Raw Redux (August 6th, 2012): The Diva Drought Ends, Kelly Returns

You wanted Divas, and you finally got them on last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw. However, not naming names — ahem Twitter — but apparently that’s still not enough to satiate the Diva fandom. When they’re off TV, not happy; “OMG, no Divas match?!” When they return, still not happy; “That match was awful and I’d rather they weren’t on TV at all”. Perhaps it’s true, people just enjoy having something to bitch about.

Nonetheless, the action came thick and fast last night as we got plenty of segments featuring our very own little bright star, AJ (now featuring last name) Lee, wielding her General Manager power in several segments. Plus, we also saw the return of in-ring action for the women as Kelly Kelly returned from a two month hiatus (though for different reasons than Randy Orton’s recent two month hiatus) against bad girl, Eve.

Out first, making her big comeback is Kelly Kelly to nice applause from the crowd and she’s put over by the commentators too, which I think is a nice touch for her return. Kelly’s former bestie, Eve, is out next and can I just say how much I love heel Eve Torres? From her little mischievous smile and her confident strut down the ramp, Eve has really done a good job adjusting her entrance for her heel character.

As Eve ever so nonchalantly leans against the ropes, the bell rings and we’re underway. Eve and Kelly exchange some words and it looks like Eve is ready to make her exit, but as she steps through the ropes, Kelly grabs a handful of hair and brings her back to reality by slamming her against the mat. K2 with a Thesz Press (complete with patented scream — you know you’ve missed it!) followed by some forearms. In the corner, Kelly nails Eve against the middle turnbuckle and lays in some kicks before riling up the crowd for another signature move, the handspring! In her finest display of Olympian gymnastics, Kelly hits a handspring butt-bump that would make Gabby Douglas proud. With Eve slumped in the corner, Kelly tries to follow up with a stinkface but Eve is having none of it. The devious Diva simply exits the ring freeing herself from the clutches of K2′s ass-sets.

Eve again looks like she’s about ready to hightail it (who does she think she is? Madonna at a Paris concert?) but the newly-recharged Kelly is right behind her. K2 plants a hefty slap on Eve before whipping her into the barricade. Yes, indeed! A spot on the outside on Raw. We don’t see those anymore.

As Eve makes ouchy with the barrier, Kelly tries to get the action back in the ring, tossing Eve back in and climbing up to the top turnbuckle. Kelly with a nice crossbody for a two count but no three.

Eve reverses a whip attempt into the corner, but Kelly uses her agility to scale the turnbuckle and has Eve in a headscissors predicament, but Eve instead slams Kelly down to the canvas front-first in a move that is bound to take the wind out of the former champ.

Torres with kicks to Kelly followed by choking her out over the bottom rope. Eve then applies a chokehold while sitting on the top turnbuckle, but breaks the hold before the referee can reach his five count. Eve continues to apply a chokehold on K2 as they are both in a grounded position, but the crowd soon wills Kelly to fight back.

Kelly hits Eve with some forearms, breaking out of the hold, but Eve then hits her with a knee to the stomach. Eve whips Kelly into the ropes for a back-body drop, but Kelly manages to stop her momentum and hits her with a kick to the face before applying a hurricanrana into a pin for the victory.

So, Kelly is victorious in her first match back on Raw and Divas matches once again return. Of course, we have to start somewhere and this seemed like a good a place as any to start. Hopefully over the next few weeks WWE will incorporate more Divas into the show and create some semblance of a women’s division again. They have the time, they have the women — they just need the opportunity. There’s plenty of time to create a storyline around the Divas Title, to put on some decent matches and develop the Divas’ various characters. As Layla and Natalya showed on Superstars last week, the Divas can rise to the occasion.

As for the match, it obviously wasn’t a five-star classic and if anyone was miraculously expecting those when the Divas returned to Raw, you probably need to manage your expectations better. It was a decent match and it got more a little bit more time than we were used to on two hour episodes of Raw.

Things aren’t going to change overnight and it’s not going to be perfect the first week out; I would like to see the Divas get a few more minutes on a weekly basis, and as I said before, some sort of storyline. But as a start point? Well, this is probably the longest match Raw has seen Diva-wise all year.

There was plenty of AJ on this week’s Raw, but rather than recap every little thing she did, I’m just going to discuss my favorite bits!

AJ popping back into the scene with that little look on her face when Alberto Del Rio said the word “crazy” was priceless. I love how her demeanor can change at the drop of the hat, and it’s a testament to AJ’s acting that she really makes these backstage segments fun to watch.

And talk about insane chemistry. I feel like one day we’re all going to look back at the scenes between AJ and Daniel Bryan and hailing them as a gold standard for all future Diva/Superstar segments. Their chemistry and timing is brilliant. The little “Yes”/”No” off at the end of this segment was absolutely my highlight of Raw. Just fantastic!

What did you think of Raw this week? Shout it out in the comments, Twitter, Tout, Toot, Hoot, or whatever other social media network WWE has discovered this week.

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  • Melissa K Killer 2010

    I would take A.J Lee Every Week you being on TV as a diva then watch KK wrestle stop WWE forcing us to watch her people said she got better where I used to give her credit but now it time for her to be the GM of NXT and stay out of the wrestling ring!

    • http://www.facebook.com/thesensational1 Sherri Martel Fan

      I totally agree! I am so fed up with Kelly Kelly. I want to see real women’s wrestling. I cannot take Kelly seriously at all.

  • jen07201

    I am glad to see K2 back in WWE.

  • French.One

    Kelly is not a Diva … problem solved.

    #WeWantSara

    • Jcott3

      No offense, but if Kelly is not a Diva, what is she? Keep in mind, I reserve the word ‘Diva’ for referring to women in the business who can’t wrestle and get by purely on looks and sex appeal.

      • French.One

        I agree with you, I just don’t get why people say “diva fans are always bitching no matter what” because from the point of view of many of us, having a match which involves Kelly is the same thing as not having a match, so no people haven’t changes their minds since last week there is no reason to stop bitching !!!!

  • Acrant

    So is it safe to say there are no heels for Layla to even face? They collectively haven’t won in months.

  • Ed

    Diva drought ends :)
    Kelly returns :(

    As happy as I am to see the women finally back on the show, I would’ve preferred to see them in a backstage segment or angle that started some kind of storyline. If it’s just a random match with nothing behind it that doesn’t lead to anything like the matches on Superstars, then what’s the point really? It’s just filler.

  • queennattie

    Lol @ the “We need more Layla” sign in the front row! So true.

    But that was, uhm yeah. Nothing extraordinary or new. These two have chemistry, just not so much in the ring yet lol.

    If they were better at putting on matches, they could be the new top diva feud (I don’t want to say Trish vs. Lita because I’ll get a shoe thrown at me but you get the point).

    • perceval

      Loved the perfectly placed “Need more Layla” sign, too. :)

      Kelly & Eve can’t be the next Trish & Lita. They’re more Torrie vs Candice (without Candice’s counter to the Stinkface, this being PG).

      But, while Torrie vs Candice was entertaining, it wasn’t Raw’s main Diva feud of 2006, that being the various combinations of Trish, Lita, & Mickie. And that’s why people complain. The Golden Era spoiled us.

      My own view: This is better than the nothing we’ve had for too long. But, I’m not going to overrate it, either.

      • beliEVEr

        Mm. I think Eve/AJ had more of the potential to be the next Trish/Lita. Not only were they more interesting than the Eve/Kelly feud had/has ever been, but as mentioned, Eve/Kelly matches just don’t click and Eve and AJ both can hold their own in the ring and on the mic. That’s one feud WWE shouldn’t have dropped…

        • flash1086

          Eve/AJ are nowhere close to the level of Trish/Lita. Thats like saying that Punk/Cena are close to the level of Rock/Austin. Trish/Lita were by far the 2 most popular diva of their time. The only diva right now to get a reaction from the crowd today is Kelly and AJ and those reactions are not that loud. AJ is the only diva who could potentially get to the Trish/Lita level because just like them, she made an impact in a short period of time. But who knows.

        • flash1086

          Eve/Kelly are more of a Candice Michelle/Torrie Wilson rilvalry. They dont necessarily have the “IT” factor but they are very beautiful to look at, they have attitude and they are athletic.

  • shaky209

    NOw me I don’t agree with that.For one thing KellyKelly was off for a couple of months.And now she’s back.Eve was involved in an angle and wasn’t wreslting and now she’s back.So with it being 3 hours I don’t see why we won’t have Diva matchs on Raw <Now Beth being the only one that wasn't gone or working an angle she was left with nobody to work against.So on live events she worked every weekend with layla.This last weekend was the first one she'd had off in quite a while.So now that they've got them back I don't see any problem with Diva matches on Raw and SmacKDown.None at all.And that 1001 and 1st Raw after wards there was on 1 show 8 promo videos which is a lot.Didn't see that many replays of HHH and Leasnar and thank God for that.More matches last night ..

    • Raekon

      Beth didn’t had “off” last weekend, she was working raw houseshows with Layla while Kaitlyn worked SD houseshows with Natalya.

      Just as a info! :)

  • lelloo7

    waw, people are still bitching about it.. even here ._.
    I swear diva fans are the worst !! ( and i am one of them 1!!!)

    • http://facebook.com/mykael.kennedy mykel1990

      I agree, however, most IWC fans tend to be snarky and perpetually unhappy.

      • lelloo7

        i just don’t get it !!
        And i agree

  • jen07201

    Question when was the last time the Divas title was defended?

    • http://twitter.com/lostmikeys Kaledrina

      at no way out, layla against beth.. was the middle of june so just under two months ago.

      • jen07201

        Wow that is a long time.

  • http://twitter.com/lostmikeys Kaledrina

    you summed it up perfectly. considering people were crying about the division being dead (more lives than a cat i swear) just a week or two ago, you’d think this revival of sorts would be enough. for me, it definitely was. and as somebody touched upon in the kelly returns article, it was nice seeing kelly being more aggressive in her ring style.

    what matters to me is where they go from here.. now we have a diva presence back on raw, obviously it makes sense for wwe to incorporate a storyline into the picture. it doesn’t even necessarily have to be over the title (after-all, layla is supposed to be a smackdown diva, right?), a simple ‘i hate you’ ‘well i hate you more’ feud would be enough for me at this stage. we’ll see how it goes…!!

    • perceval

      It would help if the butterfly belt was portrayed as having some value, though. None of the Divas except Layla & Beth seem to have any interest in it.

      A huge part of what made the Golden Era work was all the women having an obsession with the Championship. There were even three kidnappings over a five month period over it at one point. :) Constantly putting over how important the red & gold belt was is what made that belt so iconic. It was the One Ring for the Divas. :)

      Though, I suppose the Divas all being borderline psychos over the Championship wouldn’t be very kid friendly. :)

    • http://facebook.com/mykael.kennedy mykel1990

      I think we as the fans need to be more proactive as well, let WWE know that the Diva’s Division has fans, and we want to see Divas every week. Make ‘em trend on twitter, catch WWE’S. attention, and keep repeating the process until they sit up and listen. The time for talk is over with, we need to rally behind our divas.

  • Queen Bee

    Please. Kelly is still horrible and I see did not train for her return. It is obvious she doesn’t care about wrestling so get her out of there

    • http://twitter.com/lostmikeys Kaledrina

      i don’t get it. if she was botching or missing cues i could get it but that was actually a solid match by kelly? she hit her spots, got the crowd involved and was even sort of slightly oozing personality ..which is a definite step up for her. i’m not even a fan of kelly’s, never have been so likely never will be, but it’s like you’re picking on her over things that didn’t actually exist last night =S

      • GailKim95

        ^this

      • layglamacool

        I actually have to disagree @Kalendrina, during the match Kelly still threw those weak, unconvincing punches and she still can’t run the ropes properly.

  • TheKellyKelly2011

    LY K2

  • lucky1now

    im actually happy with what i seen the match was longer then normal they fought in the ring out the ring a high flying attack both got some hits in
    the only thing i dont like is eve lost with no real heel anywhere whos the top hee to challenge layla?
    or will they bring someone up?
    on another note as clay was getting hurt i so imagined one of the dancers jumping on the other guys back to try to help thats the attitude era

    • http://twitter.com/lostmikeys Kaledrina

      layla worked a couple of matches with both natalya and also aksana the last few weeks. maybe it will be one of them? would be nice to see aksana get a bit of spotlight :)

      the namoi/cameron stuff annoyed me, too. a part of me is great! they’re playing the role of just dancers so it’s excusable. but still, he’s your man! jump on that dude’s back and yank his hair out lol.

      • lucky1now

        I’m hoping nattie gets it
        I know and knowing that noami can go makes it worse just wish she can do what lita use to do get a move in here and there help her guy win

        • Jcott3

          It would be nice if she got it, but it’s painfully clear Nattie is a current version of Molly Holly – a good hand in the ring, but gets almost no love from management.

  • WhalenX12

    Can we get a feud for the title ? My god. I’m still upset about no title match last PPV. If it continues, the divas title should be scraped.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

    The diva are wrestling again on Raw..more like Kelly is wrestling again on raw he he jk
    Welcome back Kelly.

    Not a fan of her matches or style or her for that matter, but glad the crowd got behind her :)

    AJ…I’ll take her doing anything over Eve or Kelly any day!

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com candice7000

    I’m supportive of my girl Kelly being back. Screw all you haters. Though I do with they would do something with that title. Can Layla at least drop the title to Eve and then have Kelly and Eve feud for it. Or AJ could feud with Eve for it.

  • redsandman99

    I’m overall happy with last night. We got the divas back on Raw and a one on one match went three minutes, which is an eternity for them. Was it the best match? No, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as some people have made it out to be. Kelly seemed more aggressive and hit a nice crossbody and given that it was her return match, I’m not surprised that she won. Loads of divas have won return matches in the past so it’s generally how WWE books it to go. Hopefully we get Layla on Smackdown and then some kind of storyline up and running. The ideal would be one storyline on Raw and the other on Smackdown though I’m not holding my breath on that right now. Right now it’s baby steps. We had a match now next week hopefully we’ll get a match and a direction to go in.

  • YouCanLookButYouCan’tTouch

    AJ is doing such a great job as RAW GM so far.I love how she has that bubbly personality,mixed in with a little bit of craziness.Honestly,I don’t mind seeing AJ on tv every week.I love her personality and character.I do hope that she will be competing in the ring in the near future though…Because I miss seeing her wrestle.Idk why people started complaining about seeing AJ on tv every week because what’s interesting is that those same people were complaining about when she wasn’t getting much tv time.Funny…

    Now onto the Kelly Kelly/Eve match.Personally,I felt the match was pretty decent.Was it the best divas match?No.Was it the worst divas match?No.I’m happy that Kelly Kelly is back : ) I missed seeing her on tv.My favorite spot of the match was when she tossed Eve into the barricade wall.And I loved how Eve showed a bit more of her heel character,especially when she lost.

    Now about all of you complaining diva fans:WE FINALLY GOT A DIVAS MATCH!Last week,we were all complaining about not seeing the divas.Then when we see them this week compete,99.9% of you are complaining.Can anyone on here ever be satisfied?!Be grateful that we got divas action this week.And on top of that,be happy that it was given a bit more time.Who knows,maybe the WWE is actually working to get the divas division back on top.In fact,last week,I read an article that talked about how people backstage were discussing about the amount of time the divas get on tv.Get over yourselves and be grateful.So what if it wasn’t the match that you necessarily wanted to see,at least it was SOMETHING!

    And about Kelly’s wrestling skills:I love Kelly Kelly.She has her strengths in the ring,and she also has her weaknesses,just like any other wrestler.Kelly doesn’t have that bad of a moveset.The only thing I’d like to see is her add a bit more aggression to her moves because I feel like she holds back at times when it comes to being aggressive.Is Kelly the best divas wrestler on the roster?No.Is she the worst divas wrestler on the roster?No.Like I said,she has her strengths,and she has her weaknesses.But give the girl credit for crying out loud.At least she’s out there competing every week,no matter what.

  • shannymac

    I was kind of hoping that Kelly would return as a heel. Other than Eve (and sometimes Beth)WWE doesn’t really have any over heel Divas. I think it would have been interesting to see Kelly come back in a role se hasn’t played before, and maybe even challenge Layla.

    Unless Layla turns heel sometime soon, I don’t se us getting a Divas title feud anytime in the near future.

  • JJ

    The whole “You wanted divas and you got them and you’re still not happy!” thing is stupid. I want divas matches on RAW; Beth, Natalya, Alicia, Naomi, Layla, AJ, Tamina, Kaitlyn I would be happy to see wrestle. Kelly I’m not happy seeing, because she’s not good. It’s pretty simple.

    It’s like being really hungry and someone gives you a plate of dog crap. Yes, you’ve got something to eat, but you certainly don’t want to eat that.

    This was a standard Kelly match. I’d rather see her as a valet for someone than in the ring (if she’s gonna stick around). It’s sad that Layla is a complete afterthought when she’s champ.

    • ShimmerSupport211

      And once again its proven…. can she ever win a match on tv or ppv without the roll up of doom now ? she can never win by finishing someone ? and when i mean finish i mean her doing it and not a tag team partner. Maybe Sara del rey should go to tna ( just saying for her sakes ). but yet i want to see sara and natalya so… just saying kelly enough of the roll up of doom.

      • Jake

        Since when was a hurricanrana considered a roll-up? Those are two different moves.

        • http://twitter.com/lostmikeys Kaledrina

          haha, true. she didn’t win with a roll-up or even the K2 but apparently it’s the same old, same old!

  • TheJoJoIsCrazy

    I’m so happy about the sign!! I ‘ll get to the math in a moment but I’m stil crazy about the Layla sign. Not even a Layla fan, but to me it seems like som support for the division. Only thing is I hope it’s not a plant. If not, I’m really impressed with the camera crew for spotting it and not taking it out or rolling past it.
    I liked the start of the match. Eve puts these details in her character like the little exhange at the begining. I like the whole ” I’m better than this” attitude. I just hope she starts capitalizing on it. I loved the ” Oh Hell no you didn’t” aggression toward the end but I wish it had played out further. It’s more to me like Sable vs Torrie to me.
    Definitely nice to have a match even if it’s not a great one, then again when do we ever? I’ll take the scraps for now.

    • beliEVEr

      Agreed, Eve’s heel mannerisms were defitnetly on point in the match!

  • iLUVValets

    The match was cute, and I loved Kelly’s attire. SIDENOTE: Is it me or is WWE in the process of getting rid of Smackdown?

    • Piledriver’ Tavios

      I sure hope not. Why would they do so?

  • scarlet spider

    Decent match. But it’s understandable why some people still ain’t happy. Yes, we got a match. And yes, it lasted a little longer than the 1-2 minute affairs we had been getting before the complete drought set in.

    But last night was only an improvement because things had been so very bad before. So, yes, a match is better than nothing. But we’re still talking about a 3 minute match on a 3 HOUR Raw. That’s 1.7% of the entire show. Forgive me for not getting too excited.

    With no real build up or point to the match (other than to welcome KK back), last night just felt like throwing the fans a bone, just so the WWE can later claim that they are giving the Divas ring time. And apparantly, for some fans that is indeed enough.

    As for AJ, I just don’t care. That’s no reflection on her, but if she ain’t wrestling, she ain’t a part of the division. If people are happy to see her talent being wasted week after week, that’s fair enough. Some people here are wrestling fans, and some obviously aren’t. It’s personal preference at the end of the day. But I’m a fan of AJ the wrestler. And I hope we don’t have to wait too long until we see her again.

  • GQGuy305

    this match was horribel. Kelly Kelly and Eve just dont work together at all. WWE need to take the title of Layla as much i love Layla she is not doing much on tv so why have the title. i believe the title picture should be AJ and Eve we still havent seen a solid match between the two but im sure they will deliver.

  • GQGuy305

    Kelly Kelly needs to watch Brooke Tessmacher in action n take some notes.