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Last time on T&R Review, we took a look at Alpha Female vs. Melanie Gray from wXw 2017.
WWE Divas Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Eve Toerres
Rebecca: I miss watching both of these women wrestle. Getting to watch this back for T&R is perfect as Trask hasn’t seen it. The second the bell rings, the action is underway as both women lunge at each other. Almost like animals would at the zoo for their meal, or your child, depending on which zoo you attend. The strength that Phoenix possesses is frightening, she overpowers Eve with ease. People may consider this opinion odd, but to me, Beth’s best matches were with Diva Search contestants. This is definitely the best example of that theory. The Glamazon’s dominance doesn’t last as Torres pounces from the top rope like a mad woman, transitioning into an unsuccessful sunset flip pin. I’m not usually a fan of holds in matches, as it tends to mean there’s no pace. But, these two use them as neither has asserted dominance over the other. Smart. I don’t believe Eve gets the credit she deserves for her time in WWE. She’s one of the quickest learners from the women’s division, ever. Right as I’m typing this she’s flipping over Beth’s back in one of the smoothest maneuvers I’ve ever seen. She follows it up with an enzuigiri and then handcuffs Phoenix to the ropes with her own attire. After escaping she sweeps Eve’s legs and she crashes onto the ring apron. Brutal. The crazy strength of Beth comes into play again as she lifts Eve up effortlessly and drops her onto the barricade. Physically dragging Eve back into the ring is also light work for the Glamazon who locks Eve in an abdominal stretch. I must have seen this hold a dozen times and yet I’ve never seen anyone kick their way out of it the way Torres does. I’m honestly surprised neither of these two got hurt during this match as it’s very physical. This kind of match is such a rarity from this era, and it’s surprising how forgotten this is when it shouldn’t be. Eve’s somersault senton is still so aesthetically pleasing despite it being multiple years since I’ve seen it. However, what follows is just near perfection. She first locks Beth in what looks like a triangle choke but transitioned it into a Fujiwara arm bar at the same time. Easily the most impressive move of the entire match, but also just impressive in general. Beth manages to get to the ropes and hits launches Eve into a hotshot on the ropes. I’m fairly certain a few people managed to counter the Glam Slam during Beth’s time in WWE. But, no one manages to pull off something quite as unique as Eve does here as she rolls through and pushes Phoenix into the ropes and she bounces off them for a roll-up. All done so smoothly too might I add, greatest counter possible. Before there were Charlotte Flair moonsaults we had Eve Torres moonsaults, shame she didn’t hit this one though as Beth moved out of the way just in time. The Glam Slam is attempted yet again and is successful this time leading to Beth picking up the win. This match had so many incredible moments that I honestly believe my own writing can’t even begin, to sum up how perfectly executed this match was between the two women. They have such natural chemistry in the ring, and everything flows wonderfully. Eve somehow plays the underdog in this, despite being a former Divas Champion in her own right, you wanted her to overcome the powerhouse that is the Glamazon. A solid match, during a time where the “Divas” weren’t viewed the way they are today. To me, this is the most flawless women’s match in WWE ever, and it deserves that level of praise. There’s not a single moment where you feel as if they are stalling. They don’t mess up any spots and you get hooked into the story they managed to create. I don’t usually do this at the end of these T&R Reviews but go back and watch this match, it’s well worth it.
Trask: Finally my pick brigade is over. It is now time to indulge myself into the land of Rebecca’s picks. The first match being a match I’ve never seen. This was during a time period in which wrestling was erased from my life. I was a freshman in high school, trying to adjust to a grand new world, being a goofy sports fan. This was hyped up to no end by Rebecca, a match she considers the pinnacle of the “Butterfly Era” period. I have to say that I can understand that sentiment after watching. The pre-match festivities included a WWE.com exclusive with Kelly Kelly being ganged up on by the heels, in which results GM Johnny Ace banning both Kelly, and Beth’s backup muscle Natalya, from the title match; thus making it a fair one-on-one contest. The two created a super fun to watch combo with Beth’s unstoppable force character, and Eve’s slick Gracie training/fit discipline style ported to wrestling. It also gave us an awesome “f the heel” spot where Eve tied up Beth to the ropes using her own attire, standing there smirking as the ref would help untie her. The biggest takeaway is that they kept me engaged, and never slipped up like some divas did a lot. It went from segment to segment seamlessly, and gave Eve a lot to work with in comebacks, like doing a sunset flip off the top rope, or a ridiculous counter to the Glam Slam–putting Beth against the ropes and bouncing off into a roll-up, or giving Beth kicks and chops all fired up. Beth was amazing as a heel, with her character down to a tee. She’d work over Eve’s back, having her in a hold, yelling at her “CRY EVE, CRY!” and “COME ON BABY, CRY!” One of the best traits a wrestler can have is engagement quality, something Beth possesses with her stature, but also the way she wrestled. Eve pulled out a moonsault but that would be her downfall upon missing. The match was short and sweet, culminating with Beth hitting the Glam Slam to retain her title. I thoroughly enjoyed this title defense, as it breezed by, with fun ideas being executed well. I continue to realize how amazing Beth is as a worker, and how Eve was a bright-spot in the division as well, being able to play a fair chunk of roles while kicking ass. Watch this if you haven’t. P.S., I heart Eve’s knee strikes.