Draft Analysis: Maryse & Melina


WWE shaked things up big time last night, by switching the two title belts for the Divas roster. The Women’s Championship for the first time in history, is now SmackDown-exclusive while the less-than-a-year-old Divas Championship gets the Raw spotlight. Maryse and Melina have moved, but was it worth it?

In a sense, yes. It did shake things up, along with the US-Intercontinental Championship switch. I had contemplated in the past that WWE may do this but never really expected them to pull the trigger. For Maryse, I think this is a good move. Many (including myself) expected her to move to Raw in the Draft – but I didn’t expect her to take her title with her. I expect on her new brand, she’ll start feuding with Mickie James straightaway, overtaking Beth Phoenix as Monday night’s top heel while she feuds with Santino/Santina. The argument many have made is that she’s not ready for live television and I think that is a somewhat fair assessment; but bear in mind that she has competed at pay per view and had some very good matches i.e. against Michelle McCool at Unforgiven last year and was also a key player in the Survivor Series match too. However since returning from injury, she hasn’t been on top of her game which I think could work against her.

However we’ll see how she fares in the coming weeks. Over the next year, I’m guessing that Maryse will hold onto the Divas Championship a little while longer, possibly losing it to Mickie James. I wouldn’t rule Kelly Kelly out as a title contender either and possible champion by year’s end.

Meanwhile for Friday nights, it’s the return of Melina. But this time she’s not a manager, she’s a champion and a great one at that. Melina makes history as she is the first Diva (in a really damn long line of ’em) to take the Women’s Championship to SmackDown exclusively. This was a move I didn’t necessarily want to happen because I think she’s a great part of Raw, but in the interest of ‘shaking things up’ it certainly does that. Would I have moved Mickie over Melina? Yes. I think there was still a lot for Melina to do on Raw, but there is a lot on SmackDown as well. The Diva that initially catches my attention is Michelle McCool. I would expect that these two will begin a feud straightaway. But where does that leave recently-debuted Gail Kim? She has just started a feud with Maryse and was expected to be given a Divas Championship shot, now that belt is gone and we have a face Women’s Champion. How will these two Divas co-exist as top faces on the same brand? I have a sneaky suspicion that WWE may screw Gail like they did in 2003 and turn her heel so soon after her debut.

The annoying thing about these Draft picks is that they leave both brands imbalanced, due to the heel-face swap. Hopefully WWE will do something to rectify this in the Supplemental Draft, SmackDown could use an extra heel or two while Raw would need an extra babyface or two. In the Supplemental Draft (which takes place tomorrow) I would consider moving Layla and/or Katie Lea to the SmackDown roster and possibly move Alicia Fox to become part of the Raw brand, thus strengthening up those two sides. There are rumours that Maria may move to Raw, which would get the job done too.

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