First and foremost, this article is not meant to criticize the Divas based on looks, how they talk, or anything that is superficially based on appearance. This article is meant to criticized how the WWE creative team is currently booking the Divas.
Every week, especially on RAW, one tends to have a deja vu sensation when seeing what each show has to offer. The show always focuses on the rivalries of the same guys: Randy Orton, Triple H, Batista, John Cena, etc.! How many times can the creative team recycle the same formula over and over?!
Well it seems the marvelous minds behind the creative team tends to focus their attention on recycling matches instead of giving some of importance to the women’s division.
Back in the late 90s through early 2000s, the women’s division was something to talk about. You had Divas such as Lita, Luna Vachon, Trish Stratus, Sable, and among many others, who were able to put on matches that were as entertaining, if not more entertaining than their male counterparts.
Further proof can be directed to the tremendous pops these women would receive week after week. At the height of her popularity, Lita would receive a pop like no other.
Now flash forward a few years, and where do we see the women’s division?! The main event Divas are not longer around. Former bikini models are dominated by skilled wrestlers.
Summerslam is considered to be WWE’s second biggest yearly pay per view, and if rumors are true, the Divas do not have a match listed on the card.
The Divas are a huge draw, constantly drawing some of the highest rating for each weekly show, and are constantly put on the back-burner on a weekly basis. One is exposed to lazy booking, lazy ideas in setting up feuds, and the list can go on.
There used to be a time when the Divas had the capability to main event Raw or Smackdown. Now, WWE wouldn’t even think about it. The creative team seems to be stuck on John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton, or Batista. WWE fans aren’t stupid, and are clearly aware of the same recycled formula.
It was utterly ridiculous that John Cena survived the odds in defeating The Miz, when there were about 15 heel wrestlers in the outside. We get it, Cena is strong.
The Divas are the other hand, what feud is currently going on that is worth mentioning?! Who is the current Divas Champion Mickie James feuding with?! She is currently in la la land, wrestling in tag teams against heel Divas.
There was a possible feud with Gail, having heel turn teased last week, but that seemed be to dropped.
Current Women’s Champion Michelle McCool?! Her feud with Melina is only alive because no other diva on Smackdown has the skills to go up against her. If creative were to be smart, they’ll have Natalya fight for the title, or have Katie Lea come in from ECW.
The WWE made a big deal of signing Gail Kim. Gail Kim is a former WWE and TNA Champion, and since her re-debut, she has been under-used. Gail Kim is by far one of the best skilled wrestlers active today, and so far she hasn’t had the opportunity to shine.
It’s no secret that TNA and WWE see their wrestlers differently. In TNA, one can argue that the women are allowed to go all out (Kong vs. Gail, Gail vs. Jacqueline, Daffney being put through tacks, Roxxi being cut open by a ladder, etc), while in WWE, they are often forced to dumb down their skills to job to lesser skilled Divas.
Perfect example is how Victoria was used in her last few years in the WWE. Anybody in their right mind knows Victoria will MURDER the likes of Kelly Kelly and The Bella Twins in a wrestling match. I am sure she’ll be able to take them on all at once, and still come up on top. She’ll Widow's Peak their asses in an instant!
Now back to Gail Kim. Ever since re-debuting, she has been playing second fiddle to other lesser skilled Divas. Reportedly Gail Kim was offered about five times more in salary to what TNA would pay (the top TNA reportedly makes no more than $100,000, while Gail Kim signed a deal with WWE worth $400,000-$500,000).
But would one really take the chance to have this talent dumbed down for the sake of the all mighty dollar?! One may make the argument that WWE resigned Gail Kim in order to hurt TNA in business.
It’s a pretty deadly move to steal the first TNA Knockout Champion. If WWE allowed their women to go all out, Gail Kim should be winning titles by now, feuding with the likes of Beth Phoenix and Mickie James, and being the first women to hold the WWE Women’s Title, TNA Knockout Title, and Diva’s Title.
Going back to the topic of Victoria, it’s no secret why Victoria left the WWE after an incredible 9 year run. Victoria basically left because the women’s division wasn’t what it used to be, it lacked quality. This is coming from a woman who had amazing matches with the likes of Lita, Molly Holly, Jazz, Jacqueline, Gail Kim, and Trish Stratus, and as a 2 time Women’s Champion. In her last years with the WWE, Victoria was jobbed out to the likes of Kelly Kelly and The Bella Twins. This is a woman who was in the first ever women’s steel cage match (defeated Lita), in a hardcore match (defeat Trish for the title), and she is jobbed out to Kelly Kelly?! When the Diva’s Championship was created, Victoria rightfully should have been the first Diva to hold both the Diva’s and Women’s Title, but that wasn’t the case. Hate it or love it, Michelle McCool had the honor. Victoria had every right to leave WWE and jump ship to TNA, where she immediately captured the TNA Knockouts Title (being the 2nd women to hold WWE and TNA gold, Gail Kim being the first), and is now entering, in what can possibly be an epic feud, with Awesome Kong. When she left WWE, the last of the great diva’s left as well. One can argue Gail is currently the last one at moment, having been rehired, or even Lillian Garcia. Victoria is truly an amazing wrestler, one of the best ever, and due to WWE’s lack of booking, they lost an incredible worker in Victoria, aka The Black Widow/ Widow’s Peak Freak.
After Victoria left, another sign of WWE’s lazy booking of the Divas came in the tragedy that we know as the “Miss Wrestlemania” match that took place at Wrestlemania 25. Wrestlemania is the Superbowl of wrestling, where the best of the best perform. Wrestlemania has given us memorable encounters such as Victoria vs. Molly Holly, Lita vs. Jazz vs. Jacqueline vs. Trish, Mickie vs. Trish, and so on. So when the WWE announced this match, and that that future Diva legends will be returning to fight for the title of “Miss Wrestlemania,” I was somewhat intrigued. Molly Holly was returning, as well as Sunny, Torrie Wilson, newly rehired Gail Kim, and Victoria, so I assumed it was something to see. What took place that day was a slap in the face to the Divas. Their moment at Wrestlemania was ridiculous. The whole match centered around a man dressed in dragged…Santina Marella. There was a reason why, arguably the two greatest Divas in history turned it down. Lita and Trish both commented on how crappy the match was. Lita herself even went as to call it “sh!t!”. The Divas first came out basically as back up dancers to Kid Rocks performance, no introductions, and the match was already started before it was even announced. What’s the point of bringing back the likes of Molly and Sunny with out any introduction. Vince has the audacity to get angry on Lita and Trish for not participating?! They have every right too, the Divas were sadly made a joke. It’s even worse that Vince thinks Santina is considered funny, even classifying her as a “Diva”, by having the announcers say “she is a fan favorite!” Please, no one is stupid; besides Vince for allowing Santina to exist.
WWE has always been criticized for pushing “the beautiful bikini somewhat of a wrestler model,” such as Kelly Kelly. Kelly Kelly has beaten the likes of Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, and Victoria.
Now anybody in their right mind know that Kelly Kelly is not as skilled as the mentioned female wrestlers. I am not saying Kelly Kelly is a horrible wrestler, but she needs a lot more practice before trying to wrestle such women as Beth Phoenix. At times, her moves are overly choreographed, and somewhat botched.
The creative team needs to come to their senses and stop misusing the Divas. Katie Lea, Jillian Hall, Gail Kim, and especially Natalya, should be wrestling more often, and make the division something to be reckoned with.
I can definitely see a main event match between Natalya and Beth Phoenix, or Gail Kim vs. Mickie James. The Divas are a huge draw, yes they are good to look at it, but one should not overlook their skills… plain and simple.
Bring back the cage matches (Victoria vs. Lita), the hardcore matches (Trish vs. Victoria), and you’ll see what these women can truly do. I know WWE is stuck in a PG zone, but go back to PG-13!
Put some effort into the matches, and I am sure you’ll have an era that would rival the Attitude Era. This is wrestling for goodness sake, not some playtime show one sees on Disney.