Raw Redux (July 30th, 2012): AJ Suits Up, Dancing Occurs, But Has Anyone Seen the Women’s Division?

Hola everyone… yes let out your groans that I am the one taking over the redux this week while your Khaleesi gets her Olympics on. Okay, now if you didn’t automatically X out, first of all thank you. Second of all, let’s get down to business! Last night brought my personal favorite, AJ, into her first evening as General Manager of Raw. She was a present force throughout the entire show from start to finish, and as you can imagine, this pleases me very much. Aside from AJ, we get Diva appearances from Queen Diva, Vickie GuerreroNaomi (One of my other favorites)… Cameron… and that’s well, it. I know there’s going to be some blood shed from angry fans already reading that there was no match or segment from anyone in the actual division, and yes I have my thoughts as well that I’ll be sharing later on, so let’s just get started, shall we?

Skip to 4:10

Justin Roberts tells us to welcome the new Raw GM.. AJ… LEE! A last name?! The peppy music of our GM hits and out she walks. Having suited up in pure Barney Stinson approved fashion, AJ announces that tonight’s main event will be Big Show vs. John Cena, with the winner of that match facing CM Punk for the WWE Title at Summerslam. How impactful AJ Lee, but if you’re going to be an authority role you need to get some glasses. Miss Tessmacher did it, Summer Rae did it, Eve did it. Don’t let me down AJ, okay?

Backstage, Daniel Bryan storms into the office of AJ Lee and… wait a second, are those glasses AJ? Nooo, don’t remove them. You were so close Miss Lee, but at least it’s a small step in the right direction. She sets her laptop down and plops up to attempt shaking hands with her ex. He begins to go off on her, but she instructs him to shut up! AJ informs him that she’s now his boss, and last week she saw those white coated men last week. She then comes to the conclusion that he just wanted to marry her so that he could have her legally committed. Bryan tries to state that they were just his groomsmen, and AJ shrugs it off. She decides to book him in a match tonight against Sheamus, and when asked if the World Title will be on the line, our dear Miss Lee brilliantly says no… No! No! No! No! No!

Skip to 1:45

In the midst of a Daniel Bryan takeover in which he refuses to leave the ring and then proceeds to punt Little Jimmy in true Snitsky/Baby Doll fashion, the white orderlies come out and go for what we believe is crazy uncle R-Truth. Just then, the peppy upbeat theme of Miss Lee hits and out she comes yet again! She instructs the gentlemen that they have the wrong person, before turning their attention to Daniel Bryan, also now known as “that little guy in the ring”. AJ feels that Daniel seems a little mentally unstable tonight, and that does not bode well for this being a safe working environment. Miss Lee decides to grant Daniel a psychiatric evaluation, as the orderlies escort Daniel out of the ring! He eventually meets face to face with his ex on the stage, and while she makes kissy faces at him in pure taunt mode, there’s nothing he can do aside from being taken to the back for his evaluation!

As John Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, CM Punk runs into the ring and takes both men down with a shot to the back using his title. Following an added kick to the head of Big Show, It seems no man has won the right to face him at Summerslam. Punk takes the mic and calls them both losers, but as he walks up the ramp, here comes the Queen Bee of the WWE, Miss Lee (say that five times fast). She lets the crowd know that CM Punk is incorrect with that assessment. She’s decided that since neither man pinned the other, they are both going to face CM Punk at Summerslam in a triple threat match! Punk comes back out and gets in the face of our mini queen, calling her a bad GM and asking if she’s crazy. AJ stands back up to him and taunts him with the title of being his boss now. He demands to be shown respect, and AJ simply smiles in his face to close the show for the third time!

Also, catch Naomi, Cameron, and the Queen Diva, Vickie Guerrero (who clearly did not master the Elaine dance from her rookie, Kaitlyn) in the following segment below:

Thoughts: Okay, I’ve definitely got a lot to say here despite having little to actually talk about. As far as our pint sized shining beacon of glimmering hope for females in WWE, AJ Lee goes, I absolutely loved her as GM tonight. In fact that’s an understatement of how much I enjoyed her segments. Her acting/facials have improved so drastically since her WSU days, hell even her FCW ones. They’re incredible now, and she can perform both in backstage segments, but also in front of a live crowd which is a quality you must have for this role. She’s pretty much the first female who isn’t strictly an authority figure taking on the GM position so I was kind of concerned with whether or not she could be believable in the character, but if tonight is any indication, I’m all for it. She exuded confidence and didn’t back down to anyone, whether they’re the WWE Champion or even her ex. She was present throughout the entire show and really made herself feel like an actual General Manager i.e. she didn’t just seem like an afterthought who had to be brought into random segments to make matches like when Zack Ryder ran SmackDown that one week. The suit… also a tremendous touch. And I loved that she closed the show standing up to CM Punk as well. Now just get some permanent glasses and we’ve got ourselves a star!

Now, onto the other things we should discuss… the lack of Divas. Let me first start off by saying I’m honestly not as offended as most people. I guess I see things differently because my favorite Diva is actually getting to do more on TV than pretty much any female has since Trish or Lita so I feel like I owe WWE my life for investing so much into her and don’t want to criticize them when they’re putting her in such a high profile role. That, and I also enjoy watching a lot of the mens segments as well so I was entertained by various other non-Diva bits (cough TYSON cough DAMIEN). People always say if you just want to see women wrestle, you should probably check out a lot of the independents going on and I agree with that. I watch WWE because like any TV show, I want to be entertained by the stories and characters, male or female, and I try not to take it that seriously in terms of over-analyzing the segments and stuff. I would rather just be a fan and enjoy what happens along the way. If something bad happens, oh well… things can only go up. If something good happens (like AJ) then I’m beyond thrilled and continue supporting them.

But that also doesn’t mean I think it’s really fair to simply ignore the entire female and midcard divisions like they’ve been doing as of late. People wonder why the crowds are dead silent when they’re thrown onto a Pay Per View? Who on Earth has been given a reason to care about almost any Diva? AJ can get a crowd behind her because she was given an opportunity to do so. Eve, even after being off TV for a month straight, can still get chants when she’s simply in a ring. Granted, they call her a hoeski, but that’s still better than getting no reaction at all. She was given some spotlight earlier this year, and thus people actually react to her. Lita… Stephanie… they were there in a time when women were given opportunities almost weekly, and because of that they can be off screen for years and come back to a better reception than most of today’s current performers.

One of my biggest wrestling pet peeves with any female division, not even just the Divas but the Knockouts as well, is that I can’t connect to anyone when it’s just a revolving door of feuds between a champion and someone who wants their belt. I want a reason to get invested. I want a storyline like when Mickie James played mind games with Trish Stratus from October to April, or when underdog, never say die champion, Gail Kim was written off from ever beating the mysterious monster known as Awesome Kong. I don’t want to see a contender determined by a random match they win… although now that’d probably be like hitting the lottery when it comes to the Divas. The reason I was so into both Daniel Bryan/CM Punk/Kane at No Way Out and Daniel/Punk at Money in the Bank was because that was a feud built on so many different levels than just someone wanting to be Champion. That’s also why I feel Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio paled in comparison. People say that Punk/Bryan stole the show at MITB. Yes, they can put on a classic in the ring like it’s no one’s business, but part of that also stems from the fact that I, as a fan, was so invested in seeing what was going to happen. Would Punk retain? Would Daniel win? Who was AJ going to side with? It was incredible, and a large part of what I love to see in wrestling.

I know I revert back to it a lot, but NXT Redemption also created storylines for majority of it’s cast that put Raw and SmackDown to shame at the time it was airing. I cared more about Kaitlyn and Maxine’s feud than I did whoever the Divas of Doom would face, and that’s not to the fault of Beth or Natalya, but they never got to really make me invested in their group beyond trying their hardest to through various forms of social media. And I don’t mean any of this to come off as complaining because that’s the stigma the wrestling fans who utilize the Internet seem to have, and I too get annoyed at times when people over-analyze things instead of simply enjoying them, but I just feel like all of these thoughts are what majority of the people who read this will be thinking, so they should be said. And since nobody gets a voice to say it on TV, why not do it here?

A lot of people think the problem is that the Divas aren’t given enough time, and yes that is a huge factor. But honestly I feel that more of the problem is that too many feuds are just built around a challenger and a champion… nothing more. Give us reasons to care. I don’t even care if it’s a crazy, unbelievable storyline as long as it gets me invested into a program. Too much of Raw was spent delving on recaps of the main event talent (in fact I think we even saw the same recap four times tonight). We can’t live in the past forever, and eventually newer talent are going to need to be given an opportunity to shine. Those minutes spent recapping could be spent establishing Superstars and Divas to take WWE into the future. You can’t just remove the females or other male talents from a show each week because Triple H and Brock Lesnar need to have 30 minutes spent recapping the same segment four times and then bring the shafted talent out at a random moment and blame said person when a crowd doesn’t make a sound for them.

Put people into more personal storylines beyond just “I want your title, so let’s constantly have stare off’s”, and maybe you’d be surprised at just who could get a response. Why not have Layla in a backstage segment talking to Alicia or someone, and then have Eve approach them and make fun of Layla for being an afterthought champion like she did CM Punk? Have her claim that while Layla was sitting on the sidelines dusting her belt off, Eve was main eventing Raw and off getting the opportunities on other shows that WWE didn’t even feel their own Divas Champion deserved. That alone is enough to make me care about a Layla/Eve feud more than Layla sitting on commentary watching Eve beat Alicia in 22 seconds with a roll up, then engaging in a stare off while Cole and Lawler promote some beef sandwich that sponsors the company and take two bites during the entire segment while commentating with their mouths full of slop. But alas, I don’t know really what else I can say that I haven’t said already so let’s hope next week is better for the women not named AJ, but that AJ continues to do amazing work as well. Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts on the situations going down!

… Oh and dang it, put Naomi and Cameron in the division! (But I’m still happy they are two of the sole four women who make Raw weekly!)

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  • carlos22

    LOL I’m pretty sure that the next Diva title feud will start from a glorified #1 Contender’s Battle Royale. Winner stares down Layla for sure and that’s it.

  • perceval

    Didn’t the Women’s Division end back in 2010?

    • Kim099

      yeah when the wemons championship retierd

      • Future-Knockout/Diva

        As soon as the Womens championship retired then so did the womens divison and now we have the divas divison.

        • perceval

          And notice where things really started to fall apart was when the butterfly belt was introduced in 2008. Sure, things weren’t what they were since Trish & Lita left, but Mickie, Melina, & Beth were holding things together until then.

  • Lanoom

    I just don’t get WWE.

    They hire promising people while the scene they’ll be coming into is a complete disaster.

    They give a mega-push and massive character development to one while completely neglecting everyone else.

    They perpetuate the vicious cycle of nobody caring when the women (or mid-carders) are performing by thinking that means that the performer has failed, instead of giving the audience something to care about.

    Why even have the division? Merch would sell more if the audience cared more. Bathroom breaks can be covered by Brodus and Ryback. You don’t need a women’s division to have a female presence on the show (as this past Raw showed). They obviously don’t care about having interesting characters in compelling angles put on dynamic matches.

    Just kill it.

  • MickieJamesluvslave

    Does the WWE still have a Diva’s Champion?
    All of Eve’s momentum—gone from lack of follow through.
    Any hope I had with the signing of SDR and the extra hour is gone.
    Great for AJ but for the rest of the Diva’s—-maybe they need to pull a Punk.

  • Matthew

    I wish they gave the writers at Diva Dirt the chance to write the script for a month for the Divas, give them 10 mins on Raw – rather than showing the same damn promo/hype video 3 times in a single night!!

    • Ed

      You’re not even kidding about that. At least 3 separate recaps of the HHH/Brock Lesnar segment from last week. And they weren’t even differently edited recaps; it was the same exact video aired 3 times! They even wasted time showing 3, yes, 3 recaps of a fire that happened BEFORE THE SHOW STARTED! Why on earth was that necessary?! They have time for stuff like that, but they can’t set aside 2 or 3 minutes for a Divas segment? Wow…

      • Matthew

        I just don’t get it?

      • gel619

        I totally agree. There are good wrestler who aren’t getting a chance. Eve is on NBC for the moment with stars earn their stripes. But what about Nat, Beth, Tamina, Kaitlyn, and Layla (those are the only divas i remember off the top of my head) Then for the guys you have Tyson, who is so much better than Del Rio, who gets nothing. The one man band is old. They want viewers yet its the same thing different week now just a hour more of it.

        • http://xlittlemissobsessive.tumblr.com/ KellyKellyAJFan

          Fyi, Eve actually is still on the road with them. She already filmed SES during the timing Ace was at risk of getting “fired,” hence her hiatus. I don’t know if they’ll keep her off TV until the show is finished airing (ie Maria/Celebrity Apprentice) but I doubt it seeing as she has been on TV excluding these last past two weeks. So they could use her, if they wanted to :)

      • perceval

        I guess the constant and repeated recaps are due to the little kids that make up the audience, now, having severe ADD?

  • iLUVValets

    Thank God for Diva-Dirt, I haven’t watched RAW in two months and I haven’t even missed anything, that is disgusting

    • Kim099

      It’s not disgustin it is some fucking bull shit!!!!!

  • iLUVValets

    And as good of an actor Aj is, her being GM isn’t going to work

    • Lovedaddio

      I am glad someone else feels the same way I do. I think in the end its not going to amount to much in the sense that it’s not going to bring anything new to the show. I mean yeah she did her faces and her yes, yes, yes, yes, no, no, no, but other than that what did she do? Announced an obvious main event, and made an even more obvious triple threat match for SS, and told DBry to see a shrink. It’s only the first show so I’m curious to see what they do with her but if last night was any indication then I’m not getting my hopes up too high for her GM reign. And I’m not bashing AJ, she’s just following orders.

  • AfroJack

    lmao at 3 hours for 3 Divas.

  • Addy

    As glad as I am a woman is getting time on RAW, does it really make sense? I mean really.

    “Oh, she’s mentally unstable? I guess that means she should run RAW.”

    And I hope she doesn’t wear glasses much. Way too stereotypical. When a diva enters a management position her eyesight suddenly diminishes.

    • Mike in Like

      My thoughts exactly, realistically.. why would she get the role after all the crazy things shes done over the past few months? It just makes you go “huh?” which despite the fact she’s getting time, I can’t help but not be invested in it because it doesn’t make sense.

      I also agree with the glasses thing, personally I liked Eve in glasses but if AJ starts to sport them? I’m gonna facepalm.

      • gel619

        Whats funny is AJ really does wear glasses. She’s near sighted. During the wrestlemania gaming thing she was wearing them and often in interviews she will have them on

        • Addy

          But she stuck to contacts when it came to the actual show, but then she puts on a business suit and all of a sudden she decides contacts aren’t her thing?

      • gl83

        But, AJ actually does wear glasses outside of the ring.

        • Like Mike

          Homegirl can stick to contacts lol

    • AfroJack

      the glasses are for show, and it makes them look hotter too :)

  • VarsityBaseDude

    AJ will retire the Divas title and Layla will join Brodus as one of his dancers.

    • Like Mike

      It would give Layla tv time.. so why not? I think it’s more pathetic dancing along side Khali… *cringes*

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sherri-Martel-Appreciation-Page/451635728182584#!/pages/Sherri-Martel- Sherri Martel Fan

    WWE might aswell release the diva’s! Beth & Nattie in TNA as a tag team sounds good to me :)

    Any Sensational Sherri fans here? Check out the Sherri Martel Appreciation Page on Facebook. :)

    • Kessuki

      yes well the KO’s needs freshing up and with TBP gone it would be great for TNA to do a NWO style invasion with Natalya and Beth coming in during a fatal 4 way title match assaulting the other KOs and showing their alliance with Sarita by helping her win the belt.

      yes i will come over and check it out. Classy Sherri is 1 of my all time faves – loved her HOF speech.

      • Kessuki

        meant ‘outsiders’ not nwo. ha! :)

      • perceval

        Wouldn’t they have to ally with Mickie or Tara?

  • http://twitter.com/RyanRoman0 Ryan

    Aw man no divas match =/

    Vickie is funny though n AJ as GM is …I LIKE IT!! =D

    She looks really sexy in that suit

  • IRuleMe

    The worst thing they could have done to AJ was make her the GM. She’s coming off a high profile storyline with Punk and Bryan and then she becomes the GM of RAW? They’re gonna kill her momentum very quickly to the point people won’t care about her. It was a big mistake to do this when she’s arguably the most popular female in the WWE with the exception of Kelly Kelly (I’d love to see the two in the ring to see who gets a bigger reaction). You have a “divas division” that’s getting virtually no air time, there’s been an exodus of talent over the last 4 years.. It would have been better for her to be the focal point of the Divas division. This “GM” thing better be short with a good payoff or watch fan interest in AJ start wanning quickly. They already did something like this with Eve and it blew up on their face. It killed Ryder’s momentum, and the end with Johnny Ace getting fired did nothing for Eve when it was all said and done.

    • gl83

      Are you kidding me!? At this point in time putting AJ in the Diva Division would be a demotion. On Raw they’ve had 16 recaps. 16! That’s time they could’ve used to setup a Divas feud. So, I disagree, keep AJ as far away from the Divas Division as possible. Because quite frankly, WWE only cares about their main eventers and top stars, and as GM, AJ will have more opportunity to interact with them and thus from this interaction with them than competing in the Divas Division..

  • AKA_AK

    Man have they ruined Eve’s momentum. She was on such a roll before coming back just to lose to AJ 2 weeks in a row. The next 2 weeks, she’s no where to be seen. I actually thought Vince was going to announce her as Smackdowns GM, but instead it’s Booker T. Meh. Looks to me like they don’t care anymore, it’s a shame cause I thought they were high on her, but it seems the only Diva they care about right now is AJ.

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

    I heard a rumor Trish, Lita and Stephanie are in charge of the women’s division is that true?

    • Addy

      Uhhh.. if they were the ones in charge of the division, we’d probably have had a match =P

    • perceval

      Nah, if Trish or Lita had any say, we’d see some matches. Specifically, if Trish had a say, we’d be seeing a Natalya push. Trish has been calling for a big Natalya push for years, now.

      I think the word to describe Stephanie’s position in the company is “figurehead.” Her dad and husband make all the decisions.

  • ETR

    Is it true that #wewantdivas trended worldwide ? can anyone confirm this?

  • Future-Knockout/Diva

    I knew that 3 hours of Raw still wouldn’t help the divas it seems like the extra hour of raw is recap hour

  • Bethinho

    the divas themselves don´t care if the company doesn´t give them anything to do and obviously the top guys won´t move a finger to help them.
    it´s about time for people to realize that the divas are there for the paycheck at the end of the month and doing photoshoots/signings/appearances,wrestling as their passion has become a very secondary purpose.

    • perceval

      Oh, I’m sure several, including AJ, Beth, & Nattie, really do care and really want airtime.

      But, it’s important to remember that Trish, Lita, & Mickie were always subverting Uncreative by throwing ideas to Vince or the road agents. For example…

      Trish: Hey, Amy & I have an idea to… help this Matt-Kane feud!

      Vince: Well, time on the show is pretty tight…

      Lita: Just give us one minute.

      Trish: Yeah, we’ve got this backstage scene that would, like, totally help the Matt vs Kane thing, and isn’t about getting me the Women’s Championship back & getting the two of us the main event by the end of the year, at all!

      Lita: Yeah! And it’s not about getting ourselves out of these lame… Um, I mean GREAT angles your writers have put us into!

      Trish: I have total confidence that the writers know what they’re doing pairing me with Christian and having him job all the time, and Amy really LOVES this whole pregnancy thing you’ve got planned.

      Vince: Well, OK, as long as you aren’t plotting on stealing the entire show, you can have your minute to do what you want to do to help the Matt vs Kane story.

      Trish: YES!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

      Vince: Was that a triumphant evil laugh?

      Trish: What? No! No, of course not.

      Lita: She’s just being Canadian.

      Vince: Oh, well, good then…

  • aldo

    What are they doing with the divas!?!?!?
    If i were WWE and I know that the people wants the divas…then i put them on TV so the can watch them and that means money in my pocket!
    I just don’t get it!

  • French.One

    AJ’s acting skills didn’t fit the GM role and she’s not charismatic enough imho. If she or the wwe continues to make her acting like that I’m not sure she’ll be GM for a long time.

  • jim462

    Aj was incredible asthe New RAW GM and so was Vickie very funny dance segment seems Vickie dances like elaine on seinfeld LOl as for the womens division I think its safe to say they are waiting till indy legend Sara Del rey is with them and ready to wrestler after her FCW training