One Year On, Comparing Candice

It’s been nearly one year since Candice Michelle went down with an injury, but tonight she makes her return… her mini-comeback at WrestleMania time doesn’t count. Last year, Candice was praised by WWE, the fans and critics alike on her improvements, she was rewarded with the Women’s Championship and at the end of the year won many accolades for “Most Improved Wrestler”. However, in the time since Candice has been away, so many more Divas have broken out into the spotlight and won over fans with their skills. Michelle McCool made Friday nights her stomping grounds and has developed into a fine wrestler and Diva, Kelly Kelly broke out of her ECW shell and has delivered some great matches on SmackDown and Raw. And Candice’s fellow Diva Search alumni, Layla and Maryse have shown they are more than capable in the ring too. Somehow though, I don’t see Michelle, Kelly, Layla or Maryse winning titles like “Most Improved Wrestler of the Year” from Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Here’s why…

A lot has changed since Candice received her mammoth push and eventual Women’s Championship win. Between then and now, WWE has definitely renewed it’s focus on women’s wrestling, with Divas an integral part of not only Raw but SmackDown also. When Candice received her push, this action was limited to Raw and Candice was cut a real break by WWE, giving her the confidence to wrestle on a regular basis and become the Women’s Champion. Now? It’s almost like a rule of thumb that these Divas must be adaquete in the ring. I don’t see all these wrestling news sites and the WWE announcers putting over the aforementioned four Divas as hard as they sold Candice to us last year. And I certainly don’t see all of these Divas being awarded a championship for their efforts, sure one or two will break through to become future Women’s and Divas Champions but not all of them. This time last year, there were not nearly as many opportunities for the Divas as there are now, Candice’s big break was a meet of opportunity and Candice’s own hard work.

But here and now in September 2008, can Candice cut the mustard with the new breed of Diva? The four Divas I’ve mentioned have improved, just like Candice, to less fanfare. I’ll be honest, when Candice got her big push, I wasn’t much of a wrestling fan at the time so I can’t recall many of her matches but I do remember the hype on every site I visited about how she’d improved. Now we’re seeing so many of our Divas getting better and better, no any one individual can receive the same hype as she did. But hype or no hype, one year on, I have my doubts about Candice. I certainly don’t think Candice is as good in the ring as the Divas Champion, Michelle McCool but we all have our own opinions. It’ll be interesting to see and compare Candice to her new counterparts in Michelle, Maryse, Kelly and Layla. Who’ll be better in the ring? We’ll soon find out, as we’ll be able to contrast Candice’s matches to those of Michelle and company’s.

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  • Cameron

    I am stoked that she is back. I love how she is in the ring. She is fearless and she will try any move. I feel that she is a Diva who real cares about the company and about wrestling. Welcome back Candice

  • Mike

    I think she’ll be able to continue to improve far above and beyond.

    Right now, she’s obviously not there after being sidelined for so long. It’ll be a few months before she can really get back on track.

    But I’m sure if WWE gives her the title again, she’ll do fine. She knows her weak points and her high points and I’m sure after her bad performance tonight, she’ll work on her problem areas and give 110% next time.

    I completely agree with you Melanie. Candice got her break at the right time. She was the first diva to get recognized. And once WWE saw what it did with Candice, they did it with every other girl.

    It’ll be interesting to see how far Candice can come after her feud with Beth is officially over.

    I rather look forward to her being back. Let’s see if in the next few months (I’ll be fair), if she really can go above the others and show people why she was champ last year.

  • Luis

    u have a good point i wonder how candice will be 2nite

  • http://myspace.com/bryancontreras2 Bryan

    I cant wait to see candice. she is beautiful.

  • marco

    i love her short hair now!
    also i was just waiting for gail’s music to hit for her to at least interfere or something looks like we going to have to wait one more week

  • Mike

    Candice didn’t do THAT bad tonight on RAW. Just a couple mishaps.

  • Michelle

    Are you serious, Mike? Not that bad? IMO she was pretty damn bad. Although that’s to be expected considering how long she’s had off. They should have worked her through houseshows more and given her more time to train up before throwing her in there, though. I heard they edited out some of Candice’s botches in the match, too?

    On the plus side, she looked pretty hot, and I haven’t thought she’s looked remotely attractive since her face turn. I loved the new outfit. But is it just me or does it look like her boobs have shrunk to half the size they were before? :S

  • Mike

    After being out for 11 months basically, no she wasn’t THAT bad. Considering she was probably nervous and scared going out there, she didn’t botch EVERYTHING.

  • Ryan

    Eh, not great tonight. At all. “One Hit Wonder”.

  • Crystal

    I really did wish I saw Gail instead of Candice though

  • Crystal

    i laughed so hard when Jerry Lawler said that Candice could match Beth strength

  • Crystal

    If she goes to SD! I’ll be ecstatic

  • Mace

    Shes sloppy, she needs to go to smackdown.

  • sadtruth

    Old looking, new bad tatoos, very sloppy and had at least two botches edited out in post production.

    Michelle is going to be 29 and can’t get over.

    Layla is going to be 31 and hasn’t wrestled on Raw since moved.

    Candice is about to turn 30 with major injury history.

    Maryse is 25 and a decent character but is limited by what she can do and what opponents can do to her, and being French and having the accent makes her hard to be face.

    KK is 21, likeable and athletic.

  • jojo

    Yeh it was a bit sloppy from Candice, but with more matches will get back into the swing of things.

    She needs to hit the candy-rapper on Beth and stop getting quick roll-up pins.

    Not one Diva has been able to pin Beth flat on her back since she came to WWE!

    Maybe Gail will be the 1st to do that.

    I like what WWE is doing with the Divas they are certainly getting more attention and AIR TIME- 4 the right reasons!