Raw Redux – January 19, 2008

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Raw Redux returns with some changes! Erin and Melanie will both be contributing to the Redux as a ‘no frills’ thoughts column. We’ll both be giving our individual thoughts and opinions on the show.

Raw Recap
The Glamazon Beth Phoenix and her #1 Contender competed in seperate matches this week on Raw. Beth defeated Kelly Kelly, while later Melina beat Jillian. Beth’s ‘number one fan’ Rosa Mendes also returned to Raw as an ‘intern’ to Beth and Santino, attacking Melina post-match. Beth added the exclamation point by hitting Melina with the Glam Slam.

Erin:
When Raw rolls around on Monday nights, I’m usually lazy and tired, so I was ecstatic to see the Divas action so early in the show. Little did I know they were just stretching them out over the whole show. :/ So yeah, that made me cranky, but overall it was an interesting show.

Beth vs. Kelly was rather simple, and both Melanie and I were surprised to hear such audible “Kelly” chants. Though, that probably has more to do with the fact that they had an early slot in the show, as opposed to their usual late-show slot. Thus, the crowd wasn’t as dead as usual. I wouldn’t discredit Kelly though, because it’s clear that she’s fast becoming one of Raw’s top babyface Divas. Putting her in match after match helps build her confidence and expose her to the fans, and it’s wise to stick her with the likes of Beth and Jillian, as they’ve been doing. Before long, she’ll be far better in the ring than I ever expected her to be. Remember when she could hardly “dance” on ECW? Yeah, that was hillariously bad. I’m absolutley shocked she’s come this far.

The match itself wasn’t anything memorable, but I was surprised when Melina didn’t have a run-in and attack Beth after the match. I guess it’s a good thing that the WWE isn’t taking the obvious route. While it’s good for my ego to correctly predict things, it’s far more exciting to be wrong.

Rosa’s introduction as Beth’s new “intern” had shades of Mickie’s backstage debut, when she was gushing over Trish Stratus. However, I’m glad this sotryline’s going in a different direction. No cheap sexual faux-lesbian thrills, please. Santino, as he always does, absolutely made the segment. His “can we keep her?” had me laughing far harder than it should have. He needs to stick with Beth for a long while, because I’m afraid if they break up, he won’t have an avenue to showcase his genius comedic talent.

Melina vs. Jillian kind of came out of nowhere, as the show was coming near an end and I wasn’t expecting another Divas match. It was pretty short and shockingly sloppy – they just weren’t on their game last night. I liked that Jillian got the majority of the licks in, because with how often she jobs, the least they can give her is a little dominance in the match. With loss after loss, she’s hardly got any integrity left, and I was glad to see her dominate Melina and gain a little bit of that credibility back. They did the whole “Rosa attacks Melina” thing again, but I liked that Rosa was obviously seeking Beth’s approval, like a little attack dog. It makes this whole storyline much more than just “angry woman vs. angry woman” – it gives it depth. Beth getting the last laugh makes me think – as the old wrestling superstition goes – that Melina will be coming out on top on Sunday. With Beth showing her dominance two weeks in a row, that’s certainly the way it looks to be headed.

Melanie:
I thought I would be able to accurately predict this week’s Raw but they surprised me, which is always a good thing. I like that they’ve changed things up rather than just carrying over last week’s tag match. Beth vs Kelly was about two moves long and there isn’t much more to say about that. It was definitely interesting to see the crowd so into Kelly, the chants for her were very loud and I hope WWE was listening. Kelly definitely has star potential. I felt it was a little strange to build up Kelly for so long and then have her job a squash match, I would have put Candice in this spot.

The backstage segment was done well and it was a good way of bringing back Rosa to television given Stephanie ‘banned her’, so that was some good logic.

As for Melina vs Jillian, I was surprised to say the least. You have Beth go over Kelly in two moves yet you have Jillian beat the tar out of Melina for three minutes? It doesn’t make Melina look strong heading into the Rumble. If you’re going to have Beth lay her out anyway, at least give her a squash over Jillian, that’s how I would book it. Beth and Melina squashing their opponents to prove they’re ready. This match was pretty botchy, I have to say, let’s hope Melina is on her game this Sunday.

The Rosa run-in was again done well and it was cool to see Melina eat Glam Slam even if it was botched slightly. As Erin said, it looks like Melina could win the title after the way things were left last night.