The recent signing of indie star Rebecca Knox (via The Herald)—as well as Paige’s continued improvement as a performer on NXT—may give you hope that WWE’s ailing Divas Division will soon be something worth watching again.
Sadly, it probably won’t happen.
Well, there are a multitude of reasons, from management indifference to talent problems. At this point, it would take a miracle to turn things around.
Now let’s look at the top 10 reasons the women’s division is likely beyond saving.
Third-generation Diva Natalya Neidhart is actually one of the world’s best female wrestlers. Not that you know would know it by how WWE has booked her over the last few years.
A flatulence gimmick? Really?
And let’s not even get started on her laughably bad romance angle with The Great Khali.
To top it off, the woman who tore the house down in Japan and in U.S indie group Shimmer has been reduced to performing announcing duties on Saturday Morning Slam. Meanwhile, the clueless Aksana is getting regular in-ring time. How nonsensical.
WWE’s shoddy treatment of Natalya is merely a microcosm of the wider problem in the division. The company just simply doesn't know what to do with great female wrestlers. This is at least one reason things will never turn around.
While she may have been greatly underappreciated for much of her run, Beth Phoenix was very much the glue that held the division together.
She was a great wrestler, was over with the fans and played the monster heel role to perfection. When she left the company late last year, it created a huge gap that has yet to be filled.
Despite being one of the most skilled and charismatic women in WWE, former Divas champion Layla El has been totally forgotten by management over the past year.
When was the last time she made TV, anyway?
Similar to Natalya, this is a woeful waste of talent on WWE's part that indicates a much wider problem.
Let's face it: Raw’s new three-hour format means that it usually feels about as long and arduous as a Lord of the Rings film. The show is going way too long, frankly.
Yet, even with the additional hour, the Divas are still not getting any additional segments or air-time. Heck, if anything they’ve probably getting less time than they were before the change. At this point, Raw could go four hours, and the women would still be stuck in two matches and quick backstage segments.
What does this tell you about where management’s priorities are?
Per a WrestlingInc interview with former WWE writer Alex Greenfield last year, Triple H is not a fan of women's wrestling, apparently claiming in meetings that it takes time away from the men. Other reports (WrestleZone via Wrestling Observer Newsletter) have backed this up.
Considering Triple H is next in line to run WWE after Vince McMahon, this is not a good sign for the future of women's wrestling in the company.
Credit to current Divas champion Kaitlyn: She is trying hard, especially with some of the bumps she has taken lately. But the former bodybuilder simply doesn’t have it in her to be the next big female babyface that WWE clearly want her to be.
Her wrestling skills are as patchy as ever, and she isn’t exactly proving to be Trish Stratus on the mic, either.
Of course, it doesn’t help that WWE have greatly limited her air-time in recent times and her profile has plummeted, but still. She isn't really up to the challenge of carrying the division.
Most women's matches on television and pay-per-view are greeted with total and utter indifference by the WWE audiences. Half the time you could hear a pin drop in the arena.
And it's no surprise: Over the years they've been taught that the division is a total joke and something that doesn't matter at all. All those two-minute matches and abandoned angles have taken their toll.
This alone is virtually impossible to come back from.
WWE Divas have always relied on their sex appeal to help them get over with the audience. Look at women like Trish Stratus and Rena "Sable" Lesnar, who were initially presented as eye candy and managed to use this to turn themselves into a lot more.
Even more recently, girls like Maria Kanellis, Torrie Wilson, Christy Hemme and Candice Michelle managed to use their Playboy pushes to higher their profile.
WWE also released various DVDs, videos, photoshoots and magazines featuring scantily-clad Divas in the late '90s and early '00s in an attempt to appeal to young men.
OK, so if you're someone who longs for a pure wrestling product, this wasn't ideal. But at least it gave the girls something to do and a shot to make real money. The women were far more integral to the company back then.
As opposed to now, where the Divas are limited in what they can do (and show), something that greatly hinders their ability to get over and become an important part of the overall product.
One thing the division is lacking right now is any truly great wrestling characters. The heels are all catty and vain, and that's the extent of their characters, while the female faces usually just smile and act nice a lot.
There are no real three-dimensional characters. Even A.J. Lee's crazy persona has been toned down greatly in recent times.
Considering the great gimmicks Divas have had in the past (stalker Mickie James, tomboy Lita and evil heel duo LayCool spring to mind), this is surely one more reason that the division will continue to struggle.
Is there any title in wrestling that means less right now than the WWE Divas Championship?
Let's face it, the belt has turned into a total joke. It may very well be the 2013 version of the much-maligned Cruiser weight title.
Considering the Championship is supposed to be the centerpiece of the division, this, more than anything, means certain doom for women's wrestling in WWE.