Saturday, October 16, 2021

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SmackDown Redux – August 01, 2008

Late again! Sorry, I’ll stay for detention =( But this week, I have an excuse (kinda) – it was my birthday! Don’t ask how old I am though, but here’s a hint: the dinosaurs were still around when I was born.

Last week on SmackDown: Maria made her auspicious debut to SmackDown, with a victory over Victoria. Only, it wasn’t so auspicious…

Just how the hell do you solve a problem like Maria?! It seems in one night, Maria nearly undid all the good we’d been seeing on SmackDown since post-WrestleMania. In that time, we saw the arrival of Natalya, the in-ring improvements of Maryse, Cherry, Kelly Kelly and Layla and we crowned a new Divas Champion in Michelle McCool. Wrestling wise, SmackDown has really worked hard to give Raw a run for it’s money; but last week, I couldn’t help but cringe as I somehow powered through the match pitting Maria against the veteran, Victoria. For weeks now, Maria has been hyped up for her big debut – but it’s obvious what she hasn’t been doing in her time away and that’s brushing up on her in-ring skills.

Two months ago in our Diva Draft, I wrote how I felt Maria moving to SmackDown was a wise choice and then it happened. Since then, I’ve continued that Maria would be an asset to the division – adding some star power while being able to hone her skills, well judging by last week’s performance – she has a long, long way to go. Is Maria the new Ashley? This whole match was so slow, with Maria needing at least five seconds between every spot, needless to say it didn’t look like a seamless, professional wrestling match. Maria was carried all the way through the match by Victoria, only to win with a crappy, weak clothesline from the middle rope. But before the end, we had a dull match that plodded along seemingly with no end in sight; come the final bell, I was truly exhausted. Perhaps not seeing Maria on my screen for so long, I had become disillusioned as to how bad she really is? But to me, she seemed even worse than some of her matches on Raw and hot damn, SmackDown has three days to edit!

Rome wasn’t built in a day and Kelly Kelly didn’t become passable in a day either, maybe Maria will develop the way of Kelly with more in-ring time at her disposal. One thing can be said for the Diva though, is wow… what an effin’ huge reaction she got! The crowd was totally bonkers for Maria, it just doesn’t make sense!

Match Rating: PASS / FAIL
Comments: Not even the Vicious Vixen could solve this problem!

Two weeks after winning the Divas Championship, Michelle McCool was unceremoniously bumped to make room for Maria. I totally didn’t see this happening, I was assuming they’d somehow fit in two Divas segments to get Michelle on the show… but they didn’t. Not cool if you ask me. For the second week in a row, no Natalya either. The two cornerstones of the SmackDown women’s division were sorely missed last week; but the question is: How will WWE work Maria and Michelle around each other? No doubt, they’re intent on pushing Maria but they surely couldn’t at the expense of the Divas Champ? Could they?

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

Maria: I’d rather run for the hills than hear Maria’s sound of music.

Victoria: She got on the show, at least.

Fashion Focus
The Good: None.

The Bad: Maria seemed to be borrowing from Michelle’s closet this week. I mean seriously, that colour is total Michelle, methinks she won’t be happy.

The In-Between: Victoria.

Photos
Credit to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Video
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