WWE: Has It Come Time to End the Divas Division?
Though WWE's Divas division is treated as a joke by much of the WWE Universe, WWE officials must try revamping it. If they don't, or efforts at a restructure don't work, then some will call for it to be removed. But it shouldn't be.
In its current state, the division is worthless.
The "talent" is thin and weak (I'm not referring to body sizes). Because of this, most of the women who actually wrestle in the WWE are underutilized.
Recently, the company's most gifted female competitor, Beth Phoenix, announced she will retire at the end of October. This news was followed by the announcement that Kelly Kelly, WWE's most gorgeous Diva, was released.
In the span of a week or two, WWE lost its best talent and prettiest girl.
This is as good a time as any to overhaul a floundering Divas division. But if there's no commitment, time or talent to do so, then cut it.
First, I want to lead with some ideas on how to adjust the program. Then I'll provide some arguments for and against eliminating the program, followed by a final thought.
How to Fix the Divas Division
Monday Night Raw just expanded to three hours, and with SmackDown's two-hour format, there's five quality hours of programming. That's not even counting NXT, Saturday Morning Slam and Main Event.
There's no excuse to not feature a Divas match on at least one show (Raw or SmackDown) a week.
But as we've seen, the shows are filled with Touts, RawInteractive polls and other unnecessary dawdling.
I can hear some of you shaking your head saying, "it's never going to happen." You're probably right, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen.
Utilize the talent more.
Like any other profession, employees become better at their job with training. A teacher can't be prepared for a classroom when he or she student teaches once every four months.
Invest in the Divas.
Recognize Alicia Fox and Aksana's lack of in-ring talent and train them. The Divas are never going to get better if they don't receive quality hands on experience (mind out of the gutter).
Sign more skilled Divas.
If the Divas division is to be taken seriously, there needs to be more than scantily-clad pretty girls screeching and slapping each other for two minutes.
Train the talent on the roster, bring in better wrestling women, allow more time on the show than three minutes and trim those who aren't getting it done.
"The Divas Division Should Be Cut"
Just like any other company, you wouldn't pay employees who aren't getting the job done. If no one in the WWE Universe is buying Divas merchandise and leaving their seats for food or the restroom during these matches, from a business standpoint, cut the losses.
WWE wouldn't necessarily have to cut women from the roster. Instead, they can be utilized as valets, assistants (think Eve) or shoot, even announcers or referees.
There's an argument to be made that Divas will never be taken seriously.
In its strongest days, the division featured Sable, Torii Wilson, Stacy Kiebler, Debra and Terri Runnels. What do they all have in common?
Jacqueline, Molly Holly and Ivory were on the roster, and they could actually wrestle. In fact, they did more wrestling than flaunting.
Unsurprisingly, they were the least popular at the time.
There was a time when Lita and Trish Stratus dominated the division. The two even headlined Raw.
Stratus though, began as the sexually-charged valet of TNA (Test and Albert—though it was implied TNA stood for two areas of female anatomy). Lita was even thrust into multiple sexual storylines.
The point is, there's little respect for women's wrestling. The majority of interest comes from sex appeal.
Even Vince McMahon said they're there because they're pretty.
According to Bryan Alvarez of F4W Newsletter (subscribers-only), even Vince McMahon has no appreciation for the division.
Vince McMahon loves AJ and feels she can be something really special, but as far as the rest of the women's division, it's largely just kept around because it's always been there and it's an opportunity to put some pretty girls on TV.
It's just kept around because it's always been there? That's a terrible reason.
Then there are those who believe more valuable talent can be used in the time slot the Divas take. There's an easy rebuttal, which I will explain below.
It's failing, it likely isn't making any money and it's there because "it always has been." In this case, spare these women—cut the Divas division.
"The Divas Division Should Not Be Cut"
On the other hand, if the division is already there, and it's already built into the programming, then WWE has a captive audience. Sure, viewers can walk away for a moment, but they'll come back. Furthermore, the ones that stick around did so for a reason.
This issue also opens up a can of worms.
What does cutting the Divas division tell women or the little girls who watch with their brothers and fathers?
It says, "women can't make it here."
It's plausibly worse to cut the entire program, as it would feed further into society's notion of women's sport not being equal to men's.
You might think it's worse to keep the division around out of pity. But it should be viewed as less pity and more as making a point that women have the right to try, the right to compete and the right to enter into the profession of wrestling entertainment.
How about the time the Divas take away from talent like Christian or Justin Gabriel? At three minutes per match, that's basically a non-factor. Moreover, that's a bad argument to make because, again, it's saying women are less deserving.
The Divas division should not be cut.
The argument in favor of keeping it (fairness and equality) trumps the argument against (it's boring). Ultimately, the WWE can keep the division around and it won't interfere much (it's seriously three to eight minutes a week, if that).
What WWE should do is start over. Sign more talent, train the current crop of women and weed out the worthless employees. For those of you saying the U.S., Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships are more important—there's nothing that says all four can't be restored to glory concurrently.
What WWE will do is continue running it as is. The program won't be cut, especially in a down economy in which Linda McMahon is running for Congress (how bad would that look?).
So it will continue and most of us won't care or hardly notice.
All the while, Vince will wait for another rainbow (See Stratus, Trish, Chyna or Sable) to appear—one that he can ride out until there's no Skittles left to squeeze out (seriously, no pun intended).
None of us have to like it, but the Divas division is here to stay—as it should be.
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