Thursday, September 16, 2021

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A Londoner’s Eye: Looking Back at a Month of Kharma

It’s hard to believe that Kharma arrived on the scene just one month ago. It was May 1st that Kharma finally debuted at Extreme Rules, crushing a departing Michelle McCool with the Implant Buster signalling that she had arrived. Now, just one month later, it is Kharma who is departing having announced her pregnancy last night on Raw. Unlike Michelle however, this isn’t an indefinite goodbye as Kharma says she’ll be back in one year.

It’s going to be a long wait until we get to see Kharma in the ring again, but we’ll always have this past month… And what a month it was.

Kharma burst into the WWE, breaking through the company’s self-imposed barriers about what a Diva should look like. Fans had been calling for WWE to sign the former Awesome Kong since she departed TNA last year, but it had to be seen to be believed. Would WWE actually sign someone who didn’t fit their ‘mold’? I remained confident that WWE would eventually snap up a guaranteed attraction talent, and they finally did in December last year. Even before debuting earlier this month, Kharma had already scored a personal victory. As mentioned last night on Raw, she had dreamed of being in the WWE her entire career and even auditioned for Tough Enough 2 only to be turned away. Now here was WWE, 10 or so years later, asking her to join them.

In the month since Kharma arrived, there has been a buzz about the Divas division the likes of which we haven’t seen in years. Kharma brought intrigue back into the division, making even casual fans look forward to seeing her crush the Diva du jour. That then translated into ratings for the Divas segment gaining viewers, rather than losing them, a few weeks ago. The talk about Kharma on the Internet in the last month has also been fever pitch. As has been proven time and time again in wrestling history: Give people an attraction like Kharma and they will watch and they will talk about it.

With the arrival of Kharma, there has been more of a focus on the Divas, in particular longer segments on Raw in the past few weeks. It’s a shame that it took Kharma to light a fire under the writers when it comes to the ladies, but looking at the bigger picture, the more buzz Kharma can bring, the better it is for the division as a whole. Of course, it’s highly likely that we’ll go back to 2-3 minute matches between next week and when Kharma returns next year, but we got a glimpse of what could possibly be done with a Diva if she got the time and energy invested in her as Kharma did. It felt foreign to me that a Diva would get the hype that Kharma got for her announcement throughout last night’s episode of Raw, but again, that is proof of the attention Kharma commands as every half hour we saw Michael Cole hype up that segment signifying that it was an important part of the broadcast.

Rather than undo the development they put into Kharma this past month, WWE should re-use the example they set with her and put that investment into other Divas. Give those Divas the same hype and the same strong booking. Give those girls an opportunity. I think fans — and most importantly, the critics — will be surprised at just how much these girls can do when given the chance. Then when Kharma, who has proven to be a big attraction for WWE in one month alone, returns next year, she’ll have some pretty decent competition to work with. Think about it: The buzz and increase in ratings we’ve seen this month could be even bigger.

It’s a testament to Kharma and her star power that in just one month she accomplished a lot. Sure, it wasn’t something tangible to the viewing audience like a championship, but in some ways, it’s far bigger than a belt. Kharma gave us a glimpse of what the WWE Divas can be, and what we can be if we chase our dreams. (Very Oprah of me, I know.)

For a month, Kia Stevens, the woman behind Kharma, got to live out her dream job and now she gets to live out another dream of being a mother. Congratulations and well wishes to Kia in this exciting new chapter in her life. It’s going to be a life-changing experience that I’m sure she’ll love minute of.

As for Kharma? Well, the countdown is on until we hear that sinister laughter play over the sound system in a year’s time…

Follow Melanie on Twitter at @MelanieTeamDD.

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