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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Diva Search... For Talent
July 5, 2006 by Lance Crucifix


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Hello, Lance again with another column. You may remember Ultimate Form of Flattery, where I took a look at backyard wrestling, or even Potential and No Talents, where I discussed the Cena-types who are put over the Carlito-types. Regardless of those columns, this will be my third column for OWW. In this article, I'll be looking at the RAW Diva Search.

The RAW Diva has been with us for a couple years now. Our first taste of the RAW Diva Search came in the summer of 2004. This was the first Diva Search and probably the only entertaining one. The Diva Search wasn't exactly original, WCW did a similar skit with the Nitro Girls, where Stacy Keibler's fine legs were discovered. This Diva Search came down to two contestants, Christy Hemme and Carmella DeCesar. Out of the two, Christy's charismatic attitude won her the Diva Search and she was declared the 2004 $250,000, RAW Diva Search winner. This led to a short feud between the two, where Carmella was paid by Eric Bischoff to break Eugene's spirits. Carmella publicly humiliated Eugene, until Christy came down and planted one on Eugene. We also got to see a vertical smile (butt crack). This led into a Pillow Fight between the two at Taboo Tuesday, where Christy came out the winner. She soon began shooting T-Shirts into the crowd before wrestling actively. After being trained by Fit Finlay & Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Christy began a feud with (then) Women's Champion, Trish Stratus. Stratus had just come off a feud with Lita who had sustained yet another injury. Hemme challenged Trish to a match at WrestleMania 21 for the Women's Championship, and Trish, ever the opportunist, decides to take the rookie up on her offer. After the challenge was accepted, Christy revealed she was being trained by Lita (in storyline.) Christy came out the loser, but challenged immediately the next day, where Trish laid her out before the bell even rang. Christy was then put into active wrestling before the next Diva Search came around.

This Diva Search was less entertaining as the creativity was just sucked out of it. It took place in the summer of 2005, and had some slightly interesting perks. Ashley Massaro gave out her legit phone number, and actually took some of the phone calls. It came down to Ashley and Layla. Ashley was ultimately announced the 2005 Diva Search Winner. The next week as Ashley was giving a thank you speech Torrie Wilson and contestant of the previous Diva Search, Candice Michelle debuted and attacked her. The next week in almost a similar fashion, Torrie and Candice came to the ring, and claimed they where there to apologize to Ashley. After some smooth talking, Victoria snuck in and nailed Ashley with the Widows Peak. Ashley basically feuded with Candice, Torrie and Victorias, until the three of them split apart, then she was on to a storyline involving Trish Stratus and her lesbian stalker, Mickie James. One memorable moment, Ashley and Mickie are duking it out, Trish pulls Ashley off of Mickie in an attempt to break up the fighting. Mickie then proceeded to hit a beautiful reverse Spinning Roundhouse. On a February 20th 2006 edition of RAW, Ashley participated in a Women's Battle Royal, while being dumped out of the ring, she suffered a broken leg, and had to have surgery as well as a steel plate, one screw and a few staples placed into her leg. Recently she moved to SmackDown! where she seems to be feuding with former Diva Search contestants.

With the new RAW Diva Search at hand, I wonder if any actual talent will emerge from the group, while most of the Diva Search contestants a virtually almost talent-less, from a wrestling stand point. I had high hopes for Christy Hemme, let's hope we can find another Diva with her work ethic and morale. Feed back appreciated.

by Lance Crucifix ..


[I forgot to sign my name] wrote:
I'm inclined to disagree with your overall assessment, Lance.

While Christy Hemme and Ashley Massaro have not demonstrated the in-ring skills of people like Chyna, Victoria, or the pre-broken-neck Lita, they haven't been miles behind the likes of Trish Stratus and Candice Michelle, either.

Much to my joy and in answer to my votes, Christy Hemme won the first Diva Search and was immediately thrust into every cheesy role they could squeeze her in, including the whole Eugene storyline. The WWE capitalized on Christy's willingness to do a Playboy shoot, and rode her naked body as far as they could (You know what I mean). When her in-ring skills didn't develop as quickly as the WWE had hoped, she was sent to OVW to sharpen her skills, which apparently didn't sit too well with Christy, and after some bitter exchanges, she was released from her WWE contract. Personally, I didn't think she was any less talented than half the other women wrestlers, but I don't sign the paychecks, so my opinion carries little weight.

Next came Ashley Massaro, another answer to my voting dreams, and, lo and behold, she's showing a little more natural wrestling talent than Christy. Truth be told, she's showing more talent than Candice or Torrie, for that matter. I believe that the spiral-fractured tibia halted what was the beginning of a terrific career, and we are yet to see Ashley show what she's made of.

I have high hopes for the next Diva Search, as the steadily-growing Lita is leaning heavily (pun intended) in the direction of a sudden exodus from the WWE, especially after her last endeavor into the realms of sloppy, choppy female wrestling. I don't think that even Edge and his influence with the powers-that-be will be enough to keep Lita around if she keeps gaining wait and losing skill. Of course, she may not last long with edge, either. He doesn't exactly have a stellar history with women, but that's a whole different discussion.

Odds are, we aren't going to see Chyna, Beth Phoenix, or Victoria-type talent coming from a Diva search, and the WWE doesn't want that, as they prefer to have their muscle-bound babes come up through the ranks. No, the Diva Search is another gimmick to put butts in the seats and ratings on RAW. It's not about finding a "sexy wrestler". It's about finding a "wild-and-crazy hot-chick that can Cat-Fight with the best and worst of them". Playboy photo shoots are a bonus, which immediately builds Rebecca DiPietro's stock, as she has an already-established nude modelling career.

My early prediction for the current Diva Search will be Rebecca Di Pietro, and I'm 2-for-2 so far, so we'll see. She may not be a great wrestler, but she'll probably deliver on exactly what the WWE and the WWE fans want, and that's glitzy modern-day burlesque with a couple of cart-wheel's and a few HLA kisses.
Jennifer Foley, Calgary, AB. wrote:
Hey Lance, I totally agree with you on the talent thing. I know this response is a bit late but better late then never I guess. Well as for Ashley I actually really like her and I think she has the potential to be great, she just needs more training and practice. Personally, I think there needs to be more Canadians in there. I am an avid wrestling fan and grew up watching it. I have nothing but respect for everyone on there week after week who give it their all. So one question. What does it take to be a Diva for the WWE. I ask this because I, myself am in the gym right now working myself until I cannot take anymore so I can tryout for the Diva Search. I really think that they should start looking more toward potential talent and people with drive and determination before looks. Yes I agree that looks bring ratings, but so does a breath of fresh air and some talent. I will give it to those ladies on there, they give it their all every week and they work hard, but there isn't enough emphasis on the Divas, and they aren't ring trained enough. I am a 21 year old Hairstylist from Newfoundland, Canada and I currently Residing in Calgary, Alberta, and the Diva Search is my dream, I want to go on there and represent all the Canadian women and I will do whatever it takes to reach my goal. So with regards to the Search, when is the next one scheduled? I am prepared to move to Georgia, or Kentucky if I get the opportunity, and I want this so badly. I know that their are women out there with the potential to reach superstardom with the WWE if only given the chance. The wrestling skills can be acquired, but the passion, the drive and the energy are born within the person, that people is what the Diva Search is lacking, the passion for wrestling not just the publicity that comes along with it. That insatiable thirst to get into that ring day after day and spend all the gruelling hours, weeks, months whatever that you need to get where you want to go. They need women who are everyday women, and that appreciate every waking moment spent in that ring and mostly in the presence of such amazing athletes, and realize that you were choosen for a reason and that you have people with whom you owe your career to, not just be there for the sake of being there. Take someone who otherwise wouldn't have a chance to show the amazing potential and drive that they possess. That right there should be what wrstling is all about, and that is what wrestling means to me. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back.
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