I’ll skip over Emma’s time on the indies and such and move on to her facing Paige to crown the first ever NXT Women’s Champion back in 2013. This was a different kind of women’s match as it was before the Women’s Revolution had taken hold. Emma was still a goofy character who danced badly (with her in on the joke instead of being the joke, which was a very key detail) and playing with bubbles all the time but she and Paige had a heck of a match that ran about fifteen minutes (unthinkable at the time).
Here’s what Emma could do in NXT.
A few months went by before Emma appeared on the main roster, soon becoming Santino Marella’s latest girlfriend. The description alone sums up the problem: there’s nothing new here and it’s just a different girl playing the same role. Marella is awkward and odd but a beautiful woman is attracted to him. Emma happened to be awkward as well but they got together anyway. In short, this didn’t work and they eventually went their separate ways with Emma becoming a run of the mill female wrestler, trading wins with most of the division.
With that not working out, Emma went back down to NXT where she turned heel and formed an alliance with Dana Brooke. This seemed to be an improvement for Emma as she had good heel charisma and still had the in-ring work to back it up. Unfortunately she and Brooke ran into the buzz saw that was the newcomer Asuka, who flattened both of them without too much effort.
So it was back to the main roster again, this time teaming with Brooke on the big stage, but after a short time in the ring, Emma suffered a severe back injury that put her out of action for several months. That’s when all the trouble started and unfortunately it was all downhill from here.
Around October, vignettes started airing for a new character called Emmalina. Details weren’t exactly given about her, but it was clear that it would be the same woman playing the character. Over the next several months, all we saw were clips of Emmalina in various swimsuits, basically coming off like a model. There was no context to these clips and they merely said she would be debuting soon.
Vignettes like this one.
Well we waited, we waited and we waited some more until her debut was FINALLY given a date…and then she didn’t show up again. The week after what was supposed to be the debut, Emmalina’s latest video said to be patient. So we waited even longer until Emmalina actually showed up on February 13, 2017’s “Monday Night Raw” after a staggering seventeen weeks of build.
So what did she do? She came out, showed off a nice dress, said she was here, and then said it was time to become Emma again. Yes seriously, after all this time, there was nothing more than an appearance for the sake of an appearance and then NOTHING. We waited over four months for this stupid thing and they literally pull the plug the night she debuts the new character.
Yeah this is what we waited for.
While no official reason was ever given, the reason speculated was that Emma wasn’t capable of performing the character well enough. The character wasn’t supposed to be a model or anything like that, but rather a flashback to the Divas of the late 90s, as in women whose jobs were to stand around and be sexy while having a horrible match if the script called for it. This was quite the stupid idea when you consider the Women’s Revolution had seen Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte step inside the Cell and headline a pay per view about four months prior. But yeah, in WWE’s eyes, this was somehow Emma’s fault.
A few months later it was back to the standard Emma villain character but this time, Emma made a mistake: she insulted WWE’s precious creative team. During the July 17 episode of “Monday Night Raw”, Emma complained via Twitter about not appearing on the show, even mentioning that it was five years to the day that she signed with the company. If you know anything about WWE, you know where this is going.
Emma appeared on “Monday Night Raw” on July 24 and lost to Nia Jax in 1:23. She would also lose on August 7, August 14 and August 21, all in pretty one sided matches. Emma’s complaints on Twitter would be made fun of on air as her new character constantly complained about social media and how she started the Women’s Revolution, only to lose over and over again. In a bit of a twist, Emma would win a five way match to earn the right to face the debuting Asuka, who defeated her in a competitive match at “Tables Ladders and Chairs 2017”. After losing a rematch the next night, Emma was released later that week.
So long Emma.
This is a case where WWE screwed up and the talent was blamed for it. There have been two instances where Emma has shown that she is capable of wrestling good matches and getting at least some interest from the crowd. She’s been a goofy face and a serious heel, both of whom have worked quite well for her at different times. Emma also had a heck of a match in NXT despite playing a glorified comedy character. But for some reason there was no room for that in WWE.
At the moment, the “Monday Night Raw” women’s division consists of eight names, not counting the yet to return Paige. Two of those names are Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke, neither of whom are exactly serious contenders for much of anything. That leaves you with a six member division, but for some reason WWE felt the need to get rid of one of the proven performers.
Sure Emma complained about her creative position, but can you blame her? Look at the bright ideas she’s been given on the main roster: Marella’s girlfriend (done already by Maria, Beth Phoenix and Tamina), Emmalina (four month build, one night appearance for a character designed to be a throwback to the dark days of women’s wrestling) and someone who complains about social media all the time. Emma may not be the best wrestler in the world, but she’s better than what she was given.
It gets very, very annoying to see WWE try to come off as blameless in situations like this one. I’d like to believe that WWE knows better than to think this is the best they can do for some of their talent, but unfortunately it seems that this really is what “creative” is capable of doing. Emma is a talented performer and will find a spot somewhere else, but my goodness it was sad to see her leave this way after trying so hard with so little.