In a new article on SportsBlog.com, former WWE writer Kevin Eck says the backstage view of women is why Divas’ storylines are poor and “lazy.” As previously reported, the “#GiveDivasAChance” movement was something the WWE Universe got behind when trying to get more time and better creative angles in place for the women on the WWE main roster.
WWE heard the cry, with Vince McMahon even tweeting that he and the company hears the WWE Universe in this matter. However, Eck doesn’t think that McMahon actually “hears” the fans, or better yet, he doesn’t “understand” the fans and/or what needs to change in order to #GiveDivasAChance.
Eck claims that creative storylines for the main roster Divas appears to be lazy, with lackluster drama and useless face/heel turns, because McMahon doesn’t believe that there should be “babyface” or “heel” Divas. Eck said writers were told that all the Divas are to be thought of as “catty” women who are all a little “mentally unstable.”
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the questionable booking. During my time on the WWE creative team, we actually were told that there really are no babyfaces or heels in the Divas division. It was strongly implied that the Divas are all just a bunch of catty chicks, most of whom are mentally unstable.
A perfect example of that philosophy was the booking of the program between AJ and Paige last year. Instead of establishing a babyface and a heel, both characters acted heelish,
Their “frenemies” angle was more confusing than compelling. Thus, the rivalry between one of the most “over” Divas of all time and a heralded newcomer to the main roster wasn’t nearly as good as it should have been.
The audience needs someone to root for. It’s really not that complicated.”
He goes on to the topic in more detail, saying,
“When the WWE Universe waged a social media campaign two months ago asking WWE to give Divas a chance, Vince McMahon acknowledged their pleas and said to keep watching.
It was a 30-second Divas tag match on Raw that that sparked the outcry, and since then the women have been given more time in the ring.
What Vince apparently has failed to realized, however, is that to truly give Divas a chance, it’s not just about longer matches. Like the men, the women need compelling story lines and clearly defined characters.
In those regards, WWE still has work to do, especially as it pertains to character development.
The combination of AJ Lee’s retirement, Page going on hiatus and Naomi turning heel has left WWE with no babyface Divas (unless you count Natalya, who sometimes shows babyface traits but is part of a heel act with WWE Tag Team Champions Tyson Kidd and Cesaro).
To further muddy the Divas landscape, the Bella twins — whose mean-girls act has made them the top heels in the division — came across as babyfaces on Raw this past Monday.
If the idea now is to get fans to cheer the Bellas — and I’m honestly not sure if that’s the case or not — don’t have them just show up on Raw one week acting nicer and wrestling a babyface style. Tell me a story. What circumstance has sparked this change in their personalities?
Speaking of the Bella twins, their reunion last year after Nikki had turned on Brie three months earlier is a textbook example of uninspired and illogical storytelling.
Nikki told Brie that she wished her twin had died in the womb and went on to demean her sister for a month due to a stipulation that made Brie her personal assistant. Yet at Survivor Series, Brie helped Nikki retain her Divas Championship.
Why did Brie do it? We were never given an explanation. That’s not only lazy booking, it’s also insulting to the audience. My guess is that either Vince himself or someone in creative threw out a cliche about blood being thicker than water, and that was that. Move on.
Here’s what I would have done: Remember after Nikki turned heel when she did vignettes in which she talked about things Brie had done to her when they were younger, such as stealing Nikki’s prom date and letting Nikki take the blame for a car accident that Brie was in? It came across like Nikki was lying about these events to make Brie look bad.
What if the night after Survivor Series, Brie said, “Everything that Nikki said about me was true. I’m a bitch. I’ve deserved everything that Nikki has done to me. Now we’re even. We’re back on the same page, and together we’re unstoppable.”
Now, as a viewer, I get it. I already disliked Nikki, and now I dislike Brie, too, for fooling me into thinking she was “the good one.”
Just one promo could have taken care of a huge, gaping plot hole, but the powers that be apparently felt it wasn’t worth the trouble.
Here’s an idea for the Nikki vs. Naomi match for Nikki’s Divas Championship Sunday at Extreme Rules that would clearly establish Nikki as the babyface and Naomi as the heel:
Before the match takes place, Naomi catches Nikki alone backstage and attacks her from behind, doing a number on Nikki’s previously injured knee (announcers can bring forward Nikki’s injury history in commentary).
Nikki goes into the match injured, but Naomi relentlessly goes after the bad knee. Nikki puts up a fight and refuses to give up, but eventually can’t overcome the injury and loses the title.
To make it even more dramatic, you could have an emotional Brie at ringside cheering on her sister before eventually throwing in the towel to stop the match. Brie then goes to check on Nikki, and Naomi attacks Brie as well.
Now I have a reason to like the Bellas and dislike Naomi. And just to make sure viewers understand that Brie had no ulterior motive for throwing in the towel, Nikki should cut a promo saying that she knows Brie did it out of love and concern for her well-being.
That’s how you give Divas a chance.”
You can read Eck’s SportsBlog in its entirety here.
Wow. Just…just wow. I wish Vince WOULD look to how NXT is doing things a LOT more often. Sheesh.