Just as my title states, Michelle McCool is ruining World Wrestling Entertainment's Women's division. It's true. It's not benefiting the divas (aside from McCool herself, of course) or women's wrestling in general, and it's infuriating many fans.
It really all started back in 2008, so let's take a little trip down memory lane to reflect...
Michelle McCool, one of the divas who competed in—but didn't win—the first ever Diva Search, and who was signed to a contract, was certainly not what one would call the most "popular" diva in the WWE. Sure, she had some fans, but as far as popularity went, she could never compete with women such as Mickie James or Melina, who were always very over with the crowds. But, no matter what she did, Michelle just couldn't get over like them or several other of her fellow divas.
Sometime in the spring, she started receiving a push. To the ordinary, casual fan, it probably raised a few eyebrows as well as questions. Nobody seemed to care about this woman, so why this sudden push? The IWC, however, knew the reason behind it. Several months earlier, wrestling news sites had revealed that Michelle McCool was in a relationship with Mark "Undertaker" Calaway. The rumors had of course proven to be true, as the pair just got married this past June 26.
Back to spring of '08, though, McCool received a massive push that started with her winning a ridiculous divas contest on SmackDown! that went on for several weeks. It was also around this time that the company paired her off with another diva, Cherry. Cherry had recently turned babyface and broken away from Deuce & Domino, the tag team she'd been managing. I believe the only reason behind this pairing was an attempt to get Michelle over with the fans, as Cherry was quite popular, especially after her turn. It didn't seem to work, but the push didn't stop. McCool won the contest and received a shiny new motorcycle as the ultimate prize...And the fans didn't care. In fact, the only thing they did seem to care about was when Victoria and a debuting Natalya attacked her after she won.
Fast-forward to June of that same year. The WWE had unveiled a brand new championship in the Divas title. It was explained that the SmackDown! divas deserved their own championship, just as the RAW divas had their Women's title. And thus, a tournament began where divas would compete in singles matches each week until there were only two left.
Naturally, and as everyone reading this knows, the last two standing were Natalya and Michelle McCool. They would go on to compete in the final bout at The Great American Bash pay-per-view, where McCool ended up the winner and first ever Divas champion by making Natalya tap out to a submission maneuver. It was a disgrace, disgusting, and a huge slap in the face to not only an amazing third-generation wrestler in Natalya, but to the entire Hart family. It was just laughable, a joke, yet horribly sad all at the same time to have to witness Nattie Neidhart be made to tap out to someone with half her skill and half her bulk!
Amazingly, Maryse took the Divas Championship off of McCool a mere six months later, with Maria as special referee for the match. This was probably all just a ploy to set up for a heel-turn by Michelle, who had gone around attacking other divas during that time, most notably Eve. Maria suffered a beatdown after Maryse's victory, and the crowd barely reacted, if even at all.
On April 13, 2009, at the draft, Maryse, along with her title, was moved over to RAW. However, this was when a whole new chapter opened for Michelle McCool as well, as Women's champion Melina was drafted to SmackDown! in her place.
Predictably, Melina ended up feuding with Michelle, who constantly declared that she was going to take away her championship. It was also during this time that Alicia Fox was paired up with McCool, once again, as a way to get her over.
For three months, Melina was booked to look like the weakest of champions while McCool was booked to the moon and back to look like the "dominant" diva of SmackDown! One would have thought she was Beth Phoenix—minus the muscles and charisma. It was really painful to watch. And it all led to the two fighting for Melina's championship at the same pay-per-view at which McCool "made history," a year earlier, only with a slightly shorter name in The Bash.
Let's not kid ourselves here...Melina was buried at that show. She was booked horribly, barely able to get any offense or defense in, and was robbed. It was one of the most sickening displays I've ever had to watch in my 20-plus years as a pro-wrestling fan, and very frighteningly reminiscent of Triple H burying Randy Orton during his first WWE Championship reign.
While the two continued to feud for awhile longer after McCool "earned" the right to call herself the first diva to ever hold both the Divas and Women's championships, Melina never regained the title. And thankfully, the pain her career had to endure came to an end by October, when she returned to RAW to win the Divas title that same night. However, someone else had to pay the price by going over to SmackDown! in her place.
That next victim was of course Mickie James.
With Alicia Fox gone, traded over to RAW, Michelle started pairing up with the much more charismatic Layla (see the pattern here?). The two started teasing and taunting the SmackDown! newcomer by making jokes about her weight. It was a cheap way to get heat, but it seemed to work, probably mostly because, overall, Mickie was the most over diva in the entire company.
I should also point out that McCool, while Women's champion, barely ever defended the title (though the same held true about her Divas title reign as well). Of course, the "Piggie James" angle wasn't about the title so much as it was a hurtful, juvenile, junior high-like one. It was also to set up the official teaming of Michelle and Layla, who were by now known collectively as "LayCool." On that note, strangely, Vickie Guerrero also teamed up with them after a backstage mishap with Mickie. This made zero sense to me, since LayCool were infamous for their fat jokes and Guerrero was not exactly what you would call thin. I believe the only reason for that was yet another attempt at getting Michelle over as a heel. What better way to do that than to put the woman who gets more heat than any other alongside her?
Mickie James went on to win the Women's Championship from McCool at this year's Royal Rumble, but her reign was cut short due to a staph infection in her leg. Who did she drop the title to? Michelle McCool, of course, and I failed to see the logic in that.
With Mickie done and then released from the WWE a few short months later, Beth Phoenix was next in line to feud with LayCool. Vickie Guerrero was still strangely appearing with them at ringside and in backstage skits. In fact, she seemed to be the character setting up the feud between McCool and the Glamazon, who had finally turned full-fledged babyface after several weeks of teasing at a turn. McCool ended up dropping the Women's title to Beth at Extreme Rules in April, in an "Extreme Makeover" match. It was a very good thing that this happened, because, really, who would truly be convinced by Michelle McCool going over the Glamazon?
Sadly, Beth's reign was cut short because she tore her ACL the next month. However, things got very interesting as she competed against LayCool in a handicap match in which Layla was the one to pin her and become Women's champion. McCool looked none too happy about the outcome, and it appeared that we were about to see a brand new feud, as Michelle seemed certain to turn on her buddy.
But it didn't happen, and instead, LayCool next appeared with each diva sporting a Women's title belt. It was really quite ridiculous, and for two reasons: One, Layla was the actual champion and should have had the opportunity to walk around as THE champion; and two, the whole declared "co-Women's champions" bit was disrespectful to the prestigious title. Of course, the worst was yet to come.
I want to point out, as I did in my first article, that, if it were any other diva but Michelle McCool Layla was paired with, there would be no "sharing" of the championship. Sure, we once witnessed Chris Jericho and Chyna declared to be "co-Intercontinental champions," but that was short-lived and was only done for the sole purpose of making the storyline more intriguing. This, however, is due to McCool's clout in the WWE, because do you honestly see any other two divas being "co-champions" together? Didn't think so.
To make matters worse, once SmackDown! GM Teddy Long told LayCool that one of them would have to give up their belt because there could only be ONE Women's champion, something even more pathetic happened...Michelle relinquished her belt, while Layla's stayed but was revealed to be split in half so they could share the pieces. This shows that Layla, rather than McCool, most likely had the replica belt all along, which is horrible because she's the champion. Also, it was even more disgrace tossed in the faces of prior Women's champions, at the title itself, and at the entire women's division.
I'll keep it short, but LayCool also feuded with Kelly Kelly and Tiffany, collectively known as Blondetourage, and McCool buried each of them separately on different occasions. Tiffany has of course been missing in action due to suspension, but Kelly has continued to have the "honor" of jobbing out every so often.
And now, we come back to the present...And this coming Sunday, we get to witness more "history" being made, as wrestling news sites have just revealed that it will be Michelle McCool—not Layla—who will be facing Melina in the Women's vs. Divas Championship unification match at Night of Champions.
Someone please tell me: Where is the logic in this?! Layla is the Women's champion, so therefore, she should be the one facing Melina. Also, the dirt sheets claim that Layla is going to be angry and tell McCool she's "on her own." Now, my guess is that this is just a ploy so that we fans believe that she's done with Michelle and wants nothing to do with her, yet Layla ends up showing her true colors on Sunday when she helps her beat Melina to become the first-ever Unified Divas champion.
Who exactly does all of this benefit? It doesn't benefit Melina, who will once again go down in the record books as being buried by McCool. Layla will look like the world's biggest fool and masochist, because if she helps Michelle, it will look like she doesn't care about herself at all. It certainly won't benefit the WWE women's division one bit, as the new Unified champion will probably just walk around with her nose up in the air and barely defend the championship, much like with many of her previous reigns. There's one person and one person ONLY who will get anything good out of this.
And that is Michelle McCool.
Michelle doesn't care about the other divas in the WWE. She isn't an advocate for women's wrestling. Everything is about how SHE can get what she wants, and how SHE can get over. It's exactly why she's been paired up with other, way more over divas, why she's had more than one chance to claim that she's "made history," why she's been booked to look more dominant than Chyna in her hey day, and why she's been allowed to share someone else's title reign.
It all boils down to the fact that she's married to a legend in the company. No one else would ever get any of those privileges.