Diva Respect

January 1, 2007

I figured for tough talk this week I would talk about the WWE Divas and the lack of respect these girls get week after week. In the weekly “Random TV Thoughts” section of my web site I commented on a quote by Michael Cole on Smack Down. The quote was (this may not be exact but should be close enough): “I Love watching the Diva matches, for all the technical maneuvers." I commented that this was a completely absurd statement especially on a show with the likes of Benoit, and Finlay.

It was later pointed out to me that this comments was made tongue and cheek and was meant to be sarcastic. I completely missed this watching the show, which is either a sad statement about the attention I pay watching the show or Cole’s delivery. I watched the Diva’s match again more carefully and Cole was definitely being sarcastic, which as I thought about it made the quote even worse.

Instead of just saying something stupid as I first though, he is in fact completely disrespecting the Divas and telling the viewing audience these girls have absolutely no skill and offer nothing but some nice “T”s and “A”s to look at. Both Cole and JBL completely ignored everything the Divas did and talked only about how nice they were to look at and how they could careless what they were doing as long as they were out there for our ogling pleasure.

This is very sad. I will be the first to admit that the match in questions was not a great one, but the fact remains that all 4 girls in this match were trying very hard and put it a strong effort. Of the 4 girls in the match I only know Jillian Hall and I can guarantee you she is a damn good worker and an amazing athlete. John disrespecting them doesn’t bother me as much since he’s busted his ass in the ring before, not to mention is the heel at the desk, but Cole is supposed to be a baby face not to mention that fact that there are a bunch of WWE Divas who are likely tougher and certainly better workers than he is.

Let’s take a look at just some of the Divas and the Technical Maneuvers and Athleticism they have provided us over the years, despite Cole’s “Tongue and cheek” insistence that they have none. Jillian Hall (Round off Back Handspring into an Elbow in the corner, Round off Elbow drop in the ring, and a Top Rope Hurricanrana (not sure she’s done it in WWE but she did in OVW)). Molly Holly (The Molly-Go-Round (She did it of Big Show’s shoulders once even), Victoria (The Spider Web, Standing Moonsault, Slingshot Front Flip Leg Drop). Can’t forget Lita (Moonsault, Tope, Top Rope Hurricanrana). Not to mention Trish Stratus (I don’t know what half the stuff she did was called but she did a TON of amazing stuff with “Status” in the name. (LOL)) not to mention she’s taken bumps I wouldn’t want to take). I’ve skipped a bunch of stuff as well as a bunch of Divas but I think that makes my point.

The have also taken a ton of bumps and bruises and kept on performing. We talk so much about all the injuries us guys take but never give the ladies credit for theirs. I saw Tylene Buck (Major Gunns) take a botched backhands spring elbow where the girl giving it was too close and instead of getting her feet around to the matt she kicked Tylene right in the chest in full revolution. All the guys there at the time winced in pain just watching the impact. Tylene didn’t even leave the ring; she stood her ground toughed it out and finished putting the match together (yah it wasn’t even in front of a crowd it was during practice). Ashley broke her leg in a Battle Royal, and came back. Marie broke her forearm, and kept working. I saw Mickie James get busted open hard-way from an elbow to the head, on an OVW house show, and she kept going and never complained, Victoria injured her knee (I think an ACL tear), was advised to have surgery and she opted to wear that huge knee brace and keep working. Trish broke her nose on an international tour and didn’t even considering missing a show. Remember that ugly shoulder separation? Trish was at TV the next day. How about Lita who broke her neck and came back, and one thing a lot of people don’t realize is that of all the broken necks and neck surgeries in WWE I believe hers was the most severe.

The point of this commentary isn’t that the WWE Divas are great workers, although some of them VERY MUCH ARE, but that they deserve respect. Anyone one who steps in that ring on a regular basis and puts forth an honest effort deserves some respect. Are these girls hot? YES! Is there a certain of T and A element to their job? Absolutely, but the fact remains that the vast majority of these girls work very hard, take a lot of physical abuse, and quit often have pretty good matches and now that Trish and Lita are gone, NEVER given credit for it, and I think that is a shame.

Some of my best times in this business were working with and helping train the Divas. I had the privilege of working with Trish Stratus, Victoria, Molly Holly, Gail Kim, and Jazz, back in the hey day of the women’s division, and also got to work with Jillian Hall, Mickey James, Michelle McCool, and Melina in OVW. All of these girls are great athletes, worked as hard, if not harder than the guys, and love this business. They have my respect, deserve your respect, and if Michael Cole (or whoever is feeding him those ignorant comments) got in the ring and tried to do half what these girls do on a regular basis, might be shown more respect on TV as well.

That my rant for this week, Happy New Year everyone.
Lance Storm