Change of Pace: Is It Melina's Time to Shine?
For the past few months on Raw, ever since her return, Melina's basically been on a grand losing streak. After seemingly being prepped to have a big year with a title win, Melina dropped the belt to Michelle McCool and was repeatedly buried for the coming weeks. She's even been reduced to backstage fodder with Divas like the Bella Twins!
This is a woman who has seen championship gold before—five times! She's been in high-profile feuds with women like Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Trish Stratus, and Mickie James! Melina's arguably taken part in the best matches of her era. So to see her reduced to a pathetic puppet is a complete and utter disgrace.
That's why Monday night made me ecstatic.
Let me fill you in: on last Monday's Raw, we saw a solid bout between the A-List Diva and newly crowned Divas Champion, Natalya. It was a breath of fresh air in a pool of repeated battles. Natalya won, of course, and was attacked by LayCool post-match. Nothing too new. But there was something very odd: Melina was spotlighted leaving the scene and the commentators highlighted this. They said she should go help Natalya, which she never did.
This leads me to believe that we may have witnessed the beginning of a heel turn for the Red Carpet Queen. And if recent reports are true, then it's inevitable that she make her full turn this coming Monday. I think this is the perfect career move for Melina. Prior to these reports, many questioned whether Melina had anything left in the tank. Even I, a Melina supporter, thought that her time was running out in the WWE.
With this turn possibly on the horizon, I could see her lasting many more good years with WWE, and I'm all for it. Melina's my favorite female wrestler for a reason: she's amazing on the mic, a fantastic in-ring worker, and capable of getting over at the drop of a hat! In addition, every person she works with in the ring is brought to a new level. Fans pay attention to her, and thus a rub is given to her opponent.
It's a win-win situation.
The heel side throughout WWE is a bit low on women, so this could help balance out the heel-to-face ratio. Melina built her reputation as a great worker during her heel run, so having her return to her roots should be fun. Yes, this is a new era and she probably won't get as much airtime as she did in her initial run, but she'll make do with what she has. It would be a refreshing change, because I am sick of LayCool's antics.
Don't get me wrong, they are a good asset to the WWE, but they're nowhere near where Melina was as a heel. Fans absolutely hated her guts back then! Even now, people don't buy her face persona because they had it ingrained in their minds that Melina was the heel she played on television. How many wrestlers, male or female, can say they made fans believe in their heel characters to that degree? Not many, I assure you. This led to many of her opponents getting over, such as Mickie James, Candice Michelle, and even Ashley!
Unlike LayCool, Melina was never a childish heel. She was always serious about her wrestling and made her championship reigns mean something. LayCool has yet to do that with any of their titles. Melina really cares about the craft of wrestling as a whole, and it's to be commended. Give her a mic and she'll do it justice, I assure you.
Having Melina make a full heel turn would also open the doors for many scenarios and angles within the Divas Division in the WWE. The most obvious choice would be to have her feud with the new Divas Champion, Natalya. People keep saying Natalya is getting good fan reactions, but a real, good, long feud with Melina could be just the ticket needed to take her over the top. Just take a look at what happened with Mickie James. Fans loved her, but it wasn't until her feud with Melina that she reached the amount of popularity she has now.
The reason for this is that fans hated Melina so much that they wanted to see Mickie literally beat the crap out of her, which the country gal did. These fans stuck with Mickie afterwards because, like her, they hated Melina. The same could happen with Natalya. The two have great chemistry and unique, interesting styles, so I know their matches would be great on pay per views.
Alternatively, you could have Melina do something with LayCool. She could either join them or fight them, but still be a heel, akin to Randy Orton. To clarify, Melina could be the "lone wolf" type of heel. Or maybe even a tweener. I think with mic time, fans would just end up cheering for her the same way they did with Randy Orton, which isn't bad. Any reaction at all toward Divas these days is a good thing. If WWE doesn't want to do this, "LayCool" could turn into 'LayCoolina". Having Melina join them would be quite interesting, especially considering the fact that we haven't had a three-woman stable since Vince's Devils.
Should Melina make a full heel turn?
A feud with Beth Phoenix could then transition into Nattie or even an unused Gail Kim helping her out. The possibilities are endless. Whatever the case, WWE should really invest a lot into this heel run, because it could bring some credibility back to their once acclaimed women's division. Have Melina feud with someone for months leading up to a bout at Wrestlemania. We haven't seen a singles match at Wrestlemania between women since Melina vs. Ashley, which was a travesty.
I honestly think that with enough time and effort, this could finally be the re-launch of the Divas Division.
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