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Raw Redux – September 1, 2008

This week on Raw: Candice Michelle made her comeback in six Diva action, scoring the win for her team of Mickie James and Kelly Kelly by pinning Beth Phoenix, whose partners included Katie Lea and Jillian.

Thoughts & Reactions
She’s back and as controversial as ever. No Diva divides fans the way that Candice does and that’s been evident from reading your comments and reviews on Candice’s comeback on Raw last night. As for this blogger, I’m sure you all know Candice wouldn’t exactly make my Christmas card list (if I knew her that is) so I may be biased when I write about her. But hey, that’s what friends blogs are for. Some clever guess work on WWE’s part for having Candice make her miraculous comeback on a taped edition of Raw rather than the live thing, because the editing is causing an uproar among you Diva fans. The match was definitely edited at the end. I guess they knew that it wouldn’t be pretty, either.

Moving away from the wrestling to begin with: I couldn’t help but feel Candice’s comeback was the most contrived piece of television since Jade Goody decided to “redeem herself” by entering the Indian Big Brother house. From the outfit to the bad acting as she went to the top turnbuckle to tears at the end, this wasn’t as much a “comeback” as it was a “blubfest”. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Candice, we’re supposed to root for Candice – but in all honesty, Candice isn’t as likable as WWE would have their fans think. This is evident by the way she divides Internet fans. I can’t help but feel Candice is a contradiction of herself, she tries to come across so profound but then shows up on Raw looking like a dominatrix – one who can’t keep her clothes on, for that matter. If her outfit “defines beauty”, I’d rather be ugly. Then we have the tears after she retreated up the ramp following the match, “Pity me! Pity me!” I hope WWE realises that Candice is not the innocent babyface like Trish or Mickie and trying to have her act like she is will never catch on with the fans, just look at the furore she causes online. PS: I thought Raw was now a PG show?

Anyhoo, onto the match – I really enjoyed the work from our Divas this week. Kelly and Mickie seemed more fired up than usual, Mickie in particular was the most exciting I’ve seen her since her fourth Women’s Championship win – perhaps she’s trying not to be overshadowed by Candice? Kelly continues to improve and she worked well for her short part of the match. Jillian and Mickie shared a great chemistry that I enjoyed thoroughly. As for Katie Lea, I think she works better in a tag team combination than in singles action and that’s odd, if you ask me. Her tag team work was much better than her series of horrible and bland matches with Mickie this past summer. As for our Glamazon, well I certainly didn’t like that they buried Beth straight away against Candice. So much for a “money feud” between these two. They ruined it in a matter of minutes by having them interact at the first instance. I would’ve had Candice pin Jillian or Katie and then have Beth retreat from the ring quickly, avoiding any confrontation between these two – prolonging that eventual match. Obviously, logic isn’t WWE’s strongest suit.

Candice’s in-ring return was a mixed bag, I’ll admit it wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, but it wasn’t great either. There were a few glimmers of excitement (such as that hair-drop thing she hit on Beth from the corner), but for every glimmer there’s a botched headscissor takedown. It seems to me that Candice has even yet to master the basic forearm, perhaps she should concentrate on getting her punches right before moving into anything too showy? As I’ve said with Kelly Kelly, it doesn’t help when you overcompensate for your lack of experience with flashy moves – try and perfect the basics. The end was definitely edited as one moment, Candice was behind Beth and then miraculously in front of her. Candice has a long way to go and I certainly wouldn’t rank her in-ring skills above the Divas Champion, Michelle McCool. That said, Candice isn’t as bad as some fans will suggest. She’s certainly a step ahead of Maria and former Diva, Ashley. To reiterate, thankfully for her and WWE this week’s show was taped but that won’t be the case next week. Hopefully, we can have a more informed judgement next Tuesday.

Individual Assessments
In this portion we will look at each of the Divas individually and the role they played, adding more thoughts yadda yadda:

Beth Phoenix: Last week Kelly, this week Candice. Maybe Randy Orton was right about the Women’s Champ… she’s not a very effective one.

Candice Michelle: What more can I say that I haven’t already?

Jillian: Worked well against Mickie but let’s face it, will never be more than a jobber.

Katie Lea: I’m not sold on Katie, I thought she could be a top heel, now I see her as just another Jillian.

Kelly Kelly: I would hate to see Kelly pushed further behind with Candice back on the scene. In a lot of ways, she’s similar to Candice but I’d love to see her go the opposite route of Candice and really become great before she’s hyped up and given a title.

Mickie James: Nice fun work from Mickie. Did anyone see her jumping split on the ring apron at the start of the match? Wow!

Fashion Focus
The Good: None.

The Bad: Candice.

The In-Between: The rest.

Digital Photos (Courtesy of

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