Opinions are mixed on the Brooklyn crowd’s disrespect toward the Raw Divas match featuring Team Bella (Brie, Nikki, and Alicia Fox) against Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch). I’m of the opinion that it was appropriate. Not toward the new Divas, obviously. They’re just doing what they’re told. The chants from the crowd were more directed to WWE decision-makers. It was the realization that the “Diva Revolution” was just another trendy hash tag fad that tried to take advantage of the recent momentum of women in sports (Rousey, USA Soccer, Serena Williams, etc.). The crowd realized that it was disingenuous, like most of what WWE’s main product puts out these days. If you needed any other proof that it’s a branded tagline with no meaning, count how many times JBL and Cole say ‘Diva Revolution’ during their segments. It’s enough to want to make me mute the TV. Not because I’m anti-women’s wrestling, but because it’s so forced that it makes me want to cringe.
First, you have to start from the beginning of what’s wrong – and what is wrong with WWE in general. There are very few storylines. Sure, the main event feuds typically have storylines, but they’re generally vague and lack logic. NXT women’s wrestling works because not only can they work a match, they can tell a story. It’s back to basics. Wrestling is good overcoming evil. The babyface is held down, screwed, and always comes up short while the heel cheats their way to the top. The babyface finally overcomes heel. Why was Bayley against Sasha Banks so amazing at NXT Takeover? Not just because they had a great match – those can be a dime a dozen. It’s because people had a reason to emotionally invest. Bayley was down and out again and she overcame Sasha and beat her – fairly. I mean, just the promo video before the match got you fired up. There was a finish without interference or timekeepers ringing the bell. Kevin Owens against Sami Zayn worked because they had history and a storyline. I mean, there are still massive portions of fans that think Undertaker is a babyface just doing what he has to do to win. That’s a direct result of the idiocy of WWE announcing these days. I could see Undertaker sacrificing a litter of kittens in the ring and JBL screaming, “HE’S JUST DOING WHAT HE HAS TO DO TO WIN.”
Back to RAW. Since debuting, the Divas have been on teams. Sasha is saddled with the incumbent Naomi and Tamina. Becky and Charlotte are saddled with Paige. Team Bella is saddled with Team Bella. With the exception of possibly Paige, the incumbent Divas don’t know how to work the crowd and tell much of a story. I also think that they have no interest in doing so and instead are more concerned with keeping their spot and backstabbing – this is wrestling, after all. Would you rather model, be on an atrocious reality show, and work 2 minute matches or be paid the same to do the same and bump around 10-15 minutes a night and possibly have your lack of talent exposed? It’s also nearly impossible to get over by having endless 3-woman tag matches with no meaning or backstory. We are forced to sit on our hands until Nikki breaks AJ Lee’s title reign record because personal grudges are more important to McMahon. Instead of the obviously more talented new women squashing the current Divas, they were subjected to not only being forced to sell for them, but to trade wins – essentially rendering the entire thing pointless. After watching those women in NXT, the idea that Brie Bella could pin one of them is as realistic as Bo Dallas taking Brock Lesnar out, yet Brie pinned Becky at one point.
Monday night was the culmination. The most popular Diva, Sasha, wasn’t even on the show. What we got was an absolutely awful promo where the Divas bickered amongst each other about absolutely nothing, which lead to yet another 3-on-3 tag match that also meant nothing for the winners or losers. This match lasted somewhere around 15 minutes and 75% of the match was Team Bella working rest holds on Team PCB. It ended with Alicia Fox pinning someone. Some Divas Revolution. It was an awful match. Why was it so awful? Because there is no storyline. Who cares who wins because it means nothing?
Triple H said this weekend that he doesn’t just put the NXT women in the main event; they earn their way into it. WWE is forcing the Divas to have more time, but not giving them any opportunity to earn it. Sometimes I wonder if it makes Triple H sad that he has to watch people that he made stars in NXT are marginalized and snuffed out in WWE. NXT just sold out a 15,000 seat arena with a roster of independent wrestlers and development talents. Pretty much every match on the card and the wrestlers were OVER with the crowd. Is it genuine? Is it just the audience rejecting the bland, meaningless WWE product? Who knows, but I do know Triple H can promote and book a wrestling show. I look forward to the day that he takes over WWE, but he’ll be saddled with Stephanie, who I think is just as clueless as Vince.