Monday, August 2, 2021

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Raw Redux (May 4, 2009) – WWE Gives Away PPV Caliber Match

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Okay, so I guess technically there’s no such thing as a ‘pay per view caliber match’ when it comes to Divas, since all of their matches seem to be throwaway content or filler. But WWE pushed too early, last night, in what I expect will be the start of a ‘feud’ between Mickie James and Maryse – as the former Women’s Champion scored a non-title victory over the Divas Champion. Welcome to Raw, Maryse!

See the problem here is I think it’s too soon to give away this match, it is a match that I would love to have seen in future and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it last night but it should have meant more. It just seems this is the same booking we saw for Gail Kim a few weeks ago, she gets a non-title win over Maryse, then she gets a title match and loses. No doubt, Mickie’s win last night will lead to a title match in future. I’d much rather have a #1 Contenders match, maybe Mickie vs Beth, a battle royal, a fatal four-way, whatever really, with the winner facing Maryse at Judgment Day for example. That could have been a better set up for Mickie winning a title shot and facing Maryse at the pay per view. You could then fill out next week with a tag match or something, with Mickie getting in a shot or two at Maryse but then have her lose the first match at Judgment Day and continue the feud for a couple more months.

It’s too soon for Maryse to drop the title, sure she’s had it for 5 months now but I think taking the title off her when she’s just started on a new brand could hurt her. They need to build her up as the champion and top heel for the Raw brand first, before taking the strap off her.

Anyway, let’s look at the match. I have to be honest, I got bored of last night’s Raw and went to bed early (after the atrocious ‘sing off’) so I had to YouTube this match. Almost from the outset, this match captured the audience and both Mickie, Maryse and the announce team worked well to sell a story. Mickie, now with a renewed sense of focus because she has a new title to go after, is more aggressive from the outset than we’ve seen from her in some time. The announcers do a good job to explain that Maryse acted as if she hated Raw a couple of months back and made no friends on the brand – which somewhat explains Mickie’s aggression towards her.

Mickie did a good job of carrying Maryse, who relies far too much on the same spots and restholds, but Mickie managed to pull out a good match out of her. To Maryse’s credit, she didn’t fuck up on live television (not that I’m aware anyway) compared to the likes of Maria and Candice during their times on Raw. This, I was pleased to see. I know a lot of you have been very vocal about how she’ll look on live TV but I think Maryse realises her weaknesses and her strengths too, she’s a clever girl. Maryse has had some good matches on pay per view (last year’s Unforgiven and Survivor Series) so I wouldn’t put down her live wrestling skills just yet.

Surprisingly, these two had great chemistry and a good back and forth match. I didn’t expect much of a chemistry between these two but for some reason it worked, it’s one of those things, you either have it or you don’t. A good match and Mickie gets a singles win. Great to see her back in the forefront, with the Women’s Championship gone and the Divas title on Raw now, WWE doesn’t need to worry about holding her back and her patience is paying off – she’s getting the first shot of the Raw Divas at the Divas Championship.

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