TNA are in the middle of their “let’s give Madison Rayne some credibility” phase, which they seem to do maybe twice a year, and I was a fan of her match a couple of weeks ago with the returning (apparently for one night only) ODB, and having heard that tonight features another one night return (this time of Roxxi aka Nikki Roxx), I was quite looking forward to this.

Gotta be honest, that was disappointing, if only for the fact that it was so damn short (the usual “2 minute” match). No time for any stories to be told or any actual psychology. Just two girls competently exchanging some moves until one beats the other. Also a bit disappointed at the lack of any great reaction for Roxxi, but then this is a crowd that are sitting through their second consecutive Impact taping. The return of Mickie James is an interesting one. I figured that the open challenge gimmick was going to run until Tara ends up turning face and challenging Rayne for the belt (or they manage to sign a big name like Serena Deeb), but bringing back Mickie as they did suggests we’ll get another round of Madison Rayne vs Mickie James matches before that storyline plays out.

So, if Madison vs Roxxi was disappointing, perhaps the six woman match featuring the chick from Jersey Shore will actually pleasantly surprise me. It’s Angelina Love, Velvet Sky & Winter vs Cookie, Sarita & Angelina Pivarnick.

It didn’t. An utter trainwreck of a match. Pivarnick got to do a couple of spots, but there was no chance for anybody to do anything before Robbie E came in and overbooking took over. Sarita & Rosita (who are challenging for the Knockouts Tag Titles on Sunday if anybody cares/remembers) wisely stayed the hell out of the way. I guess Winter and Velvet are supposed to be friends now?

Let’s check out WWE’s offerings for the week…

Smackdown brings us the usual “Laycool vs whoever” match, and this week my heart skips a beat when I see that it’s Kaitlyn. Now, I was a big Kaitlyn fan throughout NXT and I make no apologies for that – I liked her attitude and goofiness, if not her wrestling ability (which was hardly her fault as she was thrown into the show with only a couple of weeks training). Not entirely sure what the plans for Kaitlyn are, as I think this is only her second wrestling appearance on Smackdown since NXT. Is she on the main roster or is she developmental? To me, I’d let her stay in developmental until she’s ready rather than dropping her on Smackdown every so often with no real justificataion. The match itself is over in under one minute, and is basically a big mess. Kaitlyn (naturally) lost, but more notably, the neckbreaker that Layla used to beat her looked utterly sick. Sucks to be Kaitlyn, and it sucked even more afterwards when Laycool beat her down after the bell and leave her laying. “Awwww, shucky ducky, quack, quack,” as Booker T might say.

Divas action on Superstars took the form of a mixed tag match that brought back memories of WCW’s “Lethal Lottery” shows, as Natalya finds herself on a team with Great Khali and Mark Henry, to take on the trio of Melina, William Regal and Tyson Kidd. Unless I’m mistaken, there was never any real fall-out with Natalya and Tyson after the Hart Dynasty went their separate ways. Tyson and David Hart Smith split and Natalya ended up going off to do her singles run in the Divas division pretty much at the same time, so it’ll be interesting to see what they play off here.

Hmm, well at least they mentioned their shared history, even if nothing was particularly progressed (other than the post match sharpshooter, perhaps). A fun six person tag, considering the participants. Natalya & Melina’s opening exchanges were fine.

Let’s backtrack to Raw and see the climax to the epic Eve Torres vs Bella Twins feud, as Eve defends the Divas Title against Nikki Bella.

I’m not even going to dignify this with a rant. Cole’s interruption (whilst obviously not his own idea) is so thoroughly disrespectful and hurtful to the product, it’s almost amazing to watch the footage back and realise that I wasn’t having a fevered nightmare when this originally aired. Bret Hart (@HitmanBretSHart) took to twitter to exclaim “want to mention that I hated the interruption during the women’s match. They’re working their asses off and Cole totally ruined it.” Can’t put it better than that. The only question I would love answered was whether Eve & Nikki knew that Cole was going to bury them beforehand or not. Former creative member John Piermarini (@JohnAsHimself) suggested that “$20 says Divas had no clue Cole would interrupt their match. It’s [Raw head writer] Brian [Gewirtz] getting even with the female race after 39 years of rejection.” and that “If it were me I’d tell @EveMarieTorres don’t tell anyone just go out to ringside and slap the $&@@ out of Cole after your match next week”

For the alternate TV match of the week, let’s go south of the border for a fine match that was called an “Early Match of the Year candidate” by thecubsfan from the ever-excellent luchablog. It took place on January 25th at Arena Mexico, and features the longest reigning women’s champion in the world, Amapola, defend her CMLL World Womens title against former champion Marcela. Amapola had to that point been champion for over three years, having won the title in November of 2007. Marcela had won the right to challenge, and everybody thought that this might just be her night…

Marcela vs Amapola (c) [CMLL WOMEN] (now with… by thecubsfan

Next week: TNA is coming off the Victory Road PPV where the Knockouts Tag Titles are on the line, and it’s logical to assume that Mickie James and Madison Rayne is back on the table. On WWE, we’ve got the return of Trish Stratus to take on Vickie Guerrero on Raw.

– Stew Allen

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