Last night on Raw, the Divas Champion Nikki Bella and NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks faced off for the first time. Despite their hard work in the ring, the Minneapolis audience chanted for hometown hero Brock Lesnar throughout their performance.
WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, who has been outspoken in his praise women’s wrestling took to his Facebook page to share his thoughts on the audience’s actions:
Stephanie McMahon did a great job of kicking off the Diva Revolution on July 13. Really, she did. She gave a great, heartfelt introduction to three of the brightest stars on the WWE horizon – Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. It was a night that literally brought tears of joy to my eyes. So why, just five weeks later, have those tears of joy been replaced by the anger and embarrassment of hearing “we want Lesnar chants during the Banks/Nikki Bella match?
Quite simply, we need a women’s pipebomb. Stephanie may have kicked off the Diva Revolution on Monday Night WWE Raw – but we need a Diva/woman/female competitor to take that ball and run with it. We can’t just gradually be SHOWN the revolution. WE can’t have the revolution EXPLAINED to us. We need one of the participants to make us FEEL it. We NEED that promo that perfectly captures the time and place, the pride and passion of this revolution. We NEED a CM Punk pipebomb. We NEED that “Austin 3;16 says I just whipped your ass” moment, that Dusty Rhodes “Hard Times” promo – something that hammers home the point to even the densest, drunkest members of the WWE Universe that times have changed – and chanting for anyone – even if it is a returning hometown hero like Brock Lesnar – while women are working their collective asses off to entertain them is not just disrespectful, but unacceptable.
As a wrestling fan, I was embarrassed. As a friend of both participants in the match, I was hurt. In my wrestling days, I would have tapped into those feelings of embarrassment and hurt and let it out in a promo. Often, those promos were effective; in a few cases, they even became iconic. Not once did I feel that one of those promos would have been better served by committee. I know that times have changed, and that the days of sending a superstar out to the ring with just a microphone and a deep-seeded belief in the importance of their message are largely over. But why not take a chance and let one of the women walk out to the ring with that same opportunity I was given? The same opportunity Punk was given…and Austin…and Dusty…and Flair…and Funk – and so many of the masters of the microphone who won us over with their passion, while not giving a damn about grammar, sentence structure, witty retorts and back and forth banter. Cena was given the ball last night, and took it in for that figurative touchdown. Heyman is almost other-worldly in his conversion ratio. I honestly don’t know if any of the women can deliver on the microphone with the effectiveness of a Cena or a Heyman. But they deserve the chance to try. All I am saying, is #GiveDivasaChance.
To this day, I count the lyrics to a 1983 David Allen Coe song “The Ride” as one of the driving forces of my career. Dean Ambrose even quoted it a couple of years ago. I get goosebumps each time I hear it or even read it.
He said, “Drifter can ya make folks cry when you play and sing?
Have you paid your dues, can you moan the blues?
Can you bend them, guitar strings?”
He said, “Boy can you make folks feel what you feel inside?
‘Cause if you’re big star bound let me warn ya, it’s a long, hard ride.”
Maybe early-80’s outlaw country isn’t going to inspire every wrestler the way it inspired me…or Ambrose…and possibly a few others along the way. If not, I urge the women to find whatever it is out there that inspires them; that will allow them to be ready when asked to explain the significance of this moment in time. Do whatever it is that allows you to keep your “pipebomb” at your disposal. In the end, making folks feel what you feel inside is what this business is all about.
Just remember, it’s a long, hard ride.
You can view the full post on Micki’s Facebook page.
Do you agree with Mick?