As most will know by now, it was announced last week that Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos (host of NBC’s highly watched showbiz recap show Extra) would take on the duo of Eve Torres and current Divas champion Beth Phoenix at WrestleMania 28.
The bout came about after Torres and Phoenix shockingly stormed the stage of Menounos' show as she was interviewing Kelly.
The two disgruntled divas angrily demanded to know why Menounos had snubbed them in the past, and fierce words were exchanged between all four. Phoenix and Torres ultimately ended up issuing a challenge to the New York Times best-selling author for a match at WrestleMania, which the gutsy host, never one to turn down a challenge, readily accepted.
Later, after Torres and Phoenix were escorted away by security, the worried host wondered what she had gotten herself into, and Kelly loyally vowed to have Menounos' back at the event, making it Kelly and Maria vs. Phoenix and Torres.
While it may not be everyone’s idea of a dream match, and it remains dubious how much attention Menounos' wrestling will garner or how many pay-per-view buys she will shift—who is going to buy a show to see Menounos wrestle? She's not exactly The Rock or Shaq, is she?—it can at least be considered a victory that the Divas in WWE have been given a fairly important match on the card.
At one point, there were strong rumours that the WWE brass were contemplating jettisoning a women's bout from the show entirely to save on time.
It should also help provide a feel-good moment on the card, as Menounos and Kelly will surely emerge triumphant from the match.
The first thing to consider is how much the WWE adores celebrities. Menounos, while not at the level of Angelina Jolie or George Clooney, is still a fairly well-known female star. And mainstream stars almost always emerge victorious or looking good from these situations (Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Hugh Jackman, Seth Green, etc.).
Menounos has wrestled for WWE twice before (once in 2009, when she guest-hosted Raw with Nancy O'Dell, and in December of last year at WWE's Tribute to the Show) and was on the winning side both times.
WWE strives for mainstream acceptance of any type and, as a result, celebrities are guaranteed first-class treatment and booking. The red carpet is rolled out for them practically from the moment they arrive at the building, no doubt because WWE wants the stars to come back for more gigs at some point in the future.
Another thing to consider is how the match fits into the current direction of Eve's heel character. Since she bragged to the Bella twins in a backstage segment about her intention to exploit Zack Ryder's passionate feelings for her to garner herself fame and publicity, she has emerged as one of the best heels on the show.
In the weeks since she turned, the femme fatale has continued to toy with Ryder's emotions, making her the target of intense fan hatred, as the Diva Search winner receives vociferous boos everywhere she goes. With a new spark that she lacked as a bland, dull babyface character, it is extremely evident that fans love to hate Eve's conniving heel character.
With this in mind, it seems appropriate that the vain, obnoxious Eve will receive her much-deserved comeuppance during the match, possibly by suffering the indignity of being pinned by a non-wrestler like Menounos.
And who knows? Maybe Ryder, in a bid to salvage his lost dignity, will saunter out and publicly dump her after this, just to rub salt in the wound.
A victory at WM would also aid Kelly's floundering career.
Despite being one of WWE's most pushed women last year—she held the Divas Championship from June to October—her once-auspicious career has petered out in recent times, as she has become an afterthought in the division, making only fleeting in-ring and backstage appearances over the past few months.
Certainly, a victory here could help get her career back on track and maybe even lead to a title shot somewhere down the road.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a Phoenix/Eve victory at the show, knowing how WWE’s booking team has recently liked to pull the rug out from under us.
Maybe WWE will determine that shocking the fans and establishing Torres/Eve as a heel threat is a bigger priority than a feel-good moment.
But, all things considered—from WWE’s favorable treatment of celebrities to the struggling state of Kelly’s career—there are several reasons to think the babyfaces will emerge victorious from the highest-profile women’s match in WWE in a long, long time.
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