This week, we’re asking this: This week marks the anniversary of both Ashley Massaro and Layla‘s Diva Search victories, so we want to know: do you think the Diva Search helped or hurt the Divas division by shaping it into what it is today? We’ve read your responses on our social media pages and picked some of the best submissions to highlight here on the website. As always, you can join the debate by leaving your comments!
Batting for Team DD this week, it’s Cryssi giving us her personal opinion on this week’s topic:
Cryssi: I think people who slam the Diva Search and say it hurt the division are unfair. In my opinion it was designed for one purpose and that was to find more people like Trish Stratus. Trish was one of a kind, a model who was able to perform at a high level for wrestling. She was everything and if she could do it why couldn’t other models? I think the powers that be got so obsessed with finding more girls like Trish who could model and do the basics, they got lost on what was really important. I think it was absolutely designed with good intentions but ultimately ended up doing more harm than good.
|Ant John | Overall I’d say it hurt it. For every Michelle McCool there were 10 Joy Giovannis. The majority they hired had little to no interest in wrestling. They came in, stood there, stuck their arse out, pouted, gave a little slap then left. And to me it felt like a slap in the face to the women that yeah may have started as models but sure as hell worked hard to remove such a monicker (Victoria and Trish). It was such a drastic change from the quality we had and then to get these bimbos shortly after. Every blonde woman they’ve brought in I’ve seen as a way to replicate Trish’s success but it will never succeed. As the old saying goes: often imitated, never duplicated.|
|@carter_payne | With Divas like Michelle McCool, Eve Torres and Layla I find it difficult to accuse the Diva Search of ‘hurting’ the division. It’s true not all products of the Diva Search were aspiring wrestlers and never grew into much in the ring but a fair few have walked away with a genuine love for the business such as Maria Kanellis, Christy Hemme, Lena Yada and Brooke Tessmacher who is growing into a gifted wrestler in her own right. The Diva Search has brought us matches, feuds and segments we would never see otherwise and brought us real wrestlers we never even knew existed.|
|@FearlessRiOT | A lot of people would say that the Diva Search has hurt the Divas Division because it basically glorifies the idea of teaching models to wrestle with mediocre results as compared to hiring actual wrestlers from Indy promotions. But if we really think about it, some of the most memorable Divas of the last few years came to us courtesy of the Diva Search (Michelle, Maria, Maryse, Eve, Layla, Candice Michelle). And those girls have even given us some good matches and entertaining segments over the years. So while most fans despise the idea of the Diva Search, I think it has also given us some positives, and for that, I definitely CAN’T knock the impact the Diva Search has had on the Divas Division.|
|Jack White | Helped definitely. It only really helped if the girls had the passion though. I remember the girl who was the runner-up to Eve definitely just being in it for the fame, where as, as we all know, Eve has demonstrated passion, the will to learn martial arts and/or keep them up and is a brilliant character and competitor. Tbh, I’d like to see it back. Whether we admired the work put in by Candice, Michelle, Maryse, Eve or Layla or whether we laugh on a regular basis about the likes of Ashley or Joy, we’re glad to have had them!|
|Josue Guzman | Looking back, I thought the idea of bringing in new women for WWE’s Divas Division was a spectacular idea! The Diva Search was just that: an opportunity for new women to come in, weekly challenges to see if they have what it takes and the chance for the fans to decide who they think deserves a WWE contract.
However the format in which the Diva Search was done is what ultimately hurt the division. When you bring in “models” versus “wrestlers-in-training” (so to speak), it sets the tone that this is more of a beauty contest than an actual sport competition. With the weekly challenges that include ice cream eating, hot dog eating, pillow fights, lingerie/swimsuit wearing contest etc, it makes it harder to take any of these future female wrestlers seriously! With those two things being said, fans will usually not have enough to vote on which in results, more often than not, the votes going to the girl who they think is the “hottest”.
Not that isn’t to say we haven’t seen successful stories. We’ve seen women such as Michelle McCool, Brooke Tessmacher, Eve Torres, Candice Michelle and Layla all hold gold since their humble beginnings. But for the most part the WWE has made the Diva Search contest a joke and that is how the Divas’ Division remains today: a joke!
|Mary-Helen Clark | I think it did a little of both. It made some fans wary of model/wrestlers and it became a sort of stigma, but we did obtain some pretty great athletes in Layla, Candice, and some great characters in Maryse. Of course, it also led to Michelle, who’s stranglehold on the Women’s and Diva’s title contributed to a lack of storyline and plot development for anyone not named Michelle McCool that the division is still reeling from.|
|Ozzy Valentine | There was some good and some bad that came out of it. We got engaging characters such as Candice Michelle, Ashley Massaro and Christy Hemme. We also got some fantastic wrestlers like Michelle McCool, Layla and Eve. In the long run however, the Diva Search hurt the women’s division and lowered it to a state of depression. There are no more women out there who are their own character. Sure they’ve shared the “Diva” title for years now, but even so, women like Chyna, Lita, Trish, Luna Vachon, Jackie Moore, Ivory, Jazz, Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, Molly Holly all were unique. They transcended what a “Diva” is thought to be. All were special and brought something different to the women’s division. Nowadays the WWE has taken the Diva Search mentality seemingly classifying them as a bunch of hot women with nothing more to them than boobs and a “bucket full of perkiness” as a current diva once put it.|
|Shane Pye | It definitely hurt it. I don’t even see how it can even be open to debate. The term “Diva” itself is symbolic of what is problematic about the state of wrestling right now. We want to see female wrestlers, not “divas”, and we want to see wrestlers and not “sports entertainers.” WWE had forgotten its roots, and it shows in the vastly weaken product they serve up week after week. The wrestling aspect should always come first, and, if you can’t wrestle well, then you shouldn’t even be in the WWE. With the way things are now, I don’t even know why any young women out there would even consider going into wrestling since success definitely isn’t based on talent.|
And now we turn it over to you…
What are your two cents on the debate? Did the Diva Search help or hurt? Tell us in the comments…