The Stomping Ground: From a Woman’s Perspective

Vince McMahon only has himself to blame.

Recently, it’s been revealed that Vince McMahon is not too keen about the current climate of his Divas division. Not content with the way his ladies have been wrestling (if you can even call it that), Vince has reportedly ordered Michael Cole to belittle them on air. I’m not sure this is the right message to send, even if the quality of their work is pure shit.

Six months ago, we all thought things would change when the WWE signed Awesome Kong AKA Kharma to spice up the floundering division. Unfortunately for the company, in the midst of a MONSTER push, Kharma went and got herself knocked up. While I am extremely happy for her, I do have to question why she would choose perhaps the most important time in her career to have a kid. I’m not being insensitive or a jerk about this; I’m simply stating the obvious.

With that said, and Kharma out of the picture, the WWE decided to pull the trigger on “Joan Cena” and give Kelly the belt. I’ve said that Kelly has improved in the ring, but it’s obviously not up to snuff. To counteract this, Creative booked her to overcome the odds and defeat Beth Phoenix not once but twice in order to solidify her status as the top Diva. While I can understand why this was done, I have to question the way the company went about it.

The most logical way to push Kelly to the moon would have been to make Beth Phoenix the unstoppable “divanaught” and have Kelly claw her way to the top little by little. By doing so, it would have cemented Kelly as the Little Diva That Could and made Beth look even more unbeatable. However the ‘E decided to reverse the roles and we had a bizarre scenario where the stronger of the two had to work to get the gold. Now that Beth is Divas’ Champion, her credibility is shot because it took her THREE tries and she had to cheat to win in the end.

Vince blames the Divas for their lackluster performances, but he only has himself to blame. For ten years he has diluted the Diva gene pool with models and wanna-be celebrities and NOW he thinks it’s THEIR fault? Seriously? Why the hell did he rehire Gail Kim in the first place? To put the nail in the coffin of TNA’s Knockouts division? Yeah, that worked out swell. Kim was rarely (if ever) used on Raw and had her potential wasted. We even had Serena Deeb over on Smackdown but she was let go for not staying in character on her down time! The final kick in the ass to the division was the company’s decision to let Finlay go for his snafu and not rehire him down the road. Wasn’t he the one working the hardest with the girls?

The only two legitimate wrestlers the company has are Natalya and Beth Phoenix, and they’re being treated like shit to put over Alicia Fox! To make matters worse, Vince hasn’t learned from his mistakes….he already signed the first chick eliminated from Tough Enough to a developmental deal. You know, the one who looked Austin right in the face and said her favorite match of all time was Melina vs Alicia Fox?

For McMahon to say that the Divas are responsible for the state of the division is ludicrous. He has only himself to blame.

While I’m on this rant, I decided to ask a friend of mine to state HER thoughts on women’s wrestling as it stands today. Without further ado, allow me to present the stylings of the lovely Kelly Floyd:

I’ve never made how I feel about the Divas division a secret. In fact, I’ve thrown in my two cents so frequently, I may be able to retire soon. Though, that sentiment is not exclusive to the women in wrestling, but I digress. As one of the few female points of view in the Pulse realm, I feel like it is time to make a statement on behalf of my ladies.

I’m appalled. Disgusted. Disheartened.

It’s almost offensive how the WWE seems to view their female fans in regards to what they think we want out of their show. Sure, Randy Orton’s abs make some girls swoon. Many girls probably wouldn’t mind using John Cena’s arms as a blanket. And of course, the ever-present hoard of ring rats has led the big boys in the biz to assume that a pair of tight trunks and a moment of flexing is why we tune in.

And they couldn’t be more wrong.

While those types of women do exist, there are a shocking amount of ladies who purely enjoy the wrestling. I know, I know. It’s weird, right? Who could fathom such a notion?! Women who enjoy a good ladder match, and whose favorite wrestlers were so chosen based on wrestling ability and showmanship? What sorcery is this?!

While watching the men do what they do is something I enjoy, these are not the people I identify with. Being a small lady-fish in this giant testosterone-filled pond, I’ve seen first-hand what the women have to go through. Especially being involved with an indy fed as increasingly popular as Elite Xtreme Wrestling and writing for this magnificent site. We have to watch our every step, plan our every word. Because it’s a man’s world, baby!

The worst part is witnessing just how little WWE cares about that division. I voiced this concern in Vengeance’s Rasslin’ Roundtable during my pick for the Divas match. Do the ladies play Red Light, Green Light before the show goes on to be selected as a contender? Do they draw names from a hat? Because I’m sure that’s the most amount of thought they’d put into the storylines.
Even if there were any sort of plan, what tools do they have to work with? You have Kelly Kelly, whose in-ring predictability is about as impressive as her ability to do something simple, like slap or run the ropes. This woman bested Beth Phoenix (an ordinary, yet still impactful female) on multiple accounts, barely allowing her a chance. And Eve, whose only talent is what I’m sure used to be an impeccable dance talent (for what it was) meant to distract from her utterly basic move set.

Even with the subpar Divas that I do enjoy watching, you can see that passion and commitment to the sport. This is what they wanted to do, and are grateful that they get to live that dream every day. But these models that want to capitalize on their fake tits and cheap extensions to make frequent money and clink glasses with other celebrities make me sick.

Fantasy booking is not something I’ve ever been keen to, so I refuse to state where I’d like to see the division go, or what specific changes I’d like to see. All I can do is state that I don’t like it, what I don’t like about it, and how it’s affecting the female fans, because I damn sure know that. But something does need to change. Because if I see one more Diva get spanked during a title shot, I’m going to cut someone.

I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. Did she say something newsworthy? I was ogling Kelly from the sidelines.

(In all seriousness: thanks for being my guest, Kel. Let’s go, AJ Lee!)

Random Thoughts

*I don’t care that we’ve seen it before, or that it was planned: that ring implosion was awesome to watch. You want to complain about Mark Henry being de-pushed? He survived two chokeslams from the Big Show. How’s that for being booked like a monster?

*I like the Barrett Uprising; it’s just a shame it had to come at the expense of Daniel Bryan.

*Can we all agree that John Morrison is done with the WWE?

*So Mason Ryan is getting the United States Championship feud over Zack Ryder. That hurts my brain to think about it.

Flamingwombat presents: Fave Five 80s Jobbers

80s Jobbers Ruled. The idea of a jobber was always intriguing. Even though you knew they would NEVER win, they still had to make the match mean something. Face jobbers had to garner your sympathy in order then turn that sympathy into hatred for the heel star. Heel jobbers had to make you want to see them get their asses kicked despite the fact that they were in every way the underdog. Those of us who grew up on Saturday morning WWF shows, remember that they were nearly all jobber matches and interviews. Among the horde of jobbers that served as punching bags, there are 5 that stand out the most for me:

5. Barry O – Randy Orton’s uncle that he probably never talks about, the mullet, the silly “O” sign he’d make with his arms during his introduction, the fact that his brother was a star and he was a second generation talent (of course, we didn’t know this at the time), and of course, being sexually molested by Pat Patterson and admitting it on national TV – everything one could want in an enhancement talent. I have a hazy memory of him teaming with masked 80s jobber Mr. X, in a perfect example of pure synergy.

4. Johnny K-9 – Canadians make great jobbers because no one expects them to be good at anything not involving small mammals or ice. In counterpoint to Barry O, his introduction gimmick was to drop to his knees and make an “X” with his arms…then lose. Now I think he’s in jail for murder, so I guess he’s not so much fun to talk about. Watch this clip for another example of synergy, as K-9 teams with noted jobber Dusty Wolf to take on the British Bulldogs. That’s a lot of canine action. I’m sirius! (Also check out K-9 accidentally falling out of the ring while trying to run the ropes at about the 1:30 mark).

3. Mario Mancini – Looked like he was more likely to show up at your door to fix your leaky pipes than actually win a pro wrestling match.

2. Tiger Chung Lee – The big Korean always was given a bit more offense than most heel jobbers, and something about his expressions (or lack there of) always made me laugh. Fond memories.

1. IRON MIKE SHARP – This Canadian was the king of the jobbers, often times more entertaining than the star he was facing. The never healing arm injury and subsequent brace, the gravel voice, and the noises, oh the noises. I recall a match with him and Ted Arcidi, with Sharp repeatedly trying to shoulderblock Arcidi off his feet and it not working. The noises and histrionics Sharp was flipping through as he would run the ropes only to run into Arcidi with an OOOMPH were hilarious and used by my friends often that summer. Due to the reactions Sharp got and his size, I’m actually surprised he never got pushed further up the card.
Holy shit, I think this might be the match; my memories are not imagined!

There are many more jobbers I marked out for, such as SD Jones, Steve Lombardi, and Rick McGraw, but these guys always seemed to be on a level slightly above the rank-and-file jobber, so I left them off this list of pure jobberdom.

Thanks for your list, flamingwombat! I’ve got a couple of lists waiting in the wings, but I’d love to hear from more of you guys. E-mail me your Fave Five ANYTHING in wrestling and I’ll be sure to post it in an upcoming column.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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