Monday, August 2, 2021

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The Bash 2009 Review: Michelle McMoonwalks Her Way to History

Just thought I’d pop a little tribute in there! # Just beat it, just beat it #

They say patience is a virtue and our patience truly paid off last night, as for the first time in 6 months, the Divas got booked on pay per view and the result was everything I imagined it to be. I’ve been fully invested in the feud between Melina and Michelle McCool for the past couple of months and have been looking forward to them finally getting it on in the ring and last night’s match didn’t disappoint. I believe in these two Divas, they are fantastic in the ring and over the past few weeks have shown a lot of chemistry — put them in the ring together and I expected an awesome match & I believe that’s what we got.

First of all, all three Divas involved looked phenomenal. I loved Melina’s new red ensemble, Michelle looked great in white but the star was Alicia at ringside, who just looked beautiful in a cute summery dress with her hair tied up.

My main worry about this match was time. I’ve almost pleaded and begged on this blog in the past couple of weeks to let these girls have the time they need to put on a great match. Divas are usually constrained to 3-5 minutes, but I really felt these two Divas needed the time to go all out, especially in a championship match. Thankfully, they got around 8 minutes of ring action and 10 minutes in total for their segment which was a nice chunk of the PPV. I would have loved for them to go a few minutes longer but I can’t fault this match, I thought it was superb.

The Divas start off aggressively from the outset, Michelle starts out dominating with a knee to the stomach and few forearms but Melina comes back, she goes against the ropes setting up I believe, her hair smash but Michelle picks her up by the throat, which looked awesome – a lot of strength shown from Michelle. Melina counters into a DDT – but it looked more like a flip – and then starts pounding into Michelle. And that’s what I love about Melina, her fluidity from one move to the next, is creative and fresh.

Melina doesn’t let Michelle recuperate for a moment, continuing her assault which sets up the pace nicely — after all this is a championship match, there’s no time wasting here. Melina hits a nice backflip, followed by a clothesline and jumping neckbreaker.

Then the game-changer, Michelle kicks Melina in the leg setting up the story for the rest of the match, with Michelle working over Melina’s leg. A helpless Melina tries to fight back, showing what a fighting champion she is and incurs even more of Michelle’s fiery wrath. Michelle has done a great job in the past couple of months in upping her game and coming across even more aggressive in her matches. Michelle continues to work over Melina’s leg as the pace slows down some, but I think it’s still extremely watchable as Melina’s selling [as proven last week on SmackDown] is second to none. Michelle, showing more aggression, slams Melina’s leg into the ring post.

Fast forward a little bit and Michelle hits a very cool move, a reverse backbreaker, where she almost flips Melina 180 and her stomach meets Michelle’s knee. Michelle then channels her inner-Beth Phoenix, by contorting Melina’s body, making her foot touch her head. Melina really should just advertise ‘Stratusphere Yoga’ on her ring attire, right?

A cocky and arrogant Michelle starts to get complacent, now channeling Shane McMahon shuffling around the ring, she attempts a running knee into Melina in the corner but meets the turnbuckle. Melina gains some traction and sets up her knee smash in the corner, with less ease than usual. Michelle pretty much no-sells Melina’s knee smash, with a chopblock to Melina’s knee immediately after. Melina begins using her ‘educated feet’ to kick Michelle, wrapping her legs around Michelle’s neck and does her heel-to-the-head kick.

Melina backs into the corner and tries to do it again, but Michelle counters and locks Michelle in for the Faith Breaker. Melina manages to counter into a hurricanrana. We don’t usually see false finishes in Diva matches but I think it adds meaning as it makes the eventual finish even more important as we’ve been teased prior. Melina goes for a near fall followed by Michelle.

It’s time to go up top, folks – a nice addition to any Divas match. Michelle props Melina up for a superplex, Melina pushes her off and hits her hair smash finally! Melina, like a pro, continues to sell her bad knee as she crawls across the ring to cover Michelle but Alicia puts Michelle’s leg on the bottom rope. It’s about time A-Fox got involved, she was beginning to look like window dressing! Melina gets a measure of revenge with a dropkick through the bottom rope, which seems to have been pulled off by nearly every Diva in the WWE in the past month.

This distraction gives Michelle enough time to recover. Melina jumps on top of Michelle for the Last Call and I have to admit, when I first watched I thought Melina may just retain after all. However, Michelle counters and attempts to get Melina into finisher position but Melina lands on her fit and Michelle hits her with a vicious big boot. We get another false finish which only adds to the excitement…

Michelle finally locks in the Faith Breaker which got a pretty nice pop, sold perfectly by Melina and history is made.

These two Divas really slugged it out and tried to give you an ‘epic’ feel to the match with the false starts and near falls. People have complained that the audience were dead for the match but it’s certainly not through a lack of trying, because Melina and Michelle made a tremendous effort I think. In any men’s match that kind of technique is going to illicit a reaction, unfortunately audiences just aren’t as receptive to Divas matches. I’m not one of those people who cares about audience reaction, it is what it is. I don’t think you can ever expect a Divas match to illicit the same response from those in attendance because there’s such a double standard, the predominantly male WWE audience will tell you a Divas match is ‘shit’ even if it isn’t.

This match is definitely on my list for ‘Match of the Year’ candidate, both Divas gave their all and delivered one hell of a match, proving that Divas do deserve to get PPV matches.

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