Draft Analysis: Maryse & Melina

raw13april09

WWE shaked things up big time last night, by switching the two title belts for the Divas roster. The Women’s Championship for the first time in history, is now SmackDown-exclusive while the less-than-a-year-old Divas Championship gets the Raw spotlight. Maryse and Melina have moved, but was it worth it?

In a sense, yes. It did shake things up, along with the US-Intercontinental Championship switch. I had contemplated in the past that WWE may do this but never really expected them to pull the trigger. For Maryse, I think this is a good move. Many (including myself) expected her to move to Raw in the Draft – but I didn’t expect her to take her title with her. I expect on her new brand, she’ll start feuding with Mickie James straightaway, overtaking Beth Phoenix as Monday night’s top heel while she feuds with Santino/Santina. The argument many have made is that she’s not ready for live television and I think that is a somewhat fair assessment; but bear in mind that she has competed at pay per view and had some very good matches i.e. against Michelle McCool at Unforgiven last year and was also a key player in the Survivor Series match too. However since returning from injury, she hasn’t been on top of her game which I think could work against her.

However we’ll see how she fares in the coming weeks. Over the next year, I’m guessing that Maryse will hold onto the Divas Championship a little while longer, possibly losing it to Mickie James. I wouldn’t rule Kelly Kelly out as a title contender either and possible champion by year’s end.

Meanwhile for Friday nights, it’s the return of Melina. But this time she’s not a manager, she’s a champion and a great one at that. Melina makes history as she is the first Diva (in a really damn long line of ‘em) to take the Women’s Championship to SmackDown exclusively. This was a move I didn’t necessarily want to happen because I think she’s a great part of Raw, but in the interest of ‘shaking things up’ it certainly does that. Would I have moved Mickie over Melina? Yes. I think there was still a lot for Melina to do on Raw, but there is a lot on SmackDown as well. The Diva that initially catches my attention is Michelle McCool. I would expect that these two will begin a feud straightaway. But where does that leave recently-debuted Gail Kim? She has just started a feud with Maryse and was expected to be given a Divas Championship shot, now that belt is gone and we have a face Women’s Champion. How will these two Divas co-exist as top faces on the same brand? I have a sneaky suspicion that WWE may screw Gail like they did in 2003 and turn her heel so soon after her debut.

The annoying thing about these Draft picks is that they leave both brands imbalanced, due to the heel-face swap. Hopefully WWE will do something to rectify this in the Supplemental Draft, SmackDown could use an extra heel or two while Raw would need an extra babyface or two. In the Supplemental Draft (which takes place tomorrow) I would consider moving Layla and/or Katie Lea to the SmackDown roster and possibly move Alicia Fox to become part of the Raw brand, thus strengthening up those two sides. There are rumours that Maria may move to Raw, which would get the job done too.

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  • xmelissaa

    I knew Maryse would move to Raw, but I don’t like the idea of having the divas title on Raw, it just doesn’t seem right without the women’s title belt.
    Also, I feel sorry for Gail, because a feud with her & Maryse began, and chances are, now there’s going to be a McCool/Melina rivalry, pushing Gail into the shadows.

  • KellyKellyFan

    I don’t like the swap of titles. It just feels wrong.
    But now I see a competion between Mickie, Beth, Candice, and Michelle for who can win their new title on their brand first, making whoever wins the first diva to ever win both titles. Do you get what I mean?
    Sadly I have a feeling it will be Michelle who’ll win first.

  • mpezza

    I personally like the idea of the titles switching brands. While Smackdown has the better booked division, RAW still has more ‘prestige’ in fan’s eyes. Putting a less-respected title on there will help bump it up a bit even thought RAW women don’t get real storylines (usually).

    However, I disagree with moving Maryse to RAW. The girl isn’t ready for live TV, especially after being off her game after being injured recently. Add that into the fact that she isn’t really THAT talented, she just poses and does a few moves to be quite honest.

    I do agree with Melina moving brands, though. She’s (like most of RAW’s face divas) rather stale and a big shake up onto a new (and better booked) brand could help bring back some of that fire she used to bring to the ring.

  • chrisP

    I would say Melina on SD is good because it can cover up when she tries to do a cool looking move that she only hits correctly 50% of the time (I noticed she stopped doing that new finisher that she debuted in her November return), but they left in Gail and Michelle screwing up a move that Gail did correctly the previous week, so maybe not.

  • TaylorJade

    mpezza, you summed up everything I was thinking.

  • Liam

    i think its ok, the draft pick. This will give the divas championship more prestige, hopefully. and anyways melina is back on her home turf.

  • Alana.G

    I’m waiting for the supplemental draft tomorrow to really judge all these changes, I like Maryse and i think she’s going to fine in her spot on RAW. Melina to Smackdown is alright, i would of preferred Mickie over there instead of her. I don’t like the idea of Maria going to RAW but sense Vince is beefing up raw so to speak i could see why they’d would want her there being that she’s well over with fans.

  • Luis-Angel

    i remember back in the day i would wish that they would move the Womens Championshp to Smackdown but now that they did damn i kinda feel icky about it.
    i am glad Maryse is on RAw though.
    but like you said this makes the whole face/heel thing go unbalanced

  • http://www.miss-wilson.com TorrieFan12

    That Was Two Good Drafts For The Divas Roster It Change The Game Rules and i think the same of luis angel becuase in raw are a lot of heels now and in smackdwn a lot of faces