Out with the Old and In with the New
Just two weeks or so ago, the WWE roster cuts came and went, resulting in 10 Superstars being released. Out of those 10 Superstars, three of them were divas, not from Smackdown, but from Raw. Once upon a time, the WWE’s women’s division was riding high from the feuds between Trish vs. Victoria, Trish vs. Molly, Molly vs. Victoria and Gail vs. Victoria. However, with the firings of Gail Kim, Jazz and Nidia, the women’s division on Raw is the smallest it has ever been in a long time. Now, we have a feud brewing between women’s champion Trish Stratus and former women’s champion Lita, while Victoria and Molly are either on Heat or just standing around backstage.
However, this column isn’t about my dislike of how Molly and Victoria are being treated. This column is about why three talented and deserving divas in Gail Kim, Jazz and Nidia are fired while three contestants from the Raw Diva Search are hired. Michelle McCool, Amy Weber and Joy Giovanni have all been hired by the WWE to be on Smackdown, doing various things for Superstars like RVD and JBL. In this edition of the Widow’s Peak, I’ll be looking at the fired and new WWE divas, why Christy’s win means so little now and what’s in store for the WWE Women’s division.
There have been many divas in the WWE that have come and gone, some of them memorable and others forgettable. However, some of those divas have been steadfast and loyal to the company that paid their bills, but got little if nothing in return for that loyalty. In recent months, we saw the women’s division prosper with Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, Jazz and Victoria, but we’ve seen a shift in what actually qualifies you as a WWE diva. With the Raw $250,000 Diva Search, you saw women with little to no background with wrestling, getting a chance to work for the WWE.
Christy Hemme: An Injustice?
In the days of the 80’s, you had a wide spectrum, from valet Miss Elizabeth to wrestler Wendi Richter. These women, no matter what they did, got the crowd behind either them or whomever they were associated with at the time. Then a trend started to happen in the form of Terri, Sable, Sunny and Trish Stratus and all hell broke loose. The days of wrestling divas were almost a rarity in sports entertainment, but then, once again, Chyna showed up and it all changed. I mean we had the memorable feuds between Sable and Jacqueline and then Chyna just broke all the barriers; she was feuding with just about everyone, from Ivory all the way to Terri.
Then we saw the women like Molly Holly and Lita breaking those barriers down again, starting where Chyna left off. They were the divas of the Attitude Era and then the valet Trish Stratus, thought she could wrestle as well and it was Molly, Lita and Trish paving the way like Wendi and Sherri before them. Then we got the newcomers of ECW alumni, Jazz, OVW Victoria and after them, the Asian Sensation Gail Kim and Tough Enough alumni, Nidia. The women’s division was prospering like it had never before and we had feuds with Trish, Molly, Jazz, Victoria and Gail. However, the landscape of women’s wrestling has come to a standstill with: the Raw Diva Search. Suddenly, Christy, Carmella, Amy, Joy, Michelle and Maria were taking over the spots claimed by Trish, Molly, Jazz, Lita, Nidia and Victoria. To make room for the newcomers, the “old-timers” had to go and it was out with the old and in with the new.
No matter what anyone said about the Raw Diva Search, it did provide some comical moments. From Christy’s’ pie-eating ass to Amy’s brush with Texas chili, it was at times dumb and at others comical. When all was said and done, Christy Hemme, the red headed Californian, came out the winner, beating “supposed” favorite, Playboy Playmate of 2004, Carmella Decesare. Christy was featured prominently on Raw television, at Taboo Tuesday beating Carmella then introducing Edge and Chris Benoit for their match. However, Christy has now been taken to the backburner as her fellow contestants, Amy Weber, Michelle McCool and Joy Giovanni have joined the WWE ranks, this time on Smackdown.
What Happens Next
I mean keeping Carmella around just enough to end her “feud” with Christy is okay, but hiring Maria, Amy, Joy AND Michelle to the company? Was there a need for the contest anyway, if nearly half of the 10 contestants have returned? Just give Maria, Amy, Joy and Michelle a contract too, it would have saved lots of time. Of course, they wouldn’t have had time to fire Nidia, Jazz and Gail, now would they? Nevertheless, this part of my column isn’t about saving time, it’s about Christy being at an injustice.
Being the winner of the competition, it is unfair to Christy, to have four more of her fellow contestants on WWE programming. I’m sure that Christy doesn’t mind that some of her fellow contestants are on WWE programming, but it has to be disheartening to have the people you beat get contracts as well and also still being billed as “The Raw Diva Search winner”. An injustice has been done to Christy Hemme, but I guess it’s better than being jobless like Jazz, Gail and Nidia, right?
The landscape of wrestling is changing again and with change, comes obstacles that each and every WWE Superstar is going to have to face. It looks like the remaining real WWE divas are going to have to step aside for a new breed of divas: the Stacy Keibler’s of the WWE. The women who don’t know how to wrestle and might never wrestle except in a Bra and Panties match; you had just Stacy who didn’t wrestle, now she has a new load of friends. It looks like the Sunny and Terri type divas are rearing their pretty heads; but it might not be so bad. People are embroiled in the feud between the sexy Trish and sultry Lita, so maybe it’s a welcomed edition.
Actually, women’s wrestling has really evolved into a whole new playing field. It has come a long way from the days of Miss Elizabeth, but the question is, with the women’s division sort of in the same rut as the Cruiserweight division, what happens next. With the slew of new divas coming in, it looks like you either have to be Playboy material or just look pretty! Divas like Trish, Gail, Victoria, and Molly could wrestle, but they were also easy on the eyes, which helped them break down some barriers like Chyna did.
It is only a matter of time before women’s wrestling is just women hitting each other with pillows. The women’s title will probably get an overhaul, or doing away with it all together, since they usually only focus the division on one diva whether she has the belt or not: Trish Stratus. Then we’ll see Stacy, Christy and Maria taking the spots of Trish, Lita and Molly “wrestling” in Bra and Panties matches (which isn’t always a bad thing since the main demographic the WWE are trying to reach are the male audience members). Let’s hope that this will not be the case for the women’s division because the ladies deserve so much better than what they’ve been given. Maybe they’ll offset this Trish/Lita feud with getting Molly into the mix, since they never take anything she does seriously. Adding another diva, who has as much history with Lita as she does with Trish, could spice up what I find is a dull storyline.
The women’s division, like I’ve said before, has come a long way from the days of Miss Elizabeth. However, the horizon looks bleak for the wrestling divas, as a new breed of diva is rearing their pretty heads. Not many people have taken the women of the WWE seriously, in fact, people have not taken the women wrestlers in general seriously, which has hurt them. Something will need to be done in order for Trish, Molly, Victoria, and Lita to be taken seriously ever again.
Christy, if she wanted to, could wrestle which leads to another question: Has her Diva Search win been tainted by the other contestants? She was to be the sole survivor, if you will, but something makes her win less special. It’s the fact that Maria, Amy, Michelle and Joy all got contracts as well; maybe it’s only for six months or something like that, but even that is too long. It’s too bad that Christy will only be remembered as that girl who sort of won the $250,000 Raw Diva Search.
Well, that’s it for this edition of the Widow’s Peak and I’m sorry for the delay. I’ve had some personal problems to work out, but it’s getting down slowly, but surely so I’ll be back on track for columns. As always, you can reach me two ways: at the WZ Columns Lounge and by email(this is the way that I like to be reached, but the other is fine) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.