Beth Phoenix & Melina def. Ashley & Maria in the BunnyMania Lumberjack Match

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March 30, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. - Such a conflict was destined to happen. Ashley braves Survivor: China. Maria dumps Santino Marella in order to prove her independence. Women's Champion Beth Phoenix issues bold statements to WWE.com that she would "raise the bar on all standards for women" at WrestleMania XXIV. And although The Glamazon & Melina would emerge victorious in the BunnyMania Lumberjack Match, Master of Ceremonies Snoop Dogg made certain that Santino would not savor on his ex-girlfriend's sour Sunday inside Orlando's Citrus Bowl.

The Glamazon had been virtually unstoppable since capturing the Women's Championship at last year's No Mercy. Both she and Melina harbored a great deal of resentment over the recent attention Maria has received as WWE's newest cover girl. Then, when Maria's tag partner — former Women's Champion and fellow cover girl Candice Michelle — was injured and forced to withdraw from the match, Ashley stepped in to fill her BunnyMania shoes.

Even though on paper the odds were seemingly stacked against the Diva duo, Ashley & Maria were not about to lie down,  especially not on sports-entertainment's grandest stage. Trading blows with The Glamazon, plus stifling Melina with an acrobatic attack, seemed enough to keep the beautiful tandem in the contest — especially after a little outside distraction from Jerry "The King" Lawler, who punched Santino Marella at ringside.

If the action inside the ring wasn't enough, the battle only intensified on the outside where the rest of the Divas stood ready. In the midst of it all, it was hard for the combatants, let alone the capacity crowd of the Citrus Bowl, to maintain focus as the dazzling collaboration of Raw, SmackDown and ECW Divas worked their way into the Lumberjack Match.

In the end, it appeared as if Maria and Ashley might beat the odds. While Ashley propelled herself into Melina on the outside, Maria had the champion pinned. However, it was not to be; thanks to Santino's interference, The Glamazon recovered and fisherman- suplexed her way to victory.

The 74,635 fans in attendance were unanimously disappointed by the outcome, then outraged as Santino began verbally kicking Maria while she was still down on the mat. The insulting Italiano's brutish behavior didn't sit well with Snoop Dogg, who had presided over the contest in a chair fashioned for a hip-hop king. The star of Father Hood got out of his seat, stepped into the ring and delivered a clothesline that nearly grinded Marella into so much Italian sausage.

As if the capacity crowd didn't have enough to cheer and holler about, a very appreciative Maria embraced her protective Dogg, then delivered a kiss so passionate you could feel the heat from the Citrus Bowl rafters. The Diva might not have had her hand raised Sunday night in O-Town, but she most definitely got our fans aroudn the world — and the Dogg himself — howling in approval.

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