The limitations of the two performers and the limitation of the violence they will produce will leave fans unsatisfied. Kudos to WWE for putting so much focus into a Divas storyline, but these women aren't the ones capable of capitalizing on it.
On Monday's Raw, their bout became official after some on-air extortion, tears, name-calling and a cheek-reddening slap.
McMahon, one of WWE's finest mic workers, blubbered in the ring on the show's final segment. She told the Houston fans how embarrassing it was to get arrested last week. She asked Brie to meet with her so they could work things out.
Brie refused to drop the charges unless McMahon met her demands.
Those included Brie being reinstated to WWE and for the two enemies to clash at SummerSlam, which takes place August 17. McMahon hesitated to give in, but once she did, she cracked Brie across the jaw and screamed, "I'm going to make you my bitch."
That powerful moment follows weeks of McMahon forcing Brie's sister to compete in handicap matches and months of her and Triple H marginalizing and abusing her husband. Brie quitting and slapping McMahon at Payback followed by Brie having McMahon arrested on the July 21 Raw provides this story with dramatic firepower in spades.
There is no shortage of animosity between them now.
As Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald tweeted, this story has been far more involved than fans are used to seeing from the Divas division:
The problem is that the climax won't match the buildup. Neither woman is a talented enough wrestler to properly milk all this hype.
It's like asking Adam Sandler to play Hamlet; it's just not the right role for them.
McMahon thrives as the condescending executive. She's one of WWE's finest heels. She's not an in-ring performer, though.
She hasn't stepped into the ring for over a decade, and even when she did, she was only an occasional wrestler, a novelty act.
Brie is a decent athlete whose resume says that she won't be able to make the most of this opportunity at SummerSlam.
|Brie Bella's One-on-One Pay-Per-View Matches|
|Event||Opponent||Star Rating out of 5|
|Over the Limit 2011||Kelly Kelly||.75|
|Money in the Bank 2011||Kelly Kelly||0|
|Battleground 2013||AJ Lee||1.5|
|Hell in a Cell 2013||AJ Lee||2|
|Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t ProFightDB.com)|
If she hasn't been able to produce something better against the division's best talent in AJ and Natalya, then how much faith can one have in her ability to thrive against a woman who hasn't wrestled since 2003?
Had WWE been telling this same story with AJ and McMahon, there'd be a greater chance of it being something memorable.
AJ has been a part of a number of the best Divas bouts in recent years, including her emotional contest against Kaitlyn at Payback 2013 and the stellar showing between her and Natalya on the March 11 Main Event.
Brie has yet to prove that she can deliver to that extent.
Being in the ring against McMahon isn't going to help. Flash back to 2001 for the reason why.
McMahon took on Trish Stratus at No Way Out 2001 in a performance that highlighted the difference between a wrestler and a non-wrestler. Awkwardness and inexperience weighed down the action.
Emotions ran high and McMahon did better than many expected, but it's easy to see why John Powell of Slam Sports rated the match a two out of 10.
Add over a decade's worth of ring rust and 13 years of Father Time slowing down McMahon's body and one would be wise to temper expectations for SummerSlam.
Remember that McMahon's match with her father at No Mercy 2003 was well-hyped as well. Even with as excellent as both daughter and father are at the nuances of wrestling, their minimal physical ability had that bout flop. Slam Sports gave it a zero out of 10 rating.
At least that match allowed both rivals to beat the hell out of each other.
McMahon nailed her father in the testicles with a steel pipe and bloodied his brow. Vince McMahon choked her with the pipe at one point as well. WWE has since adhered to a PG-TV rating, and it's hard to imagine the company having Brie and McMahon go at it with such aggressiveness.
The key to this upcoming bout will be the cathartic sensation of watching a villain suffer.
Brie whipping McMahon would be far more powerful were she able to break a Kendo stick over her, as CM Punk did to Paul Heyman last year. If she were to slam McMahon into an announce table or smack a steel chair across her back, wrestling ability wouldn't matter as much as the dramatic power of those images.
They aren't happening, though. This will be more catfight than war.
WWE simply doesn't allow its women to produce the amount of violence its men do. Men have battled in cages, atop ladders and with chains and straps. The women have rarely touched those macabre elements.
Without a full range of options to dish out vengeance, Brie is going to struggle to make this a compelling drama. It's not as if she'll be able to rely on her in-ring storytelling ability instead.
The best part of McMahon and Brie will be everything that comes before it.
At its core, wrestling is about its narrative. The performers have to be able to tell that story through athleticism and in-ring ability, which neither McMahon or Brie have.
Brie vs. McMahon will be the summer blockbuster where the preview is better than the movie itself.
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