Say what you want about the current state of the WWE Divas division, but it is not their fault. Most of these girls are incredible athletes who are just not given the time (both on TV to develop and storyline and in the ring to have a match) that they deserve. As for those Divas who are nothing more than gorgeous models with no in-ring abilities, you can’t blame them for taking a job that was offered to them; it is the fault of WWE management for hiring these girls in the first place and then not giving them the proper in-ring training before putting them in there. The bottom line is that the current state of the division and its Divas is no one’s fault except for Vince McMahon, Triple H and the others in charge.
Look at TNA Impact Wrestling and their Knockouts division. Granted, the Knockouts Tag Team Championships have not been defended in months and one half of the tag team currently holding the belts is a guy, but look at the division’s singles title. It is featured on TV every week and on every PPV, with a legitimate storyline behind it and the women given time in the ring to show off what they can do. Sometimes Knockouts are even given matches on TV or a PPV where their storyline has nothing to do with the title. For all of the problems that TNA has, and there are many, how they treat their women wrestlers blows anything the WWE has done in years out of the water.
But it does not have to be this way; with a little effort and some TV time (which shouldn’t be hard since WWE Raw is now three hours long), the division can be revived to where it was when Trish Stratus and Lita were wrestling for the title at Wrestlemania and no one got up to go to the bathroom or get a beer. And speaking of these Diva legends, here is how I would book the Divas going forward:
Trish and Lita both looked great when they returned at Raw 1,000, Lita in the ring and Trish in a backstage segment. What few people probably saw was the video taken backstage after the show and put on WWE.com where the two women laid down a challenge to all the current Divas to step up their game and for one of them to “become the next Trish Stratus or Lita.”
What I would do is have Trish and Lita come back and declare that the current state of the WWE Divas Division is, for the most part, a pathetic group of women who are nothing more than Barbie doll fashion models. They would announce that they are here to lead a Divas revolution that will change the face of women’s wrestling forever. I would then have Trish and Lita form a stable of all the Divas on the WWE main roster and in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) or on NXT who are not your typical Divas, either in terms of their look, strength or appearance. This stable would include Beth Phoenix and Natalya (obviously), Eve Torres (she has a black belt in jujitsu), Kaitlyn (probably the second strongest Diva behind Beth Phoenix) and Tamina Snuka from the WWE and Paige (Britani Knight on the independent scene), Skyler Moon (Natalie Osman on the indy scene) and Raquel Diaz (the late Eddie Guerrero’s daughter) from FCW. The rest of the Divas, both on the WWE roster and in FCW, would comprise the opposing team, the ones who Trish and Lita claim are ruining and demeaning women’s wrestling. And just to show you that I am not biased in my concept, while Kelly Kelly is my favorite Diva currently on the roster and I feel like she has actually developed into a decent wrestler over the years, because of her looks I would put her on the team opposite Trish and Lita.
From here I would have the two teams go at it week after week, month after month, trading the Divas championship back and forth and maybe even having Trish and Lita either recruit Divas from the other side to join them (like Kelly Kelly when she shows what she can do in the ring) or banishing Divas off their team when they don’t measure up to what they think a Diva should be. This would culminate in a massive six or eight Diva tag team match at Wrestlemania that is actually given a solid 20 minutes of in-ring time (not counting the entrances). While I’m not yet sure how I would end all this, it would not ultimately culminate in a purge of those Divas who would be on the team opposing Trish and Lita. Instead, most of those women would ultimately be relegated to valet roles and not challenge for the Divas championship or wrestle outside of a house show or a rare storyline where they are in a mixed tag match with the male Superstar they manage. What I do see is a Divas division where those challenging for the title on a regular basis, and given ample TV time and lengthy storylines revolving around said title, would include Kelly Kelly, Layla, Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Eve Torres, Kaitlyn, Tamina Snuka and any of the Divas down in FCW who I previously mentioned or who had since been signed and fit the mold of the new division.
I would be loathe to forget that the WWE recently signed Sara Del Rey, arguably one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time, to a developmental contract. It remains to be seen if she signed to ultimately be on TV and challenge for the title or just serve as a trainer for the rest of the women, but one change to my idea could certainly be that Sara replaces the role I have being occupied by Trish and Lita. Of course, the problem is that most fans of the WWE have no idea who Sara Del Rey is, so the ultimate goal would be for Trish and Lita to include Sara in their stable and either ultimately give control to her or just have her be a main player.
None of this is to say that a Diva cannot be beautiful because Trish Stratus and Lita were among the sexist Divas ever, but beauty cannot be the only factor when signing a new woman to a developmental wrestling contract. I am quite happy to see Divas like Rosa Mendes, Aksana and Alicia Fox on my TV every week, I would love for the Bella Twins to come back and I can’t wait for FCW Divas like Audrey Marie, Emma, Summer Rae and Ric Flair’s daughter Ashley to make their WWE TV debuts, but until they prove they are ready to wrestle and not just be a pretty face, they are much better served as valets or managers. Either that, or just keep them off TV until they are ready to get in that ring and wrestle with the best of them.
In the end, a revitalized Divas division will only serve to help the WWE build their audience and improve their ratings. A huge portion of the WWE viewing audience is women and while I’m sure they love seeing the male wrestlers get in the ring, I am sure they would be equally happy (if not more so) to see the wrestlers with whom they share a gender actually be wrestlers and get the storylines and in-ring time that so many of them deserve. Furthermore, think of all the adults who are still WWE fans after all these years (over 20 for me) who either already have daughters or might one day soon. I hope that my future children will want to watch WWE with me and go to live events, but if I have a daughter, I hope that there are strong female role models for her to watch and emulate. With a little bit of effort and time, the WWE can do just that. The questions are do they want to and will they?