Sniping, Snivelling & the Role of Women

WWE has caused ALOT of controversy in the way their women are treated in the past few weeks and last night’s Wrestlemania provided some more fodder and surprises.

For years, fans have complained that the “Smart/Sexy/Powerful” Divas are actually super bimbos who are there for window dressing. This was evident over the last few weeks as bad guy announcer Michael Cole interrupted the Divas champion Eve Torres’s matches, calling them “boring”. One of these incidents took place the day before International Women’s Day, something not lost on Torres’s opponent Nikki Bella. As Cole got his (sort of) comeuppance last night, neither Torres nor the Bella Twins or Maryse Ouellett (another Diva who’s matches were interrupted by Cole) got to get some revenge. Instead the Bellas got to rap with a midget and Torres got to gush to guest host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about how she was okay with not defending her championship because she was just happy to be backstage.

The Divas were represented by former Divas champs Layla El & Michelle McCool and former Women’s champion/current Tough Enough trainer/Canadian celeb sensation Trish Stratus. They brought with them Jersey Shore’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, which caused many fans to pity the Divas even more. Snooki shut up the haters by actually being…well, pretty good. She’s lost weight, she did a bunch of flips & for the first time in her “career”, people were laughing & cheering WITH Snooki. Good for her.

However, the biggest moment for Women in wrestling was when “Original Diva” Tammy “Sunny” Sytch was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Fans for years have argued over whether Sytch or her longtime rival Rena “Sable” Mero-Lesnar was the true original Diva, an argument that ended when Sytch was put into the Hall of Fame first. Honestly, I always had more of a soft spot for Sytch. Sytch’s personal problems aside, Sunny was the definition of a “Diva” (Smart. Sexy. Powerful). With a catchphrase of “What Sunny wants, Sunny gets,” she did things that no woman in wrestling did at the time. She cut promos, she controlled her men (instead of timidly walking behind them) she co-hosted shows & ran things. Mero-Lesnar’s Sable was another damsel in distress who decided when the going got tough, the girl should get naked. The modern Divas should thank Sunny for making them equals & decry Sable for making them objects.

The problem is that for every woman like Sytch and Stratus, there are three like Mero-Lesnar and Torres. Wrestling is a man’s world and only the truly determined women can climb hang at the top. It’s about finding the balance. WWE needs to find another woman like Sytch or Stratus who is capable of being a bad ass as well as a pretty face to remind the female fans that you can be smart, sexy & powerful. Unfortunately, the programs for the Divas are reflective of the abilities of (most of) the Divas. Melina Perez and Ouellett are really the only two on the roster who could captivate an audience like their predecessors. The Bellas are dark horses, as they are known for their moxie, and Snooki allegedly wants a contract but only time will tell.

So, if fans want to see the Divas become the bad asses you want them to be, the Divas themselves need to step it up. Stratus & Sytch took their chances and their careers in their own hands. Its time they become more involved in their destiny and not let it come to them. Then they truly will be smart and powerful and not just sexy.