Friday, October 22, 2021

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The Diva Trade Report Card

It’s been two months since the Diva Trade hit us like a bus and changed the landscape of Raw, SmackDown and well, ECW not so much. Since that time, the seven Divas traded have had time to find their feet on their new brands — new feuds, new storylines, new love interests. For some it’s worked out and for others, it hasn’t. Two months removed, we’re going to catch up with our Divas and find out how the Diva Trade has affected them in the ‘Diva Trade Report Card’.

draft_bellasThe Bella Twins
The Bellas’ move to Raw has been wholly unthreatening, thankfully. Hardly ever seen in wrestling attire, the Bellas have served as eye candy to the Guest Host of the week. Not exactly something to write home about!
Verdict: Acceptable. An insignificant trade that doesn’t harm or hurt anyone.

draft_bellasBeth Phoenix
I kicked up something of a fuss when Beth was moved from Raw in October — but I’m happy to say, I’ve been proved wrong. The move to SmackDown has rejuvenated the Glamazon. The brief ‘Glamazon Squash Tour’ provided a monster heel-like reintroduction for Beth that many would expect for a Superstar, it’s rare to see such effort go into a Diva. In my initial look at the trade, I questioned whether WWE would pull the trigger on Beth vs Natalya or McCool but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a tweener-ish Beth challenge Michelle McCool for the Women’s Championship in the near future.
Verdict: Good. SmackDown should bring out a new dynamic to the Beth Phoenix character in the New Year.

More after the cut:

draft_bellasEve Torres
Eve started the year as a non-wrestler, quickly became one of the hottest young prospects on SmackDown and as they’ve done with Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne and MVP — hot shotted her to Raw where she’s become ‘middle card’ fodder. And the worst part is, there’s barely even a ‘middle card’ for the Divas! Eve’s move from SmackDown was all too premature and looking at that brand right now, she could have provided a great partner for Mickie in her current storyline with Michelle/Layla and wouldn’t have been as limited in the ring as Maria. Eve’s run on Raw has consisted of a false start storyline with Swagger and The Miz, a match teaming up with a midget and now she seems to be the apple of Chris Masters’ eye.
Verdict: Failure. Raw is meant to be a ‘promotion’ but Eve had brighter prospects on SmackDown.

WWE moving Melina to Raw, like Eve, was meant to be a vote of confidence what with winning the Divas Title on her first night back. Instead, Melina has middling success — sure she may be the Divas Champion but miles away from the comfort of her long feud with Michelle McCool, Raw has seen her face short term challengers like Jillian and Alicia Fox in even shorter matches. There’s no real joy to being the top Diva of Monday nights, Melina has found. And up until the move, it looked like she was going to have a banner year after 9 months of consistently great matches and a lengthy Women’s Championship reign. Her work has suffered on Raw but could her brewing feud with Maryse be her salvation? The interaction between the two hasn’t been awful.
Verdict: Below Average. Titles mean nothing when you don’t have the right people to defend it against.

draft_bellasMickie James
Mickie’s move to SmackDown has seen her work improve ten-fold. Given the opportunity to tell a real story, cut promos, have decent matches with decent workers — it’s been a good couple of months. Already on the brand, Mickie has had some memorable matches including Sunday’s TLC title bout with Michelle McCool and could soon capture her fifth Women’s Championship. But with the good comes the bad and there’s no overlooking the ‘Piggie James’ bullying that WWE has seeped into it’s writing. Mickie’s a tough cookie and I’m sure she’ll stick it out but is it all worth it?
Verdict: Good-to-Average. Mickie’s doing a great job on SmackDown and WWE knows she’s their go-to-girl, now why don’t you show a little respect?

draft_bellasRosa Mendes
Lucky break that Rosa got traded to ECW, right? But rather than just disappear into the abyss and quietly get released, the ECW writers have actually found use for Rosa outside of the ring. No harm in that, right? Rosa’s currently loved up with Zack Ryder and has a steady spot on television each week, something that isn’t guaranteed on Raw or SmackDown due to her inadequacies, shall we say.
Verdict: Acceptable. Like the Bellas, she’s doing no real harm to anyone and WWE seems to be getting some use out of her.

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