Before this Sunday’s big Women’s Championship bout between Michelle McCool and Beth Phoenix, McCool and her Simply Flawless teammates literally ironed out the details for the match on SmackDown this week. Also, who knew that this would end up being Mickie James‘ final appearance on WWE television? It’s a very interesting week for the blue brand. Watch below:
First comes the announcement of an ‘Extreme Makeover’ match between Michelle and Beth for this Sunday. What is an ‘Extreme Makeover’ match? Beats me. But I guess we’ll find out Sunday. Just as long as there’s no vanity mirror with light bulbs around it and the Divas aren’t forced to dress in feathered robes like this, I’m good.
So after months of waiting for this tag team match, it’s finally here — Beth and Mickie James versus Michelle and Layla with Vickie on the outside. It seems like this match itself has been months in the making, let alone the Women’s Championship bout. I was really looking forward to seeing a relationship develop between Phoenix and James so it’s weird to think this will be their one and only appearance together as a team.
The match begins with Layla and Phoenix, Layla smartly runs around Beth and applies a side headlock on the Glamazon but is then hoisted in the air and twirled around by the forceful #1 Contender. Layla begins to find her ground, reapplying the headlock but is picked up again and dropped by Beth Phoenix. Beth runs at Layla, who kicks her in the leg, followed by a kick. Layla then irish whips herself off the ropes, as McCool blind tags herself in, and runs at Beth who catches her by the legs. Layla is locked into a giant swing by Beth but in comes Michelle who for some reason, jumps over Layla and then gets hit with a back elbow by Beth. Not even sure what’s going on here. Beth then picks up Layla in a lateral press position, hoisting her above her head but is kicked in the back of the leg by Michelle and ends up falling to her knees. McCool then works over the leg and goes for a pin but to no avail.
Michelle then continues to work over Beth’s leg before tagging out to Layla. Layla also begins working over the leg, stretching it over the bottom rope, applying pressure. She then distracts the referee while from the outside, Michelle begins choking Beth with her foot. Layla drags Beth to the center of the ring, and applies a leglock but is kicked away by Beth. She then throws Layla into the corner and tags out to Mickie who hits a shoulder block on Layla and then slides into the ring under the bottom rope. Mickie hits some clotheslines on Layla, knocks Michelle off the apron but is then caught with a kick by Layla. Mickie manages to reverse an irish whip attempt into a neckbreaker. Mickie signals to the crowd that she is going up top, to a big pop, and hits a Thesz Press on Layla. She goes for a cover but it’s broken up by Michelle who kicks her in the head.
Beth now gets involved, attacking Michelle from behind and the two end up outside the ring. In the ring meanwhile, Layla hits her Layout on Mickie for a surprising win. Layla herself is shocked afterwards that she either A) actually won a match or B) pinned the five time Women’s Champion.
After the match, Beth Phoenix gets in the ring and sets her eyes on Layla but from behind, Michelle chop-blocks her bad leg and takes her down. Lay-Cool now work over Beth as Layla goes to the outside to get an ironing board of all things. Why the hell is there an ironing board under the ring?! Layla props it up in the corner and they both irish whip Beth into the ironing board, back first, in a pretty sick move. Beth however, manages to slowly get back on her feet but is met with a huge big boot from McCool. Vickie then gets into the ring, handing them both lipsticks, as they smear it all over Beth’s face adding further insult to injury. I don’t know about you, but Beth looked severely sunburnt to me — I don’t know if that’s the look they were going for.
The match was decent as well with McCool and Layla isolating Beth’s leg. It’s crazy to think that this was Mickie’s last match, you could hear the pops when she was tagged in and went up to the turnbuckle — how do you just release your most over Diva? It baffles me.
I have to wonder if WWE knew on Tuesday that they’d be releasing Mickie this week, because I was extremely surprised to see her lose clean to Layla who seemingly loses all the time unless Michelle picks up the win in tag matches. It’s a nice rub for Layla but extremely surprising nonetheless. I do think they knew they would be releasing Mickie at the time, it’s a hell of a coincidence.
In all, it was a strong build to Sunday’s match even if it came at the last minute. I thought the post-match beatdown was incredibly effective and made you look forward to the PPV to see if Beth can get her revenge. Great stuff. Considering that this supposedly got terrible reviews in the spoilers, I guess they did a decent editing job to make it look good — it came across great to me.