Post-WWE Draft Raw shaped up nicely last night as for the first time in several years, we actually got some storyline for the Divas! Following the recent SmackDown route of a backstage promo followed by a match, last night’s edition of Raw managed to pack every single Raw Diva onto the show — hopefully a sign of what is to come. Did last night’s Raw start as it means to go on? Only time will tell but from last night’s episode alone, it looks like SmackDown — and TNA for that matter — could have some competition on its hands.
The night started off with Divas Champion, Eve Torres backstage doing a photoshoot with her belt, with her entrance music playing in the background. You know… as you do. I’m sure Lady Gaga has her songs playing when she does her photoshoots too, Eve! Watch below:
In comes tonight’s Raw Guest Host, Wayne Brady of err… some sort of fame unbeknownst to this Brit writer. Anyway, he
is paid to tell tells Eve that she’s his favourite Diva. Just as they begin conversing, they are interrupted by Jillian who gives us another fabulous cover of ‘Fame’ from the movie of the same name… hey, it can’t be any worse than that awful remake last year! I think I’ll take Jillian over that movie, two hours wasted. Brady gets rid of Jillian in a rather funny moment [“Go, go go go… gone!”] before saying his goodbyes to Eve. And for a second there, it seems like the segment is just going to end there — another silly Jillian singing skit. But wait! As Eve returns to her photoshoot, she sees that her title is not where she left it. All of a sudden, in comes Maryse and clocks Eve with the belt before putting it over her own shoulder and posing with it.
As everyone has been mentioning, this really was an epic little segment with the belt shot being executed perfectly by both Eve and Maryse. Eve really sold it well. These days, it’s becoming rare to see physicality like that among the Divas — especially on Raw so this was a great spot that totally caught me off guard. What a creative and fun spot!
Next up is the match between Maryse and Nikki Bella:
We knew Maryse would be in a match tonight due to the fact that she was in her ring gear earlier but I don’t know about you, but I was hoping for a match with Raw newcomer Natalya. Boo! I thought it was interesting that Nikki got the match over Brie, which in my opinion is a good thing. As mentioned by Maria Kanellis in our interview and even by Kristin Astara in the Live Chat on Sunday, Nikki is definitely the more athletic Bella and she loves to wrestle moreso than Brie. Why not give her the opportunity? Being in the Bella Twins limits what she can do singles-wise because she’s always gotta do the twin thing but I like that they gave Nikki an opportunity tonight because by all accounts, she is the Bella that really wants it. It’s great that they gave her this chance to do her own thing for once.
The match starts with a tie-up as Maryse backs Nikki into the ropes and slaps her. However, Nikki gives as good as she gets — hitting the former Divas Champ with some forearms followed by a snapmare. Nikki now takes Maryse into the corner, hitting her head off the turnbuckle several times before Maryse rolls to the outside to catch a break.
However on the outside, she’s met by Nikki’s sister, Brie and as she turns around, she’s kicked in the gut by Nikki. Nikki rolls Maryse back into the ring, gets up the apron and as Maryse takes a shot at her, she ducks and shoulder blocks Maryse. She then goes up to the top turnbuckle but is thrown off by the hair by Maryse. Really nice spot and great selling by Nikki.
Maryse then picks up Nikki for a sick French Kiss DDT to take the victory. Ouch, that really looks like it fried some brain cells!
And just when you think it’s over… nope, we get even more! Maryse takes the microphone and presents her brand new photoshoot. On the titantron we see some hilarious shots of Maryse posing with the Divas Title over an unconscious Eve. Just as she hits another hair flip, out runs Eve — having trouble getting into the ring — and tries to go after her attacker however, she’s stopped by the referee allowing Maryse to make her getaway.
Let’s start with the match: For all intents and purposes, it did what it was supposed to do. It was a 2-3 minute short match that we usually see but I thought it was a nice platform to showcase new talent. It really feels fresh post-Draft to see girls like Nikki get a shot at wrestling, maybe see some more Alicia Fox soon etc. Raw has been about the same girls for the past several years so it’s exciting to see some new blood get that stage. Nikki was good in the ring and hit her moves well, as did Maryse.
The post-match segment was extremely creative and again, I never saw that coming. Maryse’s ‘photoshoot’ was hilarious and it just goes to show what an outlandish character that Maryse is — she doesn’t take things too seriously. It was really funny and really creative. It baffles me that in one night, the Raw writers managed to come up with all of this for the Divas yet they couldn’t do anything like this for the past few years?
What they pulled off tonight was fun, it was imaginative and it felt fresh and new. I really hope this is the beginning of a new era for Raw that seems that actually put time and effort into the Divas storylines. Hopefully with the right time and attention, WWE can put Eve over with the audience. This was a great night for the Divas!