One Count Kickout – Divas Get Their Due
The so-called “Summer of Punk” is in full effect although the fire set off by his promo a few weeks back and his victory at Money in the Bank has begun to settle down. The whole idea of a revolution that would turn the current state of wrestling around seems less likely to come through than it did originally, but of course most of us were too busy being caught up in the emotion of someone saying all of the things we’ve been wanting to hear to care much about it in that first week. So much that was said has rung true for years now. Wrestling has become predictable, good performers are pushed aside for people who are considered more marketable, a company founded on wrestling wants to be more entertainment than “wrasslin.” One piece of the WWE puzzle which has been in a state of limbo for weeks, months or years, depending upon your view, has got to be the Divas division.
Some would argue that the divas division is not the reason that people watch WWE. They’d say that the divas are there as a garnish for the main course which is watching the boys kick the hell out of each other. Whether or not their argument is justifiable it is hard to deny that the WWE could absolutely benefit from pushing that division a little bit harder. I used to love watching Trish Stratus against Lita or Mickie James and I currently love to watch the Knockouts in TNA because they’re actually allowed to wrestle. The logic behind putting divas matches on WWE television for less than two minutes is almost incomprehensible. Every Monday Night twitter comes alive for all of the fans who are tuning in to watch RAW (and you can find me @onecountkickout). When they announce a divas match the same type of comments begin bombarding my twitter feed and they all revolve around the same concept: how short will the match be this week? It’s rarely about how awesome the match will be, what kind of moves we’ll see or how much they’re looking forward to it. Hell, being that WWE barely shows us anything diva related these days, most people who are fans of the division are just hoping to actually see one or two divas on TV regardless of how much time they’re given. This doesn’t speak well of the WWE’s desire and or ability to push this division to a place of interest.
Anyone with half a brain could easily see how pushing the divas division could only improve your position. At the end of the day the people watching a wrestling show are fans of wrestling. Putting your divas into a five minute match instead of a one minute match could hardly bring harm to your show. WWE likes to point out that often times their divas matches lose viewers but they’re just perpetuating their own misconceived catch 22. If you don’t push the division and make people care about seeing it then why would they stick around when they know that 99% of matches in which the divas take place have no consequence or long term effects? If Gail Kim comes out on Raw and defeats Melina nothing is going to happen beyond that. They’re not going to feud, they’re not going to cut promos on each other. It is a throwaway match (which is absolutely ridiculous considering those two can work if you let them.) The only matches which have any kind of long term results are Divas title matches but the title itself has become more of a hot potato than anything else. Sit back and ask yourself this question: Who was the last diva to hold the title that actually brought any credibility to it?
Though Kelly Kelly certainly has the attention of many of the male (and probably some of the female) fans it is hard to watch anything she does in that ring with event a hint of believability. It’s not for a lack of trying, she’s certainly working hard in there, but most of the offensive moves she pulls off don’t look like they’d actually cause any pain or damage whatsoever. This can’t be completely blamed on her because, let’s face it, when they tell you to go out there and wrestle a forty five second match it is probably difficult to really get the ball rolling. This past Monday we saw the beginning of what could possibly be a storyline leading into Summerslam. The Glamazon, Beth Phoenix, won the divas battle royal for a chance to face Kelly Kelly at Summerslam for the Divas title. After the match she beat down Kelly and had a few not so kind remarks for her. The question is, will this storyline lead into Summerslam and then go away or will WWE continue to actually show us interest in the divas? Both Kelly and Beth were on WWE.com talking about what occurred on Monday and it’s nice to believe they’re actually going to give the divas their due but history doesn’t bode well for this. Also, does any wrestling fan believe that in a one on match Kelly Kelly would have any chance in hell of defeating Beth Phoenix?
Despite whatever flaws and mistakes one can see occurring in TNA Wrestling these days you cannot deny the fact that their Knockouts division kicks the Divas divisions ass every single week. Whether you’re watching the strange relationship between Angelina Love and Winter, the hard working and dedicated Tara, the feud Velvet Sky is having with Jackie and ODB, the always fan favorite Mickie James (donations anyone?) or just enjoying the ass shaking of Miss Tessmacher, it becomes difficult to deny that not only do they give their female wrestlers more than five seconds per show but they actually seem to have an idea of going somewhere with them. It is hard to deny that their division has slipped a little bit in the last few years seeing the exit of such talent as Awesome Kong, Gail Kim and Alissa Flash, they still are by large the best womens division going on national television today. Frankly I’d be more willing to refer to the Knockouts as female wrestlers and the divas as female entertainers. Yes, many of the WWE divas are extremely talented in that ring but WWE is more resigned to have them prancing about in overly choreographed matches resulting in nothing while the Knockouts wrestle hard and perpetuate actual storylines.
Regardless of how you feel about womens wrestling you should be highly aware that WWE doesn’t care much about it and they certainly don’t care about any of our views on it. Seems illogical to cast aside a large percentage of your viewing audience since plenty of little girls and older women are watching wrestling. Not to mention how little merchandise is actually marketed with the divas in mind and their DVD releases tend to be more about them strutting around on the beach instead of actually wrestling. Perhaps WWE believes that if their fans want to see womens wrestling desperately enough they can turn to TNA or go out on their own and seek out organizations like SHIMMER of Chick Fight. There are definitely places out there you could turn to if womens wrestling is something you love as it appears quite clear WWE is not going to be correcting this anytime soon. Your WWE divas have become somewhat like your WWE tag team division; limited, broken and pushed aside. So with a wrestling “revolution” storyline taking place in WWE what could be more revolutionary than taking a sad, worn down, ignored division like the divas and actually putting some spotlight on them and showing us why names like Trish Stratus, Lita, Alundra Blayze and Mickie James used to mean something. If they don’t, five years from now, new fans won’t understand what those women did for us and what the current generation of divas could do for us again. If only WWE would set them free.