We now know the Divas match for WrestleMania XXVIII on April 1 in Miami, FL. It will pit Divas Champion Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres against Kelly Kelly and Extra host Maria Menounos.
The angle to set it up saw Torres and Phoenix crash the Extra set at The Grove in Los Angeles while Menounos was interviewing Kelly as part of the WrestleMania build-up. Beth demanded to know why she was not the one being featured, considering she was the titleholder. A physical confrontation followed, and challenges were thrown down.
You can see the video, as well as thoughts on the match, after the jump.
Now, there are pros and cons to this match. First off, the negatives.
A week and a half ago, Stew discussed the possible options for WrestleMania matches for the women, which included Beth v Kharma, Beth v Natalya, Eve v Kelly or a battle royal of some description. Having another woman involved in a match at WrestleMania after Snooki’s appearance last year to garner some mainstream headlines just smacks of having no real coherent story for the main women in the division. Also, considering that Menounos is also appearing on Dancing With The Stars (which starts this Monday), her time will be split while she is on the show, and she will not be available for any live appearances on Raw while she is competing. It could also mean that she will not be able to take much punishment in case it affects her chances on DWTS, which is a more popular show than any wrestling product out there right now, pulling in between 14 and 19 million viewers every week.
Also, as mentioned, it shows that there is no real direction for the Divas at the moment, as there is no title match involving the women – there hasn’t been one since Melina v Ashley Massaro at WrestleMania 23. That means there has NEVER been a Divas Title match at any WM.
However, there are positives, and they also lie with Menounos. Granted, Kelly is no good, and my hope for her to improve has died following her Divas Title reign last year. On the flip side, Menounos is far better than she has any right to be for someone who has had mere weeks of training, at most. I admit, she has been protected in the ring on her two appearances (the first was on October 12, 2009 while she guest-hosted Raw, and the second was at Tribute to the Troops on December 13 last year), but she looked good, executed what she needed to well enough and even outshone some of the Divas who are paid to do it on a regular basis. She may not generate as many column inches as Snooki did last year, but she’ll get stuck in. Eve and Beth also should be able to look after her in the ring, as they – as well as Natalya – are possibly the most technically sound women on the roster at the moment.
While her DWTS appearance may be a hindrance, it could also be a positive, as if they also mention that she will be at WrestleMania, a percentage of those 19 million viewers may buy the PPV to see her get physical. Plus, when you consider the similarities between dancing and wrestling (and don’t argue, there are some), she may be as much of a natural on the dancefloor as in the ring, meaning she may go far. Should she win, WWE should do what they didn’t do with Stacy Keibler on DWTS and Maria Kanellis on The Celebrity Apprentice and acknowledge it, to show that they are rubbing shoulders with the heavyweight shows on TV.
In addition, Menounos and Phoenix have history, as it was the Extra host who pinned the Divas Champion with a sunset flip at Tribute to the Troops. In fact, barring John Cena v The Rock, this is the WrestleMania match with the longest backstory.
This Divas match has the potential to do well. Even though I would have never chosen this match for the show, I think it has the chance to be pretty entertaining.
- Lee Burton