I feel like I need a good rant. And since this is the only blog I’m using at the moment, you get to be at the business end of my pent up personal frustration. You should brag to your friends about how lucky you are! I could rant about the fact that my good iPod earphones have a loose wire and the left ear no longer plays properly.
Or I could whine about the fact that I bought the new Rolling Stone today and Megan Fox’s cover shot made me feel sub-human.
But neither of those things would be very interesting on a wrestling blog. Actually, they wouldn’t be interesting on any blog. So I’ll rant briefly about a wrestling topic.
On last night’s Raw a Diva draft was set in motion. Again. We had the main annual draft in April (good times), we had an additional bit of personnel shuffling at the end of June (neutral times) and now we have another run of Diva movement (bad times). Let me just say, my exasperation has nothing to do with the fact that I’m annoyed I won’t now be able to marvel at Mickie James at the Raw house show in Cardiff next month. Alright, it might have a little bit to do with it. But my main beef is with the women’s division as a whole.
The lacklustre WWE women’s division is no secret. In fact, it has become a standing joke. When Trish Stratus returned as guest host of Raw a few weeks ago it only seemed to highlight how the profile of the division has slowly fallen following Trish’s departure. This is in no way a slight on the ladies’ in-ring talent. True, there are some who are still in the developmental stage and some who have limited roles as wrestlers. That is nothing new. But there are a handful of excellent workers who, when they’re given TV/mic time and their matches aren’t rushed through, pull off some very good matches. What’s sorely lacking is creative input. Instead of investing in its women’s division and capitalising on the talent they have on the payroll, the WWE seem more than happy to allow the female roster to languish in a town called mediocrity.
I struggle to watch TNA. Half the crowd appear to be British tourists in regional football shirts with no clue what they’re watching. And at times the quality of the production makes me bite down on a cushion. It may be a collection of has-beens and wannabes, but we’ve all got to start and end somewhere. Oh, and its women’s division just happens to be brilliant.
I am increasingly willing to spend my time watching a show which sets my teeth on edge purely to see some decent female characterisation. They’re cashing in on the trick the WWE fail to acknowledge. And that’s why this latest Diva draft frustrates me so much. It’s the equivalent of sitting down to a game of chess without knowing how to play or what to do with each piece. Each piece moves in a different way and has its own specific attributes. You can move those pieces from one square to another as much as you like, but if you don’t do anything deliberate and clever with them, you lose. In this case, we lose too.
Divas can flit from Smackdown to ECW to Raw as many times as creative feel like picking them up and placing them down again. But if reaching the WWE is supposed to be pinnacle of a professional wrestler’s career, it must surely be an anti-climax for the women who sign WWE contracts. Or at least those who were already wrestling with other companies. It’s as if they’re trying to give each brand the perfect mix of women, because once they crack that tricky combination lock everything will be ok. I wouldn’t even mind if they just tried to give the ladies some storylines. Somehow, indifference is even more offensive than writing poor feuds.
So, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix go to Smackdown, Melina, Eve and The Bella Twins go to Raw and Rosa Mendes heads off to ECW. Of course, it means absolutely nothing unless the creative team have some interesting feuds and well thought out plans for each ‘character’ in the office filing cabinet. Each shake-up seems to promise so much and deliver so little. I would very much like to be proven wrong on this occasion.