Hello everybody! I hope you all got a chance to watch episode #1 of “Jessie Kaye: Road to the Ring”. I’m really proud of the web series. It’s a fun challenge to bring Jessie’s story to light. She’s a great kid. In general the show is just reason this is an exciting time at Diva Dirt – stay tuned for an even bigger and better rest of 2011!
Time to clean out my inbox and piece together my “Hitting the Ropes” Glam Slam mailbag! Once again, thanks to all of you who submitted questions!
Before I jump into your questions I’d like to pay a quick tribute to the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. Like many I was saddened to hear about his recent passing. It is impossible for me to quantify how much he and Miss Elizabeth meant to me as I was growing up. The WWF was a huge part of my life and Macho Man gave me many wonderful memories. The night the “Madness met the Mania” in Hershey, PA is my all-time favorite wrestling match. So, thanks Randy. Now you can walk down that aisle again with Miss Elizabeth, at least in my heart.
What is your favorite finisher from the current crop of Divas?
Mr. G – The Glam Slam is obviously my favorite, but I also love Eve’s moonsault off the top rope (because it’s unbelievably athletic) and Gail Kim’s Eat Defeat (because it happens fast and looks devastating – I just hate the name, as you know by now…). Tara’s Widow’s Peak is cool too. I would like Maryse’s French Kiss more if that wasn’t the only actually move she executed during a match.
Reader: Ohiofan5 (Frank)
What was your favorite and least favorite movie from the 2010 year?
Mr. G – As I get older everything starts to blend together, so I have no idea any more what year a movie was actually released in. Recently though I did love several movies including “The Blind Side”, “Frost Nixon”, and “The Social Network”. The worst film I’ve seen in years (and with all due respect to Indiana Jones 4, maybe the worst ever) was “All About Steve” with Sandra Bullock. It’s crazy how someone can make a film as good as “The Blind Side” and then follow it up with such a stinker.
The movie that still keeps me up at night is “Black Swan” because I have no idea what I think about that film. I love discussing it with people to hear all their different opinions. Some loved it, some hated it. I respect the fact it was different and it did hold my attention, but I don’t love movies that make me wonder “is this really happening?” I normally love Natalie Portman but this won’t be a movie I rewatch.
Reader: Peter Rupal
What are your pet peeves about wrestling in general? What would you do to change them?
Mr. G – My biggest pet peeve is the devaluation of championship belts. I think there are too many titles (do we need a World Heavyweight title AND a WWE title?) and then, incredibly, the tag team championship is an afterthought. I remember every significant title change from when I used to watch wrestling in the 80’s, now I can’t even remember who the current champions are. I want to care about title belts – who has them, and how are they being defended. When the WWE passes them around every few weeks, it is hard to get emotionally invested in them.
Reader: Peter Rupal
Of all the women wrestlers that have left the business before their prime, which one would you want to have seen ‘make it’ and how would you have booked them?
Mr. G – What an interesting question! I’m not sure who I feel left before their prime, but 2 girls I would really enjoy booking are Isis the Amazon and Kaitlyn, each for very different reasons. Similar to Kharma, Isis would present a real change to the typical Divas style of today. I would have enjoyed seeing her work some of the current girls. I don’t know how much Kaitlyn can really do in the ring but the fact she won NXT Season 3 should’ve been an easy bridge to using her in an interesting storyline. Why they haven’t used her at all seems to invalidate the premise of NXT and I wonder if we have seen the last of that show.
If you could be a manager for any Divas/Knockouts who would your top 3 choices be? Would you prefer to be a face or heel manager? Would you be willing to take bumps?
Mr. G – I would definitely want to be a heel manager because historically they get to have a lot more fun. The only face manager I loved was Miss Elizabeth and she was really just a valet. Jimmy Hart, Mr. Fuji, and Bobby Heenan were all great managers from my era (and you too Slick!) and I loved the way they worked the crowd and drew heat for their wrestlers. I would enjoy managing the Bella Twins (the 3 of us could create a lot of chaos during matches), Mickie James (if she turned heel…which would be fun to be a part of), and of course The Glamazon. Her partnership with Santino was great but I would work more seriously with her. I like Beth more when her character has an edge to her. (And of course I would take bumps! That is until my arms fly out their sockets like I’m C-3PO. I’m basically made out of balsa wood.)
I remember you stating you don’t really know [much] about the ‘Golden Era’, are you more familiar with them now, and what were some of their best moments for you?
Mr. G – One of my 2011 resolutions was to really study this more. Unfortunately I have been so wrapped up in other things this hasn’t happened yet. But the good news there is still half of 2011 remaining. So, my question for you and others – “what are the critical matches that I should watch from the Golden Era?” Let me know and I’ll check them out!
Who’s your favorite fictional character(s) ever?
Mr. G – This is a pretty easy question for me. JR Ewing is my favorite character ever. I love “Dallas” and I’ve seen every episode many times over. JR was delicious to hate but at the end of the day his family always came first. He was complex and fascinating and became one of the true icons in American television history. I met Larry Hagman several years ago and we drank a bourbon and branch together. A great memory. A great show.
Here is a great reader essay I received. Thanks for submitting!
Remember the time when the WWE Divas had a prominent role of WWE programming; when they actually had storylines and character development. What happened to those days? Well your guess is as good as mine.
From about 2002 to 2007 was a great time to be a WWE Diva. Back then they were smart, sexy, and powerful, now it’s just a term thrown around just to describe the Divas on the roster. During the Dominant Diva era as I like to call it was great. The women actually had matches, were able to break boundaries, entertain the WWE Universe, and most importantly they had and were able to develop their characters.
Back then you had Divas like Trish Stratus, Lita, Jazz, Molly Holly, Victoria, Mickie James, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Dawn Marie, etc. All these women had prominent roles on TV and had their own character developments. For example, Trish was the blond bombshell fan favorite, Lita was the one of the guys high flyer, Jazz was the badass, Molly was the pure and innocent good girl, Jacqueline was the tough one, Torrie was the girl next door, and Dawn Marie was the sultry vixen. They all had their roles and did them very well and it allowed the fans to get behind who they wanted and cheer or boo them.
The WWE took time with these women to produce characters and put on matches for fans to enjoy. With help of Fit Finlay these women broke the mold for divas with the things they were able to accomplish in the ring. We all remember the first chair shot between two women when Victoria smashed Trish’s skull in, and not to mention all the hardcore encounters between those Divas with the use of trash cans and kendo sticks getting ‘Holy Shit’ chants from the crowd. Or the first ever steel cage match with Lita and Victoria throwing and smashing each other flesh into the steel cage.
And nowadays the Divas get 3 minute matches with slaps, hair pulling, and mediocre drop kicks. Watching a Divas match today is about as interesting as watching paint dry or eating a meal with no flavor… Just BLAND! And as much as it pains me to say the Divas are suffering to find their place in the WWE.
Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to bash or hate on today’s Divas, because I am a huge fan of Divas sports entertainment and want them to succeed, but the WWE is holding them back and not giving them the opportunity for whatever reason. They have talented women on their roster that can bring back the days of Trish and Victoria. Divas such as Gail Kim, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Melina, and Michelle McCool. All of those women have the in-ring ability to do great things but they are not given the chance and these Divas have no character development.
Yeah sure Michelle McCool is the token mean girl, but we want more substance. And with Melina, back in the day she was the stuck up Hollywood Bitch, and now she’s just another fly on the wall. What happened? THESE WOMEN NEED CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! And if you are not going to give them development then give them time to wrestle.
Let’s take a look at Eve. A two-time Divas champion that gets no crowd reaction when she walk out form behind that curtain. Not because she’s not talented, because she is, but because no one knows Eve, there’s nothing there for the WWE Universe to get behind. She’s like a beautiful canvas with tons of potential but the artist just keeps using black boring paint.
Gail Kim is another one. She probably has the most wrestling ability of all the girls on the roster, but the WWE doesn’t maximize her skills. Instead they throw her in a dud or a romance and feud with Daniel Bryan and The Bella Twins to give her “character” but that quickly fizzled because no one wants to see Gail Kim cat fighting with the Bellas, they want to see her soaring in the air and using her wide range of submission holds. Someone with the abilities of Gail Kim doesn’t need much character development, she just needs to get in the ring and kick some ass. Her wrestling is her character.
Natalya and Beth Phoenix are another two Divas that don’t really need much character development due to their amazing in-ring prowess. But once again, LET THEM WRESTLE! These are two Divas who you can basically put in the ring with anyone and they can produce a good match. Or even better put them against each other, that’s magic in the making right there.
Some of their other Divas who may not be as gifted in the ring as a Gail or Natayla, need more development to establish themselves and be able to resonate with the audience. Divas like Alicia Fox, Tamina, Kelly Kelly, The Bella Twins, and Maryse are not bad in ring competitors but they need more substance when it comes to their characters. Luckily for someone like Layla they put her with Michelle McCool and that gave her a bit of character that fans love to hate.
Even during the ‘Dominant Diva Era’ women like Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie who may not have had the most polished in-ring skills had a very prolific feud with each other because they had developed characters and a very well done storyline involving Torrie’s father, which got the fans intrigued with them and got Dawn a lot of heat from the crowd and made Torrie shine as the top baby face on the Smackdown brand.
Today’s Divas are lacking crowd backing and good storylines. Like we all know Kelly is beautiful, but that’s all there is to her. Alicia Fox is well, forgettable. No one really remembers much about her. I feel the WWE could be doing a lot more having twin Divas running around. The lack of development with these Divas gives the fans a lack of interest in watching them. Tell me the last Diva to get a crowd pop like Trish or Lita did.
Rumor has it that the WWE has put restrictions on their Divas in what they are allowed to do in the ring, because they don’t want them to out shine their male counterparts. If that is indeed true then that’s fucking bullshit because these Divas work hard to perfect their skills and not letting them showcase them is depriving the WWE Universe of good entertainment. And with the release of Fit Finlay recently, there is no one fighting for the Divas to get them more involved each and every week.
Although the WWE has tried to bring back glimpses of the ‘Dominant Dive Era’ for example with the first ever Divas Tag Team Tables match at the TLC pay-per-view. It was a good match and kind of made you get more interested in the Divas but with WWE restricting them back, the match was not as engulfing or as memorable as a Trish and Victoria Chicago Street Fight. And that match happened on a RAW not even A PPV and its more talked about and unforgettable.
The WWE need to give their current roster of Divas more time to shine. You have them on the roster, then use them properly. They already dropped viewing them as sex idols and dropped bra and panties matches, which is a huge step, now throw them a bone and let them show you the skills they have and that they can deliver in the ring. Market these women for what they are there to do and that’s wrestle.
Hopefully with the pending draft coming up on Monday and the anticipated debut of Awesome Kong (Kharma) hopefully the Divas division will be repackage and business will pick up. Awesome Kong is a dominant force to be reckoned with and can really shake things up among the Divas and bring the best out of them. Let’s just hope the WWE uses her the right way and doesn’t drop the ball on her. It’s well documented her amazing feud with Gail Kim in TNA, so hopefully the WWE will take us on a trip down memory lane with them. Also think about the awesome battles she could have with Natalya, Beth, Melina or Michelle. Not to mention someone like Eve, who I know feuding with someone like Kong will definitely being the best out of her and make her a top Diva.
So what does the future hold for the WWE Divas, who knows, I’m sure they don’t even know. Hopefully things will get a lot better for these smart, sexy, powerful women. I guess we will have to tune in each week to find out!
Thanks again Rayvon! This Glam Slam mailbag features 2 reader profiles. First long time Diva Dirt Live caller Meagan and I discuss how she got into wrestling and what she thinks about today’s group of women. Then TrishMelinaFan and I pay tribute to Michelle McCool. We spend some time reflecting on McCool’s time in WWE, and what her absence means to the immediate future of the WWE Divas.
[audio:http://diva-dirt.com/download/hittingtheropes/TrishMelinaFan McCool Interview.mp3]
— Mr. Glamazon
PS – Once again, thanks Macho Man for all the memories. In your honor I will keep everything “super serious in the Danger Zone!”
PPS – Please send your mailbag questions to [email protected].
PPPS – Follow me on Twitter @dlb19338 if you want to stay connected! “Ooooh Yeah!”