WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: A Bella’s Return to the Brand Delayed By an Unexpected Nemesis (August, 23rd 2016)

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Welcome All to a Better Late than Never Report on this past weeks Smackdown Episode which brought new highs to an already showcased Smackdown Women’s Division. Not only does the GM of the show Daniel Bryan (as well as Shane O Mac) have a big announcement in store, but a major heel turn is about to stun…

Summoned to the ring for the shows opener are the entire women’s division, also sharing the ring with every tag team on the Smackdown Roster (including the Fabulous Breezango). Inside the ring also are Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon, introducing the new Smackdown Tag Team Championship Belts as well as an adorned Blue Smackdown Women’s Championship. While the Tag Titles will be put in the hands of one unit via a tournament, the Women’s Championships holder will be decided as the entire women’s division goes to battle in a Six Pack Challenge at Backlash, and the first woman to get the pin in that match will be crowned the first ever Smackdown Women’s Champion. Heath Slater decides to crash this announcement, as did AJ Styles only to be attacked by Dolph Ziggler, and the tag division would be demanded to separate the folk. Meanwhile the women’s division already had action set for the follow up moment, as Naomi and Nattie headed to commentary to witness a match between Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss, while Nikki and Carmella headed to the back to return later for their scheduled match.

Becky and Alexa grapple by the ropes to start things off, with Bliss soon releasing herself of Becky. The Two go into another lock up, which Becky looks to get a upper hand in as she locks a hammerlock, keeping it locked despite an attempt by Alexa to reach the ropes. Alexa arm drags Becky only to have Becky take over once again, targeting her left arm. Alexa forearms Becky, then takes her to the mat following various counter attempts, only for Becky to reverse and target her left arm once again. Becky attempts to apply the disarmer but Alexa reaches the ropes in the nick of time before it can be fully executed. Alexa trips Becky into the second rope and takes advantage of this to deliver a behind onslaught. Alexa continuously stomps on the back of Becky’s neck while shes down underneath the rope, then goes for her first cover, getting a one count on the Lass Kicker.

Alexa keeps Becky busy as she applies pressure to Becky’s left arm and shoulder. Becky reverses into another hammerlock which Alexa kicks her way out of. Alexa whips Becky, missing a forearm moments later, and Becky delivers her own in retaliation, beginning to fire back as she sends down Alexa with a number of clotheslines. Following the Leg Lariat, Becky delivers her known running elbow into the corner, whipping Alexa back into the corner after only for her to float and deliver a sunset flip power-bomb to Lynch from the corner for a two count. Alexa shouts smack then heads to the ropes, only for Becky to counter her oncoming wheelbarrow maneuver into the Disarmer. Becky gets the submission victory over Alexa and wins the match.

Moving forward and its sometime later when we get the match between Nikki and Carmella that serves as Nikki’s first match since Summerslam. Nikki is interviewed upon entering the ring by Renee and is about to speak on how relieving it is to return from such an injury when all of a sudden the scheduled opponent, Carmella, attacks Nikki from behind. Carmella delivers a merciless beat-down to Nikki following a super-kick to the jaw and Side Russian leg sweep, and even after being demanded out of the ring, she returns to deliver more damage, in the form of the Bella’s own Bella Buster. Carmella eventually leaves, having done her work.

(Women’s Division and Tag Team Division Segment; Revealing of the Smackdown Women’s Championship)

(Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch; Natalya and Naomi on Commentary)

(Carmella vs Nikki Bella; Carmella Turns Heel)

Thoughts On:
Becky/Alexa: Another decent showcase from the two ladies though i do question how Alexa was able to execute the sunset flip power-bomb after favoring her arm earlier in the match. Though Natalya and Naomi were reduced to just being on commentary, they were still a focal point in some form since WWE is looking to feature all of the division at once on the show and im guessing Becky will win every match leading up to Backlash to cement the belief that shes a top contender for the title, or second in line to Nikki.

Carmella’s Heel Turn: Even though the crowd didn’t seem sold on Carmella weeks into her main roster debut, i admittedly never saw her turn coming. However it was logical and well thought out considering Carmella was pinned by Nikki at Summerslam and they needed to further the plot line for Carmellas revenge. This could have easily been a quick match with either getting a victory but instead WWE went ahead with the pleasing swerve that was Carmella turning heel. Sure its going to be hard for some fans to take in since shes remembered as the popular babyface valet of Enzo and Cass who was getting cheers upon turning face back then, and this is sure to distance her from that memory, but Carmella is now getting the needed reactions and attention, and lets not throw off possibly seeing Alexa and Carmella as a golden tag team in the future. Though i do worry this means she may lose her reactions she once got as a babyface on NXT once she transitions back to that role if not a permanent heel for the rest of her career, and as much as i feel this is ultimately leading to Carmella taking the pin at Backlash to end their feud, leading to Carmella being demoted to enhancement after, Smackdowns way of showing off the women as of late gives me hope that it isn’t wholly predictable as to what goes down heading into and after Backlash. Heck Eva Marie’s music could be a factor in a heel winning by pinning Nikki or another member of the division come Backlash, because lets not forget Summerslam, and the fact Eva doesnt even have to emerge to evoke a reaction or to even further a storyline like pre Summerslam with Becky and Alexa.

– Catherine

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