NOTE: This article was originally published by me on TheWebsiteOfDOOM.com
If I had to credit TNA for doing one thing better than the WWE, it's their women's division. Sure they also have a very cringe-worthy title for it but whatever you call them, Knockouts or Divas, TNA's just get more time to actually wrestle. It's not perfect but it's better.
Last night's lackluster Hell In A Cell PPV didn't leave me with much to talk about, however it did highlight something for me that I've been thinking about for a long time. What does WWE need to do differently so that women's wrestling can be taken more seriously? And the best I could come up with? They need their own show.
For a long time the Divas match on a Pay-Per-View has been seen as the "go get a beer" match. It's understandable to a certain level. Rarely has there been much of a build up to these matches and quite often the competitors are of low standards so interest will always struggle.
Last night was a triple threat match with a decent angle. Eve is a sneaky champion defending against the woman she beat to win the title (Layla) and the woman she screwed over to get her title shot (Kaitlyn). You can't ask for much more than that in a title match! The girls put on a good match too. Kaitlyn is a wrestler I'm continually impressed by and Layla has been a reliable wrestler since her return from injury. And Eve was there too. But the crowd? Couldn't care less.
This has happened a few times now, especially during Beth Phoenix's run. Decent matches at PPVs but no time before or afterwards on TV to work. It's clear the creative team either has no faith in the girls or feels like nobody cares. But here's my issue with that last point, they only don't care because you haven't made them care. Case in point: AJ Lee.
Without a doubt one of the biggest surprises of the year has been AJ's rise to the top of the heap. She's a Diva who actually gets a crowd reaction and has been at the centre of a lot of what WWE has been doing this year. The crowd give a damn and it's because Creative have given her something to do.
I understand show time is precious. Despite RAW's now questionable 3 hour length run-time every week there is still not enough time for the likes of Zack Ryder, Tyson Kidd, and other deserving future superstars. How do you make the decision to leave out a Kofi Kingston for a Diva's match? I get it. Although, with WWE's Network still(?) on the horizon and a new show on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings, I don't think it's too much to ask to give the Divas a one hour show each week. You pay them, why not use them?
Then maybe you can give them more than a 2 minute match on Smackdown. Or actually allow them to use a microphone. Or maybe, just maybe, you might find a new audience of young women who will both enjoy the show and see a role model on the screen rather than a plot device in a man's storyline. Maybe it could inspire some young girls to someday grow up and want to wrestle themselves. As of right now, WWE isn't really doing that.
I'd like to leave it on this note: Here is a short video from back in the WWF days of Lita signing copies of her new video. Both men and women sign up for the privilege but one little girl bursts into tears upon meeting her idol. Her emotions and how much it means to her is plain to see. WWE has an opportunity to possitely influence young girls like this all over the world. Take advantage of it.
Oh and who is that little girl in the video? AJ Lee.
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