On last week’s RAW, the show put some major time into 2 feuds involving the WWE Divas. On paper this looked like a good idea to promote the Diva division, as currently we have 2 major women’s/divas feuds playing out, both which look like having matches at this year’s Summer Slam. However after witness RAW, did the segments of AJ Lee and Paige, and Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella did it promote the womens/divas division or did the fan reaction shows just how far behind wrestling fans are in the equality of women in the world of professional wrestling???
Watch the above ‘pipe bomb’ by AJ Lee delivered on the RAW episode 26 August 2013. During the ‘pipe bomb’ fans cheered every word AJ spoke regard the total Divas, and she worked away from that RAW episode quite easily the most popular WWE Diva at that time. Fast forward to last week’s RAW (28 July 2014) and during the brawl between AJ Lee and Paige and what did some of the fans do this time….they started a CM Punk cheer. Why did they do this???? Because since AJ Lee’s Pipe bomb in 2013 she and CM Punk have become married, and apparently that means now to the eyes of many wrestling fans she is no longer AJ Lee, but CM Punks wife. I have 2 main concerns this and with the fans cheering CM Punks name during AJ Lee’s RAW segment:
- For those CM Punk fans GET OVER IT. Yes he was a great wrestler in the ring but he has moved on with his life to other endeavors, just like other great in ring performers who retired before their times / in their prime such as Edge, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels etc.
- Are wrestling fans still living in the 1950’s where a women’s identity is based on who her husband is??
Now the AJ Lee situation is not the only example of the lack of identity women wrestlers face once they are in a relationship with a male wrestler. In same episode of RAW, the ending segment was the Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella build up to their match at Summer Slam. But again during the brawl between the two women were the fans cheering for Brie Bella? No we had Daniel Bryan YES chants echoing throughout the arena. So fans now see Brie Bella not as WWE Diva Brie Bella or even one of the Bella twins, but as Daniel Bryan’s wife, not a WWE superstar on her own right. Even Stephanie McMahon is constantly referred to as either Triple H’s wife, or Vince McMahon daughter. Even though over the past 20 years she has delivered some fantastic stories on the WWE.
We even now have Natyala, arguably the most talent female wrestler in the WWE, is now valet to her husband Tyson Kidd, a superstar who has struggled to find his place in the main WWE roster.
Women’s wrestling can be fantastic to watch and if promoted well can highlight shows such as RAW 6 2004 where Trish Stratus vs. Lita was the last match on that RAW, or TNA Knockouts Knockdown March 17 2013. However when women who are not properly trained are placed in the ring in front of live crowds and TV audiences, and their flaws in the ring are shown for everyone to see,it is these matches that put many wrestling fan off watching women’s wrestling. You cannot image major wrestling companies putting 2 ‘green’ untrained male wrestlers in the ring just because they look the part…I mean imagine a Giant Gonzalas vs. The Great Khali match. Yet on a regular basis companies like the WWE put 2 women in the ring who are quite obviously still in the training phase of their wrestling development.
This is a major shame, as women wrestlers can become role models for young girl wrestling fans (such as my 11 year old daughter) who look for strong, talent independent women to look up to. However this image of a strong, talent and independent woman loses all respect when fans, and wrestling writers start taking their identity away, and they become someone’s wife, daughter or partner.
Vickie Guerrero arrived in the WWE as Eddie Guerrero’s wife, but left as Vickie Guerrero, heel, cougar, wrestler manager, and RAW/Smackdown GM. This is what can happen when the focus is on the person, not who she is related or married to.
Hooroo and see you next week.
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