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 Is The Diva's Revoloution Legit?

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PostSubject: Is The Diva's Revoloution Legit?   Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:14 pm

I have waited to write about the WWE "Diva's Revolution" mainly because I wanted to make sure WWE wasn't going to forget about it after a week. WWE has started plenty of big promotional angles before and then dropped them cold turkey, so you can understand my skepticism. That being said, the new strategy is nearly a month old and WWE still seems to be committed to it. However, it still remains to be seen on whether the idea will be a long-lasting pillar of WWE programming, or merely something that fades away.

Let's start out with the positives. The first thing is that WWE has shown a commitment to giving the women time to work in the ring. Instead of having the 5-minute match that was normally designated for a bathroom break, WWE has had several weeks in a row now where on Raw they have had more than one matches that have gone a decent length. That is the most basic way WWE can prove that they are giving Divas a chance, by actually letting them tell a story in the ring.

Another solid addition is the increase in the perceived importance athleticism and actual in-ring ability. This has been brewing for a while now, well before the recent NXT call-ups. The average women's match in WWE is probably as good as it has been since the mid-90s. The Bellas are not world-beaters in the ring, but for anyone that sat through the Kelly Kelly era, they are clearly a step above. The recent call-ups from NXT, (Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, even Paige) are all attractive, but they also give off the sense that they are here because of their ability and not because of their attractiveness. This is a far cry from the silicon infused models that have made up the Diva's Division for a majority of the modern WWE.

Although that is all well and good, there are also some problems with the Diva's division. While they have been given time to work in the ring, they are not really receiving any form of storyline direction. So far they have just had random matches, mixing in the recent call-ups with the veterans in matches. This whole thing began with Paige being fed up with The Bellas and their stranglehold on the division. The most basic way to book this would be for Paige to face Nikki Bella one final time, with Lynch and Charlotte preventing Brie or Alicia Fox from getting involved in the match. Since the call-ups, that storyline has kind of fallen by the wayside, the reasoning for all of the matches since then has seemed to be "Here is a Diva's match, you guys should watch it!" That isn't good enough.

That problem stems from the very moment the NXT Divas were called up to the main roster. Although it was Paige who was looking for allies in her quest against The Bellas, she was the not the one to introduce the new talent to everyone. No, of course that job went to Stephanie McMahon, who rather inexplicably since she is supposed to be a heel, came out and not only introduced the new Divas, but assigned them to teams with all the aplomb of an elementary school gym teacher assigning teams for a kickball game. Becky and Charlotte were not originally with Paige because they agreed with her or because they really wanted to take The Belllas down a notch, for storyline purposes the only reason they were aligned with Paige was because Stephanie McMahon told them to.

That is probably the most serious problem for the female wrestlers in WWE. Everyone knows that no matter how popular they may get, they are always going to be playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon. The announcers waste no time reminding the viewers during Diva's matches that this was all made possible by Stephanie McMahon. Paige wasn't responsible, the women in NXT were not responsible, because the real hero in all of this is Stephanie.

The lack of a true focus on the storyline has in-turn hurt their matches. The best women's match in WWE this year so far has been Lynch vs Banks at Takeover: Unstoppable and that was because it reached an emotional level that far exceeded anything else in the Diva's division. There was a storyline involved and the fans got into it and that coupled with the solid in-ring work created a very good match. Without any storylines, the Divas so far have been having perfectly adequate matches, but the crowd reactions during Raw have been fairly mediocre. WWE can't just say that these matches matter, they need to give the viewer a bona fide reason to be invested in the match.

Lastly, the true focus of WWE and women seems unpredictable. While they have stressed that women wrestling in the ring is going to be the thing that changes the perception of women in WWE, they have also gone ahead and done many of the same things that have caused the women in WWE to be ridiculed over the years. In the same episode of Raw that had two really solid women's match, we also saw Lana hit Summer Rae in the face with a fish. While the "Diva's Revolution" is taking place on the main show, WWE still sees Total Divas as the lynchpin of the feminine presence in the company. For things to truly change WWE has to consistently reaffirm that the women from NXT and Team BAD and The Bellas are the future of women in WWE, but at the same time they seem to also want to push women in the way that they have always done it. WWE will eventually have to make a single decision on how they are going to go forward with women, and we don't know if Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks are the future of women in WWE, or Lana and Eva Marie are.
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