)

Thoughts On:
Naomi/Brie: As Good as the match was, and as good the effort was, its sadly another effort with the addition of little understanding in the fan perspective as to whats going on in the Bella’s feud and as to who one should get behind as WWE continue to flip flop between heel and babyface in the weeks. Even if Brie was playing the obvious heel as was Naomi, the divas cannot be oblivious to the confusing booking and are just forced to play it out there due to a lackluster creative team with little care, and that the match was just thrown out there to hand a Total Diva a victory before the shows return. Unless Naomi and Tamina are going babyface and aligning with Paige as part of a Total Divas storyline where Naomi figures her heel character isn’t working out, then this match, as well as a few others, is doing no favors in making Naomi a threat, as good as she is.

Summer/Rusev: Again to the more intriguing storyline in terms of development and interest. The Rusev/Lana storyline has been fueled in the past week with Summer being Rusevs new acquisition to set up Lana’s hopeful debut, and im glad Summer is finally getting the deserved spotlight while also getting a chance to not only help Lana go over while also displaying her brutish heel side, but to bring even more intrigue to the feud. There seems to be early tension in the works with Summer and Rusev though which im uncertain of in terms of future booking because does this mean its all a work by Lana and Summer to play mind games until Rusev snaps and Dolph is forced to protect, or will Dolph turn on Lana, leading to Summer either sympathizing with Lana or Rusev turning face. I Don’t want to think of the Rusev face turn development, but looking back to RAW where Dolph threatened to hurt a legit injured man, it would work in terms of making one sympathize with Rusev at one point.

– Catherine

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