Tuesday, July 27, 2021

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Raw Redux (July 20, 2009) – They’ve Got Legs & They Know How to Use ‘Em

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Despite tacking on yet another gimmick to the Divas match, Raw managed to pull off a decent match which was dubbed a “Legs Match” with Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes wrestling in shorts. Following in the footsteps of last week’s SmackDown, the red brand gave the ‘second string players’ a chance to shine a la Layla, Eve and Natalya on Friday. However unlike SmackDown, Raw also managed to push it’s Night of Champions match in addition to the second string quartet.

Earlier in the evening however, we saw an interesting dynamic in the ‘feud’ between Maryse and Mickie James, when Maryse sprayed a can of what we’re to assume is hairspray in Mickie’s eyes. This feud has never really been dialled up in the past two months that it’s been going on, we just seem to have Maryse avoiding Mickie because ‘she’s scared’ — which to me is just WWE’s excuse for lazy booking, they can’t come up with anything original or exciting. However in the final two weeks before their big pay per view match, we finally see the pace picked up as last week, Maryse pinned Mickie in the ‘Swimsuit Spectacular’ and this week she sprays Mickie in the eyes. What this tells us is that the writers are happy to bore us with teases of Maryse being scared of Mickie for two months and then when as we approach the PPV, go for the hard sell. To me, it’s a case of too little too late and while I’m sure they’ll have a great match on PPV, I’m not as excited as I should be. I don’t feel the personal animosity between them like I should do. Doing a hard sell the Monday before the PPV just comes off as desperate and is extremely transparent.

That said, I enjoyed this segment. It’s funny that WWE’s writers are actually in tune with the fans, as we saw in Mickie’s scripting last night — but yet they still go completely the other way from what we want to see. They had Mickie bring up the fact that Maryse beat her in a ‘Summer Swimsuit Spectacular’, sharing the same distaste for that type of match as the viewers and alluding to the fact that Maryse is an inferior worker which we know to be true. They mock it through Mickie here, yet they continue to book it. Things went downhill from there though, with nursery school rhyming — whichever writer came up with ‘Trampions’ deserves a gold star *Eye roll* Out comes The Miz, Maryse’s rumoured real life boyfriend [hence Vince’s pervy booking] berating Mickie. I know he’s playing a character, but I can’t help but sense that Miz truly does believe what he’s saying. I get the feeling that he and Maryse as a couple would be more narcissistic than Speidi. I liked Mickie’s comeback though, about getting his material off the Internet — coz it’s true! Out comes Maryse in a gorgeous pair of sandals and sprays Mickie in the eyes and does what she does best: flips her hair, smirks and waves her arms around. I heart her mannerisms.

Thoughts on the ‘Legs Match’ after the cut:

Next on the card is Kelly & Gail teaming up against Rosa & Alicia and let me just make some corrections from the outset. Gail and Alicia should not be coming out to Kelly and Rosa’s music… That’s like Beyonce coming out to Kelly Rowland’s music [no offence, love you DC3].

This week saw a mismatch of ring attire, I guess to accomodate the need to show off their legs, but none of the girls looked great to be honest.

Onto the match, Kelly and Rosa start out and this could go horribly wrong. Rosa starts off with a little offense before Kelly takes the lead, using her athletic style to outsmart Rosa. She goes from a chokehold to a headscissors, the transition between the two moves didn’t look great. You want one move to go seamlessly into another but you could tell Kelly was trying to get into the headscissors, nonetheless it’s done and sold well eventually.

Rosa hits [literally] Alicia with a tag and we get a cute ‘Ow’ sound from Alicia Fierce. Kelly throws Alicia into the ring by the hair and rather than one bump where you fall on your back like they teach you in training, A-Fox is all over the ring. Kelly awkward goes into a victory road, using Alicia for a step-up, before tagging out to Gail. Yay here we go… Gail hits a hurricanrana with Alicia selling it extremely well with elevation, then we get the shoulder-block through the ropes in the corner but Foxy catches her mid-air with a dropkick to the knee as Gail goes for a crossbody. So far so good between these two.

Alicia tags out to Rosa, who sticks to the basics like hitting Gail’s head against the turnbuckle before hitting a snap suplex. Rosa for me is like a catch-22, she’s way too average in the ring; her moves aren’t exciting & she tends to stick to basic kicks, suplexes and stuff. But then when you think about it, you actually prefer it that way because she wouldn’t be able to pull off anything fancy because she’s not a great worker.

We see another short exchange between Alicia and Gail before Kelly tags back in, hitting a whirly-bird headscissors on A-Fox and does a nice job of riling up the crowd. She then follows through with a nice handspring but I don’t know what she was going for her, a handspring elbow or just a handspring into a butt bump? We then see the return of the K2, using Alicia’s back for a step-up into a legdrop. I know it’s just a legdrop, but I think the way she hits it is effective.

Kelly seems to have the match won but Rosa breaks up the three count, leading to a double dropkick and then Gail hurling over the top rope and hitting a crossbody on her. Nicely done, G-Kim.

Meanwhile in the ring, the cunning Fox locks Kelly into an awful looking roll-up for the win. But congrats to A-Fox for picking up her first big win, it’s nice to see her getting the shine for a change. Rather her get the pin than Rosa.

Not a bad match, especially considering it looked as though there wouldn’t be one at all when they showed the girls dancing backstage.

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