Monday, July 26, 2021

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Raw Redux (August 17, 2009) – Where Did It All Go Wrong?

A much anticipated match ended with a death stare. Caused riot on the Internet. And possibly had the worst botched finish for any match featuring women of this caliber. Rivalling the horrible finish to the Mickie JamesTrish Stratus match at WrestleMania 22, they can’t just edit this one off the DVD and act like it never happened, because there won’t be a DVD. And try as they already have to eliminate the evidence [click here], we all know what went down last night and there is no way to spin it — the ending was horrible. Watch what will soon become ‘the infamous’ Gail Kim vs Mickie James match below:

Honestly, as some may expect me to do, I don’t want to blame anyone for what happened. Yes, the finish was awful but I actually enjoyed the match until that point. In fact, I told Erin right after it happened: “Just watch, after that finish no one will remember the match or talk about the match, it’ll be all about the finish.” And lo-and-behold, I do believe I was right. The whole match, I feel, is getting painted with the same brush stroke as the finish. Whether you enjoyed the match is down to your own personal opinion but I was liking where it was going.

I don’t want to scrutinize either Diva or suggest it was either of their fault. The finish was horrible but it was a freak accident & shouldn’t be a reflection on either of their in-ring ability. It definitely looked as though Gail hit her head and was out of it following the crossbody and as one can expect, was in no fit state to continue the match. She was out of it. For that, I applaud her for finishing the match and I applaud Mickie for attempting to improvise the finish.

Let’s start at the beginning though: The match began with a nice exchange as Gail rolled out of an armbar by Mickie. Then Mickie tries to one-up Gail with a botched cartwheel [I’ll give you that one], into an armdrag. Gail then hits an armdrag of her own, followed by both Divas trying to dropkick each other. I really liked the exchange afterwards as Mickie smiled at Gail knowingly. As it’s a face-versus-face match, you want to show sportsmanship and kinmanship and they did a great job of getting that across. You can’t have the same rough and tumble intensity that you’d expect from Melina & Michelle, for example.

I liked the gesture from Gail going for a handshake and then Mickie immediately going for her Long Kiss Goodnight kick, it showed that while they are friendly, this is a match and let’s not forget, Mickie’s title is on the line. Nice spot. Gail ducks & loads forearms Mickie’s way, before being thrown into the corner by the Divas Champ. Divas never learn — when you throw Gail into the corner, that’s her domain, she will find a way to use it against you. And shock horror, she does just that, leaping through the middle rope just as Mickie charges at her. Gail slides between Mickie’s legs and goes for a pin — great quick thinking. Mickie obviously kicks out and then sets up a suplex which Gail counters into a small package, we then see a series of good rollovers with both Divas struggling to take advantage. Mickie comes back, a little disoriented as if she’s just been on a rollercoaster, but still manages to clothesline Gail.

Having rewatched it for review purposes, I believe this was where Gail’s haze may have first been set off, if you’ll notice, Mickie clotheslined Gail right in the face. Instead of going straight down, Gail jerked up clutching her face.

Anyway, a few shots and a nice crossbody off the ropes from Gail. Then the Divas show the other just how they do the hurricanrana, Mickie hits her ‘rana from the corner as usual. Whereas Gail follows up with her own standing ‘rana. Mickie’s in the corner, allowing Gail to do her fantastic charge through the ropes & a great missile dropkick.

I really enjoyed the next part, as it just goes to show the importance of the match — the championship is on the line and so we have Mickie go for her finisher and then Gail counter into her own. I like little touches like this, making that move seem important in capturing the title. Mickie counters the ‘Eat Defeat’ into some sort of leg lock, I don’t know what was going on there lol… but then we have a roll-up attempt by Gail.

And now here we are, the car crash. Gail jumps up on the middle rope for her crossbody and hits her head as she comes down. You can tell she’s visibly hurt as she misses Mickie’s cue for the tornado DDT. I think that was meant to be the finish: Gail misses the crossbody, eats canvas and Mickie capitalises into the DDT for the win.

I’m no doctor but I think the earlier clothesline coupled with the trauma of abruptly re-hurting the same facial region with the crossbody was what caused her to be in a state of haze.

Gail stumbles to her feet, Mickie goes for what I’m assuming was the planned finish [the DDT] but Gail is out of it, which means she botches it. Nice call from the announcers improvising saying she ‘blocked it’, but anyone watching could tell that was a botch. Though I appreciate the sentiment of trying to cover it up.

It looks like the girls had to improvise after the [assumed] planned finish messed up; Mickie went for a Mick Kick but Gail is kinda teetering on her feet, not knowing what’s going on. Again, I don’t know for sure but if she was in the right state of mind, it’s hard to miss someone’s leg waving in your face. An obviously perturbed Mickie goes for a forearm and then you’ll notice she kinda hesitates to go for the pin, possibly because she knows that’s not a way to finish a match but you just gotta get it over with.

And the rest has already been covered: Mickie looked so pissed off and Gail really did look buzzing.

A really unfortunate turn of events, but I am proud of the two girls for finishing the match despite it all. Yes, the end was horribly botched but I think it should be overlooked & forgiven, due to the unusual set of circumstances. There is no way to deny that something went wrong with Gail.

It was very unfortunate for both Divas & I hope they get a chance to rectify the situation with another match in future. I would hope the higher-ups in WWE are sympathetic to the situation and they likely are because things like this happen in contact sports. Neither deserves to be punished or de-pushed.

Damn, this has been my most diplomatic Redux yet! But seriously, I feel for the girls and I don’t think there should be finger pointing, there seem to be legitimate reasons as to why things went wrong last night.

Sidebar: For some reason I feel like there’ll be at least one douchebag who wants to play devil’s advocate and suggest I’m being biased because it’s Gail. To those, I ask you to recall this weekend’s incident with Rhaka Khan. We have been less than complimentary of her in the past but when it comes to serious situations, we will show the care that we feel is called for. And that’s not to compare Gail’s plight with Trenesha’s, before you point that out either. And yes, I would be saying the exact same thing if it were other Divas, though it’s a highly unlikely probability another girl will get possibly concussed in the ring anytime soon. Just wanted to get that out of the way…

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