Give Us a Minute: WWE Diva Matches Are Getting Shorter | Smark Out Moment

Give Us a Minute: WWE Diva Matches Are Getting Shorter

Posted by Steph Maxwell-Kavanagh Thursday, March 10, 2016
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who's noticed how short the divas matches are getting right now, although I may be the only one who sits with a timer and checks them against the men's matches for fairness and to give a rough percentage of female screen time vs male. The March 7th episode of Monday Night Raw, for example, contained 12 minutes of women. That's it—twelve minutes out of (advertisements notwithstanding) 135 minutes, which makes less than 9% of the program devoted to 51% of the population.

Male Female Breakdown Wrestling Watching Statistics
Their audience might be 33% female, but WWE are showing they aren't respecting the female 25% of their roster.

Looking at the statistics in the image above, we can see that 33% of WWE's demographic were women in 2014, and we can assume that percentage has either grown or remained the same over the past two years. Match time in the same Raw was an appalling four minutes. Two minutes per match would be under 3% of the entire show.

The most frustrating part is how now that we've gotten rid of the team dynamic, the Divas are getting real character development. Stories are being told that we want to know more about, yet the time spent on them is becoming insultingly short as we ramp up to WrestleMania. Understandably, there are other stories which need to be told in order for WrestleMania to make sense, but to showcase the men's matches over those of the women gives the impression that the Divas Championship match at that event means less than a non-championship match simply because there are men in the other one. Although that may be the case, if WWE want the women's title to mean anything, they have to start treating it properly.

With Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch facing off against Charlotte at WrestleMania, there's a great chance for stories to be told. These women can become a feud we care about, and not the disrespectful and frustrating 'toilet break match' that the women's matches are so often seen as. There have been a few shows recently where the women have had character development. Charlotte vs. Brie Bella in the wake of Daniel Bryan's retirement was one such segment, but at its core, even that was about a man.

If WWE want their Divas to work as hard as the men, for their title to be worth as much as that of the men, and their female audience members to feel like they're respected, then they need to start giving over at least 30% of the show to them every week. One or two good shows a month does not make up for women being squashed into two minuscule segments. In NXT, women are taken seriously, and it speaks volumes about the current management of WWE's main product that for Sasha, Charlotte and Becky, coming up to the 'main roster' has, in fact, been a huge step back.

How would you like to see WWE improve on their use of the Divas division? Leave a comment below!

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