While she’s faced off against other Divas since being AJ’s heavy, Tamina was finally allowed to showcase her skills on one of the main brands, and she carried Brie through a good match on Raw that was given a nice amount of time. It was nothing near the run-of-the mill, truncated Diva matches that have come to characterize the division. There was back-and-forth momentum, and Tamina’s selling actually made Brie look strong through the match. When she got the upper hand, Tamina demoralized Brie by talking down to her and mocking the crowd while taking Brie apart (the Rock has clearly been tutoring his cousins on how to generate good heat through ring work). Her wrestling was efficient and strong with her delivering devastating blows, powerful moves, and a malicious big boot that took Brie’s head off, ending the match. Then, she drew on classic bully heel tactics, beating on Brie after her victory, delivering an impressive splash that was well-received by the crowd, and sending an evil smirk/knowing glance to AJ. With one match, she reminded us that she’s one of the best Divas in the division.
As is stands, Tamina’s enforcer gimmick is great for her. Following in the footsteps of Beth Phoenix, Tamina’s one of the strongest, most talented Divas on this roster and this gimmick functions off that dynamic, allowing her to display dominant strength, bruising moves, and an aggressive style. In this role, she also gets the rub and extra exposure that comes with being attached to one of the hottest figures in wrestling, AJ Lee. She executed both a Samoan Drop and her cousin’s old finisher, a shoulderbreaker, after the match utilizing moves that are rarely seen among Divas. As Joe Thunder said, it was nice to see the aggressive side of Tamina and the expanded moveset.
Since the departure of Beth Phoenix, there hasn’t been a forceful, hard-hitting heel Diva on the roster to present a substantial obstacle for the faces in the division. Tamina fills this void nicely. With this recent push and Tamina performing so well, we can potentially look forward to good storylines and matches between Tamina and Natalya/Noami/Kaitlyn, if they sustain the push. And why wouldn’t they? Tamina’s role as an aggressive heel fulfills not only a role that the Divas division could use but also the potential in Tamina that they haven’t been capitalizing on for some time. If Tamina can pull a decent match out of Brie, she should be able to create solid matches with rising star Naomi and established ring veteran Natalya. With some more time and hard work for Kaitlyn, Tamina and Kaitlyn can even put on a match in about a year or so that would receive widespread acclaim.
Tamina is a powerhouse diva with a nice mean streak, better wrestling skills, newfound personality, and an eye-catching finisher. If the duo of AJ/Tamina is really based on the HBK/Diesel dynamic of the early 90’s, then the inevitable match between these two should be great. Tamina’s return to the division can only mean good things.