FearlessRiOT’s Tuesday Top 10: Eve Torres Moments in WWE

WWE is currently in the middle of what is being dubbed the “Diva Revolution”. Team B.A.D. (Sasha Banks, Naomi, & Tamina), the unofficial Powerpuff Girls (Paige, Charlotte, & Becky Lynch), and Team Bella (The Bella Twins & Alicia Fox) are looking to take women’s wrestling in WWE to heights it hasn’t seen in years. It’s pretty accurate to say that WWE hasn’t treated their female talent the best in recent times and only a handful of Divas in the post-Trish-and-Lita Era have gone on to have memorable careers, including Beth Phoenix, Melina, Mickie James (I’ll probably make a Tuesday Top 10 dedicated to them down the road), and my subject today: Eve Torres. Eve seems to be a polarizing figure in the wrestling fandom; some of us loved her, some not so much. Personally, I’ve always been proud to call myself a huge fan of hers, and even if I wasn’t, the fact remains that she really was a solid performer; she developed into a decent wrestler, was competent on the microphone, and was great when it came to PR for the company. The fact that she was a breathtakingly beautiful also helped matters. Since retiring from pro wrestling and starting a family with Rener Gracie, she’s become a women’s self-defense instructor and has even done some acting, appearing on El Rey’s short-lived Matador, taking part in an amazing fight scene in The Scorpion King 4, and even landing a role opposite Jackie Chan. She’s also still visit’s WWE occasionally, including a 2013 Slammy appearance, some charity work,  and helping out with WWE’s young guns at the Performance Center. As for the things she accomplished while active under Vince McMahon’s payroll? That’s what this Tuesday Top 10 is for; whether you’re a fan of hers or not, I hope you enjoy reading about her Top 10 WWE moments!

 

#10. Eve Hits The Moonsault On Michael Cole

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In 2010, play-by-play man Michael Cole’s character was transformed into an absolutely detestable character who drove the WWE Universe nuts on a weekly basis. He obnoxiously put over The Miz at every opportunity, complained about faces constantly, made Season 3 of the competition version of NXT worse by blatantly pointing out it’s flaws, dissed The King and JR at every opportunity, and constantly call the Divas boring whenever they were performing. He took that last one to the point that he would disrupt the Divas match just to yell and make everything even harder to watch. And if there was one woman who was not gonna stand for his intolerance for women’s matches, it was Miss Eve Torres. There was one moment where she went over to his “Cole Mine” to slap some sense into him, but she truly got her revenge after Jerry Lawler defeated the supposed-to-be NPC in a “Kiss My Foot” match. Before JR doused him in BBQ sauce, Bret Hart locked in the Sharpshooter, and Jerry put his feet to Cole’s lips, Eve came out and gave Michael Cole one of the best moonsaults of her career. And it wasn’t just retribution for her either; it was for the Divas his was booked to disrespect with his conduct.

#9. Her Debut Match against Michelle McCool

#9

A wrestler’s debut match is their chance to make an excellent first impression on the masses; sometimes good things come out of it and sometimes not. And these debuts are incredibly crucial for Divas as sometimes it’s even harder for them to leave a great first impression than it is for male competitors and that goes double for Divas who did not compete on the Indys before signing to the ‘E. And since Eve was not an Indy wrestler beforehand, she had to put her all into her debut match, which took place well over a year after she signed on to the company. She was originally a supporting player in the Maria Kanellis/Michelle McCool feud; the newly heel Michelle decided to take out some aggression on Eve. An interview gone wrong then led to Eve stepping into the ring for the first time; and in this writer’s humble opinion, it was definitely impressive enough to rank among her best WWE moments. She may have lost, but she definitely showed the potential to become one of the best wrestlers in the Divas Division. For added viewing, check out another decent match she had with Michelle later that year.

#8. Retirement Match with Kaitlyn

#8

When I found out Eve was retiring, I tried to keep my cool. But it was not an easy thing to do at all; she was my favorite Diva for the longest time and it was going to be difficult to cope with her not being there again. That being said, I respected her decision, especially since her reasons were incredibly understandable. The thing about her retirement was that she was the Divas Champion at the time. So obviously she had to drop the title to someone on the way out. That someone would be Kaitlyn, the woman she had a lengthy rivalry with after sending Aksana to injure Kaitlyn backstage. Some fans love to complain now about how WWE does Paige vs. Nikki Bella too much and their rivalry is stale and all that. Well, before there was The Anti-Diva vs. The Epitome of a Diva, Eve vs. Kaitlyn was one women’s match WWE booked over and over for months. Eve and Kaitlyn’s matches weren’t bad; they had a story to them and the women did their best. But their final encounter, Eve’s retirement match, was probably the best match of the lot; it definitely had the best ending with the dynamic way she sold Kaitlyn’s spear. Supposedly, this match was set to happen on the Royal Rumble, but Eve opted to have it take place on RAW in Kaitlyn’s homestate, which is a very generous way to end a career indeed.

#7. Kissing John Cena After Being Kane’s Kidnapping

#7

The “Embrace The Hate” angle is ironically one of the most hated angles in recent memory and it was basically just meant to build John Cena up for his big match against The Rock and the returning Kane was to get nothing out of it basically. But the feud got pumped to 11 when then-on-screen pairing Eve and Zack Ryder were thrown in. Ryder had the backing of Cena then and was therefore seen as his on-screen BFF and the man who had to rescue Ryder when he was in danger. And with Kane around, Ryder was in danger all the time. He ended up with a neck brace in a wheelchair and everything. And because Eve & Ryder were a couple, Kane began to torment her too. Since this is PG-TV, no way was he ever gonna Tombstone her like he did Linda McMahon, so instead, we just got some cheesy horror movie segments that still make fans cringe. But if there was one segment of the angle worth remembering, it was the kiss Eve and Cena shared once Cena saved the maiden from being kidnapped from the Big Red Machine. Sadly for them, Ryder caught them in the act and felt totally betrayed. This is one of my personal favorite kissed in WWE history; sadly, it did not win that year’s Kiss of the Year Slammy. In fact, it didn’t even get nominated because AJ Lee was taking WWE by storm at the time and she kissed four dudes that year (Cena, Kane, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk), so they just nominated her four times instead. Eve & Cena got screwed; screwed, I say!

#6. First Promo as a Heel Performer

#6

This is basically piggy-backing off #6, so I’ll try to keep it brief. She turned full-blown heel the next week in a move that many people rejoiced over. Eve doesn’t exactly have the same amount of IWC support as the likes of Sasha Banks or Charlotte or Natalya, and a ton of criticisms were thrown her way throughout her entire face run. I personally don’t think she was a bad face performer at all, but that’s not the point. The point is that Eve managed to convert at least a few of her haters into fans when she turned to the dark side. Sadly, the night she officially did was hard to watch; while her convo with The Bella was particularly decent, then then booked John Cena to spend a few minutes basically shaming her new character in front of the world while she broke down in tears in one of her best acting performances to date. I actually saw a number of articles on the segment in the following days that said the segment counted as bullying, and if you watch the segment…well, they’re not wrong. Not a knock on Cena, a gifted promo-giver in his own right; just the way WWE went about the segment. Luckily, on that week’s Smackdown, Eve got to get her two cents in…..kinda. The segment was cut from Smackdown, but hit YouTube immediately after the show and it was clear heel Eve was here to stay and she wasn’t taking crap from anyone.

#5. Winning The Fourth WWE Diva Search

#5

Going back to the beginning, the 2007 WWE Diva Search was the first Diva Search to not take place on television. In 2004, the first televised Diva Search took place and wasted no time in turning into your typical reality competition program. Christy Hemme was standing tall when the dust settled and WWE decided to do it again in 2005 with rocker hottie Ashley Massaro winning. Though these two would win zero titles in their careers, the next two winners would; British beauty Layla El won in 2006 and became the final WWE Women’s Champion and continues to be one of the longest tenured Divas in the company (even if you’d barely notice with the lack of screentime she has these days). 2007 was Eve Torres’ time as she stood out due to her striking beauty and uncanny athleticism. She was selected into the final eight and would eventually go on to win the whole thing, even defeating former TNA Knockouts Champion Taryn Terrell. And whereas Christy and Ashley were cursed with the handicap of being rushed to TV with little training, Eve trained behind-the-scenes and competed in FCW for over a year before making her televised wresting debut. Meanwhile, she stayed fresh in the minds of the fans by taking the role of backstage interviews. If anything, that definitely helped her career in the long run.

#4. Vengeance Match Against Beth Phonix Impresses

#4

Nowadays, WWE Diva fans on the Internet love debating over who’s better between certain Divas; the Lita/Trish debates continue to this day and the better part of 2014 and 2015 have been dogged by wars pitting fans of AJ Lee, Paige, Naomi, and The Bella Twins against each other. Well, in 2011, the big fan war revolved around the whole “Model Diva” controversy; fans stood by their faves, choosing between the “Pin-Up Strong” warriors of Natalya and Beth Phoenix and the Divas who were originally models, actresses, etc. when WWE signed them, like Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres. Beth and Kelly would do battle for the Divas Title for three PPVs straight before Eve was given an opportunity at the title at Vengeance. To say she knocked it out the park was an understatement as Eve took the fight to Beth despite coming out on the losing end. Even though Hall of Famer Madusa originally wasn’t impressed (apparently there’s no beef now, though), Eve did earn some respect from fans for having a pretty good PPV match with Phoenix and it’s still seen as one of her best.

#3. Taking That Super GlamSlam Like A Boss

#3

Piggybacking off of #4, Eve would once again earn a Divas Championship opportunity against the Glamazon (and she got to do it dressed as Robin, no less). They would have their rematch at the prestigious Survivor Series pay-per-view, and this match was equally as good as their previous one, despite an ultimately useless Lumberjill stipulation.  The match had good pacing and both ladies were able to spotlight what they could do in the ring with one another just fine. You could even say they bought out the best in each other. Luckily, such a match would end with an exclamation point as the highlight of the match was easily when Beth and Eve pulled of the biggest GlamSlam of all time. It was the very first time a top-rope Glam Slam was ever performed. No more words; just watch and enjoy the strength of Beth Phoenix and the fearlessness of Eve Torres to perform this and you’ll see why it must be ranked this high.

#2. WrestleMania Low Blow To Ryder

#2

As previously stated, the “Embrace The Hate” angle led to the eventual heel turn of Eve Torres and the eventual burial of one Zack Ryder. Claiming a wrestler got buried is a common occurrence in the wrestling world, almost to the point of it losing its meaning, but that is exactly what happened to the at-the-time popular Zack Ryder. With Eve by his side, he lost the United States Title in less than a month, suffered multiple storyline injuries at the hand of Kane, almost symbolically got dragged to Hell, and had his friendship with John Cena almost jeopardized. Eve’s revelation planted the seeds for her to rejuvenate her career and for Zack Ryder to become a sympathetic figure. Both stars rode that wave to the grand stage of WrestleMania XXVIII. While Eve and Beth Phoenix would come out on the losing end of a tag team match against Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos, she would end up with a triumphant WrestleMania moment of her own later that night by accompanying Zack Ryder to the ring for Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny before once again betraying Ryder with one powerful kick below the belt and strutting shamelessly up the ramp. Evil Eve was in full force and despite Ryder getting a small measure of revenge later that year, Eve would go on to have one hell of a final year with the organization, top off only by the #1 moment on the list.

#1. Third Divas Championship Victory

#1

In 2012, Eve entered into a rivalry with Kaitlyn over the position as then-Smackdown GM Booker T’s assistant on Smackdown, because for some reason, WWE would rather have given their most over Divas corporate positions instead of championships that year (Remember AJ as the GM?). Eve would win the position and put on the entertaining teacher’s pet act imaginable to stay in Booker T’s good graces; however, she’d still compete in the ring and even had a chance to get a Divas Title opportunity in a Battle Royal. She would lose that Battle Royal to Kaitlyn, but stay involved in segments with the NXT Season 3 winner. Night of Champions rolls around and Kaitlyn becomes injured (read: assaulted backstage); for Eve’s amazing assistant work, Booker awards her by putting her in the Divas Title match against Eve. The battle of the Diva Search winners ended in Eve becoming the first woman to break the two-time tie and win Divas Championship for a third time. She would hold onto the title for the entire fall until losing it in her January 2013 retirement; during this period, she also took part in an entertaining Triple Threat with Layla and Kaitlyn at Hell in a Cell, gave Naomi her first Divas Title opportunity, came up with her own signature heel celebration, and even “defeated” with Hall of Famer Mae Young. Her other two title reigns pop up in the honorable mentions, but her third reign was the one that took her heel character to new heights and cemented her ability to play a villain, easily making it her most memorable. Plus the fact only she and AJ Lee have held the title three times to date is a historic statistic on her resume.

Honorable Mentions:

+ First Divas Championship Victory

Seeing her and Maryse together has always been a guilty pleasure for me; maybe it’s because I know they’re good friends in real life. So I doubt there were any hard feelings when Eve defeated Maryse for the title in 2010.

+ Backstage Catfight With Maryse

My interest in seeing Eve and Maryse do anything together is also the reason this moment is placed on here. But hey, to justify the powder in the hair, Maryse did take a cheap shot at her with her own title.

+ Matches With Natalya

I really enjoyed her work with Natalya; not saying their instant classics or anything, but they were definitely enjoyable enough. Also, they gave us the only funny segment from that unfortunate Natalya farting period.

+ Segments with Teddy Long

+ These segments were rather silly, especially when the giant nametag and the Hannah Montana wig were thrown in, but at the same time, they were kinda funny. Especially the “iced coffee” segment.

+ “Not A Barbie Doll” Promo with the DOD

Beth, Nattie, and most hardcore fans were constantly referring to the other Divas as Barbie dolls in 2011, and with one promo, Eve was out to let the fans know that she is anything but.

+ Backstage Segment with AJ Lee

This would’ve made the list had it actually led to something; sure we got two mixed tag matches out of it, but I mean an actual feud. They were both crazy over in 2012; WWE should’ve rewarded them with a full-on title feud instead of corporate positions. This feud could’ve been quite entertaining.

+ Second Divas Championship Victory

This would’ve made the list had the reign been better than it was; this was her worst booked reign as she lost her first match the night after winning the title and her feud with the Bellas felt uninspired. It gets an HM though because I actually enjoyed the unexpected swerve when she was put into the match at the Royal Rumble where she won it. Judge me if you want, but we’re always begging for unpredictability and that was definitely unpredictable.

+ Eve Gets On The Mic and Lets Miz Have It

Who doesn’t wanna tell The Miz off on live television? Well, Eve got the opportunity to in 2010, and the results were absolutely hilarious.

What do you think of this edition of Tuesday Top 10? Leave a comment or tweet me up @FearlessRiOT with your opinion or even to suggest a topic for the next edition.

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