Melo Out: Five Steps to Fix the Divas Dilemma
A few months ago, I wrote a column about the Divas of WWE and everything that was wrong with the current product. It's easy to sit here and complain. It's another to truly want to see change for the better. Looking back, I realize that although I was so quick to point out everything that is wrong, I failed to offer any insight or suggestions to try and make things better.
There are so many things that I could talk about in regards to what is going on in WWE right now. I could talk about the debut of Big E Langston, a guy I have no interest in what so ever or think I ever will.
I could talk more about The Shield and how the name is starting to grow on me and how impressed I have been so for with this group of guys.
After much thinking, I decided that there is one thing even more important to me that I want to talk about that not too many writers seem to want to touch and that my friends is the current state of the Divas division and what can be done to fix it.
If you are a reader of my columns, it's no secret that you already know that the current state of the Divas division brings a tear to my eye. Metaphorically of course. I haven't needed a box of tissues since way back when I started watching female wrestling in my early teenage years. See what I did there? Try to get that Melo Man image out of your head. But seriously speaking (and this is not the first time I have said this in a Melo Out column), what happened to the women's division? Where did it all go wrong and how can it be fixed?
Before we look at that, let's first take a look at something else: Kharma. Beth Phoenix. Kelly Kelly. Maryse. Melina. The freakin' Bella twins. You know what they all have in common? They are no longer with WWE.
I'm not going to get into the reasoning for each and I'm not saying they are all top names, but in the case of Beth & Kelly, these were two of the top Divas as of late that the company has had and they wanted out. Kharma sadly never got the chance to shine. When she debuted, there was so much exciting talk in the wrestling community and then just like that, it was over before it could even start.
I thought Kharma was the turning point. I really did. And when that didn't work out, I honestly thought that the team of Beth and Natalya would bring change as the Divas of Doom team. Sadly (and through no fault of their own) this was also not the case and the "Sisters of Salvation" had the rug swept out from under them before they could make the impact the Divas division so badly needs.
And then to make matters worse, whenever the Divas do have matches, they only get 3 minutes and that is if they are lucky. No wonder so many are choosing to leave. Can you blame them?
"What the hell is happening to the females of professional wrestling? I say this because it would seem that if you are in the WWE, you are unhappy with the way the you are being booked and want out so that you can do what you are suppose to do. Wrestle. If you are in TNA, you are unhappy with how much money you are making and want out. I can't argue with either case. It's a damn shame no matter which way you look at it." - Melo Man
I wrote that in my doomed divas division dilemma column and I still stand by that remark. So what can WWE do to fix this in my opinion? Here are 5 things that I know would help.
1. Make Natalya the top heel
Why Natalya? It's simple. In my opinion she is currently the best technically gifted female wrestler that the WWE has at their disposal. They have put so much focus, time and energy in making sure we all know that AJ Lee is one crazy chick who gets around that any heel divas are basically just there for no reason. You have Eve who is a heel and is the current Divas Champion, but does she draw heat? Vickie does but I don't count her as a wrestler. I look at her and place her in the same category as AJ. Annoying. It's annoying because of the over exposure. Too much Vickie and too much AJ in bad storylines are not doing the Divas division any favors.
You look at what CM Punk has done with the WWE Championship. Do the same with Natalya. Have her win her respective title and have a long and dominant reign. Have her beat every Diva on the roster and build up for that AJ Lee match. Instead of having Natalya constantly loosing via roll-ups in under a minute, having intestinal farting problems and suddenly in love with Khali with no explanation, do this. It would make a huge difference.
2. Bring back the Women's Championship
Is it just me or did it feel like the Divas division started taking a turn for the worse when they unified the titles and decided to stay with the Divas title? You can look at it as the same title with a different name, but it's not. It's not the same title that The Fabulous Moolah held for 28 years. It's not the title that past greats such as Trish or Lita held. It's a new title created for a new era for a division that fans have lost all interest in.
Let's assume idea #1 actually happens. How cool would it be to see Natalya take that current butterfly belt, dump it in a trash can and set it on fire to unveil the true championship she wants to represent and hold for the very reasons I just mentioned? To me it would mean something.
3. Give them more time. Seriously.
I know that with the current level of talent on the roster that this makes no sense since most of them are only there for their looks and not their wrestling ability. But seriously, three minutes of female wrestling on a three hour show is really inexcusable. How can they expect the fans to be invested if they already know it's going to be a short match from the start with no build in most cases? You are paying these women to wrestle after all aren't you? If they can't wrestle, train them more. If they still don't get it, wish them well and move on.
There are tons of women wrestlers on the indy scene with actual wrestling talent that are just waiting for that call to the big time. Sara Del Ray is a trainer in developmental and is a very talented in-ring performer. But give them time. Without the proper time, no match can have proper progression and if that's the case why do I care to watch? These matches shouldn't be bathroom breaks. That's what all those commercials are for.
4. Better storylines
Remember when Mickie James debuted in the WWE? If you think AJ is crazy, Mickie was the original sexy crazy chick. And what made it work with her was the build up and storyline she had with Trish Stratus, who was the woman's champion at the time. The months that WWE invested in this storyline paid off as I can't recall a better storyline since to be honest. And it was simple too. They brought her in as an obsessed Trish fan, who then became her friend only to go crazy on her and actually defeat her at WrestleMania for the championship. But they were given time to tell the story. A good simple story.
They need something original. I don't get paid to come up with it. WWE Creative does. And they have yet to impress.
5. Bring back former Divas
This is one that is obviously easier said than done. But could you imagine if they brought back Beth, Kharma, Lita or even brought in Angelina Love? Velvet Sky would have been great had she not gone back to TNA. Just Lita alone coming back would get people interested in the product again. Trish versus Natalya. Beth versus Lita. Natalya versus Lita.
These are all money matches in my opinion. And granted that even though this would never be a long term solution to the damage that has been done, it would be a start and that is exactly what you need to get people interested again. Once you have their attention, go from there. Again, it's another simple solution, but also most likely the least one to happen out of all of them.
That's my list. Agree or disagree, but I think we can all agree that a fix is needed and the division is the worst it has been in a very long time. All we can really do now is just sit back, relax and Melo Out, because that's what wanting wrestling for the ladies to be better is all about.
I'll see you all again in two weeks. What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear your feedback.
All I know is I feel Natalya is the answer and she is better than this:
I wish you all a safe Christmas and a Happy New Year! Steve “The Melo Man” Melo