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Monday, February 24, 2020

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Your Two Cents: Divas Focus Group

“Your Two Cents” is our interactive feature where we gauge the opinions of our Twitter and Facebook followers on different discussions in women’s wrestling.

This week, we’re asking this: According to reports, the WWE has formed focus groups to assess what fans want from its Divas division. If you were in one of these groups, what would you tell the WWE? 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!

Brandon Bray | I would tell WWE to start making the Divas as EQUAL to the male Superstars, meaning do not look at them as “women”, but look at them as “wrestlers” who happens to be female, just like Anarchy Championship Wrestling is with the American Joshi division. Also, I would tell them to diverse the women up. They are very one-dimensional with the criteria they want in a Diva (skinny, blonde hair, blue eyes, no wrestling experience, under 30 years old, etc.). They need to bring girls that represent each different demographic to draw that demographic to see them more, and bring more interest in the division like it was between 2000-2003 with the Divas.
@FearlessRiOT | What would I tell WWE? Easy: More character development for all the Divas, more time for the matches, and better booking than they’ve been doing lately. Maybe create a seperate creative team to work on the Divas Division so that the creative team as a whole don’t get too stressed out. Better interest into the Division as wrestlers is needed, and I think someone needs to tell WWE that, straight-up.
@GregLucM | Was there an option to not see them mismanaged to hell and back? To have them given strong, distinct roles that cannot be best summed up as “face” or “heel?” To have more effort given by creative to give the audience something to be not just interested, but *invested* in, and the screen/ring time to get them over? Employing women who can/allow them to put on technical or high flying or power showcase matches? [Ie. How in the world is Alicia Fox doing a hair pull/head banging/slap more compelling than Alicia Fox doing a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker/Northern Lights suplex/etc.? Which one is going to make the audience stay glued to the screen and take notice?]

If they want to “evolve and adapt” the division, how about trying something completely radical and taking it seriously? I must be on the bleeding effin’ edge. There is certainly a place for women as valets/managers in WWE as well, and even doing both accompanying and wrestling, but it all still requires serious investment by WWE to make it click.

Josue Guzman | Above everything, I would say we need to have a strong creative staff that will give these women character developments and write story lines that can keep us entertained for as long as it is needed.

Secondly, training sessions with Sara Del Rey, or with any trainer for that matter, should be MANDATORY. In ring improvements will help the Divas get over with fans who may just see them as pure eye-candy.

Lastly, do more with these Diva matches. Even with an extra hour on Raw, the Divas are continuously being booked in squash matches. How about using the extra time for segments and promos/build ups for upcoming championships matches. Throwing in stipulations such as No DQ and Falls Count Anywhere wouldn’t hurt either.

@KatieFJ07 | I would tell them that they need to bring up some of the NXT girls. The roster right now is very small but then they would also need to start using a lot more of the girls like Natalya, Alicia and Tamina in the ring. They don’t need to be using Vickie Guerrero in matches, that’s just annoying. I would also say that if they had enough divas they could bring back the women’s title or maybe even a Divas Tag Team Title. But all of this won’t work out if the Divas aren’t given enough time. They’ve gotten better at giving more time, but a bit more couldn’t hurt to fill three hours of RAW, two hours of SD and use them on Main Event too.
Laura Alberts | I miss inter-gender matches, to be honest. Take a look back at Lita & Trish Stratus, when they had inter-gender matches, pure entertainment. Plus the storylines! Ah, purely awesome! I also would like to see more backstage segments and promos, thus character development among the crop of current divas. I’m sick of seeing the Divas and can’t really tell them apart, character wise. They don’t have any distinctive things that tell them apart, ya know?
Lee-jay Robinson | More of an international flavor, rather than just North American. If you have Cessaro from Switzerland & Sheamus from Ireland etc, then the Divas should also reflect the world as well. They should look in Spain, Japan, Ireland heck even England & France for the best women wrestlers who are unique (such as Shanna, Alpha Female, etc). If they want something new great & different they need to do that.
Megan Travis | Clear cut characters, clear babyfaces and heels (no more switching Alicia every single week), strong storylines. Between PPVs, Superstars, NXT and some of the more recent Raw and Smackdowns that gave them halfway decent time to work with, I see that the girls can work. They need an actual chance and a creative focus that will treat them like they matter instead of just treating them like filler.
Michael Kennedy | To give these Divas meaningful feuds over the Divas’ title, establish clear-cut characters for each woman, give them time on the mic or at least backstage segments. Longer than 30 second matches. Give the women a shot to do what the men can, like having their own Royal Rumble and a Diva’s Title match at Wrestlemania with some build-up. Build up feuds, talk about the divas’ history with one another, build up the Diva’s Championship. Give each of the Divas a fair shake without putting two over to the moon when they aren’t really contributing to the division a la AJ. Have the fans know who is the FACE and who is the HEEL, and stop having them flip-flop all the time.

Have Naomi wrestle and get out of the horrible misuse of a gimmick she’s in now. Have storylines that are intriguing and don’t last only two weeks with a blow off match and it’s never heard about again. Bring up Paige like NOW, she’s so solid in the ring. Quit trying to make these women the next Trish or Lita and invest all your hopes on them, and let them be them. Not every woman on the roster has to wrestle, like Rosa Mendes, make them valets, interviewers, managers. Let the DIVA DIRT READERS AND WRITERS DO THE STORYLINES FOR YOU!!!

Reggie Tannehill | Give the Divas their own show in which there could be more of them and they could make it like the old days of POWW & GLOW but with WWE type production running it. Except for them fighting for one belt like they do now, they could have multiple like they do in the men’s division.
Sydney Grace | Work on the Divas COLLECTIVELY and not put everything on AJ’s shoulders. And bring in women who actually care about wrestling and the business and not just hire women who want TV time. I won’t say no models because we have one of the greatest womens wrestlers ever, Victoria/Tara, and she was once a fitness model who knew nothing about the business. But she went out of her way to learn. Thats what WWE needs to bring in. Plus not leave women like Nattie with silly gimmicks and actually let her express her love for the business by performing. Same with Naomi, she’s SO good, but she’s relegated to a dancing gimmick. Let her go out there and shine.
Tracey Everatt | What would I tell them? To fill their focus groups with a mix of fans instead of all hormonally driven teenage boys who think with the contents of their pants. Managers and love interests? NO. True diva fans want to see them get MORE than 2 minutes for a match and have a decent angle built that showcases what they can do! And I’d tell them to stop certain Divas wrestling because Eve Torres has been carrying a couple of people just recently.
Yzo V Behrey | Focus Group – If putting the models is a necessary evil, then I think they should at the very least, rotate the divas like they did in the old days. When Lita was in the Championship picture (Not necessarily as Champion), Trish was in a storyline with the guys. Make the technical divas look strong (as they are) and have atleast 6 minute matches and two segments guaranteed per show. Consistency in storylines and development for their characters. Also, lift some of the ridiculous limitations. Let the girls kick a little harder, punch a little harder and show off their skills. The division would flourish, you can’t lose.

And now we turn it over to you…

What are your two cents on the debate? What would you tell the WWE if you were in their Diva focus group? Tell us in the comments…

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