A question is posed. Two Pulse Wrestling writers go head-to-head. But only one will move on to face off with another member of our staff. This is VS., and this weekâ€™s question isâ€¦ With the latest WWE NXT focusing on Divas, is there a place for an all-women wrestling show on U.S. TV, and if so, what is the winning formula?
Brian Eison: Iâ€™d like to say definitely yes, considering that Iâ€™ve been known to enjoy watching â€œDivasâ€ and â€œKnockoutsâ€ alike and taking into account that there are hundreds of TV channels out there hunting for content.
But my answer is more of a definitely maybe. I think an hour of TV with the majority of the focus on female wrestlers could work if it was produced by a company like the WWE. The pretend reality show that NXT has morphed into will not be a true test of them giving their â€œDivasâ€ their own show but I think shows like it, the current WWE Superstars and past shows like Sunday Night Heat have shown they can have a functioning (but much lower rated) show without their major stars being the focus. But I think in order to be successful enough to stay on the air I think it needs to be part of the overall WWE product and get that â€œrub.â€ Iâ€™m not suggesting making it another brand; just keep it solidly in the same universe as they are so fond of saying. When looking at a show like Superstars, turning it into an all female show could actually be an improvement in a lot of ways. I know Iâ€™d gladly trade seeing Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix and Maryse in action on WGN over Mark Henry, Vladimir Kozlov and Chris Masters each week.
I think TNA no longer has the roster to pull-off a show like this right now. A few months ago before the nWo and ECW moved in, when they had a much larger female portion of the roster it would have been something to consider. Theyâ€™ve had a couple of Knockout specials and can still point to their girls having highly rated segments of their current show. But unlike the WWE, their ratings, name value and their smaller roster would be a harder sell for another hour of TV from their current or another network.
As far as another company, perhaps an all-female company producing a show and hunting to find viewers? I donâ€™t think the current level of interest in the wrestling business would support it. So I guess my final answer is that only the WWE could handle a project like this right now. TNA has been in the past and perhaps could be capable of doing a show like again that in the future, but anyone else would find too much struggle and too little success.
Agreed that WWE is probably the only company that could succeed with this type of show on a national level given the current level of interest in pro wrestling right now, but I have a nagging suspicion that it would be a lot of â€œthe sameâ€ â€“ goofy segments, LayCool making fun of someoneâ€™s weight, maybe a love triangle or two â€“ and not anything different enough to attract viewers already faced with hours of other wrestling programming each week. Now if WWE recruited a bunch of SHIMMERâ€™s rosterâ€¦
Raffi Shamir: I would have loved to give a positive answer to this question, but sadly I believe that the answer is no. Neither WWE nor TNA have done much to portray their female wrestlers, whether they’re called Divas or Knockouts as wrestlers first. They are presented as beautiful women who put on matches. Sure, those matches can sometimes be very good (if I go back to the glory days of TNA’s Knockouts division) but it’s never the focus of the division. For every ODB, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix or Awesome Kong there’s a talentless Playmate who learned how to do some splits and calls herself a wrestler. Yes, this is more common in WWE than in TNA, but even TNA has shifted the focus of their Knockouts division away from in ring performance and now their average match lasts about three minutes, just like in WWE. With things the way they are, I can’t see the common WWE or TNA fan tuning in to see a show that will feature more of the same when the product isn’t enticing even in small doses, let alone an entire weekly show. The only real draw a show like that will have would be the opportunity to see scantily clad women strut their stuff and stretch their organs, but there are already plenty of opportunities to see that on TV anyway. Some would say that Shimmer can provide an alternative to the mainstream women’s wrestling scene, but since it’s still very much a fringe organization, it will be very hard for them to gain any significant viewership for a weekly show on a major cable network. So going to the bottom line, I’d have to say that I don’t see a place for a weekly women’s wrestling show on TV right now.
I think Raffiâ€™s right here, although I would like to see TNA try it, even if itâ€™s in a weekend late-night slot. It would definitely have to be more PG-13 than PG, and I personally would like to see a little athleticism mixed in with soap opera.
Winner of VS. #32: Raffi
Do you agree with Brian or Raffi, or do you have an entirely different opinion? Let us know in the comments section, below!
Until next timeâ€¦
Tags: NXT, VS., WWE