Saturday, March 31, 2007


The Road to Wrestlemania 23: LUMBERJILL MATCH
Leonard Hayhurst on 03.31.2007

Background: Melina won the WWE Women's Title on the February 19th RAW over Mickie James. In a post match interview she took exception with Ashley stealing her press the week before due to her Playboy shoot. Melina stated that Playboy tried to get her several times, but that the common peon didn't deserve to see her naked. On the February 26th RAW Ashley pushed her Playboy shoot more while Melina complained more about Ashely stealing her thunder. Melina got out her frustrations by squashing Maria. Ashley beat Jillian on the March 2nd Smackdown. Melina retained the Women's Title over Mickie James in a falls count anywhere match on March 5th. Ashley was the guest ring announcer and begrudgingly gave Melina back her title after the bout was over. Ashley appeared on Miz TV on March 9th to be interrupted by Melina. She put herself over as too classy for Playboy. Ashley then challenged Melina to a Women's Title match at Wrestlemania. Melina wanted to make an example to Ashley and took out former Playboy cover girl Torrie Wilson on the March 12th RAW. The March 16th Smackdown had Ashley teaming with Brian Kendrick and Paul London against MNM. Melina gets a low blow on London leading to the Snapshot for the loss. Melina faced Playboy cover girl Candice in a bra and panties match on March 19th. She won, but was stripped by Ashley post match. On the March 23rd Smackdown both ladies seconded their tag teams in a title match with London and Kendrick going over MNM. On the March 26th RAW Ashley, Candice and Torrie defeated the team of Melina, Jillian Hall and Victoria. On the March 29th Smackdown Ashley, Maria, Candice, Torrie and Mickie James defeated the team of Melina, Jillian, Victoria, Kristal and Michelle McCool.

Match Up: Both women show great potential as future top women's wrestlers and are doing their best to fill the void in the division left by Trish Stratus and Lita. Ashley's spunk should be enough to trump Melina's cocky arrogance. However, several recent losses to Ashley in tag team matches might have her plotting. The lumberjills actually work against Melina as it negates Johnny Nitro from interfering. Not that Kendrick and London wouldn't have Ashley's back. Then again, the girls at ringside could provide Melina with needed distraction to cheat to win.

Outcome: Ashley is getting pushed thanks to being a Playboy cover girl. Other diva cover girls haven't won the Women's title, but Ashley is certainly the best wrestler of that bunch. Melina is intermittently in the WWE doghouse and her winning the title seemed like a transitional reign to get the belt on Ashley when she won it. You can argue that Ashley is on Smackdown and the Women's Title belongs to RAW, but does that really matter? Ashley's teams going over leading up to Wrestlemania would logically lead to Melina retaining the title, but not necessarily if the company has soured on her and really wants to get Ashley over. If Ashley does lose look for her to strip Melina after the match. The lumberjills are just for eye candy and expect some clothes ripping hijinks from them.

technorati tags: wrestling ,pro wrestling ,wrestling news

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