Eve Torres is the latest Diva to leave WWE, and the popular consensus among fans at this point seems to be that it’s over for the women in Vince McMahon’s company. Of course for many of us, it was over a long time ago.
I will say from the start that the importance of this is not lost on me. After all, Eve is just the latest in a exodus of Divas from WWE over the past few years. Michelle McCool, Kharma, Melina, Gail Kim, Maryse, Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix are all women who were featured heavily on WWE programming, and all have since left the company.
This is not unusual of course, this is the pro wrestling business, where talent comes and goes. It happens in the men’s division all the time.
But when a top-tier WWE Superstar leaves, there is likely another guy who is ready to take his place. The man filling the role could be an established talent or a mid-carder who perhaps was prepped to make the transition to main event status. Superstars are created to carry the company forward.
When was the last time a true star was created in the Divas division?
Not just a star, but a mega star? A girl that fans cannot get enough of, that WWE can promote outside the walls of the company? Someone who can make the rounds on TV, appear on Jimmy Kimmel and Conan, Saturday Night Live and ESPN?
Someone who can sell more tickets and raise the interest level in the WWE product? When has a WWE Diva ever truly made that kind of splash without being mired in controversy like Chyna?
We are used to seeing that pop-culture spotlight illuminating the male Superstars of WWE. John Cena, CM Punk, Big Show, Chris Jericho, Triple H and of course The Rock, are just some examples from the modern era. When a guy gets the opportunity to crossover, it’s not a rare occurrence and at this point, fans expect to see it happen.
But as long as the women in WWE are not allotted the time and given the attention they need not only to develop their characters but more importantly to get over, then the division will always struggle.
So Eve’s departure, while unfortunate, is not very surprising and does nothing but reaffirm the belief that many fans have that WWE has all but given up on the Divas.
But it did not use to be this way.
The truth is, Trish Stratus vs. Lita was not all that long ago, in fact they worked the main event of Monday Night Raw back in 2004. I was there that night and I can tell you that the pop they received was absolutely huge. The crowd loved them, respected them, and above all else, wanted to see them perform.
And they delivered in a big way.
Victoria, Mickie James, Molly Holly, Jacqueline, Ivory, Christy Hemme, Candice Michelle, Jillian Hall, are just some of the names that the Divas division has seen and each one has went on her way.
Again, as long as the effort is being made to replace stars when they leave, then the product, while perhaps suffering a dip in the short term, should recover in the long term.
But now that Eve has left WWE, who is left to carry the weight for the Divas?
AJ Lee, Layla, Natalya, Tamina Snuka, Rosa Mendes, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Cameron, Naomi, and of course the new Divas Champion, Kaitlyn. Those are the women listed on the Superstars page of WWE’s website. Ten Divas, folks. Ten.
Two of them, AJ and Rosa, are rarely in the ring. Natalya has been relegated to hanging out with The Great Khali and Hornswoggle, while Cameron and Naomi usually just accompany Brodus Clay to the ring for his match.
That potentially leaves four Divas for the champ to defend her title against. At this point if you’re Kaitlyn, while you’re likely thrilled at the opportunity you have been given with the championship and the exposure it provides, this has to be somewhat of a bittersweet victory. And on the surface, the situation does not appear to be changing anytime soon.
The Divas division in WWE is now minus one very good worker who is not easily replaced. Eve Torres will be missed by the fans she entertained and who respected her work in the ring. For her supporters, this is perhaps the final nail in the coffin for the Divas.
But for me, that memorial was held a long time ago.