SummerSlam 2016 results: Nikki Bella makes surprise return in SmackDown women’s tag team win

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

With Eva Marie suspended from the WWE from the next month, many wondered who would replace her in the SummerSlam 2016 women’s tag team match from the SmackDown Live side of the roster. Some thought Billie Kay or Bayley or Asuka might make an appearance coming up from NXT since they’re in town after Takeover anyways, but WWE surprised everyone by having former Divas Champion Nikki Bella make her return nearly nine months after undergoing neck surgery.

The entrances for the match initially faked out the crowd, running Eva Marie’s entrance music and movie-trailer voiceover after her teammates, Natalya and Alexa Bliss, had been introduced. Instead of having Eva come out, though, the voiceover explained that she “needed time off to recover from exhaustion” because of “incredibly negative fans.” The truth is that she was suspended this week because of a violation of WWE’s wellness policy, but it made for a great moment of storytelling — and when Nikki Bella’s music hit, the crowd exploded to see her make her return.

It took a few minutes to see Nikki back in the ring as her teammates worked against Naomi, Carmella, and fellow crowd favorite Becky Lynch, but she certainly made her presence felt. She may not have pushed quite as hard as she did before her neck injury, but Nikki proved she’s ready to compete again, taking a superkick and bronco buster from Carmella to show that her neck is healthy, and then putting her away with a Bellahammer clothesline and a big swinging neckbreaker to get the pinfall.

It’s fantastic to see Nikki Bella make her return, because she had taken massive strides to improve in and out of the ring before her injury. She’s going to help propel the women’s division to new heights, and she’ll be right at the heart of the women’s title picture on SmackDown once their new title is established.

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