289. Ashley & Maria vs. Beth Phoenix & Melina (w/ Santino Marella)

Timeline:
WrestleMania XXIV
March 30, 2008
Florida Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL

Oh goodie, yet another Playboy branded WrestleMania match. This time, it combines several of the worst ideas, adding the lumberjack element that WWE was so fond of using to get as many women on the screen without having to actually have more than one women’s match on the card. Further, WWE Hall of Famer Snoop Dogg is brought in to be the MC of the match, because apparently this match also needs an MC.

The lumberjacks all dance their way down to the ring. I guess at least they aren’t calling them lumberjills this time around. Ashley is still riding last year’s Playboy push, and Maria is this year’s WWE Playboy Playmate, so obviously they’ve gotten the spot on the card proper. Meanwhile, the other team is made up of the actual top female performers on the roster, current Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix and former champion Melina. Santino is with them after splitting from Maria in a fit of jealous rage when it was announced she would be in Playboy.

The actual match is sloppy, with the crowd completely out of it. Any time someone is put out of the ring, it becomes even more stupid as all of the lumberjacks are in evening wear instead of ring gear, making for even more sloppy action.

The most memorable moment comes when the lights in the arena go out while Maria and Beth are grappling. The excellent WWE production staff thinks quickly and puts a spotlight on the ring, giving a cool house show feeling to the action.

Maria even proves to be occasionally competent in the ring and gets in a couple of decent spots on Beth, but Santino breaks up the pin attempt. Jerry Lawler interjects himself and takes out Santino, but while he does, Beth is able to regain the advantage and put Maria down for the three count to win the match.

During the celebration, while Santino rubs it in Maria’s face, Snoop re-enters the ring. He delivers honestly a pretty decent clothesline that Santino sells like a champ. Snoop and Maria make out a little, and the faces celebrate with Snoop.

The match itself is quite forgettable but all of the ridiculous circumstances from the Playboy branding to the lumberjack conceit to the power outage make the match a circus of screw ups.

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