A Londoner’s Eye: Time for Divas to Take a Stand

It’s the morning after the night before and several thoughts are whirling through my brain.

You see, on the first regular three-hour Raw, WWE seemingly showed us just how important the Divas division is to the company, because even with an extra hour of time, champion Layla and her colleagues were nowhere to be found.

This, the first three hour episode of Raw that wasn’t a special edition, should’ve been a starting point for building up other parts of Raw that were often neglected with just two hours; amongst them the midcard scene, the tag team division, and of course, the Divas division. Instead the extra hour was used to show even more of the stars we already see on a weekly basis.

With WWE seemingly showing their hand, there was quite the backlash on Twitter last night following Raw, and while I could forgive the lack of Diva advancement on a special edition of the show such as last week’s 1,000th episode, this week, not so much. With an extra hour of Raw, there’s no excuse to give the Divas 10 minutes of time on the show and start building up captivating storylines as we’ve seen in the past with Trish Stratus and Mickie James, or even recently, with Maxine on NXT and AJ on Raw. Instead, fans aren’t even getting the measly 90 seconds of Divas action they once got on a two-hour broadcast. (Though, it could be argued, it’s better to not see them at all than to watch a 90 second match.)

Needless to say, three hour Raw is not off to a great start. Our sentiments were echoed by former Divas, Brie and Nikki Bella, also: “I agree! It’s so sad! Don’t they know that people want the Divas?”

With the words of former WWE Diva, Maxine, real name Karlee Perez, still ringing in my ears and reports of the cast of ABC’s hit comedy, Modern Family, successfully bandying together to negotiate a pay raise — I wonder, is it time for the Divas to take a stand?

Perez made a lot of sense in our exclusive interview last week, talking about the Divas (and a lot of the male wrestlers, also) having to sit on the sidelines and wait for an opportunity — an opportunity that may never come, all the while giving their best, most youthful years to WWE.

Indeed, we’re seeing from the likes of Perez, the Bellas, Gail Kim and more, that perhaps the grass isn’t always greener in WWE and the trend of Divas opting to leave to pursue other areas where they will be utilized breaks the rose-colored “dream job” theory that many fans have about working for WWE.

With this latest blow, will other Divas soon be joining them outside of WWE? I wouldn’t blame them.

I’m then reminded of all of the coverage I’ve been reading this past week in the Hollywood trade press regarding the Modern Family cast. Of course, it’s not quite the same; there are contracts to negotiate in this case, and I wouldn’t suggest the Divas go as far as filing a lawsuit against WWE, but the principle is there — putting on a united front and standing together often has better results than going it alone.

I say it’s time the Divas grouped together and went a-knockin’ on someone’s door. Surely it isn’t too much to ask for a segment on a three hour weekly show?

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Instead of waiting for an opportunity (one that may or may not come), I’d like to see the women stand up for themselves to try and make that change, one that could set the Divas division on a course for years to come.

And even if it doesn’t work, and even if there’s backlash, at least they will have stood up for themselves. That would certainly earn my respect.

So, Divas, take your stand. We’re right behind you.

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  • Tamms

    Amazing Article couldnt agree with you more. ITs time for the divas to get their chance again and there is no way that the fans wont stand behind them and give them the support they need. Love your thoughts

  • shaky209

    Since all of them are under Contract .What they should do is just wait until a nice match is going on preferabley a big match go out to the ring and stage sit in In the Middle of the ring and sAy we aren’t leaving until someone stephanie Triple H comes out and gives us some time Stage a sit in during telelvision.And tell them why they aren’t on TV any more .. Stage a sit In..That would get the attention.Even layla and Eve. And have A J join them if she’s got the brass…YOu just watch what would happen say like in the middle of the match interupt the match site right down middle of the ring/>YOu just watch the show come to a stop..

    • Kim099

      I LOVE IT LOL

    • iLUVValets

      I would actually pay to see that

    • Rhawk

      And then they all get the sack for doing so…

      • lelloo7

        @rhawk.. exactly.. and it won’t be a problem.. since “everyone is replaceable is wwe” so they can just call up the divas from fcw, and get a new division.. it won’t help anything :/

        • shaky209

          No actually none of them would for the simple reason is 1. they just standing up for an issue about working that’s what they are therefore.2nwith Linda Mcmahon running for US Senator and jobs and heatlh care and ecnomony they’d Vince and company would look mighty bad and election isn’t Till 2nd Tuesday in NOvemeber So they’d have to take care of it.They wouldn’t fire or get rid of any one .!

      • ItsRayVolution

        I don’t think the company is stupid enough to sack ALL of them :\ if they are then they REALLY need help in WWE -_-

      • shaky209

        None of them would Linda Mcmahon right now is running for Election as a U S Senator so it wouldn’t look for WWE to get rid of them when she’s running for elecion.!

    • http://www.twitter.com/swax1 swax1

      SHAKY209,that is a good suggestion BUT people like Beth Phoenix and Natalya do not give two shits anymore.you see how much they are fighting for their division lately.they are nothing but a couple of pathetic gold digging jobbing bitches now.

      • shaky209

        Actually Beth and Natalya would be front row and I wouldn’t doubt that you have some Top SuperStars like Punk and Cena join them after all they are all fellow employees and deserve and answer.A sit in would work more then you .Think It actually happend to a Sears company many years ago and brought pormt action and no one was fired.

  • PeriodPalace

    if they did they would just all prob get fired and then theyd brig in a bunch of FCW divas

  • Dave Muscarella

    While I agree that its pretty terrible that the Divas are being completely ignored, I can’t imagine them ever taking a stand together. While I am sure they are frustrated and feel disrespected, the bottom line is WWE is a pretty cushy job and the money they are making would make it hard to walk away or risk getting released. Obvioiusly, its worth it for some like Gail Kim, Maxine, The Bellas, etc. But, for others, they might not to want risk life outside of WWE.

    It’s sad to think about, but Ted Dibiase was right, Everyone has a price. And I think a lot of the girls are not THAT upset over a lighter workload. At least its not taking a toll on their bodies. And this isn’t TNA which seems to prefer paying some of its wrestlers on a pay per appearance deal. So, as bad it as it seems, I don’t think its quite THAT bad.

    But WWE needs to figure out if it wants a Divas division or not. FCW seems to be stocking up on a bunch of talented girls. So, someone in WWE is interesting in actual women’s wrestling. Its just the writing/creative team on RAW & Smackdown seem to have no clue what to do with them. And Vince doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get them more involved.

  • StraightEdgeGirl84

    It would be interesting to see them do that but I wouldn’t foresee a positive result. If the company were to be forced to give them time I see humiliation on the list. You want more time fine but you better be careful what you wish for.

  • ajfan83

    Sure, they can take a stand. And then a few months later they’ll be standing on the unemployment line. I like what this site stands for, but you’re a bit delusional if you think McMahon would care if every diva save for AJ and maybe Kelly left tomorrow. They aren’t draws and haven’t been for years. People talked about what huge losses Mickie James and Melina were. Well, Mickie hasn’t drawn a dime for TNA, and Melina isn’t even signed to a wrestling promotion right now. They aren’t stars to anyone outside of internet circles. And let’s not forget all the girls that left to advance their own careers, like Maria and Maryse. Maria crawled back to wrestling once her mainstream projects went nowhere, and how’s Maryse’s big plans looking right now? I guess you could consider Trish a success, but even then it’s mostly restricted to Toronto. How famous is she outside of Canada?

    All in all, nice rallying cry, but it won’t lead to anything. There is a huge disconnect between this site’s readership and the average, casual fan. Just look at the online devotion to Lita, compared to the weak reaction she got last week and the fact that she’s basically faded in to obscurity since she left WWE, despite her popularity when she was full time.

    • iLUVValets

      Very well said, you summed up my thoughts exactly, it’s like I want to root for the divas,I really do, but at the end of the day it all relies on if Vince McMahon cares. Like I don’t know why they keep setting these girls up to fail, and all of them are afraid to speak up because they’ll automatically get fired. In the companies eyes every diva is replaceable, and these girls are all just stuck, and the only way to get out is to quit. What really pains me the most is the fact that no matter what any diva does, it won’t ever lead to anything because creative always finds a way to drop everything from it’s full potential.

  • Lanoom

    Predicted months ago that if this trend of BS less-than-two-minute matches and lack of any story continued, the Divas would be getting near zero airtime.

    And hey, guess what? AJ was the only one (and she EARNED THE RIGHT TO HAVE A LAST NAME, OH MY GOD) on the new THREE HOUR FORMAT, which itself was filled with recap promos. The time is effectively NONE.

    Oh, wait, I forgot Naomi and Cameron, the back-up dancers, the former of whom is proven effective as an actual wrestler.

    Who’s the champion of the division?
    Who’s the number one contender?
    Why even have this division, if this is the way it’ll be treated??

    Just effin’ cut the wrestling component keep some women around for characters, put a slug right through the back of all our heads already.

  • javiousmckenzie

    I have lost all hope mainstream women wrestling is dead IMO in WWE and TNA now i understand why a lot of the women on the indies do not care to make it to either promotions. WWE has lost faith in there womens division which they ruined them self hiring a shit load of untrained models when they saw the formula they had was working i mean right during there Golden Era they fired half the women and brought in the diva search if its not broke why fix it? TNA put together a division with spectacular matches there only goal was to make WWE divas look inferior once they felt they accomplished that TNA gave up and got lazy its like i can go on all day i will just stop here but the days of Sable feuding with Luna and Kat feuding with Terri was more interesting

  • iLUVValets

    I mean is it sad that I haven’t even heard Layla so much as speak since she came back. i don’t even know if Beth,Tamina,or Katelyn are even still employed.

  • queennattie

    I’ve given up already. -_- The divas division is dead more than ever. A lot of the general fans don’t care either. That’s why you’ve got Divas left and right happily leaving the WWE lol.

  • afoxy

    It ain’t gonna be long before WWE scraps the Divas division and limit them to only on-air personality and managers… :(

  • http://xlittlemissobsessive.tumblr.com/ KellyKellyAJFan

    Apparently, Kelly hasn’t signed the contract deal offered to her and can you blame her? The Divas are defitnetly an after thought to the WWE and it has been said that if anyone goes over their time, it gets deducted from the Divas time. Wouldn’t be surprised if this happened last night giving that the Divas are only given three minutes – including entrances – anyway. It’s pretty sad in all honestly but we can’t do anything about it and neither can the Divas. They have no drive with the Divas right now even though it would be all too easy to just book Eve/Layla which should be the obvious next feud for Layla. Triple H says he wants longer champion reigns, but Layla’s reign hardly counts as anything to be proud of or having bragging rights when WWE is failing to even make her look strong. Her last two victories were dark matches which in the eyes of anyone outside the ICW, didn’t even happen – meanwhile you have a great heel in Eve who still receives “Hoeski” chants and a comedic performer in Layla who would do really great at playing off that much like the Molly/Trish feud was, where there was a comedic presence involved.

    • iLUVValets

      Kelly didn’t sign, man, she was my favorite too, can’t blame her though, she just needs to go back to modeling, better yet, go back and get her college degree.I do want laylas title reign to end but what would be the point, putting the belt on another girl won’t even matter at this point.

      • http://xlittlemissobsessive.tumblr.com/ KellyKellyAJFan

        Nope. She hasn’t signed yet, to be exact. She can still sign it but I wouldn’t be upset if she didn’t. As much as I love Kelly, I’m a Barbie fan before anything else, and right now Kelly has lots of great career options. Even taking a break for a few years – while the Division is pretty much shitty – would be good for her. And I agree about the Layla thing =| It just all sucks, right now.

        • lelloo7

          exactly.. i am another kelly huge fan, but right now, she’s still 25.. if dhe does sgn it, and since it’s a long term contract, she’ll be sitting home.. doing nothing.. just interviews and attending parties.. but if sh doesnt sign, she might be able to turn her career to acting… since some people are already interested in booking her.. If the division continues to be this shitty, she will be a 100000 way better out of the wwe

        • iLUVValets

          I personally think she is just a t a crossroads right now,Like she has to either make a tough decision to either (A). Sign the contract and hope the division will get better while risking the chance of just being put on the back burner and wasting her youthful years, or (B). dont sign the contract and go out and make career opportunities for herself risking a steady paycheck but possibly gaining better success than staying in WWE. She should just take her ticket out while she is young because at this rate the Divas division = The Titanic. Yea its filled with many beautiful talented women, but they are all going in a downward spiral.

    • rkok2blueeyecouple

      I think no Women should sign with the WWE because if there treating the ones they got now like s**t it’s going to be the same way with any other female wrestler even if there coming from FCW. look how they treated Kelly she was there for the 1000 show to do a segment & they cut it & now that she getting job offers to do other things they want her to sign a new contract.Then look at Kharma they let her go for no reason.AJ is the WWE puppet & there pulling her string they tell her how to dress & what to say. AJ is not going to be making those matches on Raw WWE mangement is going want us the fan to believe she doing it becaause if she was really the GM she would have made a Divas match like ever other manager has done. look how many divas have left so far even there most marketable diva Kelly does not want to resign.WWE needs to get it together for they won’t have any more divas or no women would want to work for them.

  • Lovedaddio

    It’s like an oxymoron…they’re hiring new girls to FCW left and right seemingly, yet the girls on the main roster have become a total afterthought. There has to be some sliver of hope for the future otherwise why sign new girls.

    Perhaps they’re going to do a Divas roster purge and replace some of the old girls with new ones, hence the move from models to more trained indy gurls who could step in immediately. I still think that IF the WWE network ever launches there is still slight hope for an all divas WRESTLING show, NOT just some “life on the road” bullshit like they were planning before. Though WWE is having terrible trouble getting enough sponsors to underwrite a 24/7 network. That’s the main reason for the delays.

    We all know that Vince is sexist, racist, and a massive egomaniac, and no matter what power HHH has, the buck always has and will stop with Vince. I don’t seem him mellowing out in his old age and as others have said, the less the Divas are seen, the less people will care and most of them don’t care now anyway.

    And I have given up all hope that WWE has any plans to ever let Naomi wrestle. Once Brodus Clay’s dancing gimmick ends I fear she and Cameron will be released. Considering Brodus is now jobbing to scrubs like Sandow that day is probably not far off……..sad, so sad.

  • http://twitter.com/lostmikeys Kaledrina

    this has been going on for years now, even maria touched on it when she was released. the wwe simply don’t care. and to some extent i guess even the likes of beth and natalya and other loooong serving divas don’t care either? they’ve surely made enough money by now to secure themselves for life, if they really love wrestling, you’d think they’d do something — heck, i hope they do voice their frustrations backstage. if maxine could do it, why not the bigger names?? …honestly, the divas don’t give out a sense of unity to me. seems very dog eat dog and it’s sad and i hope i am wrong =/

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/200984-chris-b TrishMelinaFan

    Great article! The Divas taking a stand is something I’ve thought about for years now, but as many have mentioned it could end really, really badly for the Divas.

    Still, who’s to say it couldn’t end well? Look at The Miz. He knew what he had to offer so he pulled Vince aside and asked him for a chance. The next night he was on the road to gold quicker than I can say wow! Who’s to say that couldn’t happen with the Divas?

    I think everyone on this site is just so worn out and done with the never-ending cycle of management and the Divas that they see no light at the end of the tunnel! Think about it. Ok, ueah, maybe the whole division would be kicked to the curb, but don’t you think it would make the girls in developmental think? Don’t you think it would make them question what they’re getting themselves into?

    And I’m sorry, but WWE is not a “cushy” job by any means. Not even for the Divas. It may appear to be easy because they aren’t on TV and still get paid, but the rest of the week they’re travelling constantly and beating themselves up in countless houseshows.

    My point is, even if in the short term a ‘stand’ against managementcould end badly, it could have positive long-term effects on the girls in developmental and even management themselves!

  • javiousmckenzie

    We need to face it WWE has no interest in these divas we keep hoping for this person and that person to come in and change it but they cant only WWE can do that

  • FilmJenkins

    Someone said, “then they’ll all get sacked”. Well, what if they tried and did indeed get sacked?

    At that point, WWE would look incredibly terrible (but not as bad as they did after the Chris Benoit situation or most other wrestler deaths) and they’d have to do immediate damage control like never before. They’d have to :
    -either scrap the division altogether while retiring the Divas title and merchandise
    OR
    -hire new Divas stat, crown a Champion and keep consistent Diva activity to keep this from happening again

    Either way, it’s a huge headache for WWE. They’ll lose money and they’d have terrible press while Linda runs for Senate.

    • shaky209

      Yes It would make WWE and Vince look terribly bad.And if the Diva’s managed to get some of the top tier talent like Punk Cena Sheamus and a few others it would make WWE give the Diva’s some time.And how much you wanna bet that the Diva’s couldn’t get the SuperStars to stand with them.Ain’t no women that Can’t make Men stand up for them in worthy cause .It’s always been the women that can any time any place get men to stand with them for better results.It would work and I’ve seen it before .Many many times. Man always stands for women when he knows shes right..!

  • LadyGoDiva

    as a diva fan you hate to see women be disrespected so it woould be a blessing to see something ir anything from the divas each week.

    I believe its a blessing to see AJ be on TV and be Raw general manager.
    I hope that we’ll have a female SD GM and have a dueling Diva GM feud between GM’s.That would be cool.

  • http://youtube.com/kristalmelinafan kristalmelinafan

    I’m sorry but if these divas have absolutely nothing on the side than having your respect is worthless than a job to help them pay their bills and fund somewhere to live, but then again i do agree with you. Then again i don’t.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/dsanchez96?feature=mhum sanchezdiego96

    Not having the divas on for even 5 minutes but having enough time to show the same damn replay every time we come back from a commercial is pathetic. I think it’s also time for us fans to really stick it to the WWE. Like let’s get #WeWantDivas trending during Raw. I wonder if they would show that on their little trending now thing. Last night really pissed me off. There is just no reason to not have the divas on. Not even for Superstars! This is some bull. I agree with you 100% Melanie.

    • Marshy

      If Daniel Bryan wouldn’t act like spoiled Brat throwing a tantrum in the middle of the ring that we could have seen a Diva match or with him being escorted out of the ring by the men in white shirts that the Divas could have had their match,well it may be it’s usual 1 or 2 minute match but at least they are there. What are they waiting for Christmas 2037 to get things crackin with the Divas?

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/dsanchez96?feature=mhum sanchezdiego96

        But that was furthering his storyline with AJ and Kane. I think that was fine. But like we didnt need to see a random dance segment. And if the replay of whatever was recapped wasnt shown during Daniel Bryan’s tantrum, it would have wrapped up a lot faster.

  • lucky1now

    They take a stand and get fired and replaced by the FCW girls none of them are considered a loss cuz none of them are getting time so any of them can be replaced
    Actually as I think about it if they all get let go and new girls come it will attract attention to the new women and hopefully start a division from there

  • hbgoo1975

    I’m pretty sure they stand there and do nothing backstage but tweet and tout sometimes, but wwe could push Heidi Montag and she couldn’t wrestle and get away with it!

  • WWFoverWWE

    I don’t think any of them have the guts to actually protest, they know there’s another diva just waiting to take their spot.

    • Ed

      Maria protested once and it got her fired. They probably won’t speak up if they value their jobs.

  • Raynejames81

    This article is so sad but so so true. I don’t know if the the Diva’s Division will ever get good again though. I have been a huge WWF/WWE Diva’s/Women’s division fan since back in the early 90’s when Alundra and Bull Nakano were around. The Divas division has just got less and less attention since those years and now it seems almost extinct, and has seemed that way for a couple of years at least now. I was hoping with Kharma coming into the WWE scene that we would get a breath of fresh air into the division and maybe even some more stories out of them. But sadly, she is no longer with them, and I dont see ANY other women getting a push, besides Aj, anytime soon. And its a shame…..the WWE has lost me as a viewer of there televised programs. I will still check on the ladies and hope SOME DAY someone in the company will give them a good push in the right direction, but until such time i cant continue to watch NOTHING happen with the WWE ladies. Good Luck Divas :)

  • http://www.diva-dirt.com candice7000

    I’m getting annoyed with how WWE use the divas. If this doesn’t change than I see myself not watching their product until it gets better. I had a date last night and in the back of my mind I was worried I would I’d miss something with divas. But I didn’t. Even though TNA lost a couple of big names I much rather watch their division than to sit hoping to see the divas. I’m tired of AJ being the only diva on my screen. I’m getting bored of her to tell the truth. Something needs to happen ASAP.

    • Addy

      Lmao I know exactly how you feel. I’ll be doing something not relevant to divas at all and I’ll just be thinking “oh shit what if the divas get ten minutes oh my god what am I doing STOP IT”