WWE tag team legends The Hart Foundation
I thought I would write about one of my favorite things, pro wrestling. Now I have been watching wrestling for a couple of years now (twelve to be exact) and one of the first moments I saw when it came to the WWF Divas at the time was Tori kissing X-Pac in his feud with Kane. Since then, that randomly got me hooked and I’ve been watching religiously since. Now I do want to bring something up while talking about this and that is the Women’s Divisions that has been going downhill.
In the year 2000, when I first started watching wrestling, the Women’s Champion was The Kat, who was one of my favorites for some reason despite taking off her top when she won the Women’s Championship, but she lost that to Harvey in the snowbunny match as he was dressed up like a girl. I thought that was funny, but really, why have a dude win the Women’s Championship? Anyways, that Smackdown, he lost the title to Jacqueline, who I have mad respect for in wrestling and from there she was an amazing champion until she lost to Stephanie McMahon that had no wrestling background, but it was to make her the heel with not her defending it until Lita came around, but it also brought in Trish Stratus as well as she feuded with Lita. On the day Lita won the title thanks to The Rock, I knew that this would be a good open, but then I’ve watched some videos from the past today, that the Women’s Division was real and going to be popping in the 2000s. Lita would defend against the likes of Trish Stratus and actually bringing in the Bra and Panties match, but with wrestling, Ivory, and Jacqueline. Lita would lose the title to Ivory, who I found the biggest heel in wrestling for the Women (Behind Stephanie McMahon in a non-wrestling role) in a fatal four way match. Lita would have a rematch, but she would lose and be busted open proving that Women are not afraid to bleed in matches which were cool. In the beginning of 2001, Ivory was in a feud with Chyna, another favorite of mine behind Lita that would go on for the first couple of months of that year. I remember Chyna getting hurt and I remember being upset about it until I found out that she was ok. At Wrestlemania 17, Chyna finally won the Women’s Championship and would lead to a dominant Women’s Champion, but I didn’t know while being ten years old that Chyna was leaving because of personal problems with Stephanie and one of my favorite wrestlers, Triple H. I remember her last match being against Lita which pitted two of my favorites in a match and Lita gave it her all and I thought she would win the title that night to keep it going, but it was deactivate when Chyna left. In November, Trish Stratus would win one of her first of seven titles. At first I wasn’t supportive because I felt Trish Stratus wasn’t ready, but she did have some good matches during her first run, especially her match with Jazz at the Royal Rumble of 2002.
From 2002, when Jazz was champion; we have seen her become dominant during her run. I remember Wrestlemania 18, Lita vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jazz was a pretty cool match, but it was after Wrestlemania where Trish Stratus and her feuded for the title, with Molly Holly attacking her during her heel run. Jazz and Trish Stratus would have some psychical and tough matches, especially that Hardcore Match in Toronto which was a fun match. From there, you would see matches like that and some technical matches with Molly and Trish at King of the Ring which Molly won her first title. During Molly’s run, you would see her defend her title against Trish, Torrie and Nidia. I remember in Torrie’s Match, she would do well, but she lost the match. Nidia did pretty good as well and it lead to Trish Stratus winning the title at Unforgiven that year and then leading to some of the violent matches against Victoria. Trish would win the first round at No Mercy, but Victoria won the second round at Survivor Series in a hardcore match which she won. Her and Trish with Jazz added to the mix was another brutal matches on hand as Trish would win at Wrestlemania before losing to Jazz at Backlash. Smackdown on the side was all about the contest with Torrie, Nidia, Sable, and Dawn at the time with a little amount of wrestling as well. RAW was the wrestling division and it would be that way. I also remember Gail Kim winning her first championship when she debuted. I didn’t think it was possible for that to happen, but it did and I was in shock as well, but the biggest shock that year? Lita. She came back and I remember screaming when she came back. She would feud with Molly for the title, but didn’t win the title which lead to Molly’s next feud, Victoria as Victoria would turn face before 2004 came in.
Here is the downfall of the Women’s Division and I believe this was the start. 2004. You had good matches with Lita, Molly, Trish, Gail, Jazz and so many others. The Molly and Victoria feud with end at Wrestlemania 20 where Molly got her head shaved bald and it also saw Trish Stratus turning heel as well which came at a shock. Another good match was Lita vs. Victoria at Backlash which was a good one as Victoria did lose the title at Bad Blood and lead to Trish Stratus holding the title until December. It also should be noted that Kane got Lita “pregnant” during the time and Trish had a broken hand. This feud with Lita and Trish would be heated until Lita would “miscarry” and she and Trish feuded from there, but it also should be stated that the Diva Search started. Why did the WWE have to start a new contest when the first won failed? Well this one didn’t fail as we were stuck with this till 2007. Lita would come back and give a little hope for the division when she defeated Trish for the title in the main event, but again it went downhill as Trish won her sixth Women’s Championship and would feud with the likes of Christy Hemme for the title in 2005. I didn’t know you had to pose naked to get a Women’s Championship. The Women’s division was starting to go down the drain a bit because prior to this mess, Gail Kim and Jazz were fired. Jackie Gayda, Dawn Marie was around, but they would be released too. Trish was out with a back injury, so the only girls you had was Torrie, Candice, Victoria, Ashley, Melina and I am sure I am missing a couple here. Lita was in a non-wrestling role and turned heel to align with Edge and it wasn’t until September of that year where Trish Stratus would return and leading to the likes of the feud with Mickie James, Which I call the greatest feud since Lita. In 2006, I had hope and I was getting tired of Trish’s run as champion, so I thought a shape up would come. Here comes Mickie at Wrestlemania 22 and winning the title her first match in and I remember her getting cheered when she won the title. Torrie and Candice was the side match of the show with their match as I thought Women’s Wrestlers that can wrestle for the time can go for the title while Eye Candy was facing Eye Candy. When 2006 was closing, Trish and Lita were leaving as Trish would win the title in her hometown and retire while Lita would lose her final match to Mickie James in Philadelphia. Starting in 2007, I started to shift away from the Women’s division with the WWE because I felt they were pushing ONLY Diva Search girls and not Women’s wrestlers. While Mickie and Victoria did have a good match in the beginning of the year as Mickie lost the title to Melina, this would be a good start for Melina as she was a wrestler already, but when she defended the title against Ashley at Wrestlemania 23, I thought “What the heck?” because I felt this match was horrible. I was starting to lose hope and actually, I did lose interest for the time being when Candice won the title at Night of Champions. I didn’t care about the Women’s division and shifted away from it which got me to TNA as they were starting a women’s division. At first, I saw many of the girls like Awesome Kong, ODB, Velvet Sky, Angelina Love and many others come in and I remember seeing Kong vs. Gail. It was WRESTLING and I have to say it was the real deal and when Gail won the title by becoming the first champion, this was going to make Women’s wrestling better. Back to the WWE side, Beth Phoenix would win the Women’s championship which put hope back in, but I was glued to TNA and in TNA, you had the different looks.
With WWE and TNA in 2008, WWE’s Women’s Championship was either held by Mickie James or Beth Phoenix; they would bring in the WWE Divas Championship and make Michelle McCool champion for the first champion while TNA was Gail Kim, Awesome Kong and Taylor Wilde before going back to Kong. Flashing to mid-2009, where TNA was having some good matches with their knockouts, WWE was getting better, but it wasn’t till 2009 where TNA was actually going down. They bring in Lacey Von Erich which makes the division go downhill because you don’t see the Beautiful People like the Beautiful People. WWE was getting better as Smackdown was the better wrestling brand, but that was dominated by Michelle McCool. Skipping a little to after Wrestlemania, Eve Torres wins the title and at Lockdown, you would think Velvet Sky would be the winner of the Knockouts Championship. Nope. Madison Rayne, who has not won a match, wins the Title. OK, don’t get me wrong, she has some good matches during her first run, but the controversial one was against Roxxi and it makes me sick to even think about it. WWE had Eve Torres, but she lost to Alicia Fox which Alicia would lose to Melina in her home town as Melina had her first match back on that RAW which would lead to a feud against Michelle McCool as she won the Divas Championship combining. You would see the Beautiful People reunite and Velvet Sky loses her shot again when Tara won the title, but it would lead to a good feud with Mickie James and Mickie going for the Knockouts championship that year. I would also like the mention that I did again have hope in the WWE with Natalya being champion and her feuding with Melina as Madison would finish out the year as champion and holding it for 188 days. While WWE was starting to get better, TNA was getting worse and it would.
WWE started the year with the Royal Rumble and added Eve in the last second as she would win the title. TNA would have Madison hold onto the title, but Mickie James would win in 38 seconds to win the title. Eve did drop the title to Brie and I know I am going to get backlash, but Kelly did win the title from Brie Bella which would lead people to end up not being happy, but Kelly did have a good run and of course, she would be over with the fans. The Knockouts championship would play hot potato from Mickie to Winter to Mickie to Winter, however, the month of October, Beth Phoenix, who started the Divas of Doom with Natalya as I had hope the divas division would get better, wins the Divas Championship, but the bigger factor in 2011 was Velvet Sky winning the championship. Being the wild card in the match and not having the championship at all, this was the moment to shine and this would be the moment to have your popular Knockout win the title, but that would all change because Gail Kim would come back.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love Gail Kim to death as she is the sweetest person, but TNA didn’t need to give Gail Kim BOTH Knockouts championships. She didn’t need the tag team championships NOR didn’t she need the Knockouts Championship which she would hold onto for 210 days. Beth Phoenix would have matches, but she would disappear as well. In the end of the year, Mickie got two championship shots in December and then losing at Genesis which would start to see who would go next for the title shot against Gail Kim.
2012, IMO is the worse year for Women’s wrestling for the WWE and TNA. TNA goes hot potato for the girls to face Gail Kim and never giving a feud. Beth Phoenix is rarely on and loses to Maria at Wrestlemania along with Eve. Girls are leaving because they are frustrated and so forth. Nikki Bella wins the title only to have Layla come back and win it as there is nobody to challenge her. Gail loses to Tessmacher as Tessmacher becomes champion (Which I have nothing against) as Kharma, Velvet Sky, Maxine and Angelina Love all leave their respective companies because of the way stuff is going on. Now here is what I feel about what is going on with the divisions.
WWE needs help big time and on Monday, it caused anarchy on Twitter with them not being shown on the three hour show. Someone needs to take a stand with them and I hope honestly that someone fixes it up. TNA needs to use different girls besides the one they are using now. They only have Gail Kim, Mickie James, Madison Rayne, Tara and Brooke left while ODB signed a new contract while Rosita, Sarita and Winter are NOWHERE to be found and While TNA is the better of a wrestling division, WWE needs to be a little bit boasted and needs help big time and making sure that the divas are USED instead of having anarchy on twitter and as of right now, AJ is being the only one pushed with her summer storyline with her psycho side and now being the GM of Monday Night RAW . I hope this does change, because you want to know where your REAL women’s action is at? WSU, SHIMMER, SHINE, AIW and Remix and many independent promotions that I have been paying attention to for the last months
That’s what I have to say about that.
— Meagan is a guest columnist for OWW. Follow her on Twitter at @MeaganG1990