Paul Heyman and the Diva’s Revolution
The Diva’s Revolution. It’s the three word phrase that has generated a vast amount of debate in WWE in 2015. Let’s face it, ‘Revolution’ is a strong word to describe what’s materialised with the female wrestlers on Raw. Yes, there have been longer matches and a smidgen more screen time, and gone are the days of Evening Gown matches and Lingerie Pillow Fights, but to label it as a revolution is premature considering the laboured and convoluted storytelling. Granted, Sasha and Bayley’s headlining programme can certainly be pronounced a revolution, but the simple and effective stylings of NXT is not how WWE choose to run Raw. Bringing up the exceptional talents of Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch to add to the already skilled Paige, Naomi and Natalya could and should instigate genuine revolution. The female roster is stacked, and yet for all the promise, everything that has happened has fallen a little flat.
Audiences are cottoning on to the fact that this new crop of girls can handle themselves in the ring, but WWE is still very much sports entertainment. There needs to be a plausible story for fans to invest in to elevate the in ring action, which is exactly what exalted the Sasha Banks and Bayley bouts to Match of the Year status. Yes, they had to be able to wrestle, and we all know they put on a clinic (twice!) but the story behind it of the plucky underdog who couldn’t win the big one against the arrogant, bad ass bitch with the belt was clean, absorbing and easy to invest in. So then, how to legitimise the Diva’s Revolution on WWE’s premiere product? Enter Paul Heyman.
This may sound preposterous, but think about it. Paul Heyman is the undisputed champion of the microphone. When he talks, anyone within earshot listens. The man could sell ice to Eskimos, and his impassioned reveries are exactly what is needed to invigorate the lazy storytelling currently connected to the Divas. I wrote a few months ago about how my flatmate, a twentysomething female and wrestling newbie, quite literally stopped what she was doing when Heyman eulogised over Brock Lesnar. (Read it here) Rather than painting her nails and half-heartedly looking up at the TV every few minutes, she put the varnish down and watched with childlike glee as the former ECW owner told her why the Beast was the most dominant force in wrestling. She hates Lesnar, but she believed every word his advocate said. This is exactly what the Divas need. Heyman commands attention. Not only will the WWE’s loyal fan base get on board with his words out of well drilled allegiance, but he has the ability to draw in any ladies who might be on the fringes of WWE fandom.
With Brock Lesnar’s part time schedule, Heyman frequently has huge swathes of time without being on TV, and so could effortlessly pick up an additional Superstar to promote. He has of course done this before, with his oddly ill-fated Cesaro union, but adding a girl to his ever impressive list rather than a guy would allow him to continue working with Lesnar without making it look like his other client was very much playing second fiddle.
The story almost writes itself, which is precisely the sort of story the lacklustre creative team needs. Heyman has nurtured a stunning array of talent in his illustrious career, including a host of World Champions. Although he briefly aligned with Madusa, a female champion eludes his personal collection, giving him reason to side with someone. For whoever he’s paired with, of course they want Heyman to manage them – he’ll all but guarantee them a Diva’s Title run. Simple, effective storytelling a la NXT, and we all get the joy of listening to Heyman promos on a more regular basis.
At the moment, as excellent as the girls are in the ring, there’s still work to be done on their promos, and who better to learn from on a consistent basis than Heyman? Not only would inserting him into an extended programme garner appropriate interest and elevate the revolution, it would be invaluable to all those who get to work and learn from him in close proximity. For the revolution to truly take hold and eventually become the everyday standard, these lessons are priceless, and necessary, to prolong sustained interest in the division.
The standout choice for Heyman’s blessing, at the moment, would probably be Paige. She is currently the number one contender for the Diva’s Championship, and if she were to lose her title match, and even a rematch, it’s easy to imagine her frustration at not being able to beat Charlotte. Recruiting Heyman makes sense. In fact, it’d be reasonably straightforward to contend the corner of plenty of the Divas to receive Heyman’s representation. Sasha Banks is a ready-made Paul Heyman Girl, but she’s arguably the only one of the new breed who doesn’t need him. Naomi has persistently been touted as the most athletically gifted Diva in the division, and has been unfairly overlooked since the NXT girls made their transition onto the main roster. That’s exactly the sort of story Heyman could latch on to and bleed dry. Hell, Natalya has the same story, altered only by the fact she’s currently a babyface. What I’m saying is, there are so many possible options, all of them viable and, most importantly, believable. Of course, should Ronda Rousey ever conclusively decide she wants a run in WWE, associating herself with Heyman is entirely logical.
Paul Heyman could be the last piece of the puzzle in finally letting the revolution take hold. He adds legitimacy, passion and believability. The Divas can wrestle the crap out of each other, as they are more than capable of doing, with the added credibility and interest that Heyman’s attachment garners. And the storylines are there, ready to be written. Someone just needs to have the balls to write them.
Tags: bayley, Break The Walls Down, Brock Lesnar, charlotte, Divas revolution, Madusa, naomi, Natalya, NXT, Paige, paul heyman, sasha banks, WWE