Friday, December 8, 2023

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Raw Redux (November 30th, 2009) – The Greeks Take Troy (Again)

Following Maryse‘s turkey-costumed return, fans came to a general consensus that it was pretty disappointing. But with this week came the opportunity to add some legitimacy to this blossoming feud. Would Maryse deliver, or would she–like the turkey she disguised herself as–not even get off the ground?

We begin the night with an entrance by Melina and Gail Kim. The feed cuts to Maryse and Jillian walking backstage, only to be stopped by Josh Matthews, asking Maryse what provoked her to attack Melina last week:

She explained her motives as this: Melina was holding her Divas title (not that Mickie held the title long before Melina and actually won it from Maryse in the first place) and provided a Trojan Horse, which for Melina turned out to be the turkey. I don’t want to go all history nerd and explain the many ways in which that makes no sense, but really.. I know the common usage of the Trojan Horse metaphor is with a “any trick that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place”, in reference to the tale of the Greeks hiding inside of a giant horse that they left outside the gates of Troy, which when brought inside the gates (as a victory trophy) allowed them to overtake the city at night and win what has been a 10-year siege. But is the WWE ring really considered a securely protected place? Maybe the fact that Melina let the Gobbledy Gooker stand behind her qualifies as that, but that’s stretching it quite a bit. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t accepting the Trojan Horse (and ignoring the warnings of others) a sign of vanity? They believed that the Greeks were surrendering and accepted their “victory trophy” without suspicion, and were ambushed and slaughtered for doing so. I doubt Maryse was preyinf on Melina’s vanity with her scheme.

Either way you look at it, Maryse’s metaphor oversold the thing to a ridiculous level. It actually managed to make it look even more stupid, as she (AKA the WWE’s writers) tried to sell it as some mastermind’s trick. However, when the trick involves one party dressing up in a Gobbledy Gooker suit, I think trying to make it look like any sort of “master plan” is more foolish than the idea itself.

But enough of that. Maryse says “gobble gobble” to Josh (which I guess serves as a goodbye), which Jillian sings in repetition, and the two head to the ring. Melina and Gail’s reaction to this says it all, mouthing “wow” to each other a few times. As Maryse and Jillian make their entrance, Michael Cole recaps how Maryse lost the Divas Championship at Night of Champions and–rumor has it–when into a state of depression following her loss. What a crappy excuse.. I mean, is it really that hard to just say she got injured–which she actually did? All that does is perpetuate the stereotype of the “fragile woman”. Though, Maryse’s character is approximately 99% vanity, so such a blow to her ago could probably crush her in such a way. But still, around 5 months on the shelf due to depression? That’s treating pretty lightly what in real life is a big deal–a serious mental illness. But I guess, as we’ve seen several times already this night, analyzing the WWE’s motives is a lost cause.

I really need to stop sidetracking this thing. Let’s get on to the match. Both Gail and Jillian need to hold back their partners, as there seems to be a lot of fire-spitting going on. Melina’s certainly got her game face on. Shockingly, Melina and Maryse are to start the match. However, un-shockingly, Maryse backs away before Melina can even land a blow and tags in Jillian. Melina yells at Maryse to get in the ring, but Maryse just taunts her with a hair flip on the apron. Melina charges at her but is too late to make contact, and Jillian takes advantage of this distraction, rolling her up for an unsuccessful pin attempt.

Melina clotheslines Jillian and, with two seconds to breathe, she uses them to yell at Maryse some more, irish-whipping Jillian into the corner and hitting a monkey flip, tagging in Gail just before hitting the move. Gail climbs the turnbuckle, hitting Jillian with a flying dropkick and going for the pin, which Maryse breaks up. Melina is seething on the outside, and I have to say that Maryse is doing a good job of egging her on–it’s a good dynamic. Meanwhile, Jillian picks up Gail and plants her with a sidewalk slam, then hitting cartwheel elbow on her. She goes for the pin, but gets a 2-count.

Jillian tosses Gail across the ring by her hair, and Maryse is finally ready to be tagged in. Jillian gives her the tag and she glides into the ring, showing some attitude to the referee and stepping on Gail like she’s a piece of garbage. She gets in Melina’s face, but just out of range of her flying fists. Maryse turns her attention back to Gail, who she picks up, talking plenty of trash. Gail reverses her hold into a neckbreaker, quickly tagging in Melina.

Melina goes on a flurry of offense, taking out some of the excess frustration by screaming as she does it. Maryse finds herself prone on the ropes, and Melina preps for her attack, screaming literally like a wild animal ready for the kill shot (what would she be, a jaguar?). She nails Maryse in the back with her knees, then taking her down with a spear. Jillian enters the ring but Melina stops her, irish-whipping her right into a vicious clothesline by Gail (damn, it was like she came out of a cannon!). Maryse reverses and irish whip into the corner, but when she charges Melina catches her, mounting on her back and prepping for the Last Call.

However, when she flips forward Maryse hangs on to the ropes, and Melina’s the only one who hits the mat. Maryse drags her to the middle of the ring, planting her with a DDT and pinning her (uniquely, I must say, but effectively humiliating) for the win. Jillian and Maryse celebrate their win to the tune of Maryse’s techno theme.

The match, as has become the norm, was ridiculously short. But still, I felt they told a decent story with the time they were given. Maryse taunted and annoyed Melina to the point of her screaming from across the ring, and you could actually feel her frustration. Thus, when Melina finally got tagged in, it felt good, and her flurry of offense effectively demonstrated her caged anger busting out. The pace of the match certainly rushed that part and made is less effective than it could have been, but Maryse ultimately pulling out the win with only one move executed only serves to frustrate the audience more, and that’s a good thing. Maryse might be hiding some ring rust or an overall lack of ability, but she is supposed to be the type of heel that frustrates you, that manages to sneak out with wins and not deserving them in the slightest.

Think of Stephanie McMahon‘s Women’s Championship reign, if you can remember that far back–didn’t it annoy you to see her prance around with a title that she clearly didn’t deserve? And wasn’t it so satisfying to see Lita beat her and take the title? That’s what I feel is going on here–Melina will be the constant pursuer, and Maryse will never be the aggressor unless she finds some way to get the upper hand without much effort. If they play this right, it could be a unique type of feud, and one that the fans could really get into. Now, if only they didn’t have the two “T”s holding them back: turkey and (ring) time.

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