Woman's Wrestling: Darkest Before Dawn"
March 12, 2005 by Dan B.
I'm a wrestling fan. I think that that's pretty obvious, given the title and the forum that I'm writing. I also know that it's theatre in its most pure form (or soap opera for guys, either one will do). And as an 18 year old straight guy my main concern in the wrestling community isn't what you'd think. It isn't Orton's overdevelopment; it isn't the general lack of character in most major federations, it isn't the lack of interesting tag teams or story lines. It isn't even a concern for one of the one hundred and sixty eight wrestling feds (rough number). My concern at the moment is the wrestling division for ladies.
Now I know what my fellow fan boys are thinking, "Dan, the only thing you're concerned about in the women's division is whether or not they'll have a "wardrobe malfunction". Well, you're not completely wrong, but there's more to it then that. Let me tell you a little story; I live in Centerville Ohio which basically translates to the single most white bread football (ugh) town ever. Like many people I can't afford PPV so I do the next best thing. I go to Hooters, which has the PPV, along with "food" (if you can call it that) and........atmosphere (hint, hint). One day I was watching a PPV and talking to a lady friend of mine that works there. Then Dave Batista came on and she went NUTS. She said she loves wrestling because of all the "hot guys". After that match Trish came on and she reacted in disgust. Naturally curious I asked what would cause such a reaction. She claimed that the women's division just didn't interest her. She thought it was degrading to women that they had to wear skimpy tights and wrestling!
My point is this; most (straight) guys don't just watch wrestling to see half naked guys. They watch because they love seeing great matches, good story lines, and characters being developed. Right now most women watching wrestling either tune in for the guys or because their significant other made them. The women's division isn't catering to anybody but horny fan boys, lesbians, and bat-wielding feminists that are secretly lesbians. If women's wrestling was modelled more like that of it's male counterpart they'd draw in a whole new crowd of people that view female wrestling as entertainment and not a titillating time killer. Unfortunately, the prime example of this is the WWE. The "E" is always on the receiving end of anger from the population of wrestling fans, so me writing about them doesn't help my chances of getting this article posted. But in fairness, it's the only major federation with a women's title. It's hard to get on TNA or ROH about their women's division when there's nothing to criticize.
For starters, treat the women's title like what it is: A FREAKING TITLE!!!! Quit having it change hands in lingerie pillow fights and erotic oil rumbles! Imagine if Benoit had lost the world title in a BRA and PANTY match!!! If you're going to ad stipulations, make them stipulations you'd use in a regular title defense. The Trish/Victoria hardcore match was pretty good and the Lita/Victoria cage match was a unique first. There are so many firsts that could happen in the women's division that would bring in some great ratings. The Lita/Trish RAW main event already proved that. Hell, if a women wants to blade herself to enhance the match let her!
Change up the marketing. This isn't directed at the WWE so much as it's a general statement. Quit the "Trish Stratus Thong" package or the "Trinity Halter Top" products. And don't make Playboy such a big deal. I'd personally cut Playboy altogether, unless your going to put JBL in Playgirl ("are those bull horns in your pants or are you happy to see me"").
Back to the WWE. As any fan with a functioning frontal lobe has probably figured out, the only women that are current wrestlers are Lita, Trish, Holly, and Victoria. That's four competitors for a single division (three if you consider the fact that Lita is injured).The WWE should have female wrestlers that aren't currently wrestling get back in the ring (Stacy and Ivory). Stacy holds room for improvement and may one day evolve past the 'piece of meat' character she's been pigeon-holed into. If not, at least someone else can job instead of Holly. Plus, Ivory has an experience advantage that could definitely come into play (I also think she's hot, but then again I have a thing for older women too).
Use the draft lottery to your advantage (Vince!). Transfer Jackie, Torrie, Dawn. And Hiroko over to RAW. Admittedly Jackie and Wilson aren't exactly mat technicians but at the moment they're warm bodies and that helps. Besides if push comes to shove they can join Stacy and form a blonde jobber squad. Dawn Marie is long overdue for a decent story line, if not a title shot. Hiroko is a mystery on whether or not she can wrestle but she has the most interesting character I've seen in a while. If Kenzo comes with her he can interfere with matches to put them both over as bigger heels. If you're listening Vince, this will turn your women's division numbers from four to ten. I'd call that an improvement.
Now moving onto the WWE's biggest competitor; no I'm not talking about the squirrels wrestling in my back yard for the World Nut Gathering Championship (although those suckers can go). I'm talking about TNA. With the way they currently treat their roster you'd think that TNA stands for something other then Total Nonstop Action. Yeah, I know that their trying to add their "knockouts" into the plots more by making them managers/secretaries/valets. But please, is anybody really going to believe a plot where Trinity and Traci are feuding over Dusty Rhodes" To really put them over they may have to use some of Vince's sloppy seconds (pardon my French). Jazz, Jacqueline, and (ugh) Terri Runnels could job to them as well as several other "distinguished" (old) divas. Plus Nidia, Shaniqua, and Gail Kim all still have some years on them. BUT AVOID SABLE LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
This isn't directed towards anybody so much as a general statement but please, SOMEONE MAKE USE OF ALL THE INDY TALENT!!! There are some many qualified women on the indy circuit that could make a big impact. Simply Luscious (a.k.a. Veronica Stevens) graduated the Shawn Michaels Academy. Alexis Laree has been in OVW forever. April Hunter's been at 3PW tag title holder. Plus people like Christine Ricci, Kassidy, Alison Danger, Dazee Haze, Arele Littlefeather, ODB, and countless others could greatly help the wrestling world. And what ever happened to Riot from WOW anyway" That spinning elbow was cool. All I know is that there's a whole lot of talent that nobody is taking advantage of.
Well there it is; my two cents. I'd like to end on a somewhat positive note and thank those people who took the time and effort to read this disorganized rant called an article. I'm more than open to input on what the rest of the wrestling community thinks and I'm looking forward to some form of response. I hope to hear from you all soon, and as the Coach says; Halle, call me.
by Dan B...
Ok, I see your point, but please inform your lady friend that Trish is a great worker. She's one of the hardest workers to go from some bimbo to a Women's champ. Her face and heel runs have always been interesting, but when I watch her, I can tell that everytime she comes out, she's improving herself. I don't imagine anyone who watches wrestling "for the hot guys" can understand that concept.
WWE actually has a decent amount of female wrestlers.. they're just being overshadowed by the "divas" who dress up like second rate prosititutes who dance around in the ring and give terrible segments. I almost lost respect for the women's division! However, after witnessing these terrible segments which include no wrestling, no good acting (laughing when Eric's yelling at you" Good job, now I can laugh when my soon-to-be boss begins yelling at me), terrible lines for their promos. Especially the pie eating contest. Since when does your ass need to eat a baked good" I feel sorry for the Rock who had to be in the ring with these no-talents.
Although, it's not fair to talk about all the divas like this.. Trish, Victoria, Gail Kim, Nidia, Stacey, Torrie, Lita, Hiroko, Molly Holly, Jackie, and Joy. Yes, I understand a few of these women have been fired and are not really wrestlers, but at least they do something at the ring. They either wrestle or they're at someone's corner. With the exception of Joy, those women from the Diva Search are a bunch of down right losers. Even the so-called "winner." Those who wern't even the last two got a spot on WWE. It's really disappointing to witness one of the best divisions that only needed five minutes on Raw to give good matches be sent downhill as a ten minute segment with a bunch of tramps ruining the show.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
Why vince fired women like Jazz from WWE who can wrestle pretty good" Then
hiring ten bimbos who cant do anything. Rookie diva of the year tells it all,
recent women's joined WWE, are all the same. The biggest joke was to hear that
Christy is gonna fight Trish for Women's title!!! That REALLY pissed me off
because what the hell that BIMBO has done to be in WM21""" That is the biggest
joke for a long time and if Christy is gonna win the title, then you can just
say goodbye for all the female wrestling fans.
Ditto Robertson wrote:
First off, bravo, Dan. Though you tend to space out a little, the article got right to the point. I am a (straight) female and I too have girlfriends who watch wrestling for people like Randy Orton, Mark Jindrak, the usual line up of 'man divas.' I'm not complaining about them at all, but imagine if that's all they were good for" Every time the crowd seemed a little off, just send Rene Dupree and John Cena out to dance around (or whatever it is the Divas do.) Doesn't seem quite right, does it" I mean, considering it is a wrestling show, shouldn't it have a little... Oh, I don't know.. Oh yes; WRESTLING"!"!"! I (used to) love the womens division. It always got me exited to hear Lita's music and know that soon she'd be out in the ring doing that really kickass Moonsault. But now, when they say divas match, it ends up Stacy Keibler and Christy whatsername fighting in their underwear with silk pillows. Imagine the complaints of offense if Randy Orton and Batista did that" I mean, sure they're good looking, but it's just plain wrong when a man does it! Have any of these women ever heard of self respect or dignity" And now, Christy whatsername is going to be at Wreslemania" HOW DID IT GET SO BAD"! Wrestlemania, the grandest stage of them all, the chance for atheletes to step up and really give it their all. Atheletes, not playboy girls who win a contest and think "oh wrestling! This should be fun!" As far as I'm concerned, having Christy whatsername showing her face at Wrestlemania has truley disgraced the name of womens wrestling, the womens title and the word "Wreslemania." Christy should have to be kept at least 300 yards from the womens title at all times. But now, it looks like the women who gave a new meaning to "trashy" will be taking something she does not (and never will) deserve. I won tickets to see WM21 in theatres, and the second I heard bedtime barbie was going to be there" I honestly considered just staying home! That would be like giving Puder a shot at the WWE title at WM21! Well, that's a little better because Puder at least proved he had some balls by winning Tough Enough, not a beauty pagaent. If the womens division keeps going downhill like this, I fear the future. Once again, hats off to you, Dan. I hope to hear from you again.
ps- for the love of god, do NOT put JBL in playgirl! Not that I've ever looked at one, but the meer though that somewhere their is a picture of naked JBL for sale sends chills up my spine.
I think the CW division is a million times worse... Atleast the womens title fued for WM21 is actually being built up on RAW... Akio vs London for the number one contendership at WM21 happened on VELOCITY!!! It seems when Rey isn't going for the title, the division as a whole is thrown into pure and utter nothingness.
Even if I didn't completely agree with your article, it's refreshing to read another guy who feels the women's division is in the dark. A lot of my friends think the women's division is great right now. Christy from The Man Show is gonna be in Playboy. What's-Her-Name from the Superbowl commercial is on Raw. And Trish is cool cuz she wrestles. Hmm . . . didn't there use to be enough Divas who could wrestle to put on a decent battle royal (per Diva standards) at Taboo Tuesday" Exit Gail Kim(!!!), Nidia, Linda Miles(eh), Jazz, and even Amy Weber(I'm sorry. I know she's from the Evil Diva Search, but she was the most productive and they could have held on to her somehow. She can't wrestle either, but it bugs me). I don't think training the current pep squad is the answer. Rather, bringing in new competitors, wrestlers, who can also appeal to the eyes would make more sense. There are a ton of women on the indy scene who would be awesome in the WWE. You were right to call Veronica Stevens (aka:Simply Luscious). She is the perfect kind of woman for Raw. Nattie Neidhart would be great to go with the Hart family tradition story, but with a female take on it. My personal crush is Becky Bayless. She is so not a WWE Diva stereotype, but I think that is why I dig her. She looks real . . . real beautiful. Oh! My point is . . . I don't believe they have the solution in the wings. It's gonna take Molly, Victoria, and EXPECIALLY Trish along with some new blood to bring wrestling to the forefront. Give the women the main event slot, like you said. When that happened between Trish and Lita, I couldn't believe it but I watched. All in all, good piece.
Joshua Barnhart wrote:
Finally, someone who watches women's wrestling for just that WOMEN WRESTLING. Not just some who just sits around looking beautiful. Not, that there is something wrong with beautiful women. But, why can't there be both beauty and skill. I mean, Gail has both and so does Victoria. I think bringing the women of SmackDown over to Raw would be a great addition to the women's division. And, they definitely need to bring Alexis Laree up, and bring back Gail Kim. They have somewhat of potential of making women's wrestling great.
Bill Tyrrell wrote:
I agree with you, the bottom line is this, I love women very much, and there is
no denying that those women are beautiful, and nice to look at, but what is really annoying, is
that Trish, Lita, Molly, Victoria, and yes even Christy is actually training to become a wrestler,
but those women are very good wrestlers. They should get some respect, because they deserve
they are working just as hard as the guys do, and I also agree that the Women's Title doesn't mean as
much as it did back Moolah, Mae, and Alundra Blayze were wrestling, because the WWE chooses to
make that title useless, because they are giving ladies like Christy a title shot at
Wrestlemania, and the bottom line she doesn't deserve it, she has done nothing to earn it put one of the
ladies in there that has paid her dues, and deserves to compete at the biggest show in wrestling
history. Like I said I love women, but unlike some guys I don't watch wrestling to see women shake
their asses, I watch wrestling, because get this I want to see wrestling.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
As hard as it is to believe, some guys (I can't see how they can call themselves "fans") actually watch wrestling just for the eye-candy. I remember, going to see RAW last year, one guy I was talking to bought front-row seats, didn't know Orton's finishing move (Orton was champ at the time), and said he came just to see the Divas and the Diva Search (which was going on at the time). WHAT THE HELL" Yeah, the women of the Women's Division are hot, but THEY CAN ACTUALLY WRESTLE TOO!!! I simply told him the Diva Search was a waste of both time and the talent in the Women's Division and aid nothing else to him. The Women's division is truly in turmoil if there are people like that out there. Oh, and by the way, I'm a 17-year old straight male...and I watch the Women's Division for the WRESTLING. (Christy Hemme is a talentless piece of trash!)
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