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SmackDown Redux – October 17, 2008

This week on SmackDown: Maria scored an opportunity of a lifetime in a ‘Las Vegas Pole Match’, she will now face Michelle McCool for the Divas Championship.

Thoughts & Reactions
This week’s SmackDown was a real mixed bag. Here’s the thing: I thought the work from the Divas themselves was just fine, the match in terms of ring work was good but a pole match? Really? Raw has it’s battle royals and I guess SmackDown has now adopted the pole match? It was fine when they did it the first time but three times in one year – I hope this was the last one for the remainder of 2008.

Because of the pole situation, the Divas are restricted in what they can do and the match is always formulaic. We always have girls on the outside, two Divas battling it out on the turnbuckle and such. There’s no real focus on the action. The spotlight in this match was firmly on Maryse, even though she lost the match, I don’t think we’ve seen her dropped from the title picture. Even though the focus seemed to be on Maryse and Maria, I was more focussed on following Natalya and Victoria who were really going at it. Is all not well between the BFFs? There wasn’t even any focus on this from JR, which I found slightly odd, as they are supposed to be best friends but they’re going at it. I doubt WWE will pick up on this, but it could be interesting if WWE broke them up. Maybe it’d be the push Natalya needed to be a title contender? Get away from the goofy character Victoria has become? Maria took a pretty sick bump when Maryse pulled her right off the turnbuckle, kudos to her. I really loved that spot, it seems nearly every week now we’re getting these Divas taking real risks and making the action that much more intense. I love that we have Divas who aren’t the best wrestlers as willing to take risks as the likes of Victoria. Brie Bella also took a hit, going into the ring post. Two very good spots that made this match a little more memorable.

The backstage segment with Michelle and Maria was nicely done if a little odd. Obviously they cut out some stuff, because in the spoilers we had Michelle talking about how she’s a competitor. It seems they cut that – maybe because it did come across as heel-ish as I suspected. Instead, they went the route where Michelle respects Maria. But then here’s where it gets really interesting: That cheek pinch? It came across as slightly bitchy and slightly heel-ish. I do hope it amounts to nothing because if you ask me, Michelle is the top face Diva of SmackDown and fills the role really well. I don’t want her to turn heel. As for Michelle’s promo skills lol, stiff as a board. She may have improved in the ring, but her line delivery (as some have pointed out) was almost robotic. Her accent isn’t the most appealing either.

As for the earlier segment with Maryse and Vickie, I have always said it’s kind of endearing when Maryse messes up when speaking English. I find it cute.

So Maria scores a title shot, so where do we go from here? Everyone thought Maryse had this one down. I think the Maria vs Michelle match will end up taking place next week with Maryse interfering and costing Maria the match, continuing her feud with Michelle. This could end up being a triple threat situation or just a forum for Maryse to upstage Michelle again. We’ll see next week!

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

Brie Bella: Not much of Brie in this one, but that shoulder into the ringpost was cool.

Maria: Four years later, Maria gets a title shot!

Maryse: The spotlight was firmly on Maryse, it’ll be interesting to see how she fits into things.

Michelle McCool: Droll, monotonous voice…

Natalya: Is this the end of the BFFs?

Victoria: I hear she has a new ‘best friend’ in ECW’s Lena Yada. Hmm, from the likes of Candice, Torrie, Natalya to Lena Yada… *Shakes head*

Fashion Focus
The Good: None.

The Bad: Maria looked like a hazard light.

The In-Between: All.

Digital Photos (Courtesy of WWE.com)

Click here to watch the match.

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