PHILADELPHIA — The Queen of Harts is coming for the throne.
Veteran Superstar Natalya outwitted and outlasted four of SmackDown’s most talented females in her 38th pay-per-view match (one shy of Trish Stratus’ record), teeing her up for a fateful battle with SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi at SummerSlam in Brooklyn.
Initially, however, the alliance between Tamina and Lana seemed as though it would be difficult to beat. Not only did the duo run roughshod over the competition, but Tamina saved Lana from not one, but two Dis-arm-hers from Becky Lynch.
The Irish Lass Kicker singlehandedly took care of that fearsome duo, however, submitting Tamina with the Dis-arm-her and then doing the same to The Ravishing Russian in short order. Ironically, and cruelly, Maiden Ireland’s night ended just seconds later when Natalya rolled Lynch up with a handful of tights and dispatched her from the contest, bringing the bout down to the heiresses of the Hart and Flair dynasties.
In a rematch of the confrontation that provided one of the first sparks of the Women’s Revolution, both prodigies unleashed the full scope of their arsenals. Natalya focused on submissions, locking Flair in a mangling armbar, while Charlotte Flair opted for finesse, hoisting The Queen of Harts into the air and powerbombing her way out of the hold.
The rough-and-tumble lessons of the Hart Dungeon ultimately brought Natalya the win; when The Queen went up high for a moonsault, Natalya raised her knees to block the move and roll Charlotte headfirst into the turnbuckle, putting her down to punch her ticket to Brooklyn.
Naomi, who observed the bout from the commentary table, was quick to offer a handshake to her new challenger, but The Queen of Harts turned her back instead. The Women’s Revolution may have been all about mutual respect, but Natalya has clearly had enough of ceremonial victories. This time, she’s out for a definitive one.