Sunday, December 3, 2023

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Has Maryse Lost Her Mojo?

As of late, we here at Diva Dirt have witnessed a bit of a tide turning against Divas Champion Maryse. That’s not to say fans have become hostile or spiteful, but (with the exception of a well-received turn at the commentary table this week on Raw) fans aren’t loving Maryse as much as they used to.

I feel that with this, like most other investigations, it is best to start from the beginning. While on SmackDown, Maryse went from lowly Diva Search reject to Divas Champ, all the while picking up fans and changing steadfast negative opinions to ones far more in her favor. Wrestling skills and ring presence seemed to spring from nowhere, and she quickly ascended to become one of SmackDown’s top Divas. Her heel character, cocky and arrogant, seemed to capture people’s attention and display plenty of charisma, despite the apparent language barrier. Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that the difference between the beginning and end of her SmackDown tenure is like night and day. Don’t believe me? Check out this clip, back from when Maryse’s top skills including saying “welcome back to SmackDown” and blowing air kisses:

Granted, those vignettes, which aired throughout 2007, didn’t give her much of a chance to show her worth, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t write her off right then and there. I mean, who needs another blonde chick who can’t do more than lie around in skimpy clothing? Which is why, when Maryse started wrestling in early 2008, I was quite shocked to see at what level of skill she was. No, she wasn’t the next Wendi Richter by any means, but in comparison to someone like Maria, who had many more years in the company (and seems to be metaphorically pedaling away on a stationary bike), Maryse was improving at light speed. She showed a comfort level in the ring that you can’t fake. So it came to be, with less than a year of experience of wrestling on television, Maryse won her first WWE title:

Sure, there were complaints about her title win, but not the level of apocalyptic lamenting you’d expect for the crowning of a champion with so little experience under her belt. In the following months she honed her heel persona, seemingly becoming more and more at ease in the ring, all the while picking up more supporters. It seems, that with such meteoric rise, Maryse was fated to a quick drop and sudden stop; This is what we are witnessing now. Her long title reign appears to have spawned a bit of backlash, and her move to Raw in the Draft seems to have kick-started it. Fans, we’ve witnessed, are using words like “boring” and “dull” to describe her, saying things like “her long title reign has made me almost commit suicide”, as well as accusing her of having a limited move-set. A quote from a commenter saying, “her attitude is boring, her moves are boring” pretty much sums up the general feeling. Now, take a look at a very recent match from Maryse – do you notice any difference in her ring work or persona compared to the match last fall on SmackDown (posted above), or has Maryse plateaued?

Now that’s not to say that everyone’s suddenly hating her, or bashing her every move. This is all just harmless speculation. We’ve just noticed that attitudes toward Maryse have become increasingly restless – and who’s to blame them? Fans crave change and excitement, and with a champion whose reign has spanned countless months and whose character seems to live by the mantra of “wash, rinse and repeat” week after week, it’s inevitable that feelings would sour. So what do you think, readers? Has your opinion on Maryse taken a turn for the worse, or are you loving her more than ever?

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