Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Raw Redux (January 17th, 2011): What Just Happened?

After a week of withdrawal, on this week’s edition of Raw, Diva fans were treated to the match we should have gotten last week: Maryse vs Natalya in a non-title bout. In what I assume is an attempt to make up for the lack of Divas last week, we also got Melina and Eve on guest commentary. Can the third generation Diva and the French-Canadian beauty put on a five star match? Will Melina and Eve get feisty at ringside? Check out the match below and find out:

Out first to the ring first is Maryse, who’s looking fantastic. During her entrance, Cole introduces Eve and an oddly silent Milena, who are ringside on commentary. Next out is Natalya, who practically runs to the ring. Are we short on Diva time already? In the meantime, Cole uses his journalistic prowess to get to the bottom of the issues between Melina and Natalya and is rewarded with icy cold silence from the #1 Contender. Awkward… Cutting his losses, Cole turns his questioning to Eve and brings up the tag match two weeks ago that saw Eve pick up the win over Melina. Eve smoothly deflects the question by talking about thrilled she is to be at ringside for this match. Sure you are…

Meanwhile, the bell has rung and Maryse gets in Natalya’s face. Unwilling to take any flack from Maryse, Natalya tries to end things quickly with the Sharpshooter, but Maryse manages to wriggle to the bottom rope to break the hold. Back on her feet, Maryse kicks Nattie in the knee and follows up with a unique facebuster for a one count. Maryse stays on the champ, smashing her face into the mat and cinching in a rear chinlock, which prompts one dude in the front row to start clapping loudly. Talk about the odd man out…

Nattie fights to her feet and rams Maryse into the turnbuckle, breaking the hold. The champ muscles Maryse in the corner for a bit, but Maryse comes back with a huge slap to the face. Unfortunately for Maryse, that just pisses Natalya off. Nattie hits a kick to the gut and goes for a suplex, but Maryse reverses and goes for a clothesline. Nattie evades and lands her trademark discus clothesline and slaps on the Sharpshooter before Maryse can get back to her feet. Maryse tries to get to the ropes, but is pulled back to the center of the ring, where she is forced to submit.

Post-match, Nattie celebrates, Melina make some stank faces and Maryse flies off the deep end. Maryse goes off on Cole (I’m sure he deserved it), which prompts Eve to shove her and…. walk away? That was… interesting. Also confused by Eve’s assault, Maryse turns her attention back to Cole, before setting her sights on her man, Ted DiBiase (Where did he come from?). Maryse berates the ‘Fortunate Son’, calling him a loser, which segues into his over the top rope challenge.

When it come to the match, it was just OK. I don’t anyone expected a wrestling clinic from a Maryse vs Natalya match. Both women got in some offense, but this match was mostly about asserting Natalya as a champion, which I think was achieved. Another aspect I assume the writers were trying to push, was tension between Eve and Melina. If that was indeed their intention, they failed miserably.

As I said two weeks ago on the Post-Raw Show, having Eve pin Melina didn’t mean much, unless they planned on putting her in the title picture. It seems they were going that route by having Melina and Eve on commentary tonight, but having Eve do all the talking and Melina sit silently at the table did not work. If you want to play on this angle, why not have Melina and Eve take shots at each other on commentary? Obviously, Eve is a threat to Melina after pinning her, right? Why not have her tear Eve down on commentary or even have them interfere in the match somehow? The effect they seem to be going could have been executed much better with a backstage segment between Eve and Melina. And what was with Eve randomly shoving Maryse and running off? I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it. The Divas Title picture desperately needs some focus and direction and soon. Hopefully, the writers can get it together before the Royal Rumble.

On a lighter note, we also got a backstage segment with The Bella Twins, where they put a challenge on the table. Both Bellas are looking to be Daniel Bryan’s ‘first’. His first what, you ask? Only time will tell. Check out the segment below:

To be honest, I wasn’t too sold on the Daniel Bryan/Bella Twin pairing at first, but it has grown on me. I know a lot of Diva fans would rather see the twins wrestle but with a division as unfocused as this one, maybe it’s for the best that they stay with Daniel Bryan for a while. I see this storyline bringing a lot of laughs and awkward moments down the line.

All in all, it was a middle of the road Raw for me this week. Hopefully, things will shape up in the division in the coming weeks, but with a big PPV like the Royal Rumble coming up, it better happen soon.

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