Divas Debrief: Women's Wrestling This Week for 8/9/2014 | Smark Out Moment

Divas Debrief: Women's Wrestling This Week for 8/9/2014

Posted by J. B. Alexander Saturday, August 9, 2014
Every Saturday, Divas Debrief runs down the week in women's professional wrestling. From the TNA Knockouts to the WWE and NXT Divas, the Debrief keeps you up to date on all the women carrying on the legacy of lady grappling.

You win some and you lose some. That's become truer and truer as a wrestling fan in recent years and as a fan of the WWE Divas there's been a lot more losing than winning.
WWE Divas Paige finger sexy shoulder
Oops, am I shining too bright?
In the WWE Divas division, there is simultaneously a plethora of exciting material and really not that much going on. We get some pretty big plot development, but even fewer matches than we had before. Who knew that was even possible?

The general consensus among even the most optimistic of wrestling fans (a group in which I like to think myself at least somewhat included) is that Raw was a pretty big flop this week. Between the incessant solicitation of the WWE Network (I forget how much it costs; get back to you on that) and the fact that almost the entire show seemed like a rerun of last week's, there was scarcely an exciting moment in sight. The Brock Lesnar/John Cena video packages felt like a highlight and those two weren't even in the arena.

More thought was obviously put into promoting the Network and hyping SummerSlam matches than actual wrestling. That seems fine on paper, but most of the content turned out to be voice work with the occasional, awful fluff match, nearly all of which were repeat offenders from last week's show.

I'm sure it can be argued that the closing segment involving Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and the Bella Twins was part of what made the show feel repetitious and the numbers seem to back up that sentiment. Ratings for the final segment of Raw have dropped both weeks the ladies have been featured so the casual (majority) audience seems less into Brie versus Steph than seeing John Cena be invincible, which of course we knew. But I can vouch personally for the minority who are more into the main event segment now than they have been in years.

The Bella/McMahon program has its detractors, certainly, but we can't let them ruin this for us. I can't let them. I've waited over ten long years for this moment. I NEEDS MAH STEPHS!

WWE Raw Divas contract signing Brie Nikki Bella Twins
Yeah, I guess I'm pretty fantabulous.
The end of Raw brought us a contract signing for the aforementioned match. Usually, I detest contract signings; they're horribly, horrendously overdone and reek of creativity drought. When the Divas are getting the main event, though, thou shalt not bitch. These may not be the highest-rated segments in Raw history but we're breaking down barriers, people. The more women are prominently featured the more people will accept that WWE does indeed see them as important. It shows tremendous respect on WWE's part for these hard workers - respect most of us often doubt they have.

Granted, this is Stephanie McMahon we're talking about and not just any Diva. But I don't care what anyone says; Vince McMahon will not lose a buck just because his daughter's involved. Not in this climate.

WWE Divas Raw Bella Twins Nikki Brie red leather Triple H
As good as the original.
After the contracts were signed, the shit went down. With Triple H's help, Stephanie laid out both Nikki and Brie with a Pedigree. A PEDIGREE! I felt like I was twelve again, trying to memorize everyone's awesome ass finishers and being perplexed when a Diva didn't have a clearly established move. I'd hit the Nintendo 64 to load up WrestleMania 2000 or WWF Attitude and play as the women just to see what their finishing moves were. Jacqueline does a flying headbutt in the games? Awesome. Little did I know those were placeholder finishers the developers assigned to them because they didn't have a real one. It was enough for me, though. And Stephanie has been in lots of video games but because she was never a full-time competitor she always got assigned either the Pedigree or a plain ole' slap to the face. WHICH ONE IS IT??

Well, young JB, it was the Pedigree. It was the Pedigree all along.

I've let this thing get away from me. I'm back now.

This was a great bit. It needed to be reestablished for the modern viewers that Stephanie can hang. She's not just some wimpy boss who's getting fed to the wolves, the wolves in this case being Brie Bella and the rabid live audience who will relish her downfall. It's not like when Eric Bischoff had to get in the ring to be inevitably destroyed by Stone Cold Steve Austin or the many times Vickie Guerrero was forced to compete. Stephanie is capable. She doesn't wrestle; she fights. And she's good at it. She knows how to sell a match as should be obvious by now to anyone who's watched an episode of Raw over the past year.

When Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon faced one another at WrestleMania X-Seven I was fourteen years old. Man, that match was a mess. Really just a spot-fest with lots of drama weaved into it, but it became (and remains) one of my favorite moments in my life as a wrestling fan because they knew how to build the excitement. Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon, coincidentally, were involved in a big way, which set the whole thing over the top.

This impending confrontation between Stephanie and Brie Bella is in that same ballpark. To me, at least.

Following last week's Smackdown when Paige shoved AJ Lee off the stage, giving her what the storyline says is severe whiplash, we didn't see AJ until Main Event on Tuesday. Following a brief encounter with Summer Rae (which AJ won), the Divas Champion told a story, to which Paige showed up to listen. AJ's story spoke of a queen who had everything stolen from her, but returned to retake her throne. She then told Paige that even though the challenger claims this is her house, it's really AJ's kingdom.

Really, WWE? That's all you could give us for hype this close to the Divas Championship match at SummerSlam?

Paige did wrestle Natalya on Smackdown, but it was a total waste. It's a damned shame that what should have been a Divas dream match was reduced to the run-of-the-mill Friday night filler. It was super short, which is a kick in the balls considering the potential of this match. The sore balls sensation was made worse by seeing that in the brief couple of minutes these two were wrestling, they had amazing chemistry.

PTO Natalya boobs Paige
Paige just tapped out Natalya Hart.
And to put the cherry on top of the poop swirl, JBL showed how much attention he pays to them darn women by referring to Natalya as "Natalya Hart" and completely not recognizing Paige's submission finisher. When she went for the PTO, JBL started hyping the Sharpshooter. I mean, he set it up and everything by dropping the line, "we're a long way from Calgary," or some nonsense like that. Is he even aware that Paige has used this move to achieve 80% of her televised wins, all of which JBL has called? Maybe I'm overreacting here but it just came off as hideously disrespectful and oblivious, and I'm not usually this negative.

Oh, Paige won after a total of about eight moves. So much for that dream match.

Regardless, Paige and AJ Lee will destroy SummerSlam, in a totally good way. I hope both of the Divas matches at the show are given adequate time, but the Championship match of course deserves priority. Whatever length of time is allotted, Paige and AJ will do as much good as any two athletes could possibly do with that time. To say that Paige has excelled in her new role would be a gross understatement. She's becoming as compelling to watch as her rival, if not more so.

On to NXT, which was... painful.

This must be the heat everyone was talking about weeks ago which was directed at Eva Marie. Poor Bayley was tasked with getting whatever she could out of Eva. I don't believe people should be so disrespectful to bully anyone like this, but Eva really does need lots of polish before she's allowed to be seen competing in a ring. WWE's image is at stake here, particularly the image of their female athletes.

Eva Marie's so green she could tie a bandana around her head and star in a Michael Bay movie, but that's not her fault. That's on WWE. Shame on them for putting this poor woman into a position to take all the hate being spewed by people who paid to see wrestling, and shame on WWE for having such a double standard for men and women. No man this inexperienced will ever be asked to do a televised match by WWE and it's part of the reason, as I mentioned earlier, that fans are reluctant to believe they respect their female wrestlers.

For her part, Bayley did a wonderful job. Both women deserve a pat on the back. For very different reasons.

It might not be saying much since the pool from which to draw is so shallow, but on Superstars Emma and Cameron put on the Diva match of the week. I've gone on record as saying I'm not crazy about Cameron's tendency to reapply in the middle of a match, but she's owning it. The girl comes off like legit reality trash.

And she's improving her ring skills! She was able to hang with Emma, though many will say Emma carried her. Emma really is amazing and I couldn't be more thrilled we still have her after all that drama from a few weeks back, but it takes two to tango. Look at Bayley and Eva Marie on NXT for a match where someone is carried. Emma and Cameron were legit. Cameron got the win with a new finisher in a really good match that ran a respectable length for Superstars, and Cameron's stock with yours truly went way up after this pin:

WWE Divas Cameron school girl uniform Emma ass
Girl bye.
Impact was not so impactful. Last week, Angelina Love said she would have for us a huge announcement. Turns out that announcement was just that she was going to come out and drone on about how beautiful the Beautiful People are until she got interrupted by Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim, who brought with them the announcement that, next week, there will be (another) four-way Knockouts Championship match between Gail, Taryn, Angelina and Velvet Sky. Which is really cool, but again, we're just throwing things into the recycling bin here and waiting to see what comes out.

TNA Impact Knockouts Taryn Gail Kim Angelina Love Velvet Sky
Please, someone, breathe some life into this scenario.
The Knockouts Division is embarrassingly small and lacks any obvious effort to keep things fresh. Luckily the women all work really hard and are really good at what they do, so at least the matches almost always come out stellar. We may have a touch of something coming our way, though, since we were getting some serious teasers to a Beautiful People breakup. Though now that I think about it, I was totally suckered into thinking that would be a new story for the Knockouts even though they've done it something like five times already.

Really, though, Angelina and Velvet need to call it quits for several reasons, the most glaring of which being how scant few women there are in the division. TNA can't afford one sixth of their active female wrestlers to be besties. But aside from that, it just makes sense that these two characters would have evolved beyond this nonsense by now. It comes off the way the majority of TNA does, which is to say that it makes you feel like you're not watching wrestling, but watching adults PLAY wrestling. These two grown, experienced wrestlers are playing around and pretending like their looks are what's most valuable to them, when logic tells you that they've got so many years under their belts that they know better.

Before I run, I want to make note of something that is less women's wrestling and more women IN wrestling. This week on Impact Wrestling, Dixie Carter went through a table at the hands of Bully Ray after months of build-up. This apparently signifies the end of the Dixie Carter character, at least for a while, and the rumor mill says she was injured in the spot. The bump was sick and Dixie deserves much kudos for putting herself on the line like this. Someone who had no passion for the business wouldn't have done it, so take it for what you will. Thank you, Dixie.

Smark Out Moment Divas Debrief Banner WWE TNA Knockouts

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