Diva Dish: Golden girl
This week in Diva Dish, newly-crowned Women's Champion Mickie James talks about her victory. Also, Kelly Kelly and Eve find friendship in Europe; Maria, Michelle McCool, Ashley and Maryse shop 'til they drop; Layla, Katie Lea and Lilian Garcia explore their European roots; Ashley visits Eastern Europe; and Maria is given quite a proposal.
Moments after Mickie James was victorious over Beth Phoenix to win back the Women's Championship in London on Monday, Diva Dish was there to hear Mickie's thoughts and experience the excitement surrounding her big win.
"I feel exuberated," said a beaming Mickie. "There are no words that can really describe how I feel. I've gone a million matches against Beth and had yet to beat her. I've thrown everything but a brick wall at her. Tonight it all paid off."
Mickie attributes her victory to studying Beth's matches and training hard, day after day. The new Women's Champ said she believes she's finally found The Glamazon's weakness.
"The fact is that I'm just a little bit quicker. She may be stronger. She may be bigger, but I'm quicker and maybe a little smarter," Mickie explained.
The Diva's mother is on the top of her list of people she'd like to thank for their support. Next are fellow Raw beauties, Maria and Ashley.
"It felt good that they were there, because it shows that they really care," Mickie said. "They're my friends and they're not just single-serving friends, as a movie once said. They actually really do care about me."
Mickie called herself a "fighting champion" and is ready to defend her coveted gold. As for the former Women's Champion, Mickie refused to utter a negative word about her fierce competitor.
"Beth was one heck of a champion. I'm very glad that I was able to face her out there tonight and I'm very grateful I was able to win the gold from her tonight. I have nothing bad or crass to say about Beth, because that is not my style," Mickie said.
"As for everyone else, I want to thank them for believing in me. I appreciate it and I love them all. I'm the new champion again. Four times … four times!"
While touring Europe this week, Kelly Kelly was particularly excited to see the Alps during her stop in Switzerland.
"Standing outside of our hotel, we got to see the Swiss Alps. That was really cool. My mom has always wanted to go there, so I took a picture in front of them and she was really excited. I got her a souvenir," the ECW Diva said with a smile.
Kelly Kelly told Diva Dish she's been spending lots of time with one of WWE's newest SmackDown Divas. (And no, it's not Natalya.)
"Eve and I have been hanging out a lot, which is nice, because I love her. We've been getting really close," Kelly Kelly explained. "On our three-hour bus rides we hang out, we talk, we listen to music and stuff like that. We're having a lot of fun."
It's the 2007 Diva Search winner's first trip to Europe and she's been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly enthusiastic and welcoming crowds.
"You know I think they've been very receptive of me," Eve said. "The fans just get to know you better and better. Hopefully this time next year they'll know what I'm about."
The Divas are well-known for always being at the height of fashion, and many of them took the little free time they had in Europe to shop 'til they dropped. Naturally, Diva Dish talked to Raw's fashion plate, Maria, first.
"I love the clothes over here because they are so different than they are in the United States. They're cut better. I think over here there's a lot more pattern and print then there is in the States, and plus, they get everything over here first," Maria said of her shopping trip in Nottingham, England.
"Unless you're in New York, you might get fashion about the same time, but New York style is completely different," she continued. "So it's always fun to come to Europe and do a little bit of shopping."
Michelle McCool found France to be her shopping destination of choice while touring Europe.
"I think I would have to say my favorite place so far was Strasbourg, only because I had an hour at the hotel and we were right near a shopping mall, so I got to go shopping a little bit, pick up a few good items," SmackDown's All-American Girl said.
Ashley pointed out that her taste in clothes is quite different than most of the Divas' picks, but that didn't stop her from acquiring a few items while on tour.
"I'm not a big shopper of all fancy … whatever you call it. I'll buy what I like and that's the way I roll," the punky Diva said. "There are a lot of cool clothes here in London. I've actually gotten a lot of shopping done."
Maryse also lucked out in London. The SmackDown beauty shopped for hours and found herself quite disappointed when the stores closed at 8 p.m.
"I spent so much money yesterday with shopping and the mall," Maryse said. "I think it's amazing, the designers are really nice. I had a blast shopping by myself all day."
Layla told Diva Dish that with her busy schedule, she doesn't often get to go back home to London, so she was excited to return to her roots.
"I walked all the way down Oxford Street, took the trains, you know the Tube, the Underground, just because I wanted to get back into that familiarity, and it just brought back so many memories. It reminded me of going to college, when I used to sit on the train for hours and fall asleep drooling, but it was exciting," the ECW Diva laughed.
"I didn't get to go riding on the bus -- that I missed out on -- but it's nice to come here and hear the accent again," she continued. "I feel like I've lost mine, and a lot of people say, ‘You don't sound British anymore,' so I feel like I'm out of place everywhere I go, but it's just nice to be home."
Katie Lea was overjoyed to visit her hometown -- London -- along with her brother, Paul Burchill this week.
"It's amazing to be back in London, the capital of the world -- you can quote me on that. London is the most amazing city I know," the Raw newcomer said. "Obviously we're proud to come back here and show that English people are better than anyone else in the world!"
Lilian Garcia spoke to Diva Dish before the Raw tour hit Spain, and the ring announcer couldn't wait to return to her homeland.
"I'm so excited, since I grew up there for eight years; it's a place that I'm really looking forward to. Also, because I got to go to Grenada as a little girl but I don't remember it," Lilian said.
"Especially because I grew up in Spain, I love Europe. There's just this sense of, I'm here, I'm home. Even though I'm just around the cities sometimes, I'll still feel like I'm home. It's the fact that I'm in Europe," she explained. "I have nothing against the U.S., because I love the U.S. and being there. This is where my roots were for the first eight years, this is what I know. I mean I love both, but it's just a really neat feeling to be here."
Czech it out
After completing Raw's tour around Western Europe this week, Ashley plans to head to Eastern Europe to visit a city she hasn't seen.
"I'm going to Prague in the Czech Republic to spend a couple of days there. I've never been, so my friend fortunately has a home there and I'm really excited to visit," she explained.
"I want to see the sites. I'm really excited to see the architecture. Everyone I know that's been to Prague has said what a lovely city it is and how awesome it is. It's supposedly one of the coolest places to visit in the entire world, so I'm really excited," Ashley said.
Maria was given a special gift -- and maybe even a proposal -- while signing autographs for our fans, when 18 members of a Maria fan club from Greece traveled to England to meet their favorite Diva.
"They had a sign for when I walked in that said ‘Maria Fan Club' and that was amazing. And they gave me a necklace which I wore several times since they gave it to me, so that was really cool. It's a Greek necklace, it has one of the Greek symbols on it and so I've been wearing that," the Diva, who is of Greek heritage, explained.
"Someone said apparently I got proposed to, but I speak very little Greek so I could have gotten proposed to and don't even know it!" she laughed.