By Ace Masters
The WWE Divas are a beautiful thing – outside of the ring. Only a handful of them (Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Victoria, Natalya) have the experience and skills and belong in the ring. On that line of thought, why do the Divas work? Because most of them are not there to wrestle, even if they now do, they are there for the "Male Demographics". That is, to help boost ratings.
Why the Diva’s don’t work? There are two reasons why they don’t: 1) Their presence doesn’t affect ratings much anymore; 2) Most of them can’t wrestle and aren’t trained wrestlers.
Even though female wrestlers, managers and valets have been around since the beginning of pro wrestling, the idea of the WWE Divas can be traced back to Sunny – The first true WWE Diva. Sunny, along with Sable after her – did exactly what WWE wanted them and the divas today to do: Draw in male viewers to see sexy women in skimpy outfits – oh, and stick around to watch the wrestling as well.
If anyone has kept up with the ratings of the WWE shows you’ll know that, except for Smackdown, ratings have been in flux lately, even with the Divas on the show. Even more telling is how quiet and docile the crowd gets, except for Mickie James, during Diva matches, like they don’t care. Wrestling fans are still wrestling fans and that is the main reason they go to the shows.
Most of the divas have no wrestling training and are learning on the fly on TV. This shows with bad matches, botches moves and stiffness from many of them. You will rarely see any of the developmental wrestlers who aren’t ready and still learning on one of the brand shows. After a lot of hype and TV time, Vladimir Koslov was pulled was pulled off TV during his initial run because he was deemed ‘not ready.’
In fact Mickie James, Beth Phoenix and Natalya (who doesn’t fit the Diva’s mold quite honestly) were in development territories for a while. Why? Because they are legit wrestlers who started out as wrestlers – not Divas – and the WWE wanted them trained properly. This shows on TV in much higher quality matches when they are involved.
Trish Stratus and Lita have had the biggest impact on the recent Diva situation in the WWE in radically different ways. Trish was a fitness competitor and came into the WWE as a manager. She trained hard and learned the craft before getting into the ring – giving all the Divas hope, and the WWE the thought, that they all could do the same. They haven’t.
Lita was a trained wrestler with a highflying style that set the ring on fire when she performed. Proving that female wrestlers could be beautiful and talented performers at the same time; with a daring move set and high work rate. Something most of the Diva’s are missing today.
The Divas who have made the biggest impact on the WWE today are Mickie James and Beth Phoenix. Neither one came out of the WWE Diva search. They are trained wrestlers, not eye candy, even if they do happen to look good as well.
Not all is lost though, and the divas can work, in a much better way than they are now. The answer is simple: If they are there to look good, get them out of the ring and use them as valets and managers, and have them help further story lines without wrestling. If they are there to be wrestlers, pull them off TV and send them to FCW for training.
Either way, there will be a better WWE Divas product.