I don’t know if you guys have noticed but – our Divas don’t get much time to wrestle on TV. People have outright said in interviews that with live shows like Raw, whenever a segment runs too long the Divas are the first to take a time cut. Although we get 5 minute matches on shows like Main Event and Superstars, as well as 7 minute matches on PPVs – we are always left wondering what the girls could do with say 10 minutes. Well believe it or not, the Divas do get that kind of time at live events. I myself went to the WrestleMania Revenge tour in 2011 and was surprised at how good the Divas’ tag match was. Although WWE will confiscate obvious video cameras from fans at live events, they can’t catch everyone. Especially with video phones now. So, after trolling Youtube, here’s a list of some fun matches I’ve found from live events. Read and watch after the cut.
Aksana vs Layla:
These two had a good match on Smackdown in the UK and a really good match on NXT last year. But here is an even better match from this year’s WrestleMania Revenge tour. It’s preceded by a small skit with Hornswoggle where Layla would of course go the extra mile and snog the little leprechaun senseless – I didn’t think the little scamp was capable of backing off. You can see Layla and Aksana using the spots that have worked for them in the past – Aksana crawling along the apron only to get dropkicked off – while also incorporating lots of other stuff in there too. The execution of Infinity looked much better than it did on TV, as did all of Aksana’s offence. The two got the crowd involved and played off them really well. And you will have to laugh at a fan yelling out for Layla to do a low blow and Aksana telling him to shut up. Interesting that the match ended with the LOL instead of the Bombshell or Infinity. But still a really fun match.
AJ vs Layla vs Eve:
We’re going back a bit far now to when a certain Diva was still with the company. It’s a big shame that this match was never on TV, even if it would have been a watered down version. Although the video quality is pretty grainy and the sound is one frame out of synch, you can still see the action. Predictably AJ and Layla form an early alliance to take Eve out and then quickly turn on each other. It seemed quite high risk for a live event match with Layla getting thrown into the security wall and AJ getting kicked off the apron. They normally tend to take it easy in these matches. But I’m not complaining. Also it’s the closest we’ve ever gotten to seeing an AJ/Eve singles match. And I’m in shock that AJ pulled off a spinning heel kick without falling over. This is indeed the match where AJ wins the title only for Vickie Guerrero to come out and overrule it. Perhaps this was a planned program that never happened because management favoured Kaitlyn over AJ?
Layla vs Eve:
Although we can’t say we didn’t see enough of Layla/Eve, here’s a full ten minute match between them back in October. I believe this match took place before Layla’s official rematch on TV (where Eve pinned her with a foot on the rope). Much like the triple threat match, Eve and Layla don’t hold back because it’s a live event. Layla’s getting tripped via the apron and they’re both landing in the splits. Layla and Eve had really good matches last year but seeing this just makes you wish they’d been allowed to have more. It was honestly a PPV quality match.
Kelly Kelly vs Natalya:
Do you miss Kelly as much as I do? Well hopefully this does something for you. It’s a match from when Smackdown toured Japan last year, presumably before Kelly’s hiatus from the company. We never got to see a full blown program between Kelly and Nattie but here’s a nice match to appease us. I can’t say we saw anything new from Kelly, though her execution of her moves looked a bit better. The story here was Natalya dominating and cutting Kelly off each time she tried to fight back. Unable to match Natalya’s power, Kelly resorted to hit-and-run tactics and roll-ups. However she was able to score a surprise win with the K2. Nice work from both ladies.
Beth Phoenix & Kelly Kelly vs Layla & Rosa Mendes:
Check the video’s length and you’ll be shocked – fifteen minutes. This little gem took place on the Smackdown edition of the 2011 WrestleMania Revenge Tour (I was on the Raw tour where the match was Eve & Gail Kim vs the Bellas). If you’re wondering why it isn’t LayCool vs Beth and Kelly, Michelle McCool at this point didn’t work live events anymore. She was already on her way to retirement. Neither Layla nor Rosa seemed to want to wrestle Beth, Layla being more interested in showing off her dancing skills (some things never change). Most of the match’s extra time goes towards Layla playing cat and mouse with Beth. Indeed we miss much of Beth’s opening offence because the camera is more interested in Layla at ringside. We saw some good work from both Kelly and – surprisingly – Rosa; she worked Kelly’s leg to good effect, even busting out a Brock Lock. How sweet is that? Despite the heels’ best efforts, Kelly hot tagged Beth and she quickly dispatched Rosa with the Glam Slam. The extra time was really used well here and all four women produced a solid and well-wrestled match. Beth and Kelly remain undefeated as a tag team.
Paige & Sofia Cortez vs Raquel Diaz & Caylee Turner:
This one comes to us from WrestleMania Axxess last year and pits the Anti-Diva Army against the FCW Divas’ Champion and Alicia Fox Jr. Strangely the face team came out to Caylee’s music despite Raquel being champion at the time. It’s crazy to think that out of this generation of developmental Divas, Paige is the only one left. Caylee and Sofia were released, Raquel left of her own will while Audrey was just released too. It’s a shame too because Sofia and Caylee would have been good additions to NXT. Caylee had the majority of ring time which is fine by me since I’m praying she’s still wrestling at this point. The camera man is overly fixated on her boobs for a good portion of the match but we do see some actual wrestling. This includes Paige’s nifty submission hold that she used in her debut match but was never seen again. Raquel looked rather clumsy coming in off the hot tag but she eventually delivered the Three Amigas and put Paige away with the Gory Bomb. It was interesting to see her work as a face but I think being heel suited her.
Raquel Diaz, Leah West & Caylee Turner vs Sofia Cortez, Cameron Lynn & Audrey Marie:
And here we have it – all three female Tough Enough contestants in the same ring. This match occurred right after Sofia’s signing was announced (and technically she was still Ivelisse Velez at the time). The new Diva teamed with the reigning champion and her fellow contestant to face her rival from the show, Eddie Guerrero’s daughter and one of Lance Storm’s students. We got to see Caylee and Sofia start the match off; it was interesting to see Caylee the heel and Sofia the face because it was often the reverse on television. Sadly Sofia got the least amount of ring time. Oddly enough the Divas’ Champion was the one isolated by the heels. I think this is probably the best match of Caylee’s that I’ve seen – even her sleeper hold looked effective. Leah West (real name: Irena Janick) didn’t do anything of note in FCW but she was solid enough in this match. Sadly we don’t see the finish because the camera man is focused on…you guessed it…Caylee. Oh well we can always imagine what finisher Cameron was using back then.
Caylee Turner vs Paige vs Audrey Marie vs Sofia Cortez [Money In The Bank Match]:
Yep you read that right – a Divas MITB match. But don’t get your hopes up; instead of a ladder match, it’s a briefcase on a pole match. The announcement that it’s MITB stipulation does get a good pop from the crowd who obviously weren’t expecting it either. We’re also treated to a promo from FCW Divas’ Champion Raquel Diaz sarcastically wishing the participants luck. This was one of Paige’s first matches for WWE and you can see she hasn’t adopted the Paige character yet – she’s playing the clownish heel Britani Knight usually was, has a tan and is billed by her real name Saraya. Hilariously enough she comes out to Sofia’s music while Sofia comes to out what would become her music. Paige and Caylee play the heels while Sofia and Audrey are the babyfaces. The girls really had fun with this opportunity as Audrey headscissors Paige from the apron, Sofia takes a full on fall to the outside and Paige German suplexes Audrey from the middle rope. Caylee must feel incredibly jilted – this time the camera all but ignores her and focuses mainly on Audrey and Sofia. Sofia hits a sunset flip powerbomb on Paige to take her out of the proceedings – and after a bit of brawling in the corner, Audrey claims the briefcase.
Paige vs Sasha Banks:
And here’s one from this year’s WrestleMania Axxess. Paige is back to being a heel for this one occasion. We’re missing the start of the match with Sasha’s opening offence and a few things in between. However we still see a lot and it’s on par with Sasha’s debut match against Paige. They do work well together and may I say yizouch with that electric chair onto the top rope. Banks relies on quick pins throughout the match to try and get a sneaky win. She’s momentarily able to get control with her corner-flip arm drag. However Paige eventually prevails with the Paige Turner. Fun match between them though not as fun as NXT this week. I guess we’ll be seeing a new wrestling style from Sasha in the weeks to come.
Audrey Marie vs Emma:
This is also from Axxess this year and has a whole lot more time. Ten minutes to be exact. If their NXT bout left you wondering what Audrey and Emma could have done with more time, here’s your answer. I just loved everything about this match. All the technical stuff, the story being told, Emma’s mad dancing and Audrey’s personality on full display. It seems she had more of a voice at live events but seemed to clam up when it came to TV. I wonder why that is. And I love how she played off the “you can’t wrestle” chants and used them for actual heat. I’ve never seen a Diva do that before. And they get their fair share of those chants. We can see some of the same spots from NXT on there, notably in the finish with the catapult into the Emma Lock. As if I needed more convincing that Audrey should continue with wrestling.
Trish Stratus vs Torrie Wilson:
Well our final House Show Goodie is a dark horse I found just yesterday. Torrie spoke in her shoot interview about enjoying her house show matches more than her TV ones. And here’s a taste of what she was able to do on a house show. She gets to wrestle the Women’s Champion for ten minutes and show off the best of her abilities. On WWE TV we never really got to see Trish vs Torrie in a proper high profile match – it was highly anticipated by me since they were the top girls on Raw and Smackdown respectively. But Torrie was able to control the match and really heel it up out there. This is from her phase in Vince’s Devils/Ladies In Pink so we get an appearance from Victoria too. A definite gem for any Torrie fans.