Divas Champion Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
At No Way Out, WWE Divas Champion Layla will have the opportunity to extend her pay-per-view winning streak to three, but to do so she’ll have to topple the Diva who pinned her on the June 11 edition of Raw SuperShow, Beth Phoenix. (PHOTOS)
The championship bout, a rematch from WWE’s Over the Limit pay-per-view last month, holds much intrigue for the Divas division, which The Glamazon dominated for more than half a year. As impressive as Phoenix’s time atop the division was, however, the absence of one Diva during that period – Layla – was particularly noticeable.
The beautiful Brit scored an important victory over The Glamazon in May, just one month after triumphantly returning from knee surgery that put her out of action for nearly a year. Though Layla will look to bolster her reign (which is her first) on June 17, Phoenix will be on a quest to recapture the championship gold. Her 204-day run with the title – the second longest reign in the history of the Divas division – ended dubiously as Phoenix suffered a severe ankle sprain en route to losing to Nikki Bella on the April 23 Raw SuperShow.
Though Phoenix was originally slated to face Bella at the following weekend’s Extreme Rules event, The Fabulous Firebird was deemed medically unfit for competition. Her injury paved the way for Layla to make her surprise – and victorious – comeback, in which she dethroned Bella.
The Over the Limit match will undoubtedly be fresh in the mind of both Divas when they step into the ring at No Way Out. In fact, it was her familiarity with Phoenix’s offense that enabled Layla to skirt past The Fabulous Firebird in the first place. The back-and-forth encounter saw Phoenix use her trademark powerhouse attack and Layla leverage her speed and agility. (PHOTOS)
More noteworthy, perhaps, was that Layla amazingly managed to escape The Fabulous Firebird’s patented Glam Slam before connecting with her Lay-out neckbreaker for the win.
“I was scared … I’ve been hit with it a few times,” Layla said of the Glam Slam in a post-match WWE.com exclusive video. While conceding her win was unlikely to quiet the outspoken and ever-confident Phoenix, Layla also described Phoenix’s tactic of targeting Layla’s newly healed knee during the match as “cheap.”
Since losing that bout, however, The Glamazon appears intent on reasserting her presence in a division that was once hers to dominate. On the first Raw following Over the Limit, Phoenix made short work of a game Kelly Kelly, and on the June 11 edition of Raw, she won a mixed-tag match by pinning Layla with the Glam Slam. Will the outcome be the same at No Way Out?