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SmackDown Redux – July 11, 2008

SmackDown Redux has moved to Fridays! I have always intended to have Redux on Fridays but realised WWE.com doesn’t post it’s digitals after the show airs in America meaning I couldn’t post till Saturday. Anyhoo, I’ve decided to make my own screen shots! The new, improved Redux will mean you Americans can watch the matches before they air in the States too… good times, right?

This week on SmackDown: The road to the Great American Bash is officially underway! Divas Championship contenders, Michelle McCool and Natalya teamed up with Cherry and Maryse respectively in a Divas tag match.

Thoughts & Reactions
It’s been a week for tag team matches on both Raw and SmackDown, but I’m pleased to report my experience was more favourable for Friday night’s tag team match. Even though I enjoyed this match I do have one epic complaint – this match was shorter than a freakin’ commercial! Just as we were getting into it, the match was over. Nonetheless, great work from all Divas involved, though background talent – Maryse and Cherry were both impressive in the ring. Maryse particularly showed some ring presence and agility in the ring with her cartwheel type thing.

All in all, this match really left me wanting more, it could have lasted a little while longer because the work was pretty darn good. Who’d have thought I’d be excited to see Maryse and Cherry in the ring? I felt the finish of the match was a little sloppy compared to the rest of the short match; Cherry tapped out far too quickly, it didn’t really sell the Sharpshooter. There was some awkwardness with Natalya jumping out of the ring and then jumping back in and attacking Michelle, but in all, I felt this was done really well and set up their Bash match nicely. Taking the action to the outside was a nice touch, it added some physicality and intensity, showing how much Natalya wanted the title – and how much she hates Michelle. Nice work from all the Divas, I wish it was longer!

For the second week in a row we got a “coming soon” promo for Maria, I really like that they’re building this up rather than throwing her straight into the mix. I think Maria’s move to SmackDown is a big deal and I think pushing her arrival sets her up as a top name, which I think she will be in SmackDown’s women’s division. I wrote last week that I had hoped they’d keep the “coming soon” promos coming for a little while to build up anticipation and thankfully, WWE is doing so. Perhaps having her debut after the Great American Bash would be a wise move because I would hate for her to detract away from the Divas Championship match-up. I am hoping that Michelle-Natalya will continue to feud after the Bash with a rematch, so while they’re tying up their storyline I would love to see Maria feud with Victoria. Hopefully we’ll see that happen, Victoria deserves some screen time and I think she could do a great job putting over Maria.

A fine night for the SmackDown Divas if a little short!

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

Cherry: While I very much doubt Cherry will ever be a utility player or ever get a big push, she is fine for what she does and I somewhat like the friendship between Michelle and Cherry.

Maryse: While Cherry may never be a top Diva, Maryse is showing great promise. She was a little more daring, a little more flashy on SmackDown while she has all the essential basic wrestling skills. Could Maryse be a one to watch?

Michelle McCool: Michelle is growing more and more confident in the ring and is able to carry other less experienced Divas like Maryse and Layla in the past. I think she is going to only grow into a finer wrestler than she currently is.

Natalya: Natalya, as always, was fun to watch in the ring. For someone who debuted just four months ago, she’s come such a long way and could be a Trish Stratus type for the new generation!

Fashion Focus
The Good: None.

The Bad: None.

The In-Between: No one looked too bad nor too good.

Video
Watch the match below:

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