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Defeat. The word alone conjures images of disbelieving, downtrodden faces and broken bodies. But for some, defeat is nothing more than a wakeup call, an indication that they need to push themselves that much harder.
Candice Michelle will put that theory to the test Monday night on Raw when she invokes her rematch clause against Women's Champion Beth Phoenix in a 2 Out of 3 Falls Match.
"I thought when I had the Women's Championship, that my fire and energy were already at their highest levels," said Candice. "But when something you've worked so hard for is stripped from you, you have to push your passion to a whole new level."
Despite losing her title to the powerful Glamazon at No Mercy, the former Women's Champion's passion and poise never faltered. The day after her defeat, Candice notched a three-count against Jillian Hall during a Six-Diva Tag Team Match, and then outmaneuvered Hall again to score a victory in singles competition last week. She says she's reviewed video from No Mercy and is now ready for the Glamazon.
"My confidence is on a different plane," Candice said, reflecting on her words as she spoke. "I know what I'm capable of now, and I know how to approach [Phoenix]."
It remains to be seen exactly how that approach will work in overcoming the significant size and strength advantage of the Glamazon, but Candice realizes she will have to outthink Phoenix - especialy in a 2 Out of 3 Falls Match.
"Even if I lift weights everyday I'm not going to have that over her," Candice admitted. "I have to work on my speed and strategy. It's about what I can do to outsmart her and beat her to the punch."
The Candy-coated Diva admits that regaining the title won't be easy. But she insists that her attitude has changed somewhat since No Mercy, and that the Glamazon would do well to bring her A-game.
"I'm a lot more focused now," said Candice, her eyes narrowing with intensity. "I'm so fired up to go after the title."
Find out which Diva will be Women's Champion on Monday Night Raw, live at 9 ET/8 CT on USA Network.