Divas Debrief: Women's Wrestling This Week for 9/6/2014 | Smark Out Moment

Divas Debrief: Women's Wrestling This Week for 9/6/2014

Posted by Anonymous Saturday, September 6, 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.

Things have taken a dark turn, guys, for Jerry Springer is coming to Raw to mediate for the Bella Twins.
Total Divas hot tag team match
As in Springer? I can feel the herpes on my face already.
The skeptics were right and I was wrong. Forgive me for being optimistic! I really did believe this sister-on-sister hatred could have gone somewhere meaningful. For a brief moment Nikki and Brie Bella provided some much-needed spotlight for a division historically left for an afterthought.

And then WWE went and trashed it all up.

It's been evident from the start that the story would play into Total Divas to some extent, but some three weeks into the plot it has become evident that Total Divas is the only reason this is even happening. For the first two weeks I was 100% behind all of it.

I loved Nikki's debut heel promo the night after SummerSlam. It was as good a heel promo as almost any currently being delivered in WWE and she followed it up last week with an even better one before savagely beating down her sister. She even threw her heels at Brie and shouted that she wished she'd died in the womb, a line that didn't sit well with many but I, being the damned soul that I am, relished it.

But it was time to bring it all back to wrestling. After all, what do the freaking W's stand for? One of them needed a match. Perhaps Brie needed a week off to "cope" and Nikki would get a big singles win. Then the following week Brie returns, no longer with that fake ass bottom lip quiver, but now with rage boiling in her pupils as she ruthlessly assaulted her sister in the midst of a match.

Brie Mode Nikki AJ Lee Paige Stephanie McMahon
If you look closely you can see AJ and Paige trying not to barf.
Instead, after two weeks of heavy talking, what do we get? More talking. For three weeks now it's pretty much all promos. And those goddamned Growing Up Bella skits were so lame I could feel my skin crawl. After shit got real last week in their face-off, Nikki took to the screen to reveal petty teenage squabbles between the two sisters. Keep in mind that by petty, I'm referring to boyfriend stealing.

And that is where we are. We've got two grown, successful women lobbing shoes at one another over, basically, a stolen high school prom date.

Maybe I should have seen this coming. After all, they did hint at the boyfriend stuff last week, but I guess I was giving WWE enough credit to hope something deeper and more real was at the core of all this animosity. And frankly, if this feud is as immature as all that, why the hell is Brie too nice to hit her sister when Nikki's being a monstrous bitch? Are sisters really like that? If my sister was trying to puncture my skull with the heel of a five-thousand dollar shoe, I like to believe I'd defend myself.

For better or worse, AJ Lee and Paige were brought into this situation on Raw. Depending on if you're a glass half full or half empty person, you could look at this as a good thing for the misdirection of the Bellas storyline or a bad thing for the Divas Championship picture.

Stephanie McMahon promised a Divas title shot to Nikki Bella, which of course would seem like a move toward a more wrestling-centric scenario for the twins. But the best case scenario here is a fatal four-way match for the title at Night of Champions, and that makes about as much sense as David Arquette winning the WCW Championship.

I won't deny I'd be up for seeing these four in a match together, but given the fact that WWE can't even give proper ring time to a one-on-one women's match I don't think they'll be able to pull off a decent fatal four-way, which would need even more time for it to not feel like a finisher-fest.

It's all irrelevant, though, because WWE showed how they view the Bella program by inviting the king of trash TV, Jerry Springer, to mediate yet another sit-down with Nikki and Brie next week on Raw. That's their answer to the flood of "boring" chants which cut through the segment on Monday: to do it all over again.

I should mention that I actually like Jerry, it's just that all the wrestling has been sucked out of a potentially great storyline. I get that it's also entertainment (and that's where the E comes from), but it takes place in a wrestling ring for a reason. WWE was faced with two paths after last week regarding the Bella Twins. One of those paths was to start transitioning to a scenario where the twins would settle their differences in the ring (and not just in a hastily thrown-together match for a Title neither of them would realistically care about at this point in time), and the other path included giving us more talking segments, of which we have already had three in a row.

To move on from the atrocity that is the painful death of the Bella Twins storyline, one good thing that came out of Raw was a confrontation between Stephanie McMahon and AJ Lee. The two shared an intense stare-down in the midst of some pretty prevalent CM Punk chants, leading to my inevitable conclusion-jumping, which went a little something like, "OMG they're gonna' feud over the mistreatment of CM Punk WOO!"

WWE Divas belt Stephanie tall CM Punk
The spirit of Punk is with us.
That's not going to happen, by the way.

Smackdown seemed to tell a different, much better story. Stephanie announced that Nikki and AJ would challenge Paige in a triple threat match at Night of Champions, leaving only time between now and the inevitable moment when Brie is thrown into the mix. The Bellas mingled well with Paige and AJ on Friday when Brie wrestled Paige for what I believe was the first time ever. It was really fun to watch and AJ was amazing as usual on commentary.

Paige hot mounting Brie Bella headbutt AJ Lee Nikki
This could be an excellent singles match down the road.
Toward the end of the match, AJ got frustrated at why Nikki, also at ringside, is even involved in all this and went to confront her. Nikki responded with a classic bully shove and AJ pounced. In an interesting twist, Brie jumped out of the ring to save her sister, but paid for it when Paige took advantage of the distraction and nailed the Rampage DDT for the win.

It all played out beautifully and exactly the way a wrestling storyline should playout. All parties played an equal role in the segment and everyone came off as if WRESTLING is what they're here to do. But Jerry Springer still looms in the near future and come Monday on Raw we'll all be dragged back into the pit of despair and reality television we so despise.

I almost forgot: the cast of Total Divas (and Layla) had an embarrassing six-person tag team match on Raw. It hurt to watch. They're trying to expose Rosa Mendes to the audience in preparation for her joining the cast for the new season, but I feel as though I need to point out how desperate the promotion for the show has made this poor girl look.

Summer Rae legs Eva Marie hot red head
These ladies work so hard, but are treated so poorly.
There's stuff flying around about her never having won a match in all her years as a Diva, and she's talking about how one of her main goals right now is to find a husband. Meanwhile she's posing nude and botching a lot spots in her matches. Oh, dear.

Maybe this big sister stuff with Natalya will be good for her. I mean, it certainly can't be bad. There's nowhere to go but up for the girl who's never on television. It's a shame for Natalya, obviously. Poor Nattie always gets stuck being Rob Van Dam of the Divas division. She had a really good shot at being competitive in the Title picture again with a series of short, but impressive, matches with Paige. But for the duration of this season of Total Divas it looks like Natalya will be struggling to not bomb matches with Rosa as her tag partner.

The pair lost a tag match on Main Event to Summer Rae and Layla. Likely the most memorable moment here for a lot of folks will be Rosa Mendes' wardrobe malfunction, so it is what it is, but it was actually a pretty decent match except for the glaring issue of Rosa just not being suited for the wrestling part of the business.  She lost the match for herself and Natalya when she hastily tagged herself in and got served by Layla. Nattie looked frustrated, and that's what we've got for the next several weeks as the Diva undercard.

But every cloud has a silver lining, or so they say, and this cloud's seems to be that I just realized we have a Diva undercard. Whut?! At least WWE has that going for them now. However bad the execution, Divas are featured so often now that they're beginning to establish a very shaky semblance of a hierarchy, and that's a great sign.

Speaking of that fragile undercard, Alicia Fox and Emma met again on Superstars in the third of a series of matches taking place over the last four weeks on the Thursday show. It didn't top their lengthy contest from two weeks ago but there was some good stuff that may have sealed off this obscure mini-rivalry. These tiny feuds that only the most devoted of WWE fans will see is the stuff that the D-shows are made of. It's exactly what made Velocity such a memorable show for so many fans of the Cruiserweight division years ago.

Superstars is our Velocity. And it should be renamed to Divas.

Charlotte had a rather brief outing with Alexa Bliss on NXT and the more I see Alexa in action the more I'm impressed. Her gimmick is on the fluffy side, but that's okay because she's athletic enough to make it work. In fact, her fairy shtick works pretty well with all that flying around.

But, of course, this was all about making Charlotte look good one week away from the big NXT Women's Championship match at Takeover 2. Alexa was just difficult enough of an opponent to make Charlotte's victory over her mean something without making Charlotte look at all like she couldn't handle it. Bayley came down to suggest that Charlotte start taking her seriously as a contender and extended her hand, but the Champion pie-faced her. Bayley responded with a Belly-to-Bayley, or Hugplex, embarrassing Charlotte seven days away from their title match.

Charlotte pins Alexa Bliss Bayley Takeover 2
Alexa was not genetically superior.
I can't tell you how excited I am for Takeover 2. Both Charlotte and Bayley are outstanding workers and this will no doubt be yet another classic women's match for NXT, which has been a beacon of high standards for women's wrestling fans in 2014. Sometimes it's actually difficult to associate NXT with WWE in my head because the handling of the NXT and WWE Divas is so vastly different.

NXT is the training stage and a favorite wrestler being called up to WWE should be a joyous occasion for a fan. Why is it, then, that I'm feeling so bittersweet about Charlotte's impending move to the main roster? You can't help but to be excited for what someone like her can bring to the WWE Divas division, but at the same time you know she'll be misused and wasted once Vince McMahon gets hold of her. It's the same thing that happened to Paige and Emma.

Sure, to say Paige is "wasted" right now is a massive stretch, because she's not. But for a brief time she was and she certainly will be again. Even now, as Divas Champion in a program with AJ Lee, she's being misused to a degree. All the Divas are, because they're not respected enough by the company that employs them to be given the proper platform to work to their fullest ability.

It's inevitable: any woman who moves from NXT to WWE is moving down in both quality and quantity of work, through absolutely no fault of their own, and that way it shall remain until something drastically changes.

But maybe Charlotte will bring that drastic change. For now, though, let's try to enjoy the brief time we have with these amazingly gifted female athletes, because in their short time at NXT they'll get more valuable in-ring minutes than they're likely to get in years on the main WWE roster.

TNA continued to deliver yet again this week, proving why, even under the threat of bankruptcy, they know how to properly book a women's match. It's something that WWE, with all its dollars and endless hours of filming per week, can't seem to pull off on any consistent level with the Divas.

Impact Wednesdays Gail Kim Taryn Terrell Eat Defeat
I freaking love Eat Defeat.
Gail Kim defended the Knockouts Championship on Impact in a tie-breaker against Taryn Terrell and the match was PHENOMENAL. Really, they tore down the Manhattan Center and the New York City crowd was once again ruthless with their "better than Divas" chants. And as of late, those chants haven't been so warranted as they were for this showdown.

Impact Jessicka Havok debut Gail Kim Taryn Terrell
Knock. Outs.
Gail successfully retained in what was a back and forth, high-paced match with a lot of high spots. They didn't rely solely on those spots to sell the match, but there was a brutal spot where Gail dropped Taryn onto the steel steps with a neckbreaker that took my breath away. It was a moment more moving and exciting than anything that ANYONE in WWE is doing these days, and a reminder of just what we will lose if TNA goes belly-up.

This was passion. It was everything that wrestling is all about and another item to add to the laundry list of reasons why Gail Kim must be the first female inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame.

After the match, the obligatory handshake between the two Knockouts was interrupted by the debut of Havok. That's right, Jessicka freaking Havok. She brutalized them both and gave us just one more example of an awesome women's wrestling moment we will never get from WWE.

At least not unless they bring back Kharma.

Even with with plethora of Diva scenes on WWE TV this week, TNA was able to outshine all of it with just one well-done segment. Quality over quantity, people. Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell wrestled a match that would blow the mind of someone familiar only with WWE's female product, and the addition of Havok to the roster makes an easy recipe for success in the immediate future of the Knockouts.

That's it! FOLLOW ME on Twitter to keep up with the Divas Debrief. You'll want to check back next week when we mourn our melted brains in the post-Jerry Springer world of Divas.

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