Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dispatches from the Lake: Bafflement

The Bellas and all the other women on WWE's roster deserve better
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Stupid, adult, real life and a strange brew of anger, sadness, and complete befuddlement have kept my keyboard quiet these last few months in the wrestling realms. What was there to say? Haven’t I complained enough, both in writing and in real life, about the state of the product that WWE has been putting out? For all the bitching I’ve done, what change has really come about? I don’t just mean change on the WWE’s part. What have I been doing different? Did I cancel my WWE Network subscription? Of course not. I still watch the special events, but I hadn’t seen a RAW or Smackdown since Daniel Bryan made his return in early January.

It was easy to ignore the show on Mondays and Thursdays. I’ve been ensconced in a hellscape of boxes, packing tape, and pointless work trainings for the last few months. I was fine with this apathy that has fallen over me since the Royal Rumble, until last night.

Last week, it was reported that the Bella Twins had expressed some frustration with the time the women’s wrestlers were allowed on the main roster. At Fast Lane and the RAW that followed, they were given, collectively, just under ten minutes, including entrances, to do their thing. That’ll learn those females to mouth off, right?!

I don’t care who you are, or how good you are. Trying to tell a story in a wrestling ring in that amount of time is impossible. Dolph Ziggler and Alberto del Rio did a pretty good job of it when Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract a few years ago. That’s the only example that comes to mind.

For a company that claims to care about telling stories more than wrestling for no reason, this is just baffling. Why is WWE wasting its time and money with hiring women to wrestle, training then to wrestle in developmental, then throwing them on television for a few minutes during their many, many, MANY hours of programing on the main roster? One could argue that the women are a novelty to be gawked at, but the time they are given isn't enough to be considered that!

And this isn’t just me screaming at the brick wall alone. There’s been plenty written here and other wrestling websites about the lack of women’s wrestling showcased on the main roster at WWE. I’m writing this the afternoon after RAW, and #GiveDivasAChance is still trending, as it was last night after the 30 seconds long women’s match. Shocking that Michael Cole didn’t let the viewers know about that trending topic, huh?

Bottom line, there’s obviously a market for women’s wrestling, and WWE’s goal, as a company, is to make money. Why they chose to ignore that market is bonkers on a level that I can’t even conceive of. Instead of showcasing wrestlers they could sell merchandise for, they show horrifying photos of Vince McMahon’s Muscle and Fitness cover story. That extra thirty seconds couldn’t have gone to the women’s match? Is McMahon’s head that far up his own ass that he….actually never mind. I don’t think I want an answer to that question.