And we're counting down the days until the Royal Rumble which happens to be the first Big 4 PPV of the year. Still no Diva match announced but the last two years the match was announced last minute and at TLC the match was added on the fly. TNA meanwhile have a big match this week as well as what looks like two storylines developing nicely. Should be a good one.
Raw - Kelly Kelly & Alicia Fox vs The Bella Twins:
Not a fan of Perez Hilton but who is judging from the amount of X-Pac heat he was getting when he showed up. That being said if he hadn't been on Raw then the match would be even more pointless. Another unspectacular Divas match that didn't even clock two minutes and more probably could have been accomplished with a backstage segment. I'll give the girls their due, they are doing their best with what they've got but really what's the point when they've abruptly taken Beth off TV and stopped any plans they seem to have had for Alicia. They could have had her get the win here as at least she would be featured and they could pick things up when Beth finally returns. I get the feeling they will actually make her return in the Rumble match itself while the Divas are either left off the card completely or in a mini-Rumble type of match. 3/10
Eve and Zack Ryder:
On the flip side of things, I'm enjoying what WWE are doing with these two. I do think it was a little unnecessary to take the title off Zack this early but let's talk about Eve for a moment. She got to be featured prominently in the interview, the match and the backstage segment. She's probably clocked more TV time in this storyline with Zack Ryder than she did when she was Divas' Champion. Both times. Her line delivery wasn't the best but promo time is promo time and I'll take iffy promos over pointless matches any day.
NXT - Maxine's Wedding:
This went about how I expected it to though they probably could have done more with Maxine as a Bridezilla. The wedding was fine but I enjoyed Aksana's a lot more the year before. The way this ended does confuse me a bit as it seems like Maxine and Derrick Bateman have turned face which would be a huge mistake. The heel side is extremely shallow and Maxine would be a huge asset to the division as a heel. I do see them still being heels which would be easily established once we see next week's show. Perhaps they'll swerve us and turn Johnny Curtis face instead. He works well either role so let's just wait and see.
Impact - Mickie James vs Madison Rayne (Steel Cage Match):
Finally. This is the Knockouts match I've been waiting for Mickie to deliver. She had two good street fights with ODB and Winter but in those cases it was her opponents who were the real stars. However in this match she was at her best. It was a million times better than her cage match with Tara and all her matches with Gail Kim. The action was fast-paced, exciting and back-and-forth. I feel like this is almost an apology from TNA since we were deprived of their cage match at Lockdown due to Mickie's injury. For once the Knockouts made good use of their time to deliver a fun and fiery match. There's not much else I can say to praise it without repeating myself but hats off to Mickie for finally showing that she can hang with the Knockouts. 7/10
Angelina Love vs Eric Young:
I'm a big fan of intergender matches but of course this one didn't offer anything in the way of in-ring thrills, instead giving us some more comedy which is perfectly fine since we had a competitive match earlier on the show. The brawl backstage with Winter and ODB was nicely done and finally gives Winter that much needed exposure that she hasn't been getting from some random throwaway matches on Impact. In fact, this show was practically 50% Knockouts centred since we had nearly all of them on TV which is pretty much unheard of for TNA. I think this was probably one of the best episodes TNA have done in terms of Knockouts action. I don't know exactly how they can follow on from this but I suppose having Eric Young face Winter in a match and ODB vs Angelina then leading to the intergender tag match, possibly on PPV? Stranger things have happened. Combined rating: 8/10
Superstars - Natalya vs Tamina:
I really hate one-sided feuds in WWE and I would personally love to see a rematch next week with Natalya finally getting a win for herself. I remember a time in WWE when faces didn't win all the time and yet their credibility wasn't damaged at all and everyone who wasn't the top heel didn't get buried. Nonetheless third time was the charm as these two delivered, obviously due to getting actual proper TV time. I think working in a face role will be good for Tamina. As a heel she did look awkward dominating her matches but now as a face she's the one getting dominated and it does help to mask her inexperience, while allowing for her to put on a good performance. She is improving and Natalya got a small rub from this match as well as she dominated and made herself look a bit stronger, even if she did lose again. The end sequence was nice though I will be praying for the day when Natalya gets to win matches as well. 7/10
FCW - Audrey Marie* vs Caylee Turner (FCW Divas' Championship):
I was really looking forward to finally seeing Caylee/Christina in a singles match and I wasn't disappointed. I did prefer Caylee in a face role but she works just as well as a heel and being able to work both roles will help her out immensely in the future. They had some creative spots in there to impress me and they looked pretty solid out there. Obviously there was that small amount of awkwardness that you see when there's inexperienced wrestlers out there but consistently working matches is how you get rid of that. I might be a bit biased towards Caylee but she is shaping up to be quite a good wrestler. I'm not saying she's ready to be called up to the main roster right now but she's getting there. Audrey too has shown nice improvements since she's held the title. Aside from that iffy-looking backslide I can't find anything to fault about the match. Good job by both ladies. 7/10
Raquel Diaz Promo:
This girl is really solid on the mic. She doesn't even have to wrestle when she inevitably gets called up to the main roster as she has the makings of a great heel manager, much like her mother. She has the same evil laugh as well. N/A
I'm well aware that Vickie was in a dance-off on Smackdown but I don't feel I need to recap that in any great detail. Brilliant week for TNA, so-so week for WWE. On one hand we had some good storylines developing but still nothing in the way of the actual title. Oh well, perhaps something next week.