On Monday night the Raw crowd at the Brooklyn Center turned on the WWE Diva’s segment. They begun to perform the usual antics of a bored crowd, Mexican waves and unrelated chants. Yet, only 48 hours beforehand a similar crowd had come unhinged when Bayley pinned Sasha Banks to win the NXT Women’s Title. So did the crowd change in that 48 hours? Or does it point to all the ways that the WWE is failing the Diva’s Revolution? It’s hardly a spoiler to claim it’s the latter.
On NXT the Divas are not called Divas, because it’s a stupid term. However, that’s not the real difference between the two. Instead, it’s the fact that that crowd, gets these women. They have watched Bayley struggle her way to the top of the card, constantly being put down for daring to be herself. They’ve seen Sasha claim to be the Boss and finally get the chance to prove it in the ring. Charlotte wowed them when she went from being ‘Ric Flair’s daughter’ to a brilliant performer in her own right, seemingly overnight. Similarly they watched Becky Lynch grow into one of the most well-rounded in ring performers they had. That Monday Night Raw crowd, they’ve seen none of this.
Instead WWE had the heel Stephanie McMahon introduce them to the roster and shove them into a group of seemingly random factions. We were then told, via the use of a hashtag, that this was a revolution. Within a week it was clear that the WWE believed the hashtag was the most important part. No revolution has taken place. Sure the women get more time and the commentators at least pretend to care, but the storylines make no sense and the status quo remains. WWE don’t seem to realise that a revolution requires change. Instead, Nikki Bella is still the champ and the revolution has ground to a halt.
So how do you change it? Well first you change the name, you get rid of the cheap butterfly belt and then you hit the big reset button. End this stupid feud and cut back the number of regular women’s performers on RAW. You can continue Total Divas, but keep those women off TV. Rose Mendes and co aren’t good enough and they can’t hang with the NXT women. They can be managers like Lana or can purely appear on Total Divas until they improve in the ring. If they can make that improvement, they should of course be welcomed with open arms.
Stage two, you put the belt on Charlotte. Out of all of the women that have come up she’s the most legitimate. She’s the daughter of Ric Flair and she looks like the total package. It allows you to book her as being completely dominant. She’s the Brock Lesnar of the women’s division. She starts by dispatching the Bella’s and co and she works her way through them all. The storylines don’t involve Charlotte, they involve people wanting to challenge Charlotte. The women all fight for the chance to get in the ring with her. Every new challenger is a bit harder, she starts with the current crop before moving onto Becky who takes her to the limit. It all ends with Charlotte and Sasha at ‘Mania, where Sasha finally gets the win over the dominant champion. The next day Bayley debuts and we start all over again.
It’s simple booking and it’s pretty much 100% what I imagine UFC would like to happen with Ronda Rousey if they were in a position to create it. However, it makes the women’s division unique. It revolves around the title and the person that finally beats Charlotte gets a huge rub from it. More importantly, because of the way Charlotte is booked no one who loses to her loses anything. In fact, if you survive in the ring for more than a few minutes with her you have achieved something. It’s incredibly simple, but it just works.
Instead, we have a hashtag and an all-mighty mess. Several of the women took to Twitter to vent about the Brooklyn crowd, but the truth is that the Brooklyn crowd are only slightly to blame. The WWE, and in particular Vince McMahon, is letting these women down. You only have to watch any of them on NXT to realise that is true. Down there, where they are booked as real human beings, they steal the show from some of the finest wrestlers in the world. Up in the big leagues where their booked in classic McMahon style, they mean nothing and until that changes, the revolution will be nothing but a hashtag.