Friday, June 18, 2021

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Systematic Breakdown of Backlash

Diva Dirt presents it’s “systematic breakdown” of last night’s Backlash pay per view, in the same vain as RAW Redux last week. So on with the show:

Thoughts & Reactions
Hmm, did someone from WWE Creative read Diva Dirt, yesterday? I don’t mean to brag, but it seems they followed our prelude pretty closely. Promote Beth Phoenix and Mickie James‘ feud above all else? Check! Keeping the inexperienced (“inferior”) Divas out of the ring for the most part of the match? Check! Promote the likes of Michelle McCool? Check! The inevitable rush at the end of the match? Check! Have Beth go over and look strong? Check! All in all, I thought that match was handled really well. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it, but I did!

One of the immediate standout moments that comes to mind, is the spot at the end of the match with all the Divas getting one over on each other. I mean come on, Victoria hitting Mickie with the Widow’s Peak made me mark out a little! Melina‘s splits thing on Michelle and Jillian‘s face buster were awesome too! Good stuff! Given WWE’s logic, I wasn’t expecting a strong match – I was expecting Maria, Ashley, Kelly and Layla to have a lot more ring time like last year’s Survivor Series; but it’s a good thing they didn’t! Instead, they managed to utilise the top five heel Divas effectively: Beth, Melina, Victoria, Natalya and Jillian were all tagged in and wrestled for parts of the match. I wasn’t really expecting Jillian to get tagged in or do much in the match, since she’s pretty much the “forgotten Diva” but WWE booked this one really well.

There were a lot of fun scenarios in the match, the prospect of Mickie-Natalya was promising, that’s a match I wouldn’t mind seeing in future. Melina and Michelle is another one, given that they are “second in command” to Beth and Mickie, respectively, this could be another feud they could develop. Victoria’s Widow’s Peak on Mickie was amazing, I don’t care how much they build up Beth Phoenix – she will always be a badly produced carbon copy of Victoria. The girl still has it!

Individual Assessments
In this portion we will look at each of the Divas individually and the role they played, adding more thoughts yadda yadda:

Ashley: Limiting the use of the “inferior” Divas was a good thing. Ashley played her part, jobbing to Beth. But she’s hardly a match for the Glamazon. I think Ashley’s part of the match with Jillian and then the job to Beth should’ve gone to Maria, who is much more credible in the ring.

Beth Phoenix: Beth was made to look strong, continuing her feud with Mickie James as I predicted. I’m actually looking forward to seeing a rematch between the two.

Cherry: I was a little surprised to see Cherry of all people, actually head over to the other team’s corner and pull Natalya down. Hopefully it won’t be a forgotten moment and be used to advance the Divas’ feud on SmackDown!

Jillian: i’m just surprised that Jillian got ring time to be honest. Albeit, she did job to Ashley’s slow motion style of wrestling.

Kelly Kelly: Kelly didn’t do anything as far as I can remember.

Layla: … Neither did Layla.

Maria: Maria didn’t do much come to think of it, either. Wow, that’s how you know your push is over girly.

Melina: Melina didn’t look so strong at Backlash against Michelle, she’s a fierce competitor and has a lot more to offer. She got her ownback with the splits-thing.

Michelle: WWE did a good job promoting Michelle in this match, even though the spotlight was on Beth and Mickie. They had her come off strong and looking like a “top Diva”, it’s like that transition between winning a reality contest like American Idol and being taken seriously as a credible artist.

Mickie: Mickie held the fort for her team for the most part, it was nice to see they limited action between her and Beth in this match for their rematch. It makes that match seem more fresh and important.

Natalya: Natalya’s first pay per view match, sure she was on the winning team, but I think she has more to offer than she got to show. When JR and the King go on about how she’s this and that to the Hart family and she jobs to a Maria bulldog, it doesn’t come off very well ;/

Victoria: Victoria delivered my favourite moment of the entire match… the Widow’s Peak on Mickie James. Victoria is the original bad girl and still the best wrestler in the women’s division. It’s times like this, it’s a shame that WWE choose to relegate her to SmackDown! and not have her compete for the title.

Fashion Focus
The Good: To be honest, I was really underwhelmed with all the fashion choices at Backlash. I wouldn’t even describe these two as “good”, more “passable” than anything: Beth Phoenix looked okay as did Layla.

The Bad: Top honour goes to Kelly Kelly. It looked like a cross between something Torrie Wilson wore in 2003 (the flares) and the tacky in-ring attire Candice Michelle regularly sports. Either way, Kelly just looked bad. Natalya didn’t look so great either. Her outfit reminded me of something the Glamazon’s worn before.

The In-Between: Victoria looked in between, it’s something different but not enough to make it to the “good” list. Jillian ditched her pants for a skirt, nice and simple but not too special. Mickie, Michelle and Maria, also just a half hearted “eh.”

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