Former friends turned foes. I loved the dynamic between these two wrestlers. Their diametrically opposed sizes and personalities made for an awesome styles clash as well as personality clash. I just especially loved Willow’s babyface work as, in her actions, she stayed true to the character we’ve gotten to know and love.
While, admittedly, The Outcasts team has won me over more than I anticipated, I am a bit tired of this booking where it’s essentially a 3-on-1 against the babyface who gets robbed of the win, beaten up after the match and then other babyfaces (who should’ve been out there the whole time) storm the ring to make the save. Annoyingly though, this tried and true booking just works. Toni Storm vs Skye Blue was a good match and so was this one.
Let’s get into it…
The early story in this match is Willow is too powerful for Ruby to stop but she’s not cruel enough to really punish her the way she probably should. Where you’d see Stone Cold Steve Austin do a Lou Thesz Press and then punch his downed opponent, Willow scoop slams Ruby over and over.
When Willow does show some sympathy, The Outcasts jump on that opportunity and turn the tide of the match. Willow’s main weapon is power, Ruby’s is nasty cheap shots. This match was like a throwback babyface vs heel match. And it’s not that Ruby didn’t do a great job, she did, but we see heels like Ruby in every other match. Babyfaces like Willow are a rare breed.
Late in the match, Willow extinguishes Saraya on the apron and begins to take over with a huge DVD. But interference from Toni Storm gets Ruby back into it. Ruby hits a couple No Future kicks and I was sure that was it. But Willow kicks out! Willow hits a massive Pounce but when going for the Babe Bomb, Toni cheats by grabbing Ruby’s hands, preventing it and then holds Ruby’s feet while on the rope on a roll-up pin for the win.
Riho & Skye Blue storm the ring but the 3-on-2 advantage isn’t enough. But then Jamie Hayter races down and just completely cleans house in the most awesome way. Her Hayterade attempt looks like it would’ve killed Toni Storm had it connected. The babyface clearing the ring is a trope that needs to exist but so rarely is it done this well. Jamie Hayter is an incredible.
As an entire segment from entrances to Hayter & Riho showing respect to each other; this ruled and was a tidy piece of business. It was mostly smooth and taut, even Ref Aubrey needed to be on her game by avoiding spotting The Outsiders’ rampant cheating like Neo dodging bullets in The Matrix.
The match was good and all the players in it did a good to great job. But the major plot hole for me is Skye Blue & Riho not accompanying Willow to the ring and/or Toni Storm & Saraya being banned from ringside. I’d like the booking smarter than this. Give me an explanation for why Riho & Skye Blue didn’t follow this most reasonable course of action.