The Daunting Task of the Diva-Division
by, 05-31-2011 at 10:05 PM (4124 Views)
Among the many grievances fans have with WWE are the way the Diva-division have been in a constant downwards spiral since the heydays of the "Attitude" eras T'n'A. (As in synonyms for "small birds" and "donkey", not in the wrestling promotion formerly known as Total Nonstop Action.)
The arrival of Kharma suddenly made the Divas somewhat relevant again, but as we know, she will be gone from the ring for the better part of the year.
Now, I wish to address the whole pregnancy-debacle. Some seem to think she has spoil her great chance of stardom. To quote the Miz: "Really?"
I'm pretty sure she didn't plan to get pregnant now, but seriously, if a male wrestler had gotten a injury who sidelined him for 9-10 months, would we write him off for good no matter what? TNA's Chris Sabin has made a proper mess of his knee, and will be out for the rest of the year, but I'm pretty sure no-one questions that he will be back, as long as the doctors do their job properly. And unlike an injury, a pregnancy is somewhat predictable.
That's why I think WWE let Kharma do a shooty-promo, and that's why they used the opportunity to give the Bellas some cheap heat, as well as set up a future feud. They seem to committed to Kharma, and want to clarify that they will have her back as soon as possible.
Now some of the more lowbrow and lecherous readers might take the heading of this post literally and proclaim "Let'em wrestle topless, problem sorted". While that may fly in WEW, there will be a cold day in Kane's basement before that happens. But it seems WWE is developing a more refined stance on the divas ring-gear. After all, many of the Superstars wrestle in what amounts to speedos and boots, so that some of the Divas might as well flaunt their assets in glorified bikinis, is just promoting equality among the sexes. Kelly Kelly's bhorts (Belt-shorts, gettit, wordplay on Cenas "Jhorts"? Not funny? Oh well...) The Bellas peek-a-boo pants-chaps-thinggies, and so on. And the camera crew seems more interested in getting the shots right for some fanservice. Nevertheless, you can dress up a mule and teach it to tango, but it doesn't make it a horse. In other words, if a girl is just a looker, and seems lost in the ring, she is put to better use as a valet, or random eyecandy.
Luckily it seems WWE has come to it's senses and to me it looks like a marked improvement in the in-ring abilities of several of the regulars. WWE has always seemed to think it is easier to teach someone with the right looks and charisma the technical sides of wrestling, rather than the other way around. But they sometimes seems to forget that if you follow that line, you still cannot skimp on the whole "train them to wrestle" part of the plan.
And the loss of Kharma and McCool, even though the first is temporary, means that there is room in the female roster for new blood. Having AJ and Kaitlyn return to SmackDown was refreshing. Sure they are still rough in the edges, but there is potential, and it seems WWE is willing to do the polishing needed.
But the most important factor, if they are to revitalize the Divas, and make the "bathroom break-match" a thing of the past, is to build personalities and feuds. Without proper build-up, no wrestling match, no matter how technically adept, can fulfill it's potential. The psychology will be missing, if all the participants bring to the table are a pretty face and a colorful outfit. Which means they need to give the Divas promo time, they need to talk, interact, build a story. It doesn't need to take much time, for that matter, start it of gently in Superstars or NXT, and let it simmer. To often the diva-matches seems thrown together at Creatives last booking meeting before the show is off. Off course that means that to the casual viewer, as well as the fans, the matches are less interesting. Secondly, Creative needs to identify some divas that have a good psychology between them. Look at Orton and Christian. As soon as they get in the ring, they make each other better, and seem incapable of putting on a bad show. Then, give those divas a storyline, and matches that are more than 4-5 minutes. When was the last time you saw a Divas match running more than a few minutes? Certainly, many of the Divas on the current roster has limited movesets so they cannot make a 10 minute match without repeating themselves. But that's what you have to aim for.
Last but not least, gimmicks. For one thing the current crop of Divas seems divided into the Heels which are bitchy and whining, and the Faces that smiles a lot. Come on. There needs variation. That's why Kharma was such a breath of fresh air.
Now Maryse had a gold-digger vibe going, expand on that. Let her infatuate herself with whoever holds a title, and follow that title around, dropping the loser as a bad habit. Let her mess up friendships, and manipulate people.
Who can forget good old "Ravishing" Rick Rude. Most of his heat came from male insecurity among the fans, he was a walking reminder that their girlfriends could do better. Repackage that with a diva, I mean, 40% of the WWE viewers are women, or so they say. What better way to instant heat than alienating the female crowd and play the proverbial teasing homewrecker-to-be. Or have a prudish heel, berating the "skanky" faces, preaching over-the-top-morality and wrestling in a full bodysuit.
As for the faces, the options are a bit more limited, but as I mentioned in an earlier post their are different types of faces, so you could have a specter from a happy-go-lucky Miss Gigglestomuch, to a dead serious powerhouse, to a quirky "beware of the nice ones" a'la Santino Marella. The possibilities are legion.
So now you have the opportunity WWE, to cash in on the inflated interest in the Divas the introduction of Kharma made, while it is still relevant.