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Raw Redux – July 07, 2008

This week on Raw: Divas tag team action when Women’s Champion Mickie James teamed up with Raw’s newest Diva, Kelly Kelly to take on Jillian and Raw’s other newest Diva, Layla.

Thoughts & Reactions
“Raw stuck on bore.” Says it all really. While I am thoroughly enjoying Raw post-Draft, the women’s division – not so much. The quality of the product as a whole has shot up since the Draft show two weeks ago but it seems that all the emphasis on the other aspects of the show have led to a loss in quality and less attentiveness to the women’s division on Creative’s behalf. Last week’s Raw match between Mickie and Jillian was simply average and this week was more of the same – the Divas were only utilised to fill the weekly “Diva quota”, no storyline advancement here nor anything too interesting.

There is quite a lot to talk about this week though, first up is Kelly Kelly jumping from ECW to Raw. I believe this is solely due to the lack of faces on Raw at the moment, I guess it’s a wise move to make bringing in another face but why not call up a developmental Diva? I think that would have been much wiser, because let’s face it – moving someone two weeks after the Draft who wasn’t even drafted in the first place calls the point of the Draft into question! I much prefer Kelly as part of SmackDown, I think she was really developing and coming along great. This is a Diva that needs to be nurtured, I think she does have the potential to become the next Trish Stratus but she needs to be nurtured and cannot be thrown into impossible situations too soon. WWE rushed into giving Trish and Candice huge pushes but I had hoped they’d do things right with Kelly, only move her to Raw when she was truly ready. Alas, she is not. The perils of live television – all your flaws are exposed and Kelly was sloppy on Raw and it couldn’t be edited out. Kelly is best suited to SmackDown right now, where she can continue to grow. I had a little idea of my own for Kelly, I think she’s come a long way and I’m 90% certain she will be our 2009 Playboy covergirl; Kelly could be the first Diva to actually be worthy of a Playboy push. It’s a long time between now and WrestleMania, Kelly could have grown a lot more on SmackDown and then possibly challenge Natalya at WrestleMania for the Divas Championship and win. Unfortunately that won’t be happening now, still could but doubt it. Instead, Kelly is thrown into an environment I don’t think she’s ready for and I fear she will go the same way as Maria and Ashley before her, not improve anymore and be just another waste. Maria has potential but being on Raw for so long, she wasn’t able to realise it. Kelly has a lot of potential still but being on Raw hinders that, it’s not exactly a great environment for developing wrestlers. I did quite like the whole explanation for her moving to Raw, the line “We have contracts?” can be interpreted as, “We’re not bothered to think of a logical explanation.”

The other focus is Jillian. Are they just delivering us average matches to fill a Diva quota or are they actually planning on pushing Jillian? Because using her on Raw for two weeks in a row is something that seldom occurs. I do believe it’s the former, I don’t think WWE is putting any attention into the Raw women’s division and is simply filling a quota. There’s no big push for Jillian and in fact, while she is getting on TV more, it’s for the wrong reasons rather than the right reasons. Let’sface it, WWE doesn’t care about Jillian and will never really give her character a refresher or give her a chance to be a top Diva. She is a laughing stock.

As for the match, it was average again. Sloppy in-ring work for Kelly, not much else that’s memorable. All the focus was on Kelly that they nearly forgot that Layla, too is new to Raw. Poor Layla, she had finally escaped from underneath Kelly’s shadow only to have the shadow follow her. Layla was unceremoniously ignored on Raw, she didn’t even get any ring time. Even Michael Cole forgot to mention that she was new on Raw too after the “explaining” of Kelly’s move from ECW, Cole added that Layla joined Raw during the Supplemental Draft merely as an afterthought.

Raw’s women’s division is a holding pattern right now, I do think Creative will finally turn their attention to the Divas after the post-Draft honeymoon period is over. Right now they’re working so diligently on making the rest of the product “must see”, the Divas aren’t their top priority. Whatever happened to the Katie-Mickie feud? Where is Beth Phoenix? Is there any use asking? Poor Beth is probably on the shelf until WWE find something to do with her since Melina‘s injured, kudos to them for not just giving us “Mickie-Beth: To Infinity and Beyond”, which would have been the easy option given there’s only a handful of Divas on Raw right now.

Individual Assessments
In this portion we will look at each of the Divas individually and the role they played, adding more thoughts yadda yadda:

Jillian: Last week I wrote, “Raw’s resident jobber strikes again.” So I guess this week is “Return of the Jobber?”

Kelly Kelly: Too much too soon.

Layla: Most unspectacular debut in Diva history?

Mickie James: Not much to say.

Fashion Focus
The Good: None.

The Bad: Jillian and Kelly.

The In-Between: Layla and Mickie.

Below, are digitals of the Divas match from RAW. Copyright to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Watch the match below:

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