The Wrestling Observer Newsletter has a piece in its latest issue regarding WWE’s decision to produce an all Divas season of NXT 3. Read the details below:
The announcement of an abbreviated third season of NXT, which starts on 9/7, will be an all women’s show.
The lame duck show on Syfy will end its season on 10/1, with a live show in Oklahoma City as part of a three-hour WWE live block that will include the station’s debut of Smackdown.
The decision to go all women must have been made very recently, because they had been filming 12 wrestlers at FCW, eight men and four women, for the season. At the time the idea was four men and four women in the short season, but it was changed instead to six women.
Part of the reason is both a hope that perhaps the show will do better ratings with women and they can get a television deal with another station out of it, or the freak show aspect with Aloisia can build up ratings to where Syfy will change its mind and renew the show.
Another aspect revolves around unhappiness with many of the women on the roster and looking for replacements. Apparently the talent relations side was upset with the behavior of several of the current women in recent weeks, particularly when much of the roster was stationed in Los Angeles for the week of SummerSlam. While the publicized problems got out involving Tiffany (suspended indefinitely for a fight with her husband, Drew McIntyre, that wound up with her getting arrested), and the behavior of Serena, they were apparently not the only ones who made scenes in public that didn’t get out, and the company right now is very strict regarding the image its wrestlers show to the public because of promises to corporate sponsors about a wholesome company image.
With the announcement of the cast last night, there’s already been a backlash from most wrestling fans claiming that an all women’s show is doomed. However, until the show airs next week and the ratings come out, it’s too early to judge in my opinion. Looking back at the 2006 Diva Search finale that aired on USA Network (with Layla crowned winner), that scored a respectable 1.0 rating. Meanwhile, last December’s New Year’s Knockout Eve also scored a 1.0.
If WWE can go in a direction where the show really delivers on the entertainment factor, a la Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’ (which delivered record ratings on Monday night), I think the show could catch onto fans even outside of the wrestling sphere too.