It’s no small task to knock the Duchess of Cambridge out of the British newspaper headlines — and win the admiration of the nation’s press — but one slim, stylish and sporty brunette managed it. Wendi Deng Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s third wife and a former volleyball champ, was the talk of the London papers on Wednesday after she fought off the man who attacked her husband with a foam pie at Tuesday’s parliamentary hearing in London.

The papers had a ball with their headlines: “Crouching Wendi, hidden dragon,” shouted The Times, adding that Mrs. Murdoch “Showed why she has a reputation as a formidable operator.” A separate Times column proclaimed: “Swift slap helps the empire to strike back.”

The Sun preferred a pun in the form of “Wendi Going Gets Tough….” The paper’s associate editor Trevor Kavanagh wrote: “Men can only dream their own partners would leap to THEIR defense with such deadly grace.” Meanwhile, the Telegraph favored: “Tigerish wife Deng’s volleyball skills come in handy,” while The Guardian played it straight: “Wife whispered encouragement — and then quickly hit back at pie-thrower.”

The Daily Mail, not exactly famous for its political correctness, let loose with: “Kung fu! Hnawww! He was lucky Wendi didn’t chop him in two.” The Evening Standard plumped for the flattering “Wonder Wendi,” although the story poked fun at Mrs. Murdoch, calling her plain-spoken often to the point of rudeness. Still, the Standard believes that she’s just the woman Murdoch needs: “An aging tycoon allied to Oriental dynamism and Chinese political connections is a very different story. That swift volleyball hit for Rupert’s tormentors could be a metaphor for what’s yet to come for Wendi.”

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