Sunday, August 1, 2021

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Southern Belle Smack: The NXT Season Three Debate… Is it Doomed to Fail?

Season three of NXT is no doubt the most talked about season so far in the show’s history. Last week, during the finale of season two, Josh Mathews and Michael Cole made a historic announcement by telling us that season three is going to be comprised entirely of Diva rookies. When the average wrestling fan hears the term ‘Diva’, he automatically assumes that a hot girl with a nice set of puppies will walk out to the ring. Or what’s worse, is average fan may believe Diva time is really bathroom time. The majority of average wrestling fans are ignoramuses, but the point remains the same. What the term ‘Diva’ actually stands for is overcoming the odds in WWE land. That’s exactly what six rookie Divas have a chance to accomplish starting this week on NXT.

The decision to make NXT 3 about the Divas was met with a lot of well documented controversy. Fans, pro wrestling media personnel, and “writerz” took to their Twitters, Facebooks, MySpaces, etc. to make their feelings known about this upcoming all Diva show. A nice chunk of these people took one look at the pros and decided not to watch. Some people decided to just talk a lot of smack and back up their verbal BS with weak arguments and ridiculous ‘facts’. The saving grace in all of this were the real Diva fans. They chose to remain open-minded and optimistic.

The all Diva season of NXT could go one of these two ways: it could either be a success and the WWE could find their next breakout Diva or it could go the opposite way and be an epic failure.

If you were to take a poll, it’s a safe bet to assume that most people would pick the show to tank. “No one wants to watch a whole hour of Divas.” That kind of excuse is pathetic, but honestly, it’s expected. World Wrestling Entertainment doesn’t give people the chance to care about the Divas or take them seriously. They’re not given ample screen time and they’re not really allowed to build a character that could potentially get them over with the crowd. For some unprecedented reason, the WWE is afraid to let their female talent get over with the crowd and it’s not the girls’ fault. It’s the company’s fault. That’s why it came as a shock that the WWE would actually give an entire, nearly uninterrupted hour of their precious TV time to the girls; up and coming girls at that.

There’s so much that is right about this scenario. The most obvious one is the fact that these girls will get much needed TV time. They’re going to be the focus of the show and they’re going to be allowed the chance to speak, to wrestle, and to build characters. They’re going to have a pro to play off of and they’ll have each other to push. No doubt the FCW girls have to realize what an opportunity this is. The main roster Divas don’t even get chances like this. They could very well bring WWE women’s wrestling back up to Attitude Era level and maybe, just maybe, they can draw in even average wrestling fans and make them care again. Wouldn’t it be great to watch fans rally behind their favorite girl? Who doesn’t want to see a great female heel emerge and draw Stephanie McMahon/Vickie Guerrero like heat? The only way to get fans drawn back into the Divas is to manipulate the average fan into caring about them. This show will present scenarios and the girls will have to run with it. They will have to find a way to make their character so believable that fans won’t have a choice but to care about them. It’s entirely possibly to do, and we’ve seen it done many times before. The all Divas season of NXT could very well be the best thing that’s happen to the Divas division in a long time. Who doesn’t want that?

Oh the other hand, season three could have the opposite effect and it could completely tank. It’s possible that the writers will drop the ball and that the rookie girls won’t be ready for such a huge stage. We’ve already seen one girl, Isis the Amazon better known as Aloisia, taken off the show and (from what we know) placed back down in FCW for more training. NXT on Syfy doesn’t exactly get stellar ratings now, but with their biggest ratings ploy gone already, there’s a big chance that said low rating will take an even bigger hit. Also, the pros that were selected don’t exactly give the show any star power. Some people may even speculate that this show has been set up for failure. Primo, Goldust, Brie and Nikki Bella, Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox, and Vickie are hardly in positions to mentor people. Some of those people can barely mentor themselves in the ring let alone another person. The pro selection doesn’t seem to have much thought put into it, but the show isn’t about the pros.

No one should write the show off before an episode has aired, especially not because of the pro selections. That’s a completely stupid reason to judge something. So many so-called media outlets were quick to crucify and object to season three, and that is the number one reason NXT will tank should it do so. Back in season one, the main objection was to the fact The Miz was mentoring Daniel Bryan. Everyone and their mother, myself included, wrote this off as a good reason to be disgusted with the show. Lets face it, what could Miz possibly teach Daniel Bryan?! In the end, he couldn’t teach him anything because at the end of the night, the show was scripted. Both individuals acted how they were told to act, and now both are involved in a hot storyline on Raw, with Daniel getting a United States Championship match come Night of Champions. Not bad, right?

When the season two pairings were announced and Lay-Cool were given Kaval, the shit hit the proverbial fan. Everyone had a problem with this. Everyone slammed Lay-Cool and wrote the Lay-Kav-Ool pairing off as the biggest miscarriage of justice in WWE since Bret Hart got screwed at Suvivor Series 1997. The backlash was awful and when the show got underway, things got worse. The average wrestling fan started PMSing when Kaval was made to wear a pink hoodie. Lay-Cool were blamed for all of Kaval’s losses. No one stopped to think that maybe those little incidents were part of a bigger plan.

Low and behold, those little incidents proved to be part of a bigger plan! It’s hard to grasp the concept of Divas being great characters, but Lay-Cool more than proved their worth and along with Kaval, they went straight to the top. The WWE pushed this pair and worked with them, and made them into nothing short of a dynamic trio that made people want to tune into NXT every week. Every thing happens for a reason, people.

Lets take a look at some examples shall we.

Naomi Knight and Kelly Kelly being put together works because Naomi doesn’t need any help in the ring. The WWE clearly sees something special in her, which is why they went ahead and put her with arguably their most popular Diva. Kelly Kelly, love her or hate her, is over with the crowd and that automatic association will give Naomi some leverage with the crowd.

Whichever girl ends up replacing Aloisia as Vickie’s rookie will have an instant storyline and instant heat. Vickie is insanely over as a heel and whoever ends up getting a rub from her will more than likely end up with a pretty good run on NXT.

Pairing AJ Lee with Primo is nothing but beneficial to Primo. AJ sparkles in the ring and with her personality. She doesn’t need a pro to elevate her. This will only help Primo. Because of AJ he will get TV time. He will get a chance to work on his character and play off her. It works in a weird, backwards way.

The other pairings have just as much potential as the three listed above and if people go into season three with an open mind, then they will probably get treated to an enjoyable show and maybe find a new Diva to cheer for. Best case scenario, average wrestling fan finally figures out that Divas are human beings too and they work just as hard as the men.

It’s a win/win situation.

Should the show tank or not be the success we want it to be, at least Diva fans can take away something. They can be proud of the fact that the WWE finally gave women a chance to shine on their own show. If no one else appreciates the girls for who they are and the wrestlers they can be, then we will. We’ve been waiting a long time for something like this to come around and I personally can’t wait to be a part of it. I’m going to do my part to make sure season three is a success for the girls and pros involved, as well as all the Divas and their fans everywhere. Will you do your part?

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