The Problem With The “Diva Revolution”

Team PCB (from left to right Charlotte, Paige, and Becky Lynch)
Team PCB (from left to right Charlotte, Paige, and Becky Lynch)

Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte were introduced to the main WWE viewer by Authority Figure Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, who proclaimed the start of a “Divas Revolution”. WWE has been presenting their “Divas Revolution” for a number of weeks since. To say the results have been underwhelming would be quite the understatement. This mislabeled “Revolution” is an oxymoron.

[rev-uh-loo-shuh n]

an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

Calling this a revolution makes no sense. A revolution is a rebellion against authority, it by definition cannot be brought about by authority. Is Stephanie trying to overthrow herself? What’s in it for the revolters? What do they get if they successfully revolt?

On top of that, WWE continues to present a bad product. It just has a new label. In one of the most disastrous segments in recent memory, Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte and Becky Lynch) were in a Miz TV segment with Team Bella (The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox) on this past Monday Night Raw. In one of the few notable points, Miz blurted out “When my hand goes up, your mouths go shut”. This was a line presumably written to make Miz look like a chauvinist. The problem is the women were presented as even less appealing, so Miz’s line got cheered.

But wait there’s more. After this terribly unfunny and unentertaining segment, the six women proceeded to have a tag match that lasted the better side of 15 minutes. For a comparison, that is longer than the classic Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat match from WrestleMania III. During this tag match, the crowd repeatedly chanted “Boring”, “We Are Awesome” and “CM Punk”, among other chants.

The women involved in the match were understandably upset. Particularly Paige and The Bellas, who took to social media to vent on the fans.

Paige, in a now deleted Tweet, stated “You helped us create change and then did your best to disrespect. Nice job!”

I have sympathy for them, because they very likely felt embarrassed on a national stage. Who wants to go through that? However, for them to lash out at the fans is a bit misguided in my opinion.

Case in point:

Bayley vs Sasha Banks(NXT Takeover.Brooklyn 2015) by VanishingWalker

Just two days earlier at NXT Takeover, Bayley challenged NXT Womens Champion Sasha Banks for the title. In the weeks leading up to that match, we were reminded that Bayley had suffered injuries, and had been repeatedly unsuccessful in winning that big match. Then, with her mother in attendance, Bayley finally completed her near one year quest and successfully defeated Sasha Banks for the championship.

That type of story is a classic hero’s journey, and it’s the type of story that is timeless when it’s done competently. As a result, the crowd was invested in the match. They wanted to see the underdog topple the braggart champion and finally get her moment of glory. When it finally happened the audience was ecstatic.

Fast forward two days back to Raw, and we have the aforementioned Miz TV segment and match which had practically the polar opposite reaction in front of what was largely the same crowd. Why?

The problem with these segments wasn’t the crowd. They react to what they are given. The problem wasn’t the women involved. They were just following the orders they were given for the show. The problem wasn’t The Miz, he was just talent doing what he was directed to do. The problem wasn’t even the match, because it was something all the gals were told to do.

The problem is that WWE’s “Creative Team” continues to present their women, or “Divas”, as forgettable personalities when compared to their NXT counterparts. There is no actual story being told. None of the women had any background to them, so we hade no reason to care whether they win or lose. Thus, the match had no weight because it just happened with no reasoning behind it. So thus the logic behind the WWE Divas Division hasn’t changed, just some of the faces.

Unless you watched NXT, you wouldn’t know that Becky Lynch was an Irish girl who dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler, so she traveled the world to hone her craft.

Unless you watched NXT, you wouldn’t know that Paige grew up in a wrestling family and in her first match as a professional wrestler she had to face her own mother.

Unless you watched NXT, you wouldn’t know about the burden Charlotte bore just by being the daughter of arguably the greatest professional wrestler of all time, Ric Flair.

If you only watched Raw, then we were implicitly told these are a group of girls who are revolting for no reason, have no goals to achieve, and are just coming out each week to say stuff and perform in “sports entertainment”. To the people that watched both, many of whom were in attendance for both the NXT and Raw shows, gave their opinion.

Wrestling (I refuse to call it Sports Entertainment), when done well, tells a story about Good vs. Evil, trials and tribulations, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. John Cena vs. Seth Rollins has these elements. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley has these elements. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker has at least some of these elements. The “Divas Revolution” has NONE of these elements and that’s why people don’t care.

3 Comments on “The Problem With The “Diva Revolution””

  1. A great analysis. I really like how you contrasted the why at the end. I’m sure you were spot on. However, I will point out that your beginning argument about the definition of revolution was a moot point because that word has several definitions. The one the wrestlers were using is “a sudden, or complete marked change.” Their goal was to bring about a real change with the introduction of the women. So they weren’t wrong to use that word. That they failed to live up to that goal is the argument.

    I would also say that the ladies have a right to criticize a bad and rude audience. It’s like watching a kids recital. You don’t boo them for sucking. You clap for trying. They probably expected that at the least! 🙂

    I will say that women wrestling in bikini bottoms is so oversexualized and demeaning! Some of the pictures seemed a bit more sensible.

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