As we all know, there has been a lot of wrestling over the last few days. NXT had a great show on Saturday night, Summerslam on Sunday featured some really good matches, and last night’s Raw was one of the most newsworthy in a long time. Through trying to keep up with it all, there have been a few points and scenarios that have come to mind. In typical fashion I’ve fallen behind with posting over the summer, so to make up for that I’m going to be posting several columns this week: one for each thing that came to mind. First up, I’m going to look at the hot topic of the summer: the divas division.
I along with seemingly everyone else have loved the impetus that Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks have brought to the main roster. But the huge amount of momentum that was injected in one night is tailing off in a big way. In the last week or two the crowd has started to turn on the girls involved, chanting for other superstars, people who were not involved in the match or, as was the case last night, the crowd itself. This actually prompted 3 divas involved in tag team action on Raw – both Bella Twins as well as Paige – to take to social media to complain about the crowd. Paige tweeted, “You helped us create change and then did your best to disrespect. Niceeeee jobbbbbbb!” before quickly deleting the tweet. Brie Bella posted a photo on Instagram and wrote that the Brooklyn crowd “can kiss my ass!” Nikki Bella, also posted on Instagram, slamming the fans for “disrespecting women that put their bodies on the line for your entertainment.” It’s a remarkable turn of events for the crowd who are in part responsible for the spotlight being shone on the division, to then crap all over it.
The main reason for this is probably that we just have nine divas, broken up into three teams of three. The individuals have little to no distinguishing characters. The crowd have little to no reason to care. Yes some of them have been on NXT, but there are crowds who don’t know about that history, and there are divas who don’t have that familiarity. She has been there for six years, but I can barely remember hearing Tamina talk, and I have no idea what her motivations are. She is portrayed as the muscle of her team, in short because she is bigger than the others, and yet tends to be the one to get beaten or made to look stupid. She is no threat, even though her role is to be the intimidating factor.
Don’t get me wrong, there is some great talent there. They have proven that on a regular basis. Sasha Banks is absolutely my favourite diva, but we know that most of the others are capable of great things. Becky Lynch’s match with Sasha is my favourite divas match in recent memory, and Lynch was a big part of it. Charlotte tends to deliver more often than not, Paige still hasn’t had the jaw-dropping match we know she is capable of, and hell the Bellas aren’t as bad as they used to be. But Sasha Banks has to be the key to this revolution. The crowd chants for her when she’s not involved. She does have a character, even if it hasn’t been fully on display yet. More importantly, she knows exactly how to portray the character. She has absolutely nailed what she has to do.
There has been a lot of speculation about Charlotte becoming Divas Champion quickly upon arrival to the main roster (and also a lot of speculation as to why that hasn’t happened yet), but I would not hesitate in building the future of women’s wrestling in WWE around Banks. And for that to happen, Banks absolutely needs to break away from Naomi and Tamina. They can keep the B.A.D. gimmick, I don’t think it really adds too much to Sasha. But Banks is the one who has suffered the most from being in a trio. You could argue she was already a bigger name than her teammates despite not being around as long, and she is clearly the star of the group. In NXT she was either independent, or else manipulating people for her own good. Why would “The Boss” suddenly start relying on others? It doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. Thankfully, there is an easy way to break them apart.
I was surprised to see Team B.A.D be eliminated first from the Summerslam match, and even more surprised to see that they weren’t featured on Raw. I assumed Team Bella would be the first to go on Sunday, mainly because it would put over the NXT divas huge on such a big stage, as well as leading to the obvious transition to focusing on the title picture, with six divas going after the title. Instead, Tamina was pinned first. This gives Banks an excuse to go solo by blaming the loss on her teammates. She could even tie in losing the NXT Women’s Championship to Bayley, saying that she has lost her focus and needs to start concentrating on herself again. She could easily stay a heel by coming across as egotistical, but with the crowd cheering her so much anyway it might not actually make much of a difference if she turned face.
We all know there is greatness to come from the women in WWE. We asked for them to be given a chance to get time on TV. Now they’re getting it. Now some of us are asking for them to be put in storylines, and actually put on some great matches. I have faith they will deliver. The future is still bright too. At NXT Takeover on Saturday night, it was the women who were getting some of the biggest pops of the night from a hot crowd. If that translates to the main roster too, they can all be legends.
I’ll be back in the next day or two talking about why I think someone can be a star, and it’s probably not a superstar you would immediately think of. Stay tuned!