Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Raw Redux (June 20th, 2011): Kelly Kelly Nets the Butterfly

On this week’s edition of WWE Raw, the people held the fate of Divas Championship in their hands. The fans got the chance to pick the Diva who would challenge Brie Bella for the title via text message. When given the options of Eve, Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix, who would the fans pick and would they able to overcome the Twin Magic of Brie and Nikki to snag the title? Check out the match below:

Out first are the Bellas, who enter the ring and wait for the votes to be announced. We cut to the Jumbotron for the votes and Kelly Kelly nets a whopping 53% on the votes, granting her a title match against Brie Bella. Eve and Beth give Kelly a few words of encouragement, despite losing the vote, before she heads off to the ring. As she makes her way to gorilla position, Cole informs us that Kelly is a former Divas Champion who’s itching to get her title back. News to me…

Anyhoo… Kelly makes her way out to the ring to a massive pop from the audience, making the usual hands-around-waist motion to communicate to Brie that she plans on taking her title tonight. After a bit of pandering to the crowd from the challenger, the official signals for the bell and our Divas Championship match is underway.

The Divas lock up and Kelly muscles Brie to the ropes, but the champ turns the tables on Kelly. The official makes Brie break the hold, but she sneaks in a pieface on Kelly. Noticing that this just pissed Kelly off, Brie turns her heel and runs out of the ring. Kelly gives chase, but gets distracted by Nikki Bella, causing her to be knocked to the ground by Brie.

Brie goes after Kelly and brings the fight back inside the ring. Brie slams Kelly into the turnbuckle headfirst and goes to work on her in the corner, choking her out with her boot. The referee makes the champion back off, but not before she gets in a well placed kick to the gut of Kelly. The challenger struggles out of the corner, only to be choked yet again by Brie. After being admonished by the referee again, Brie goes for the pin but only get a near fall.

Frustrated, Brie slaps on a modified abdominal stretch to wear Kelly down. Kelly fights to her feet with a few forearms, but is slammed back down the mat by the hair. After slapping Kelly around for a bit, Brie locks in another submission. This time Kelly fights out with a few butt-bumps before tossing the champ over her shoulder. Brie tries to retain control, but Kelly neutralized her with a well placed kick to the knees and begins furiously slamming Brie’s face into the mat.

After a bit of “hulking up,” Kelly takes Bries down with a Thesz Press, before lashing out with a few stiff shots to the head and a running bulldog. Kelly goes for the pin, but Brie kicks out at two. Kelly tries to whip Brie across the ring, but the champ reverse and takes Kelly down with a vicious neckbreaker for a near fall.

Brie throws Kelly into the turnbuckle and charges in, but gets blasted with a boot to the face. Kelly scales the ropes and goes for a victory roll, which is reversed by Brie into a pin. Right as the referee goes to count three, Kelly reverses the pin and scores the win, becoming the new champion!

Post-match, Jerry Lawler interviews a teary-eyed Kelly Kelly. Kelly thanks the fans for voting for her and promises to make everyone proud. A touching moment, indeed.

While I haven’t been a huge fan of the Kelly Kelly/Bellas matches, I thought both ladies put on a pretty good title match. In fact, I thought this match eclipsed their title match at Over the Limit. It was good to see Kelly abandon her more playful signature moves, in lieu of more serious techniques. Brie also came off quite well. I thought she looked like a serious and credible champion, fighting to keep her title.

It also helped the Kelly and Brie received more time than is usually allotted to the Divas. I think they proved that given a semi-decent amount of time on the main show, the Divas can put on a good show. Hopefully, this will set a trend for the Divas in coming weeks.

As for Kelly winning the title, despite what some people might think, I don’t really have a problem with Kelly Kelly winning the title. In fact, I think it was a long time coming and I’m shocked that it didn’t happen sooner. Kelly is clearly the biggest fan favorite among the Divas and WWE has a tendency to put the belt on their most popular stars, so her winning the title wasn’t a surprise in the least.

That said, I think this title reign will be the make or break moment for the young Diva. While Kelly may be the most popular Diva, she is one of the most harshly judged in terms of her in-ring skills. In my opinion, this is Kelly’s opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong and show that she can be a credible champion now that she finally has the belt around her waist. If she doesn’t, or is not allowed to do anything noteworthy during her title run, it will be no different than some of the less than memorable title reigns over the past year or so.

All in all, a good showing from the Divas this week and a big moment for Kelly Kelly. With the Kharma storyline dead for the time being, it will be interesting to see what the writer have in store for the new Divas Champion, if anything. Hopefully, some of the other heels will be able to step up and take a crack at the title.

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