Southern Belle Smack (Issue #2) – Why One Diva SHOULDN’T Be Divas Champion

Interesting title, right?

Welcome everyone to another fabulous edition of the Southern Belle Smack proudly sponsored by… err hang on. This isn’t audio, is it? This is a column, blog, whatever you want to call it and it just so happens that this is the second edition of Diva Dirt‘s Southern Belle Smack. It’s been so long since I’ve written one of these that I don’t even remember what the first one was about. NXT perhaps? If that’s true then the last (and only) SBS appeared about ten weeks ago. Yikes. So much for weekly/bi-weekly feature, eh?

Notice how I threw in a little Canadian lingo there?

A Canadian is the subject of this blog today and that woman just happens to be competing in Miami tonight at the WWE Fall classic known as Survivor Series. Natalya, our Canadian subject in case you’ve already tuned out, will have a third crack at the Divas Championship when she steps inside the ring to face Lay-Cool in a 2-on-1 handicap match. There’s an old saying that seems fitting for tonight: the third time’s the charm. All signs would certainly indicate that Natalya is poised to walk out of the American Airlines Arena as the newly crowned queen of the WWE.

If anyone deserves this accolade, it’s the third generation Diva. She’s arguably the most skilled girl they have on the roster and she’s one of the best in the world. That alone should make her a shoo-in to become champ and I believe in my heart that she will finally get her first taste of WWE purple gold tonight. But my head… well that’s another story. My head sees Natalya losing tonight. Once again she’ll find herself robbed of championship glory and this time she will be out of chances.

And you know what? I’m fine with that. In my humble opinion, Natalya shouldn’t be Divas Champion.

I can see the stunned looks now; the dropped jaws, the narrowed eyes, the middle fingers being waved at the computer screens. I’m sure several people are closing their browsers right now, refusing to read another word of this fantastic piece of writing! Outside it’s pouring down rain. The thunder is booming. The lightning is popping. South Africa’s finest export Justin Gabriel is being deported. Armageddon is about to happen. I’m sure that’s how people are reacting right now to one little statement. That kind of makes me laugh and for those three people who are probably still reading this and are more curious than angry, allow me to offer an explanation for my statement. After all, I would never make such a bold claim without having some type of argument to back it up.

‘Diva wrestling’ should really be recognized as it’s own brand because lets face it, there’s a huge difference in the product we see on television and the product we see on SHIMMER, WSU, and on other independent shows. The WWE more or less focuses on models that they’ve trained to wrestle their way and sometimes they give them matches against the actual wrestlers they’ve hired. I personally don’t have a problem with this. The WWE is what it is and we can only hope that someday they will take us back to the golden era. Once upon a time, female wrestling in the ‘E did matter. But that was then and this is now, and the sooner we realize that era is over (hopefully just temporarily) the better it will be for us, as well as the girls who continue to try week after week.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t feel frustrated. Sometimes, I do. The biggest thing that pisses me off about ‘Diva wrestling’ is how it forces actual wrestlers like Natalya to water down their skill set in order to compensate for lesser experienced opponents. I’m thankful she’s had this feud with Layla and Michelle because despite of where they came from, both of those women have solidified themselves as wrestlers. But if Natalya does become champion and ends up with a lengthy reign, she’s not always going to face wrestlers. There are girls on the roster that could end up getting title shots and not all of them are named Melina, Gail Kim, and Beth Phoenix. We have former champions in Alicia Fox and Eve, who have improved tremendously, but they’re not near Nattie’s level. If Natalya was to have a legit championship reign, she shouldn’t have to play the face to Alicia’s heel. And I definitely don’t want to see her play a heel to Eve’s bland face routine. I wouldn’t really want to see Natalya play a heel to Kelly Kelly’s face. Those matches my excite some people, but can’t we all agree that Natalya deserves better?

The Divas perform with a horrible stereotype on them and the ‘E does NOTHING to rectify this. They constantly throw their girls in pointless matches and those rarely last more than three minutes. The women of the WWE aren’t allowed to perform at that top level and someone with Natalya’s talent deserves that top spot. A lot of people complained that Nattie was only the valet to Tyson Kidd and DH Smith, but in that role she thrived. She was given screen time. She was able to develop a personality. She got to play a heel and a face. She was great as both. How many Divas can say that? She was also at the forefront of the Hart Dynasty’s storylines and played a major role at last year’s WrestlemMania when Bret faced off against Vince McMahon. She certainly fared better than all the other girls at last year’s show.

Call me crazy, and perhaps I’m grasping at straws but I like to think that the WWE has a lot of respect for Natalya and where she comes from. She’s the only Diva who’s been booked strongly against Lay-Cool. Mickie James certainly didn’t get that. She’s been able to one up the golden girls on a consistent basis and in this day and age, getting put over Lay-Cool is a rarity. I honestly feel like the WWE has the attitude that Natalya is to good for the Divas Championship which is why we haven’t seen her win it yet. That’s how I see it.

This isn’t a shot at the other women who have held the belt. But Natalya is first and foremost a wrestler, and she’s had to turn herself into a Diva in order to fit in with the company’s mold of what a female athlete should be. Natalya should lose tonight and I hope she does. She deserves better than what she will get as the champion and I don’t feel like the division will go up should she have her name etched across the belt. There are a ton of great arguments that could dispute me, but remember, this is just my opinion.

The great Melanie Rob once said to me in a thrilling Skype conversation that Natalya “should have been Women’s Champion.” Melanie added that Nattie deserved to have her name amongst that lineage. No statement could ever be more true. Despite some hiccups (Stephanie McMahon and The Kat, anyone?) that title represented true women’s wrestling and what it should be. Natalya is everything young up and coming female wrestlers should aspire to be. It’s one thing to be born into the business. It’s another thing to make yourself stand out. To me, Natalya is the female Randy Orton. She’s got the pedigree and she has the natural Hall of Fame caliber talent to make herself the very best at what she does. She’s got charisma. She’s got character. She’s got the wrestling skills. Natalya is smart, sexy, and powerful which is apparently what every WWE Diva is supposed to embody. Many of them come up just a little short. No one represents what the division SHOULD be better than Natalya.

For those reasons, she SHOULD NOT be the WWE Divas Champion.

Here’s a little idea or food for thought. Un-retire the Women’s Championship and turn Natalya into a tweener character. Let her re-introduce the belt herself and say that this is the belt that should be represented. Let her give the crowd a history lesson and let her take that Divas Championship and toss it into the trashcan. Let the women who have held the Divas Championship become infuriated. Let the girls who are the wrestlers slowly back up Nattie. Split the roster and have this fantastic feud. The Divas versus the wrestlers. Let the wrestlers work with the Divas night in and night out. Get those lesser experienced girls the ring time and the rub. They will only get better from this. Let all of this culminate with the reinstatement of the Women’s Championship and let girls like Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Melina, Gail Kim, and Michelle McCool bring the prestige back to the women’s division.

Just sayin’.

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  • theregoeskitty

    good column and i love your idea to bring back the womans title, but why not let Natalya get a Divas title rein in before that happens :P i think the title will return one day, but not this year

  • Jayd211

    great article cyrssi and in many ways i agree with everything you wrote here (plus i think ur story idea would be awesome)

    but i have to disagree about one thing if the wwe is ever gonna make the divas title mean something then they have to put the belt on women like natalya. also i think the wwe needs to build up their other heel divas as possible contenders who better then the best of the best natalya to help put them over

  • Aksana

    Great article Cryssi, completley agree with what you’ve said. And as you did say Nattie does have what the WWE’s latest Diva package (if it could be called that…) is all about. Smart, Sexy and POWERFULL. Don’t get me wrong, there are over girls on that roster who fill that spot aswell like Melina, Beth, Gail. Natalya has been there a long time now, and whilst Melina and Beth have had they’re share of Title reigns it is time for Nattie to come into the picture, how long for is a diffrent question. But for now, I think we should just be gratefull that WWE are using her. They may not be using her to her full potential, but she’s still being given time. If Nattie were to become the champ, then I doubt we’ll be seeing anything different to what we normally see. Laycool will be back on the radar, soon Beth will be back, WWE won’t punish Melina forever, not to mention the NXT winner. Nattie to win the Championship would be fab, because she isn’t just a Diva – she is a athlete, a fantastic one at that. If WWE treat some of the better Divas on the roster like Gail, and treat her like Natalya then slowly the company can get back to that Golden Era feeling that alot of us miss.

    • Melanie

      Yay, Cryssi! ‘The great Melanie Rob…’ Best column ever.

      I agree with Jayd211 that to make the Divas Title mean something we need girls like Natalya and Beth holding it, having lengthy reigns and doing for that belt what Trish, Lita et al did for the Women’s Championship post-Debra/Kat/Hervina. That said I think Lay-Cool has done a lot for the belt this past reign too, to be honest. Controversial as they may be with a lot of you guys, I feel they have been solid champions over the past few months — so we are taking a step forward. Putting the belt on Nattie and giving her some good matches defending it could be the next step.

      Aksana — Who says Melina is being punished? Just because she’s not in the spotlight right now doesn’t equal heat. It’s common to see Divas who were in the spotlight be pushed off Raw for a while & have the odd match on Superstars. And Melina has won all of her Superstars matches.

  • ryanmvs

    Hmm… Interesting.. I’m just wondering but Cryssi, would you rather see Nattie in WWE or TNA?

  • ItsRayVolution

    I agree with it all Cryssi what a great read but you forgot the Harvey Whippleman (sp?) hiccup lol him holding the womens championship was a huge slap to the face of womens wrestling enthusiasts back then

  • UncleCuc

    For anyone who says “I’d rather see Nattie/Gail/Mickie/anyone in tna/roh/shimmer/wtfever.”, my question is, are YOU going to make up the huge pay difference? Sports entertainment is these ladies’ profession, it’s how they make their living. Taylor Wilde famously had to work at a kiosk in a mall to make ends meet while she was tna KO champion.

  • Aksana

    @Melanie – I didn’t mean it litrelly, sorry I didn’t make it very clear. I’m a big Melina fan, when I say punish I suppose you could say i’m being a bit harsh on WWE, giving Nattie a bigger role in WWE and pushing Melina back a little is great. I just miss seeing Melina in the Championship picture, thats all.

  • Jayd211

    @melanie i completely agree about the laycool title reign ive been saying that for a while ive missed the long title reigns that divas used to have in my opinion id rather see a diva have one title reign that lasted for over a year then 4 that dont total a year its way better for the belt

  • adifferentsame

    Great article, but I do politely disagree. If the Divas Championship is ever going to mean anything, the “wrestlers” of the women’s division need to hold it. It’s a mark of the PG era that the girls hold back the extent of their ability, and that isn’t going to change regardless of the girls Natalya works with.

    I agree with Melanie, Lay-Cool have done a lot for the championship.

  • genxyxlove91

    I will admit I was shocked about the blog’s title, but after reading it a made a lot of sense. IMO, in this era of “Diva’s wrestling,” I find the valets more interesting than the actual wrestlers. Case in point: Natalya slapping Vinnie Mac and Serena with the SES at Wrestlemania 26, while the others put on a total shitfest (no offense). For the most part, Natalya should’ve been Women’s Champion but at the same time, I feel that the Divas Championship would probably have more prestige if Nattie would’ve been the inaugural champ.

    Like Jayd211 and Melanie stated, we need women like Natalya to give the Divas title more credibility because as of now, there are no prestigious women’s titles in mainstream wrestling (the indie scene is a very different story, of course). Hell, there was a time when the TNA Knockouts title was worth taking seriously and now, not so much (and of course they forgot about the tag titles). We definitely could use a credible women’s belt, and I think the Diva’s title is a good candidate.

    As for reintroducing the Women’s Championship, I kinda prefer to be retired since there are more “Divas” than “women” in the WWE… at least for now. But if it were to happen, I would want the Women’s title to be held and defended by “real women” on one show, and the Diva’s title to be held and defended by “Divas” on another. But at the same time, the rookie girls learn better when they wrestle with the pros.

  • Goodnightddtmnm

    Cryssi My Gurl Im gonnna give you a high five *gives you High Five* LOL
    Be-u-tee-ful colum…in which I agree with LOL

    Natalya is to talented for the Divas Champion and so is Beth , Hell so was Mickie & Melina. Tbh honest I still cant take the Divas Champion seriously no matter what I said b4 on other colums , well I damn Lied LOL.

  • Jordan

    Great column Cryssi! I really enjoyed it and I see your point. I mean Natalya doesn’t have any solid heels to face with.

    I think Natalya should win just to give a new breath to the championship. I love Laycool, but they have been the champions for quite some time. I think we just need a new feud and I think this is the perfect time to build a new heel like Alicia, it’s not that hard. Well I guess in WWE’s case it is.

    Whatever the outcome, I just hope we can start to see a new golden era approach us.

  • genxyxlove91

    I also forgot to mention this: as much as I am tired of the co-champions and Michelle constantly making history, Lay-Cool did have a decent reign with a decent storyline. When was the last time someone held a title for more than 100 days (which, I think is a good amount of time)? I give them credit for that. But it would be very nice to see a new person in the title picture, which is why I’m rooting for Natalya tonight.

  • Goodnightddtmnm

    In my personal Opinion , though ( I forgot to add this) Cryssi I can respect that you feel Natalya shoudnt be Divas Champion , and I agree , ( Let me not try and Contradict myself here) but maybe if Natalya holds the Divas Championship she can give it some more credibility srry not more , any credibility , at all. I mean her last name is neidhart people respected Bret & look up to him as a Icon or watever the case maybe. So maybe Natalya can hold that Divas Championship and make sense out of it….( idk if this makes any sense but you kno what I mean I Hope) :)

  • ChrissyL

    Ooh…I absolutely LOVE that last idea!!
    …to bad there’s no chance in hell of that happening. We don’t have enough people who care about the divas writing for the WWE.

    I wonder if they even have any female writers.

  • AngelinaLoveFTW

    I agree with u Cryssi. But if WWE wants to make a REAL title for the divas. Next time put some damn gold on it! I miss the Women’s Championship! that had GOLD on it. which really makes it a champion!!

  • The Twilight Bandit

    Great article Cryssi, I LOVE your idea! That’s a damn good storyline, pretty epic actually. I want to see the Women’s Championship again too, except maybe with a more marketable design. Not extremely girly like the butterfly crap, but atleast shades of silver. I would love to design it. Wouldn’t it be great to do a contest to design the Diva Dirt Women’s Champion(ship) aka lifetime Achievement Award?

    Natalya is on a league of her own, if she wins the Divas Title tonight(which I 100% sure she will), she can atleast bring some prestige to the title. =)

  • Goodnightddtmnm

    ( srry again) Also Lay-Cool needs to Lay-Low for a while , they been in the game for far too long we seen what they can do , we know what they can do. Im tired of the Co-Champs thing . But even If Natalya does win , she really dosent have a solid strong Heel to fued with. If Gail Kim or Melina , was Heel then yes she could have b came champ and fueded with them. The only Heel right now that Natalya can fued with besides Lay-Cool is Alicia in my opinion If BOOKED right…Okay Im done no more postes….

  • THETommyTommy

    The wrestlers vs Divas feud actually got me so excited just reading that one paragraph! I agree with you Cryssi, Natalya shouldn’t be Diva’s Champ, but then again, maybe she can make the belt mean something. Imagine if the prediction of many of us women’s wrestling fans come true – Natalya wins the belt tonight with the help of Beth Phoenix, Beth helps the new champ thwart Laycool and then turns on Nattie leading to a feud between Beth and Natalya. Now those two, could definitely make the belt something worth fighting for.

  • Jayd211

    i still say the best bet for nattie if she wins the belt is for the winner of NXT (hopefully aj but naomi would work too) to turn heel and invoke their title match clause and feud with nattie

  • genxyxlove91

    I agree, I don’t like it when they put something other than gold on belts. But hey, for all I know the Diva’s title could be made of white gold or platinum (like the 2008 ECW belt). But I suspect it’s made of nickel, like most silver-colored belts I see on websites. But I don’t like how WWE is color coding their belts: WWE, World Heavyweight, United States, and Intercontinental are 1st place, Divas is 2nd place, and the Tag Team is 3rd place (and the copper/bronze is just awful looking on belts). How rude LOL!

  • Jayd211

    @genxyxlove91 lol at ranking the belts

    am i really the only person that loves the tag belts?

  • genxyxlove91

    As much as I don’t like the Tag belts, I do applaud whoever designed it for creativity (the shape, not the coloring). I think it’s a similar to the situation of the Divas and Immortal belts: very unique design, but everyone has a strong opinion on it LOL.

  • Williambitious

    Wow, you have some great writing skills! I’ll be honest.. I was a little skeptical at first, but as it progressed, I became much more interested. I agree with everything you said, but I think that if Gail Kim or Melina became heels, there would be stronger feuds. As for Lay-Cool, they can feud with Eve or Kelly. Heck, even A.J. (if she wins).

    & Hopefully the Women’s Championship is revived because I cannot stand the Diva’s title.

  • LaceyVonErichFan

    Great article cryssi.

    I think that whatever happens tonight it will be watchable. The match itself already sounds great, probaly will be the best of the year. It could go either way. Natalya winning with laycool attacking and beth making the save with a staredown between Natalya & Beth or Laycool winning then attacking Natalya and then have Beth make the save. I’m kind of worried that Beth might not be as good as she was before because most of the time when wrestlers get injured they get sloppy and clumsy. Look at Candice, right when she was doing amazing she got injured and then came back sloppy. Also Melina was never the same after her first injury. I just hope the glamazon keeps her word and comes back better than ever.

    I also hope she grows her hair back the way it was in 06′, it was beautiful.