Katz Files: Winter RAW Diva Report

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

Winter RAW Divas Report!:

The Kingfish Arnie Katz evaluates the current strengths and weaknesses of the individual performers of RAW’s Diva Division

WWE’s RAW Divas are currently having a lot of matches calculated to lead to a confrontation at WrestleMania. Or maybe it’ll all be just a dose of T&A. Meanwhile, it’s time to look at how the Diva Division on RAW is doing.

Four times a year, I look at the individual wrestlers in the knockout Division and gauge their performance in a variety of areas.

Here’s this quarter’s evaluation:

Melina

Wrestling. She has returned from injury to take the title, but she is still not at quite the level she’d attained before getting sidelined. She can do some nice maneuvers and works a pretty good match, but her goal must be to eliminate blown moves, (B-)

Dramatics. WWE is not very generous with mic time for the Divas, but Melina usually handles what they give her pretty well. Her verbal presentation needs to be much more flamboyant to really make her character vibrant. WWE should consider giving her one of its personality mini-shows to see if she can step up. (C)

Charisma. Melina may be the most electric female personality in WWE, regardless of brand. When she appears at the upper stage in the feathers and bling you can almost hear every man in the arena sucking in his breath. (A-)

Heat. The Rosa Mendes storyline turned up the heat for Melina until Rosa revealed herself to be pretty ordinary. She did a good job in playing the heel and is now trying to get the fans to cheer her as a babyface. She has caught fans’ libidos, but the road to capturing their hearts is longer and rockier. (C+)

Beth Phoenix

Wrestling. The Buffalo-born blonde is the top Diva on RAW whether she holds the belt or not. The main reason, apart from her awesome look, is that she can work in the ring. She has the strength to do some very exciting moves and the agility to look fairly graceful doing them. (B)

Dramatics. Santino Marella actually carries most of the load for her. She does a nice job of playing off him and that’s all that is required of her. (C+)

Charisma. Some of the bigger women do not have a feminine look. Although Beth may not be to every man’s taste, she is a very sexy woman and they dress her to advantage. For someone who doesn’t really do that much with the mic, she has stamped her personality on the Diva Division of RAW. (B-)

Heat. Her matches have a chronic shortage of heat. The fans don’t exactly reject her, but they don’t seem to cheer or boo her a lot, either. Melina is probably the strongest rival she has had in a while, so Phoenix’s matches are drawing a bit more attention again.(C)

Kelly Kelly

Wrestling. She has already gone from being pure eye-candy, a girl whose gimmick was a reluctance to keep on her clothes, to a fast-improving worker in the ring. She isn’t great, but the improvement from match to match is palpable. She has talked a strong game of learning to be a true ring attraction. If she carries through, WWE will have an exceptionally valuable property, due to her extreme youth.. (B-)

Dramatics. It’s hard to evaluate her, because she doesn’t get much mic time. She’s making progress in this area, too.. (C)

Charisma. The Hebrew Hottie has that certain, indefinable something that sets her apart from most other Divas, even those who have more abundant charms. She is very exciting and, when she matures as an all-around performer, is going to be sensational.. (B+)

Heat. Her matches don’t mean much, so no one gets too excited. Fans are happy enough to see her prance down the aisle to the ring, but only those with crushes on her care much about her matches. Come to think of it, when it comes to this highly appealing young performer, that might almost be enough. (C).

Jillian Hall

Wrestling. If you divorce her gimmick from her actual skill, Jillian Hall works a surprisingly solid match. She is quite athletic and has shown some ability to carry some of the weaker girls to better-than-expected matches. (C+

Dramatics. I have always hated the “bad singer” gimmick, whether its Nikolai Volkoff or Jillian Hall. That’s pretty much all they let her do apart from wrestle (C-)

Charisma. Her character is so obnoxious that it isn’t easy to judge her charisma. She’s a very pretty woman, but the singing just shuts down anything else she has going for her. (C)

Heat. The singing does draw plenty of heat, though repetition blunts the effect, as it always does (B-)

Candice Michelle

Wrestling. Her serious injury really derailed her progress as a wrestler. She seemed to really make strides right before she was sidelined. Now she has her moments, but she is not as consistent as she was – and she is not really improving much. You have to wonder if the injury and, perhaps, some callous treatment by WWE, have dented her enthusiasm for the work. (C+)

Dramatics. She a pretty good talker who isn’t getting much chance to use that skill. (C+)

Charisma. She has always had the power to rouse the enthusiasm and attention of men (and bi and gay women, too). They don’t make much use of it, which is a shame, but Candice is a very glamorous woman who also displays some competitive fire. (B+)

Heat. The area gets excited whenever she appears, even if her matches don’t much matter. It’s that great charisma. Even fans who don’t care about what she does in ring have to admit that she is exquisite.. (B-)

Mickie James

Wrestling. She’s fun to watch and a lot more proficient in the ring than her TNA counterpart, Taylor Wilde. (B)

Dramatics. Mickie isn’t getting much of a push at the moment, which means they’ve cut her mic time. Still, when she gets into dramatic scenes, she acquits herself well. (C+)

Charisma. Ph, Mickie, you’re so fine… hey, Mickie! She started with the “crazy girl” charisma and has turned it into babyface charisma with scarcely a missed beat. She is not, technically, the most beautiful of the Divas, but her electric personality and animation have a way of giving her control of the stage or the ring. (B+)

Heat. Though I hate to be repetitive, meaningless matches don’t lead to heat. The fans like her, but it’s hard to get excited by the way WWE is (mis0using her. (C)

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
[email protected]
(2/26/08)