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Raw Redux (September 14th, 2009) – Trish Stratusfies, Fox’s Hunt Begins

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Where to begin? The legend returned last night to deliver Stratusfaction to all and boy, did she. Trish Stratus may have her detractors [though personally, I can’t see why — it’s like hating bunny rabbits] but she proved last night just why she was considered the hardest working Diva in WWE for so many years. She’s still got it! From the vivacious personality to the in-ring display, it truly was like she never left. All that’s changed really is the hair and boobs!

Plus the Stratusfaction was sprinkled on another Diva Dirt favourite, as on the evening we were reunited with Trish, we also air-punched for the one and only Alicia Fox. Let’s start with that match:

As a huge fan of both Alicia and Gail Kim, I wasn’t sweating the outcome of this match. If Gail won, awesome and if Alicia won, awesome. I never thought they’d pull the trigger on Alicia, I have to tell you. Despite wowing audiences with her in-ring work in the short time she’s been on the main roster, Alicia has shown so much potential and has all the tools it takes to be a future top Diva and future champion. But for some reason, I never really thought they’d pull the trigger on her — it’s always the talented ones that get left behind, whereas Kelly, Maryse, Eve and Maria seem to be the ones WWE focus on. I am pleasantly surprised that they gave Alicia the win because for the first time in a long time, it gives me hope that WWE can be in tune with the fans. The fans have gotten so behind Alicia, it would’ve been wrong to ignore that because in the online world in particular, fans have ‘made Alicia happen’.

Alicia and Gail work really well together, so I was excited for this one and it started out well with the aggressive Alicia Fox kicking Gail straight at the bell. Gail goes for the Flying Dragon I think, which Alicia blocks and goes for a TKO that Gail counters into an arm drag. Nice work there. A hurricanrana and dropkick through the ropes by the veteran, but as they get back in the ring Alicia hits a beautiful tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Alicia grounds the match with a submission move, it’s nice to see one of these young Divas incorporate the basics as opposed to going from spot to spot. Gail fights back, but Alicia manages to hit another beautiful looking move, this time the fisherman suplex.

She then wraps her legs around Gail in another submission move, nice work. Fast forward a little bit and Alicia sets up her axe kick but Gail move sout of the way and manages to hit her neckbreaker. Gail mounts offense with clotheslines and a nice stinger splash in the corner followed by a great crossbody. Gail goes for the ‘Eat Defeat’ but Alicia counters, shoving Gail into the corner. Gail goes up top for a missile dropkick but misses, is it just me or can Gail not go a match without doing a move where she misses a high spot? She’s only hurting herself even more! Alicia takes advantage to hit the axe kick and gets the win.

I enjoyed this match but I felt there was more of a focus on Mickie at ringside rather than the wrestling. It seems King and Mickie bouncing off each other, while great chemistry, took away from the match in the ring and that’s not a good thing.

I truly hope this is the start of a push for Alicia, however I am not going to get too excited until I see it. Already this year, several Divas have earned Divas title shots and they’ve ended up being “one shot deals” for example, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim and Beth Phoenix. Mickie’s presence at ringside however, suggests that they could be building to something between Alicia and Mickie, that attention wasn’t given to the latter three. Alicia is a young Diva with a wealth of potential and I think given the opportunities, she really could shine. I’m not suggesting that she win the Divas Championship but I’d just like to see her work with these talented veterans and really bounce off them; already she’s worked so well with Gail, Melina and Michelle McCool. Alicia is at a similar level to Maryse, though I would argue she’s a better worker, so I’m holding out for better end product from Alicia & Mickie than we got with Maryse and Mickie.

Trish after the cut:

Now let’s discuss the Trish aspect of Raw; first of all, she looked amazing and was her usual fun self. Let’s check out the backstage segment with Chris Jericho and Beth Phoenix:

I loved this segment! Trish really could teach the current girls a thing or two. I truly hope they were watching and learning from the master. She’s always had that fun, comedic timing and she brings that to every promo she does. I absolutely loved the way she said, “I didn’t even know you…” As for Beth, I am really glad that if any Diva got to work with Trish, it was her. I really think Beth has some of that flare we see from Trish, but because she’s a heel she doesn’t always get to show it off. Beth, like Trish, has a natural sense of comedic timing and can be very humourous in the little we’ve seen her do in the past. To me, Beth is the nearest rival to Trish in that sense but again, her character very much limits her. I was happy that they gave Beth the rub here, getting to trade verbal blows with Trish Stratus and another future legend, Chris Jericho. It’s not everyday a Diva gets to work with someone like Jericho so that must’ve been a great feeling for Beth. She more than held her own in this segment with Trish and Chris.

To address all the “Oh Trish does know Beth” stuff, I can see why they did it and I don’t consider it something that’s pressing, to be honest. Yes, their paths have crossed but they are in two different generations of Diva. I’m not even sure why people bother bringing it up because we all know WWE rewrites their own history every week.

Anyway, that brings us to…

It was a gutsy move to have Trish and Beth start out the match, I felt. But given the fact that the tag team match was going to go into a six person tag match, I see why they did it. However, I still would’ve preferred the men to start out and then Trish get a hot tag. But from what we saw, let’s examine: Beth charges at Trish and drives her into the corner and begins pounding on her. Way to break her in, haha! Trish comes back delivering some forearms and those famous chops. Beth comes back though, attempting to clothesline her but Trish hits the Ma-Trish but botches and falls to the floor. Ring rust is expected, so it’s okay Trish! Trish kicks Beth and goes for the cover but Jericho comes in and pushes her over. What a bully! The match breaks down and we go into a six person tag match…

It was great to see Beth step up to MVP, it kind of gives her character a little bit of a rub despite what happens at the end of the match. Trish mounts Beth with the Lou Thesz press before helping MVP do his patented elbow drop. Jericho pulls Beth out of the ring and chaos ensues. Big Show trips up Trish allowing Beth to get back in the ring and cover her but Trish kicks out and the crowd erupts! The girl still has it, what can I say. Trish hits her patented handstand takedown from the corner and sets up Beth for the Stratusfaction and connects.

The closing moments of that match were just crazy! It’s been SO long since a crowd got that behind Divas action, I forgot what it sounded like. Trish guaranteed Stratusfaction and delivered 110%. Sure Beth did the job, but the women’s division isn’t seen as important in WWE’s eyes anyway so it likely won’t even hurt her character. They’ll have her come out next week for example, and it’ll be business as usual. The fans were given another great Trish moment and at the end of the day, that’s what last night’s show was all about. I’m not complaining about the aftermath because when it comes to the Divas and their selective booking, there likely won’t be one. It’s not the same as Hulk Hogan coming back randomly and having Randy Orton job to him. If anything, I think it’s more of an honour for Beth to be able to be part of Trish’s ‘return’.

Overall, it was a fun night for Diva fans — except the ones that don’t like Trish, in which case, too bad.

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