Raw Redux (November 29th, 2010): Santino Strikes Again

Last week, Natalya asserted her dominance over the Divas division in a unbeweavable singles match against the feisty Alicia Fox. This week she leads the team of Gail Kim and Melina against Alicia, Maryse and Tamina. Will she be able to be victorious once again? Check out the match below:\

Out first is the heel team and we are treated to a replay of the odd, yet entertaining exchange between Tamina and Santino. I should have known this was a precursor to what was to come later in this match, but I ignored it. Silly me.

Out next is the babyface team, who get a pretty good reaction from the crowd. After the obligatory posing to the crowd, the referee takes the belt from Nattie and starts the match with Melina and Maryse kicking things off for their respective teams. As we all know there’s no love lost between these two, so it was no surprise to see these two go toe to toe in the middle of the ring. In her usual cocky fashion, Maryse piefaced Melina, but gets a stiff forearm for her troubles. Melina mounts the French-Canadian beauty and they roll around for a bit, before Maryse manages to escape under the bottom rope.

Maryse runs around the ring and tries to enter on another side, but Melina grabs her by the hair, preventing her from getting away. The former champion tussle for a bit until Maryse drops down, snapping Melina’s throat across the top rope. Maryse drags a breathless Melina into the center of the ring for the pin, but only gets a two count. Before Melina can get her wits about her, Maryse drags her toward her team’s corner and tags in Alicia. This is where things get ugly, my friends.

Alicia goes on the attack, slamming Melina face into the mat and giving her a stiff kick to the midsection. Alicia chokes Melina out on the middle rope for a while before the official reprimands her. Alicia backs off shortly, but when she goes in for the kill, Melina musters up the strength to push her away. Alicia charges again and Melina evades with the matrix and scrambles to make a tag. Alicia cuts her off with a chop block (which was sold way too early by Melina) and drags her back to her team’s corner.

Frustrated, Alicia stands over Melina and shouts: “You do NOT do that to me!”, before laying in a stomp to the gut. Alicia tries to land a right hand, but Melina manages to block it (awkwardly), land a punch of her own and a very unique (and awkward) backbreaker. As the Divas struggle to their corners, the sound of awful guitar playing and even worse singing fills the arena. That’s right. You guessed it.

Santino Marella makes his way down the ramp with guitar in tow, looking to return Tamina’s serenade from last week. Maryse and Tamina jump down from the apron, leaving poor Alicia stranded in the ring. After some awkward staring between Tamina and Santino, Tamina grabs her man and essentially drags him backstage, leaving Maryse standing there open-mouthed.

In the meantime, Melina finally makes it to her corner and tags in Natalya, who goes right after the vulnerable Alicia Fox. Alicia tries to cut her off at the pass with a clothesline, but Nattie dodges and retaliates with a clothesline of her own, followed by a modified bodyslam. Seizing the opportunity, Natalya goes to lock on the Sharpshooter, but Maryse breaks it up by grabbing Nattie by the hair (without actually ripping it out). However, before any real damage can be done, Gail Kim comes to the rescue with a flying clothesline, neutralizing Maryse.

Alicia tries to get back on track with a Northern Light suplex, but Natalya sees it coming and reverses it into the Sharpshooter to pick up the win for her team.

I said it last night on the Post-Raw Show and I’ll say it again: This was not a pretty match… at all, and the biggest offenders here were Melina and Alicia. While I’ve enjoyed some of their work together, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it is very hit or miss when these two meet up. Tonight was definitely a miss. Things got better once Nattie tagged in, but even then it was a bit awkward.

Another complaint of mine is the insertion of Santino into this match. You would think in a 3-hour edition of Raw, they could spare some time to give Santino and Tamina a segment separate from the match. Hopefully this doesn’t become a frequent occurrence, like it did in the ‘Santina’ era. *shudder*

My final gripe about this match was the lack of any progression, besides the Tamina/Santino storyline. While I’m glad Natalya has finally won the title, it seems what I feared most has happened: It looks like writer don’t know what to do with her now. Now that Beth Phoenix has returned and seems to be feuding with Lay-Cool, what can Natalya do? Some are speculating that Maryse may be next in line for a shot at the belt next, I think it’s a long shot. If WWE was attempting to tease a future Natalya/Maryse feud with this match, they failed epically in my opinion.

The WWE desperately needs to established a challenger for Nattie and soon. They can only have random tag matches and squashes for so long before Natalya starts to look like a transitional champ, rather than the fighting champ she’s meant to be. Hopefully next week will be better for the Raw Divas next week.

SmackDown Reviewer - Read Profile
  • xxQOXxx

    I love Santino but seeing him come out reminded me of ‘The Santina Era’.
    Him being inserted into various Divas matches every week and the god-awful WM Battle Royal.

  • SherriShepherdWWE

    Very disappointed in the match especially, when you have five good to great wrestlers in it minus Maryse, the parts with Melina and alicia were just a mess, and to me it seemed Melina was off alot, , but when Nattie and Gail did her one move it was good, but i did like the progression in the Tamina/Santino Storyline which i have no problem with, i just hope she turns on him, after awhile

  • redxx

    bad match but i think that we r still in the laycool/natalya feud till TLC
    melina was way better as a heel she would have made laycool look bad like when she imitated michelle mccool in smackdown . LMFAO

  • Litaker61

    I still cant understand how even during a 3-hour Raw we couldn’t get a match without some sort of interuption. As for the match it was very sloppy and I have no idea where they are going with Natalya, and I’ve got a feeling the writers dont either.

  • Macho Madness

    Ohhh Maryse…you are lookin’ good in that outfit. So sexy.

  • Macho Madness

    They do need to pick who the next challenger for the diva’s title. I want Natalya’s title reign to be meaningful.

  • Macho Madness

    I would love to see Natalya vs Gail Kim for the title. I think those ladies could put on one hell of a match.

  • I <3 Maryse

    I think it’s funny how much everyone praises Alicia and Melina for being so great in the ring but they’re both really inconsistent. Like, I dont understand…it’s also humorous how Maryse isnt the one who did bad either when everyone always hates on her for not being able to wrestle, but I do think she’s improving…maybe to prove that she’d rather be in the ring and not beside it??

    Anyway, if WWE’s way of saying Maryse is the next contender by doing what was done….I dont think she is, because whatever she’s about to do with Teddy. And, 3 full hours and Santino has to come out during THIS match when they could’ve done something backstage… :l IDK what’s gonna happen with Natalya though. She obviously needs someone to feud with, but who!?

  • redxx

    i hope that maryse becomes miz valet

  • shameronstar

    Melina NEEDS to turn heel again. She no longer is a top tier diva and I believe her becoming a A-list bitch again would do wonders to revitalize her career. Plus her wrestling is better when she sticks to her brawl/submissionist style with “limited” use of her flexibility. Although she might end up completely out staging Laycool since her heel character is very believable.

  • UncleCuc

    Just a hot mess, they tried to shoehorn in too many things. Should’ve had Santino/Tamina as a backstage segment, booked a #1 contenders match for next week and had Nattie do a short promo. Even with 3 hrs, the KotR tourney, Cena/Nexus and Miz/Lawler weren’t going to leave much time for the divas last night, so a 6 diva tag was just a bad idea for the 5 minutes they got.

  • Williambitious

    I can’t see the video :/

  • http://Twitter.com/Edazon Edazon

    @shameronstar

    I actually think Melina is positioned to turn into that, though I’m sure the writers don’t know that they’ve done it. =/

    Give Melina a promo, ever since she lost the unification match she’s been off her game. Everyone is walking all over her and she isn’t putting herself first. Have her face Alicia that night, or even put her in another tag match. Melina should be vicious and at the end maybe even attack her opponent or team mate.

    It wouldn’t even take that long and that is the exact kind of down your throat stuff the WWE likes to push!

    I think if they did do it though Natalya should be feuding with someone else at the time. Because, why would she get a title shot if she has been off of her game and being walked all over?

  • redxx

    btw did somebody saw the ” i hate melina” sign

  • The Crying Light

    How typical. Once again, the WWE showcases women in a terrible light. Do they really have to be featured as such shallow creatures: leaving the middle of a competitive match just because of a man? This and that Gail Kim-Alicia Fox-Ted Di Biase crap makes it seem as if this bullshit of a company is saying that a woman cannot live without a man in her life. And they have the audacity to say that their divas are smart, sexy and powerful?

    Grow up WWE. You’ve been the top wrestling company for years and you still treat women like shit. Put make up in a pig, it’s still a pig.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/art1ej art1e

    AWFUL, fire alicia or train her shes getting to be like maryse just awful & hard to watch….

  • Spideywebby

    Terrible match. It’s doesn’t help to add on Santino’s angle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/saurabhatia saurabh da luchawhore

    @ redxx … Yeah, I did see that .. it was very much on camera ..
    I think things are gonna take a slow turn till wrestlemania is a couple of weeks away, I think Beth will eventually turn heel and fued with Natalya and Laycool vs Lita & Trish at Mania will happen for sure.. and maybe after Mania laycool might break up and can pull on a kick ass fued.. Lets c how it rolls :-/

  • daemonicwanderer317

    Sigh… Melina and Alicia always seem to miss each other in regards to timing, which then ruins everything else.

    Maryse might go after the Divas title just to be able to laugh at Ted, but more than likely she is going to be hanging with Ted at NXT next week and stirring up trouble.

    I would love it if Melina just snapped while Nattie deals with Maryse and Alicia gunning for her belt.

  • fanboy

    Alicia the jobber.. she hasnt won a match in a while…. she’s gettin sloppy now… and its sad…

    MARYse looked just good… though she looked like she went crazy wtih beadazle…

    Punk’s comment on Tamina’s outfit… awwwwww…

    Sick of the sharpshooter…

  • http://www.youtube.com/RingVixens Teri

    Steven, PLEASE start re-reading your posts before you post them. There were quite a few grammar + spelling errors in this article. I find that I always seem to come across a bunch of them in your posts…

  • Goodnightddtmnm

    oKAY So what Melina & Alicia had a few sloppy spots so what..They had quite a few good matches its not the end of the world cuz they messed up in one match…some people r so quick to turn their back on the divas and its no wonder we get crap like this every week….Every one has their sloppy matches once in a while…Its like my gosh ppl stfu…but ne wayz :)

    ,

  • http://twitter.com/ClassicJeffry ClassicKellyEve

    IMO Maryse will be away from the divas competition because of her (what should i call him? Boyfriend?) Ted is a new pro on NXT (and on the Pro’s photos, Maryse is in Ted’s photo). I think Eve, Gail, Alicia, Tamina, The Bellas and Melina should do something more challenging to see.. Maybe they can do the divas battle royal again for Nattie’s title. And for TLC it will be Nattie VS One of them in Submission match..

  • http://www.twitter.com/kaledrina_x Kaledrina

    never was a huge melina fan, but i’ve gone off her even more since her return. half the time she just looks a bit lost to me. her sloppiness in that match actually made alicia look weaker than she is. iunno. on alicia, i feel sorry for her, she’s pretty much been forced into that spot jillian was in and for somebody who i feel still hasn’t reached their full potential, it’s a bad place for her to be.

    santino needs to just go away.

  • http://twitter.com/ClassicJeffry ClassicKellyEve

    Yea, i think WWE Should make an “Only divas” show. It’ll be interesting, i mean they will get more wrestling time, and it will shape the divas division (well it doesn’t mean the divas won’t appear on RAW or SD). And they should make a divas tag title, i mean look there are many potential team on divas division like : Maryse-Alicia, The Bellas, GlamHart, GaiLina, Laycool, (and i think Eve and Kelly will be a great team too, since tiffany was released)