Naomi challenges Eve Torres for the WWE Divas Championship in her first ever pay-per-view match after earning the opportunity earlier in the evening.
• A “Santa’s Little Helper” battle royal was held on the pre-show which involved all the Divas except AJ Lee and Vickie Guerrero. The final two left in the ring were the two finalists on NXT season 3 – Kaitlyn and Naomi.
• In the end, Kaitlyn was dumped after Torres – who was on commentary – struck her longtime rival, allowing Naomi to eliminate her with a dropkick.
• Eve began by mocking her opponent’s role as half of Brodus Clay‘s Funkadactyls by doing a few dance moves while laughing at her perceived absurdity of the challenger. The laughing stopped when Naomi used her agility to avoid three of the titleholder’s shots using leapfrogs and baseball slides.
• When Eve scooted outside the ring for a breather, she tried to sweep her opponent’s legs, but Naomi avoided it again, flipped over the top to dodge another shot, and delivered a low dropkick to frustrate Torres even more.
• However, the Divas Champ took the advantage by yanking Naomi’s arm over the top rope and dropping to the floor, allowing her to slow down the pace. This didn’t last long, as the challenger quickened it up again with a hurracanrana and a spinning heel kick into the corner.
• Naomi came unstuck when she went for a springboard crossbody from the top and missed, allowing Torres to hit her neckbreaker for the pinfall.
• There was a lot of buzz on Twitter after Naomi won the battle royal that she was going to win the championship, though considering the position this match had on the card – straight after The Shield v Team Hell No and Ryback – WWE saw it as a chance to settle the fans down before the next headline match (Big Show v Sheamus), but the women made sure that their time in the ring was worthwhile.
• This was a fun little TV match which gave fans a taster of what Naomi can do. As NXT season 3 viewers can attest to, she is hugely athletic and very exciting to watch. Her agility surpasses any other woman on the roster, and makes her someone who is easy to support. Indeed, she even managed to get the crowd to clap in support of her – and when you consider that most of these Divas matches on PPV are fought in awkward silences, that’s some accomplishment.
• If anything, this was a good sampler for anyone who may not have seen Naomi wrestle before. On the strength of this performance – her first on WWE TV since the final episode of NXT more than two years ago – don’t be surprised to see her get more ring time in the future. People’s appetites for her have now been whet.
Elsewhere on the card, AJ turned heel on John Cena in the main event of the show, causing him to lose the Ladder Match for the Money in the Bank briefcase against Dolph Ziggler. After taking out Guerrero using John Cena’s moves, she allowed Cena to set up the ladder while she skipped around the ring, but shoved the ladder while Cena was on it, sending him throat-first onto the ropes and saw him fall prey to a Dolph superkick. Not even Ziggler knew what was going on.
AJ then skipped out of the ring and to the back, allowing Dolph to ascend the ladder and retain his briefcase.
It seems unlikely that there is an alliance with Ziggler and AJ – more likely that this is another example of how unstable she is. However, it’s a new development for the woman who was announced earlier in the evening as the winner of the Diva of the Year Slammy award.
- Lee Burton