Emma Is Greatest Proof of Disconnect Between NXT and WWE Divas

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

There is a very real disconnect that exists between the Divas of NXT and World Wrestling Entertainment's main roster shows.

At TakeOver: Rival on February 11, Charlotte defended the NXT Women's Championship against Bayley, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks in a Fatal 4-Way match that earned rave reviews across social media platforms, including Twitter.

The contest reminded fans that women were just as capable of delivering a phenomenal match when given time and a quality story as any of their male counterparts. Some hailed the contest as the best of the night, while other concluded it was the greatest Divas match they had seen since the heyday of Trish Stratus and Lita.

For the first time in a long while, fans respected women's wrestling thanks to the opportunity given by Triple H and NXT management and the four enormously talented young women who delivered stellar performances.

Two weeks later, the Internet was sent into an uproar when two Divas on the main roster, Paige and Emma, squared off with The Bella Twins in a match lasting under 30 seconds.

Again, Twitter was on fire with fans discussing women's wrestling. This time, however, it was in anger of the disrespect shown to the four competitors.

One of the participants in that controversial contest, Emma, is a living, breathing example of how the reduced time given to female performers on the main roster can severely damage their careers.

During her two years in NXT, Emma blended an engaging character with tremendous in-ring skill to create a persona that rapidly became one of the most popular on the developmental roster. She was bubbly, quirky and occasionally clumsy, but once the bell sounded, she was as capable of wresting the women's championship away from her opponents.

Her matches with Paige laid the groundwork for the phenomenal women's wrestling that would occur in the years that followed. They wrestled contests that looked every bit as impressive as the men's and proved that two women with time and an interesting story can deliver in front of a rabid fanbase eager to eat up the action.

Unfortunately, by the time she was promoted to the main roster, Emma was left to wallow in mediocrity, the on-screen love interest of midcard comedy act Santino Marella. Their rivalry with Fandango and Summer Rae hardly allowed the talented Australian to showcase her skills.

By the time Santino's neck injury forced him into premature retirement, Emma suffered most, seemingly falling off the grid and into obscurity. Now, she pops up for the occasional match on WWE Superstars or as the losing half of a Divas tag bout, both of which rarely earn more than three minutes of time on the air.

The treatment of Emma has not only highlighted the differences between the way NXT and WWE Creative view female competitors, but it also serves as a warning to any of the Divas who are called up over the next year. Those women should enjoy the time and creative freedom they have at their disposal right now. Sooner than later, they will enter a new world where appearances on a reality show and looks are put far ahead of in-ring talent.

There is still hope for Emma, hope that she will be able to be part of a storyline that brings her to the forefront of the Divas division and showcases her considerable in-ring prowess. For right now, though, she will have to settle for making the occasional cameo on YouTube's The JBL Show. 

Both Triple H and Brie Bella have been vocal regarding the state of women's wrestling in WWE over the last month. Until something changes at the top of the organization, however, odds that any of the talented women employed by the company ever have the opportunity to showcase their wrestling skills in an expanded role are slim.

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