Friday, December 2, 2022

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Rumble Rewind: Ashley vs Mickie James (2006)

It’s nearly time for the 2010 Royal Rumble and it’s got the Diva Dirt team feeling all resminiscent! Over the next day or so, we’re going to be rewinding the clock and reliving our favourite Rumble moments.

Steven: My pick for the Rumble Rewind is a match that most Diva fans would probably like to forget: Mickie James vs Ashley Massaro at the Royal Rumble 2006. While it wasn’t the most technically (despite what Joey Styles says), it served as a crucial point in one of the most memorable Diva storylines of all time.

Women’s Champion at the time, Trish Stratus was the special guest referee for this match and was in quite a strange position. While Trish had promised to call this match right down the middle, Mickie had been becoming gradually more aggressive in pursuing her idol, even going as far as assaulting Trish’s ‘protege’ and ‘best friend’ Ashley in the process.

At the start of the match, it was pretty obvious that this wasn’t going to be the greatest match in terms of ring work, but I think it’s best achievement was the story it told. Mickie showed some aggression, utilizing the ringpost as a weapon and such, but it was Ashley’s mean streak that surprised me. Athough she was a face, Ashley used some some textbook heel tactics such as hair pulling and closed fist punching, leading to Trish physically restraining her several times. The fact Ashley was so upset about Mickie’s actions, that she was blatant disregarding the rules was pleasantly surprising. It made it seem as if Ashley was emotionally invested in this match, which is always a good thing.

The icing on the proverbial cake would have to be the ending. Due to Trish’s officiating, Ashley was distracted and fell victim to a nasty (and not in a good way) powerbomb. Mickie went for the pin and Trish almost couldn’t bear to make the three count. Once again, Mickie oversteps Trish’s personal space, attempting to celebrate with her hero. Trish pushes her away in annoyance and Mickie takes her leave.

I would say this is the point when Trish stopped seeing Mickie as a nuisance and starting seeing her as a threat, not only to her title but to her overall. As I said, it wasn’t the best match we’ve ever seen from the Divas. In fact, it was far from it, but it told a story and got us interested which is more then we can expect from Diva matches these days.

Discuss your memories of this match in the comments.

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