Everyone, please join me in a moment of silence for the lord certainly does giveth and taketh away. I mean, last week I got my Diva dream team of Summer Rae and Adam Rose while tonight neither were even shown. Just kidding, I promise (with fingers crossed behind my back that is).
Tonight was actually a pretty unique night when it came to the Divas, and perhaps one that a lot of fans will remember for quite a bit of reasons. We had for the first time in I don’t even know how long, if ever, two women act as the opening segment of Raw with no men involved as Stephanie McMahon let Vickie Guerrero know exactly how she would be reprimanded for her actions last week. From there, that lead into another big segment later on, but in Divas Title land we also had something pretty interesting as Naomi took on Alicia Fox with both Cameron and Paige on commentary. YES… even though it was a headset and technically not a regular microphone, Paige got to speak on an actual Raw. She has a voice!
Add in some really fun Lana segments (and I know I say that every week, but tonights is really really fun!) and we’ve got quite a show to get through so let’s kick things off with… the title!
The screech in Paige’s theme song hits and out struts the leather jacketed Divas Champion who will be joining us on commentary for the following match. Up first comes the Messiah of Meltdowns, Alicia Fox… who desperately needs a new entrance theme. What are you doing to me CFO dollar sign? Alicia has some sort of all over the place jacket that has replaced her Fancy Fox Hood, but before I can get a good look, Funk gets on a roll and out dances Naomi and Cameron as we find out Naomi will be facing Alicia!~
Now I’m mad because of this Total Divas season one promotion lacking a JoJo graphic. I mean we aren’t forgetting she was on it no matter how hard they seem to want us to. But that’s ok JoJo because you better be up here wowing us all left and right in no time. (Side Note: Paige calling Alicia Fox “crackers” is my new favorite sentence uttered on Raw since the days of “worthless, pathetic, useless, unlovable cow”).
Twenty minutes later after I get done watching my favorite AJ/Kaitlyn feud videos, I’m back! We now get underway as Cameron joins the commentary team as well and immediately provides the necessary digs and insults I’ve been dreaming of since Heel Cameron was somewhat born on the WWE Youtube page. Naomi with a waistlock early on and this somehow turns into a sunset flip but I have no idea how because the cameras left the action. Oh lord… don’t let this be a constant thing please WWE. Naomi with an armdrag and a dropkick, sending Fox into the ropes but missing the Rear View as Alicia holds onto the ring rope. Hip toss follows suit, but Fox nails a few punches as Cameron lets sweetie Paige know her attempts at insulting her are cute. I LOVE these two bouncing off each other but please only go to it when the action is stalled cameraman. Don’t do this to me Stu!
Naomi flips out of a wristlock and I hear footsteps but don’t see anything. Mess. Naomi is now running off the ropes and hits a flipping clothesline followed by her running hurricanrana. Alicia rolls out of the ring and THIS is where I can handle commentary shots. Everyone accuses Cameron of riding Naomi’s coattails, but Cameron says that she’s in no way doing that because when she looks into the mirror she sees fabulous and she knows what she can bring to the table.
Naomi goes for a baseball slide, but Alicia moves out of the way. She tries to capitalize, however, Naomi blocks this and nails a few right hooks of her own! Naomi slams Alicia’s face off the ring apron and tries to climb up, but Foxy pulls her off and slams her right on the outside as Cameron lets everyone know she won’t stop talking about herself because it’s always about her! Alicia throws Naomi back inside and nails a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for just a two count. I’m now beginning to sense a little bit of bad blood between Cameron and Michael Cole, to which I say Cole should take up his anger about the match needing to be the focus with the camera-man instead of the Cameron. Get it together.
Alicia continues to dismantle Naomi with her beautiful bridging northern lights suplex for a near fall, as Cameron tries to faux apologize for slapping Paige on the app last week… because it should’ve been done so hard it slapped the taste out her mouth. Fox keeps the beatdown going as Cole throws another insult Cameron’s way saying how unlikeable she comes off on Total Divas (but alright let’s be real… outside of Jonathan, Alicia Fox, Sandra and maybe Jimmy Uso, who hasn’t come off unlikeable on that show at least once or twice?). The crowd boos Foxy, who tosses Naomi out of the ring with a sidewalk slam and the posing on the turnbuckles begins! Cameron then brings up a valid point about her frustrations with everyone just assuming Naomi puts all the Funk in Funkadactyls.
“Sometimes you have to step your game up because a closed mouth doesn’t get fed.”
“Paige was lucky… do ya want a cookie for it?”
And we’re not missing any action during this part which means I can applaud HeelCameron! Inside the ring, Alicia tries for another tilt-a-whirl, but Naomi escapes out the back and hits a freakin’ awesome reverse DDT. (Like seriously, I’m not a fan of that being a finisher because I think it’d look way cooler as a sit out version, but if she can make them all look that beastly great then by all means you DDT everyone in sight Miss Night.) Naomi hooks the leg and gets the win over Alicia! And the crowd is here for it! Paige gets up from the commentary table and steps onto the ring apron, extending her hand for Naomi to shake as Champion and Challenger stare off with one another while Heel Cameron sits to the side likely girl bye-ing them both as she looks for a nearby cookie to offer these happy go lucky Divas.
Out comes Stephanie McMahon to open tonights show, taunting the fans and calling out Vickie Guerrero because she simply cannot tolerate what happened last week with Guerrero’s failed attempt at getting her just a simple cup of coffee. Now in walks Vickie looking a bit terrified, as she begins complimenting Stephanie and apologizing for last weeks actions. She blames Roman Reigns for the coffee incident, to which Stephanie wants to focus on for a second because it was Miss Guerrero who let Roman enter the battle royal last week and now he has a shot at becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion all because of her.
Vickie continues attempting to apologize, saying it won’t happen again… which Stephanie sharply agrees with.
“Vickie… for nine years you’ve been riding the coattails of your late husband Eddie Guerrero. We took pity on you — we couldn’t make you a Diva, so therefore we allowed you to be a general manager, but quite frankly you couldn’t even do that right.”
The crowd begins getting behind Vickie, as Stephanie says perhaps Eddie deserves respect, however she does not. Stephanie gets ready to reveal Vickie is FIR– but wait, Vickie is trying everything she can to not let things end this way. She pleads for one more chance, revealing she will do anything… and that includes begging. The crowd now starts begging Vickie not to beg, but Stephanie wants to see it and orders Vickie to get on her knees. Vickie unfortunately has to comply, but Steph calls her pathetic and orders her to get up. She dubs Vickie a cockroach — a twinkie(!) — in the sense that she never expires. I cannot.
Stephanie reluctantly agrees to give her two options. Either she gets fired tonight, or Vickie Guerrero can stay the general manager of SmackDown… provided she wins a match that will take place tonight on Raw! Vickie seems to be in shock, but she has to agree because she simply won’t resign. The crowd is chanting “Vickie!” as she asks the identity of her opponent.
“Well Vickie, that’s the best part. Your opponent… is ME!”
Shades of 2008 La Familia evil Vickie Guerrero laughs fill my head, only this time, it’s Stephanie doing the laughing as Vickie herself looks on in horror. The crowd loves it though, as does Stephanie judging by her billion dollar evil glare. This is everything. She continues to degrade Vickie, claiming she knew she didn’t have the guts to fight for her job. Before she can let out the trademarked “You’re Fiiiiiired!” though, Vickie chimes in and tells Stephanie to her face that whether she wants to admit it or not, there is one name in wrestling that commands more respect than McMahon… and that’s Guerrero!
She adds that if there was one thing Eddie always taught her, it’s to lie, cheat and steal, therefore she accepts the challenge!
“So if you will… Excuuuuuuse Meeeeee!”
The crowd has just turned Vickie Guerrero into a bonafide god of a babyface as I continue to absolutely love the fact we just saw two females open an episode of Raw with no man or no commentary cutting them off, and absolutely kill it.
And finally, the moment of truth, as Stephanie McMahon competes against Vickie Guerrero:
We head to the ring as Vickie enters to Eddie’s theme song! Goosebumps indeed. After a replay of tonights historic opening segment, Stephanie struts out… in the same dress from earlier. Ruh-roh. Stephanie gets on the mic and lets Vickie know that she’s not exactly in the right spot for their match. It won’t be in the ring… but instead, to the side!~ She then reveals a pudding pool circa Candice Michelle vs. Melina, as Vickie begins to freak out but the crowd continues to approve. Stephanie reveals that the first one of them to go into the pool loses the match, so Vickie has to shove Steph in first if she wants a job. Oooh, suddenly Stephanie calls out some female backup and out walks Layla! Alicia the Wedding Planner! And the titantron talk of the weekend, Rosa Mendes! Stephanie’s trio of signed in 2006 females pops out from the back like a female Shield as Stephanie orders them to get Miss Guerrero.
They head into the ring and circle Vickie, who manages to crawl out and run up the ramp. She now has the three of them on one side and Stephanie on the other with nowhere to run. Stephanie orders them to step out the ring and grab her, as they drag Vickie towards the pool while she (amazingly) taunts Vickie along the way. They go for a shove, but Vickie fights it! She shoves Rosa Mendes in! I appreciate you so much Rosa, no lie. Rosa crawls to the back in embarrassment as Vickie turns around and sees a wild Layla El flying right at her! She moves to the side and Layla ends up crossbodying right into that pool as if Summer Rae herself was at the bottom. This poor woman has had to be covered in so many varying materials the past few weeks, I swear. Alicia Fox now has Vickie by the top, but Vickie reverses the hold and Alicia goes flying as well!
She starts celebrating, forgetting that there’s one woman left as Stephanie struts up behind her like a cheetah stalking its prey and shoves her in! Stephanie wins and Vickie is fiiiired. Steph starts taunting Vickie like there’s no tomorrow and the crowd is furious. Holy crap Stephanie McMahon is singing and dancing and I’m not prepared. She is full on into this, literally twirling behind Vickie as the crowd sees the anger in Guerrero’s eyes growing and growing. Suddenly, Stephanie realizes what Vickie’s got up her sleeve and she grabs Stephanie by the throat! With the crowd behind her, Vickie tosses Stephanie right in the pool and our boss lady is DRENCHED. She struggles forever trying to get up without falling, eventually dragging a referee right into the pudding pool and having to swim her way out as she vows to get revenge on every last one of the fans cheering the brilliance that just happened.
And if your palette hasn’t been cleansed just yet, check out an amazing titantron segment of Lana and Rusev visiting our Nation’s Capital in Washington, D.C.:
Plus, Lana makes yet another appearance later on as she cuts a quick promo on Big E and allows Rusev the power to Crrrrrrrush:
Naomi vs. Alicia – What we saw of Naomi and Alicia’s match came off really great in my opinion. It wasn’t rushed, the crowd was into it, and nothing really came off mistimed other than Naomi’s hurricanrana (which, I have to be honest, wish she’d kinda not do. I love you Naysus but that rana seems hard for a lot of the other girls to take and your moveset is strong enough to not need it). Like I said earlier though, the DDT isn’t the greatest Naomi finisher in the world, but there was just something about it tonight that made it totally work for me. Whether it was the scream, the crowd, or Alicia Fox being able to sell everything like a million bucks… I’m not sure. But whatever it was, keep doing it because you made a reverse DDT come off like the greatest move of all time.
Oh and what would my inner wrestling nerd be without praising the fact that every single person tonight got televised entrances? Even Paige who just walked to the commentary table and sat down! Then on top of that we got a really great paced match in terms of time, ring action, and crowd response so there’s not really anything I can complain about besides the obvious which will come later. Alicia continues to actually seem like a threat now after years and years of losses, so for that I will forever be thankful. She didn’t need a title to do it, but rather her own merits got the crowd to care about her and she still gets reactions based off of a few weeks of temper tantrums. I can’t get over it, but I absolutely love it.
Paige & Cameron – Judging from my Twitter timeline, the response to Paige and mostly Cameron on commentary has been pretty polarizing. Personally, I absolutely loved it and I had no problems at all (well okay I had one problem but like I said we’ll get to that later) with the way the show handled having two Divas on commentary. Cameron came off exactly like I hoped she would when I saw she was joining the team, and Paige actually got to speak live for the first time on Raw since she won the title. Scooooore!~
I’m not sure, but my guess of the big thing that people who weren’t fans of Cameron on commentary would cite is that she talked more about herself than the match… but isn’t that the point of her character? I have a problem when the focus is off a match sure, but for this one, there’s an actual storyline based reason it’s off and that’s because the whole idea of Cameron right now is she’s tired of everyone talking about Naomi more than her. So when the opportunity for her to do the talking comes up, she wants the focus to be on her instead of her partner. Plus the fact Naomi has no idea Cameron is doing any of this since she’s in competition at the time makes it all the more perfect. Cameron isn’t for everyone, I know, but she’s for me… especially as a heel. I loved her snazzy lines and the way she carried herself, plus her speaking abilities come off so much better this way just like I hoped they would. Sure there were a few times where I think she mixed up what she was trying to say, but that’s a common thing a lot of people do and unless you’re someone like AJ Lee, Lana or Maxine (I’m guessing people with acting training learn how to overcome it maybe?) I don’t think you can really get around that happening.
Fact of the matter is I loved Heel Cameron’s commentary. I get why some didn’t and that’s perfectly A-Okay, but to me it came off bitchy and self-centered which is exactly what I want her character to be. Paige fought back with her pretty well too and I think if these two get promos… let me rephrase that… *televised on Raw* promos, they can really bounce off one another swell. Of course, it would help if the commentary team didn’t seem like they were purposely trying to take digs at Cameron in order to throw her off her game, but what can you do?
For the first time in a while, I’m actually really excited to see what’s going to happen at a pay per view for the Divas! It feels like both Naomi and Cameron are wildcards, but the biggest wish I have is that I really hope this feud lasts a long time. This is the most interesting selection to go with for Paige while she awaits the possible return of AJ Lee, and it definitely provides us with the best chance of something surprising happening that isn’t predictable since we’ve got a feud that involves three women who aren’t all set in stone with their dispositions. Not only that, but the matches between Naomi and Paige should be killer if Main Event was any indication so let’s do this WWE! I want brilliance!
Lana – Lana. Lana… Lana! This woman is my life. She’s just so good at acting I almost sit silenced every time she’s on screen because every single thing she says has focus and a point. She doesn’t beat around the bush or seem nervous in the slightest (but maybe someone can work on how she says what I assume was “Meager Land” with that accent because it kind of sounded like, well… just have a listen) and I know I say it every week, but I want her in the division! Okay, as long as she gets to talk that is. The promo they (and by that I mean just she) did earlier in the day completely wrecked me in a good way. Honestly, I’m a solid 99% sure I want my phone background to just be Lana’s scowling face in front of the Capital from here on out. Her accent is perfect, her facial expressions are perfect, she’s perfect. And I know I’m saying this before seeing her have one single match, but I can’t help it.
Vickie vs. Stephanie – Okay so this is the interesting one for me. I’ve got to say that going into this when we were first shown it was changed into a pudding match, I was kind of let down. Now I don’t have a problem with prop matches in general because I feel like they serve a fun purpose that I actually kind of do miss at times, but I just felt like this was such a step back from how incredible their promo was that started the show. The opening segment set this feud up better in one night than most of the women’s title feuds get in the span of 3 months so to see it turn into a prop match just felt like taking things down a notch from how high profile they felt at the start.
However, there were SO many amazing things to come from it I can’t lie in that I enjoyed it way too much. First off, Stephanie McMahon accept your Emmy now. That acting was both hysterical & amazing, and I don’t think I’m ever going to forget the image of her spinning around and singing behind Vickie as the intense rage that had been building and building was finally let out. That was a true moment, and one that, even if she had to be covered in some sort of pudding during, I’m insanely happy they let her have on her last night. The crowd was behind her, she didn’t hold anything back, and it was just perfect.
Not to mention, Stephanie also doing what I had begged (although we had Aksana at the time so this was a pretty interesting switch up) in enlisting a Diva Army to do her dirty work. Say what you will about Rosa, but I love the girl like no other and seeing her back on TV made me extremely happy. I use this phrase a lot, I know, but the three of them looked like such badasses walking down the ramp and eyeing Vickie down on one side with Steph on the other. This is also where I can praise the cameramen (I’m a camera nerd too if you guys haven’t already guessed haha) because the shots here were so spot on I almost got goosebumps from them alone.
Sure, it might seem degrading to some that the women had to have the pudding pit, but for the moments it created that I will honestly remember far more than just a regular match probably would’ve had, I’m not hating on it one bit. Vickie got to go out in the best way possible for someone covered in chocolate goop, and Stephanie finally got her comeuppance after being the thorn in so many roster members sides because she finally had someone who had absolutely nothing to lose against her. It was so great and while I’m going to miss Vickie Guerrero, having this as her final moment in the company is something to be proud of. It was a great way to send off someone who deserves the best farewell imaginable and overall when you compare it to other non-wrestler exits (heck, even her first time leaving), I was so much a fan of the way they handled it tonight. Those Eddie poses and theme!
The Somewhat Good:
The Not-So Good:
Diva Match Camera Cuts – Holy Moses. I mean… cameraman you gotta work with us here. I love Cameron and Paige, but do we need to see them saying the words we can clearly hear while Naomi and Alicia are hitting moves? I get it when the action is slowed down, fine, but there was one point all I could hear was footsteps in the ring and then Naomi is running off the ropes when I have no idea how she even got there. Spots like when Alicia was posing or when she was throwing Naomi back inside are definitely when you can cut to them, and that part came off great. But the insane, lengthy shots while the two were actually hitting moves on one another was not great. Next time you want to do this cameraman, I’ve gotta enlist someone to throw you a Paige shirt or something because you need to #ThinkAgain (Hey I have to get something out of this catchphrase since they still haven’t really given a set explanation).
No Summer/Layla – I’m mixed on this because on one hand I really wanted to see three actual Diva feuds happen on an episode of Raw. It would feel almost unprecedented, but what we did get from the other segments was lengthy and fun so I can’t dwell on it. Not having Summer and Layla interact would honestly work for me if they do something tomorrow on Main Event or SmackDown because when I think about it, other than Summer’s return and the first makeup table fight, most all of their great segments together have happened on SmackDown or Main Event. So in a way, it kind of feels like the Divas Title feud is happening more on Raw while Summer and Layla are more on SmackDown and I love it when you look at it in that perspective.
It’s no secret I love the brand split and I think a big part of why shows don’t always tend to come off great is because it’s not there anymore. Not only were the draft lotteries and trades so much fun, but half the time anymore the things that happen on SmackDown just get repeated on Raw the following Monday anyways so it can feel draining when you see the same thing so often and you see potential dream matches happen just to fill time. I know they want starpower on every show so I get why it’s like that, but even if just for the Divas, we could get something like this where Paige feuds with Naomi and Cameron on Raw while Summer and Layla have these fun Torrie/Dawn-esque (in the sense of a SmackDown Diva feud happening without a title being involved… not in the way that I mean Layla is marrying Father Rae) segments with Fandango on SmackDown, I’d be all for it to be honest.
That’s all for this week! Vickie, you had an amazing nine year run and you had better be a future Hall of Famer or we’ll have a problem WWE. La Familia for Life!