There has been a lot of criticism of the “Divas Revolution” lately. Even stars such as Chris Jericho have spoken out on how WWE has booked the storyline so far. So with fans beginning to lose interest in the angle due to WWE’s repetitive match booking, it’s time we address the five major issues with the revolution so far.
The title “Revolution”
WWE has a habit of branding eras instead of creating them. For example, let’s take a look at the Attitude Era of professional wrestling. Although the era is widely regarded as the best period in wrestling by both fans and performers, it was simply a shift in direction for the company that ended up paying off bigger than WWE could have ever imagined. The Attitude Era unquestionably revolutionized professional wresting and remains influential to the business today. But regardless of the success of it, Vince McMahon himself could not have predicted how important the era was while living in it at that moment.
The Attitude Era was an experimental time in the WWE, and earned its name after it was over. One of the current problems WWE has is the need to recapture that magic of an new era by intentionally creating one. The Ruthless Aggression and Altitude Eras are manufactured periods of WWE that feel less organic than what has come before. For the Attitude Era, Vince McMahon had to address the change in tone of the show due to his decision to literally reboot his product. Everything that has come after the Attitude Era is nothing other than WWE branding.
The Divas Revolution is nothing more than another attempt to brand a change within the company without the understanding of what an actual revolution, or era is. Simply bringing three women up from developmental and throwing them in three on three tag matches does not count as a revolution. And the references to women in other sports, mainly MMA, comes off as pathetic considering that it clearly shows that WWE is only attempting to follow a trend than actually inspiring to be innovative again. WWE’s very own NXT has delivered incredible matches from their female competitors. The fact that their main focus within the main roster is to capitalize off of the achievements in the media instead of building on the achievements of their developmental brand is indication that WWE is out of touch with the wrestling business. So this “revolution” is failing because it is clearly another branded gimmick from WWE.
Stephanie McMahon is an minority owner, and Chief Brand Officer of WWE. But she is also a woman. And with that in mind, it makes the fact that the Divas division was in such horrible shape embarrassing. Former WWE Diva, AJ Lee, openly expressed her feelings on how the Divas are treated over Twitter directly to her earlier this year. This caused Stephanie to take action and acknowledge that she should actually give divas a chance. Well, that only lasted until AJ Lee retired before the Divas division returned to being restroom breaks again. Or as I call it, business as usual.
Now Stephanie McMahon is changing the state of the Divas division she’s mostly responsible for by adding the talent her husband was behind and claiming it as her own. And believe it or not, it’s not the first time she’s done this. Former WWE creative team members have spoken out about her taking credit for, or getting in the way of their ideas in the past. There are also stories of her being completely bias to certain superstars. But the most notorious story about her is how she was behind Paul Heyman’s firing because of how his ideas reinvigorated SmackDown after she had failed to do so. The bitterness she has for him can still be seen on Paul Heyman’s documentary. In it, she downplays his contribution to professional wrestling.
At the end of the day, Stephanie McMahon could have elevated the Divas division a long time ago, but chose not to. She has enough power and control to give Divas better pay and more screen time, but didn’t. And now after bringing a few NXT stars up, booking a bunch of tag team matches, and calling it a revolution, the only thing keeping it together is their pure talent in the ring. Simply put, there are too many chefs in WWE’s kitchen. And the business would be a lot better if Stephanie McMahon was no longer part of the creative process for the company.
One of the biggest issues with the “revolution” is the team of PCB. While the members of the team are incredibly talented, their personalities are entirely too different to fit as a stable. There has never been more evidence of this fact than their awkward appearance on Miz TV. The Divas division before the three were brought up to the main roster consisted of Nikki Bella taking on either Paige, or AJ. After AJ Lee’s departure from the company, WWE decided to dust off Naomi to job for Nikki after not using her for months. The Divas division was lacking in variety. And now that new talent is on the roster, we are still forced to watch the same matches over and over. Having Paige, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte in a stable instead of having great matches with each other is a waste of talent.
What the Divas division needs the most is more focus on the title. Sasha Banks fits in perfectly with Team Bad, but PCB and Alicia Fox should rely more on singles competition. The only way for the Divas division to improve is to give fans more of a variety to choose from. Hopefully, we will see Natalya and Summer Rae thrown in to the singles mix as well. But as long as PCB exist, we’re missing out on Paige vs Charlotte.
The Bellas are intentionally similar to the Kardashians. It’s WWE’s way of marketing both Total Divas and the Bellas. But just like the Kardashians, people just want them to go away and never see them again. After being involved in a ridiculous feud against each other before it was randomly dropped, Nikki won the title and did absolutely nothing impressive with it. From retaining it by bad booking, unbelievable wins, and even incredibly long stretches of not defending it at all, Nikki Bella has botched her way through her entire title run.
The Divas division is still centered around the Bellas at the moment. This “revolution” would not exist if it wasn’t for the onscreen disdain for the twins. So maybe after the title is taken away from Nikki, we will finally receive a break from the Bellas. Because they have reached the level of go away heat with fans. Hopefully, they will take some time off and polish their in ring skills before returning.
Remember when the Divas use to give us really great matches? Yah, me neither. But I do remember watching women wrestle and being impressed with their athletic ability. At the end of the day, the Divas title is a symbol of short matches put together as filler for former models. If WWE truly plans to embrace a new level of competitiveness with their women, then they need to be addressed as women. The days of glorying them by their looks should end with Nikki Bella’s reign. No one wants to see Charlotte carrying around that ridiculous looking belt. A revolution is about real change. And the biggest change that could be made to the Divas division is to embrace their past and continue what the women before them started. And the best way to do that is by returning the prestigious Women’s title.
The Divas “revolution” needs a lot of work. And while it is a breath of fresh air for the Divas division at the moment, a few adjustments will actually improve the storyline greatly. Of course, not everything on this list is possible (Stephanie McMahon isn’t going anywhere) but the majority of these problems could easily be addressed if WWE is truly willing to put forward an effort. So far, it seems like they are more concerned with capitalizing off of the success of women in the media involved in other sports. Only time will tell if WWE is really serious about reforming their Divas division. We will just have to wait and see.