A few years ago, a woman named Eva Marie, with fiery red hair awkwardly slapped Jerry Lawler and told the world, “She was here to make a name for herself.” Well, she achieved it. Eva Marie has been a long-term project for WWE, and why wouldn’t she be? She’s gorgeous, insanely fit, and draws an instant reaction from an audience.
Admittedly, I didn’t mention anything about WRESTLING, because face it…WWE probably saw anything she can give them in the ring as a bonus. But somewhere along the way, Eva or WWE decided to buck the trend, and remake her into a a high flying, rope running, hard bump taking woman’s wrestling savant.
With rumors of a substantial push coming over the last few months, Eva has been training with THE Brian Kendrick to further enhance her skills within the squared circle. While she won’t have Brian Kendrick, or 15-second instagram sample clips to help hide any shortcomings, she will re-enter WWE with a better understanding of how to navigate the squared circle.
Often in this era, wrestlers are presented upon their debuts as finished products, to mixed results. In a way, debuting as a finished product would get a talent to an elevated spot faster, but leave not much room for growth. In Eva’s case we’ve seen her genesis and tougher moments early on, so in theory her best is yet to come. The question is, will fans be able to overcome their bias against her, and fairly give her a shot at succeeding?
Last year, I attended an NXT taping where she wrestled against Bayley. It was a contrast of styles in more ways than one. One woman directly out of Maxim magazine, against one who worked her way through independent wrestling to merely get a shot within WWE’s developmental system. The fans in Orlando simply tore her to shreds. “YOU CAN’T WRESTLE” chants reigned down, while the section I was in was able to counter them with a small, “IT DOESN’T MATTER” chant. In that moment, I felt sorry for her.
Am I a sap? Possibly, but it’s hard to not want to give someone a second chance when they never really got an initial chance to develop. Surely it wasn’t Eva’s call alone to go out on TV, and be awkward as all hell in the ring, and on the microphone. With trials come experience, and it hasn’t exactly been easy for Eva to be accepted by fans that hate her simply because she’s on a reality show. Reality show backlash, sounds familiar, unless its Paige.
Now don’t get it wrong, I’m not arguing for WWE to make Eva the NXT Women’s Champion, and Divas champion right away, or elevate her over a Sasha or Charlotte…what I’m saying is, if people really want to “Give Divas A Chance” who better to give a chance to than her? Eva’s been putting in the work, isn’t that what everyone wanted in the first place? Let’s see what she’s capable of.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised.