WrestleMania 28: I'm Boycotting the PPV Unless the Divas Are Treated Better

Stephen Sonneveld@@S_SonneveldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 21, 2012

On Monday morning, I posted an editorial calling out WWE for saddling the talented professional wrestler Natalya with a disrespectful, uninspired, awful and childish sports entertainment farting gimmick.

On Monday evening, I tuned into Raw to see John Cena, the face of the company and the hero of children, call Eve a "diseased" skank whore. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler happily chimed in that “Hoeski” was the number-one Twitter trend.


Tonight, SmackDown airs live. 

Last week, the gassy gimmick was used as a device to end a match. 

Natalya, the second-generation Superstar, niece and granddaughter of Hall of Famers, who trained in the legendary Hart family dungeon that made champions out of Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Chris Jericho and others, was told her match would end as a result of a fart.

I am going to watch tonight’s SmackDown.

Unless there is some resolution to this idiotic farting gimmick, and some indication that the talented females on the roster are going to be treated like wrestlers instead of whores, then I am boycotting WWE. 

I’m not going to order any pay-per-views, not even April's WrestleMania which I was looking forward to. I’m not going to purchase any DVDs, products or attend live events.

Until the misogynists who write and produce WWE start treating women with respect, they won’t be receiving my money.

What’s sad is that I was genuinely looking forward to seeing how the Eve/Cena kiss was going to play out.  Eve got booed out of the building when she told Zack Ryder she just wanted to be friends.  

She got booed, WWE, because every man and woman in the audience has been in Zack’s shoes. 

I had the misguided hope that the WWE creative team was going to take the high road, deal with an adult situation in an interesting manner, a gray area of unrequited love where there’s no good guy or bad guy between Zack, Eve and Cena.

Plus, poor Cena was caught in the middle of the storm for trying to help his friends.

They had the chance to do something with real emotional resonance that would have shown the complexities of those three characters.  From that, it could have segued to a possible Cena/Ryder match, with both men shaking hands at the end.

It could have been something, and all three characters could have benefited from it. 

For her part, Eve has been doing some phenomenal work, even last night.  Last week, she was the damsel in distress. This week, inexplicably, she was a crazy lady stalker.  Her acting made it watchable—her treatment, not so much.

I don’t fault Eve for the hand she was dealt. 

It seemed to this viewer that creative wanted the albatross of the Kane feud off Cena’s neck to focus solely on his WrestleMania match with the Rock. 

But that was the route they chose? 

Eve is the virginal, weeping, damsel tied to the train tracks one week, then psycho-bitch from hell the next?  Those are the only two roles WWE  seems to know how to write for women.

I liked the image of Cena holding up his hands as she tried embracing him, but then he opened his mouth and did not rise above hatred of women. 

I’ve been a fan of Cena since I first saw him wrestle as The Prototype on the Southern California scene years ago, but why WWE creative puts their most bankable star in these no-win situations is beyond me. 

Doesn’t he have the stroke, and the common sense, to tell the producers his character can resolve a situation without resulting to misogyny?

I’m going to watch SmackDown tonight. 

If things don’t change regarding Natalya and the other women who deserve the chance to show their ring talent and have multi-dimensional characters, my purchases of all WWE products are going to be future endeavored.


This article will be updated following tonight’s live edition of SmackDown.


The following portion was written after having watched the February 21, 2012, live edition of Smackdown:


The good news is, the WWE avoided any farting nonsense this week, and I hope that's a sign they'll drop the gimmick, and are not just taking the week off from it.


Another good sign is that it was announced Eve will be on the WWE website later this week to address Monday's situation. Even if this interview isn't the company's mea culpa for the Raw debacle (of which another wrestling writer remarked, "the WWE writers room showed just how much they hate women in this segment"), it is a chance for the company to develop Eve's character, and hopefully they will do just that.


While the announcers were discussing this, Michael Cole, the heel, was the voice of reason in Eve's defense, but at least Josh Matthews and Booker T didn't challenge him on his position.


Unfortunately, since John Cena's harsh language was replayed for the SmackDown audience, the crowd chanted, "Hoeski."


Other than that, AJ made a brief appearance as Daniel Bryan's arm candy, presumably just for the Rocky joke, and left the ring prior to men fighting.

In a later segment, Aksana appeared as her normal porn music played. She flirted with Teddy Long, "On top of every good man is a woman," and was then dismissed prior to the men discussing management.


Once again, I will place my faith in WWE to "rise above" and deliver something meaningful with the Eve interview and Natalya follow up, but this episode of SmackDown only reaffirmed my decision to boycott, which I will now do. If WWE continues to degrade women, they won't be getting my money to do it with.


There needs to be a fundamental change in how WWE creative approaches female talent. The men all have characters, but the women's characterization is based solely on their sexuality, and it has been for quite some time.


If the close ups of screaming women in the crowd are any indication, there's a portion of the WWE Universe who finds John Cena, the Rock, Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes attractive, but those characters are about who they are and what drives them, not what they look like and who they sleep with.

Why basic storytelling principles are thrown out the window because the protagonist and antagonist happen to be attractive women is beyond me. There should be all types; good gals and heels, crazy ones and mat-minded technicians all involved in stories that connect emotionally with audiences, and lead to in-ring conflict.


In other words, how the male wrestlers are treated.



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