Friday, October 22, 2021

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SmackDown Redux (October 30th, 2009) – Worst. Costume. Contest. Ever.

Note: As a result of the ‘Diva Dirt Trade’, the SmackDown Redux is now written by Melanie! Like Mickie James, I have left behind Raw after two years of the Raw Redux but left it in the very capable hands of Erin. You can read Erin’s Raw Redux every Tuesday here at Diva Dirt.

In the words of Comic Book Guy: “Worst. Costume. Contest. Ever.” Much second hand embarassment was felt for the four Divas involved; from the unflattering costume choices [that’s you Mickie!] to the ‘white people dancing’ [thanks Michelle!], this one didn’t look too hot.

However earlier in the night, we kicked things off on a much brighter note when the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix made her in-ring debut as a SmackDown Diva in a squash match. This to me was the perfect set-up. Since her debut in 2007 [let’s ignore the original debut], Beth has been pushed as the monster heel of the women’s division; the powerful and dominant Glamazon. In the past year, it’s safe to say she’s waned a little as a character as a result of poor booking but all that seems to be changing thanks to the move to SmackDown. Usually with these monster heel types, they’ll have squash matches for weeks on end against the ‘jobber of the week’, we’ve seen it with the likes of The Great Khali, Umaga, Mike Knox and most recently, Sheamus on ECW. I think it’s really intriguing for a Diva to be given similar treatment and really have that time to be put over as a ‘big bad monster’. This almost re-introduces Beth, putting out of mind what she’s been doing on Raw lately, and sort of starting from scratch. So it would Beth Phoenix versus local jobber known as Jenny Brooks, who it’s explained has some history with Beth:

Fresh from defeating Melina to take a win for Team SmackDown at Bragging Rights, Beth gets her first match on SmackDown. We kick off with Beth throwing Jenny to the mat and laying in some kicks & punches and then literally, kicking Brooks out of the ring. That definitely looked impressive.

Beth then drags Brooks back into the ring by her hair and then picks her up for a standing suplex, hoisting Jenny into the air for a good 30 seconds or so. This is something we’ve seen before in Beth’s arsenal and really is a sight to see, so it’s nice to see that it’s dusted off here. Beth then picks up Brooks by the neck and slams her over her knee, before just throwing her into the corner like a rag doll. Jenny then tries to fight back but is thrown against the ropes by Beth and then gets hit with an axehandle across the head. The end is here for the visiting Brooks as Beth sets up an epic looking Glam Slam, once again just holding that position as with the suplex, and as you’ll see she does a 360 on the spot so all the fans in attendance can see her sheer dominance which is a very nice touch, and then slams her down. Beth then takes a moment to adjust herself, looking composed and not in a rush, before pinning Brooks with ease.

I really enjoyed this. Like I said, it almost re-introduces Beth and her dominance with the use of the elongated standing suplex and Glam Slam, using Beth as a spectacle almost. She really came across great here as a non-chalant bad ass heel. The little touches like taking her time before pinning her opponent, while just a small touch, added that much more to atmosphere and I really like that. I hope they can keep this up and continue to have Beth booked strongly & break the mould of what it means to be a Diva today; as mentioned earlier, Diva squash matches are unthinkable but for that to be used as a storyline device for Beth shows some progression. Good segment.

After the cut, the Divas Halloween Costume Contest:

Sadly, after what I thought was a progressive segment for the Divas, it’s pretty much cancelled out by the return of what is essentially, eye candy filler. Cryme Tyme host the SmackDown Divas in a Halloween Costume Contest, reminiscent of the days of Torrie Wilson & Dawn Marie. But this time, we have Layla, Michelle McCool, Mickie James and Natalya:

If the idea was to represent the Divas as a Halloween ‘treat’, they failed. If the idea was to represent the Divas as ~scary~ well congrats, because this was ghastly… for all the wrong reasons. Three out of the four Divas looked ‘blah’ to ‘awful’ and only one really rocked it. Let’s look at each of the Divas:

Natalya almost looked as though she was just in her usual ring gear from the waist down, while wearing a new top. I guess the Divas are told to buy sexy Halloween costumes but there wasn’t anything sexy about this, in fact it was a little boring. Then her little skit acting as a matador while Shad Gaspard ran at her was equally boring. I mean seriously?

Layla, as you may have deduced, was the one out of the four who I thought did the best job. I liked her gimmick as Michael Jackson and of course, we knew she’d have the moves to back it up. Some may complain that Layla always dances but I thought this was a fitting ‘tribute’ if it can even be called that. She looked good [okay the bra was rather skanky but again, they’re supposed to look ‘sexy’] and her dancing was awesome.

Michelle if I’m honest, gave me second hand embarassment. This was like the epitome of ‘white people dancing‘, it looked really uncomfortable and then after a while, her arms started flailing like she had an epileptic fit. I’m a big fan of Michelle, but this was not her night. The outfit again, was a little too ‘try hard’. Michelle is very athletic and I can just picture her in her sports gear, but trying to be sexy with her butt hanging out in this costume? Not buying it.

Finally we had Mickie James, who didn’t look flattering at all. Mickie, red is not your colour. There’s been a lot of speculation that WWE thought Mickie had put on a lot of weight, I don’t think this was the best costume choice to dispell that speculation. I’m not saying she’s ‘fat’ by any stretch of the imagination, but a tight corset wasn’t exactly a flattering look for her & the garter-like shit around her legs didn’t look too PG-friendly. It looked like bad lingerie with matching boots.

Overall, not a very good segment. Afterwards however, I guess there’s some salvation with the fight that broke out. Mickie with a punch to Nattie, Nattie clotheslines the hell out of Layla — that looked really vicious, and then a Thesz Press by Mickie on Natalya. Michelle interjects with a pretty weak boot [though she was wearing high heeled boots] and a clothesline of sorts. Seems like the end of that segment played into an eventual Michelle vs Mickie match which should be exciting. At least we got some sort of pay-off for having to sit through that.

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