Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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Raw Redux (August 3rd, 2009) – Creative Amnesia Strikes Again

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It’s the old age tale of the WWE women’s division — ‘creative amnesia’. You know, that thing where they do something and then don’t follow it up the next week & go in a whole new direction and expect us to forget everything we saw the week before? Or if we’re lucky, they’ll expect us to remember by picking up that thing we saw that one time weeks later and expect it to make sense even though it hasn’t been mentioned in like a month. Sound familiar?

You could’ve missed last week’s show altogether and not know anything signifcant happened by the looks of this week’s show. Despite some friction between new Divas Champion, Mickie James and Gail Kim, the two paired up this week and looked the best of friends with nary a mention or even a replay of last week. Meanwhile, ‘The Glamazon’ Beth Phoenix looks to return to form now French Fry is out of the way, as she teamed up with the returning Jillian [who got her last name back, anyone notice?] in a powerful winning effort over the fellow former Women’s Champions.

So, where to begin… let us start with the wrestling. First of all, it was great to see this week go to the wrestlers of the division, as much as I like Alicia Fox and have an indifference towards Kelly and Kelly and Rosa Mendes — it was just refreshing to see the shine on the trained pros. Like last week, we kicked off with Gail and Beth, these two showed some good chemistry last week and carried that over well this week. Gail’s agility versus Beth’s powerhousing makes for an interesting combo, as I have likened it to the matches between Gail and Awesome Kong in TNA. Not to say their matches would be on par due to WWE’s limitations on the women, but I’m sure they could push the envelope for the Divas. Beth plays the tough bully, pushing Gail who fights back with a slap and then takes Beth off her feet before tagging out to Mickie.

Some nice action between these two, though I gotta be honest, I have never loved their in-ring work together. Their singles matches have always felt a little blah to me. Mickie hits a Lou Thesz press from the top before Beth comes back and hits a nice guillotine on the top rope and powers over Mickie. And in comes the returning Jillian Hall; Jillian hits throws Mickie’s face down on the canvas Maryse style, I like it. Mickie begins to fight back and hits a headscissors before getting a hot tag on Gail…

It’s time for the ‘Gail Force’, you ready? Two clotheslines, the launch through the ropes in the corner, followed by the jump on Jillian followed be a missile dropkick. We really need technical names for these moves. Gail then loses focus and ends up on the middle rope courtesy of Jillian followed by an elbow to the jaw — you could hear that one, Gail sells it really well. Into the finish now as Jillian goes for the handspring, Gail manages to move out of the way and goes for her ‘Eat Defeat’ move but Beth comes in for an awesome Glam Slam and gets the 3 count. Good match with a great finish from Beth.

As for the story, well there didn’t seem to be much. Following last week, there was no play between Gail and Mickie. It seemed straight up ‘Bethfest’, setting her up for a title shot against Beth perhaps. There’s a lot of stuff that’s unexplained and a lot of stuff that they could’ve done but didn’t do. There are a number of theories; it could be that they’ve dropped Gail-Mickie and are going for the straight face-vs-heel feud with Beth. In which case, I can’t say I’m at all checking for another Beth-Mickie feud after being unimpressed last year by it. Or as some have suggested, the Mickie-Gail underlying feud could be ‘slow burning’. If so, they could easily have inserted something into this segment that told us that there is an underlying issue there — that’s what any good television writer would do. But then again, good writing and WWE don’t often go together. I’m unsure where this is going, if anywhere. I was excited at the prospect of a Gail-Mickie feud but like I said, they should have teased that underlying storyline otherwise how are we to know there is one? It just seemed as though they had ignored everything that occured last week.

Mind you, WWE could dredge this all up somewhere down the line as they often do with their hit-and-miss booking. One week they’ll have a storyline, the next week they won’t and then the week after they’ll go back to that storyline and expect you to know what’s going on. So confusing.

As far as I’m concerned the jury’s out, I’m not going to anticipate something that may or may not happen. We’ll have to wait and see what they choose to do, but let’s just say they’ve managed to deflate the momentum they gained last week.

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