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Thread: WWE and the Women's Notvolution

  1. #1

    WWE and the Women's Notvolution


    WWE and the Women's Notvolution


    Stephanie McMahon:
    "philanthropy is the future of marketing, it's the way brands r going 2 win"

    If youíre wondering if that is Stephanie McMahon bragging during an interview about how good of an idea it is to monetize other peopleís pain, then donít worry. Itís not. She did it on Twitter where many, many more people could see it. Youíd think that would be one of the dumbest things someone inside the business could possibly say out loud, but then Iíd have to remind you of when she compared 9/11 to the time her family was taken to trial for steroids. Granted, the two things are eerily similar for numerous reasons. For instance, in one case hundreds of thousands of people were tragically affected while millions mourned, and in the otherÖ Oh shit, theyíre not the same at all! Well, how was I supposed to know?!

    Itís no secret that companies spin serious issues for their own corporate gain all the time. Sometimes itís a success like the time Toby Keithís record label made his goat-singing brand the new sound of America at the expense of 9/11, and sometimes itís a PR nightmare like the time Kevin Spacey tried using the plight of homosexuals to get out of sexual-harassing children for kicks and giggles. So, should we be shocked to learn that the WWE uses peopleís tears to masturbate their wallet dongs just like every other company? No, of course we shouldnít. We should be a tad bit concerned when theyíre so open to admitting it though like going around telling everyone youíd show them your boogers you picked from your nose in the car when you thought no one was looking if it meant a few extra pennies. It really puts the time the WWE spit in the face of GLAAD into perspective. Remember when they convinced GLAAD to endorse the WWE product because they promised to do homosexuality proud in an angle only for it to end when Billy Gunnís skin crawled at the thought of being considered pretendsies gay? At the time we looked at that angle as one of the most PC offensive angles they could have possibly done but after Stephanie admitted they do it all for money then they all actually end that way. Even if the demographic theyíre representing wins in the end of a wrestling feud itís still tainted by the comments of Stephanie outright telling you that youíre only being represented to begin with because your pain equals dollars. So thatís good, right? Youíre in pain but at least Stephanie gets to use you to buy new shoes, right? See, so you were born for something, freak.

    So with women power being todayís hot topic is it any wonder that in 2018 the WWE created a womenís Rumble match? After all this time, the WWE has finally decided to pull the trigger on an all-womenís Royal Rumble match. Thank god! They finally did it, guys! Weíve accomplished the dream! The WWE has made history! After nearly three decades weíve finally managed to segregate the women! Wait.. what. They installed a Womenís only drinking fountain and weíre supposed to be impressed? Iím not a woman, as notable by my tripod stance, but isnít the point of equality supposed to be that the women are worse, equal, and *galp* even sometimes better than men? That already happened with Chyna, Beth Phoenix, and Kharma entering a Rumble match full of men, right? But then the WWE couldnít pretend to have made history if itís already happened. You canít make any money by saying, ďRemember that time we already did this twenty years ago? Please buy the unrelated Royal Rumble next month.Ē

    Iím going to put this disclaimer here. I canít believe this has to be written, but youíd be surprised. It is going to be painfully obvious through this column that I donít care for womenís wrestling. I donít care how hard they like to pretend the womenís division is as great as the menís division because I know that it isnít. Theyíre not trained the same. Theyíre not presented the same. Theyíre not treated the same. This isnít sexism talking. I donít blame the women. I blame the company. The system just isnít in place yet. Every time they take a step forward like by making Asuka look unstoppable they take two steps backwards like by doing literally anything else. Now, I have some great news for you! Just because I donít like the womenís division doesnít mean you donít get to! Yay! I know it seems super obvious but if you donít write it out for some people to see they will get super defensive and call you super sexist.

    The fact is that the WWE is prancing around the women as if theyíre equal to the men but if that were true you wouldnít need to say it out loud because it would just be true and noticeable without someone having to remind you per segment. If the women were as good as the men then there would be six titles for them to grab and not two. Thatís why the womenís Rumble was basically window dressing while the real point they were making was that women and their title are good enough for a Rumble match, but just not good enough to be in the same one as the men. A good chunk of the Rumble was basically ďhey, remember this person?Ē with the other chunk being people who have already had a shot at the title in some way whether it be a direct title match or a number one contenderís match.

    The point of the menís Rumble match is that any of the men could get a possible shot at the top title including people who otherwise never wouldíve sniffed the belt. The top title. As in, not the tag team title or the title in the middle but the top title because there are options but only a chosen few get a chance at the top one. The women competed for a chance to earn a contenderís shot at literally the only title theyíre always earning a shot for because there is no other goal for the women. Every match is literally a qualifying match for their title. Equality!

    Itís a shame too, because people like Alexa Bliss are naturally talented. Unfortunately, the diversity of the womenís gimmicks is bitch, not bitch, and crazy bitch. Then thereís Asuka whose gimmick is that she absolutely doesnít belong on the WWE roster and is hot as hell, and Kari Sane whose gimmick is that she also doesnít belong on the WWE roster but is cute as hell. You can clearly see the difference between Sasha Banks whose personality is defined by sometimes wearing sunglasses and Asuka who just oozes character. These women should be facing Tyler Breeze, Zack Ryder, John Cena, and Braun Strowman. These were four random men I chose to list, but thatís the great part! Much like the rest of the wrestlers women should be able to face anyone they wanted to without anyone stopping the show to talk about how revolutionary it is that a woman can fake dropkick a man in the face. Fake dropkick. Woah, stop the presses! Whatís next? Fake running for political office? Fake getting the same pay as their male counterparts? This is mind blowing stuff!

    There are so many flaws the WWE has to fix in order for what theyíre saying to be true. The good news for the WWE is that they donít actually have to fix anything as long as they pretend that all the broken parts are actually revolutionary and everyone buys into it. Thatís not something that people without money can pull off. For instance, I canít eat a baby and then pretend like Iíve made history just because itís normally frowned upon to eat babies and I broke that barrier down. The WWE could however air themselves live while devouring a buffet of babies as long as they give the surviving one a title shot and can put its face on a t-shirt.

    Please tell me why Iím wrong. Tell me why I'm right. Tell me what youíd do to change the Womenís division. Tell me why Taco Bell straws are so skinny that any time you try to open one you end up bending it which creates more holes and therefore making it impossible to finish your drink. Seriously, I wrote this entire column so I could covertly ask you about the straw thing, and now weíve come full circle on using other peopleís plights for personal gain. Thanks for the tip, Stephanie!

  2. #2
    Amen! This article all day! I was planning on writing a column on how the women's revolution is entirely overrated but I think you put this into a tactful column better than I could have. Because you're among your peers, I can't imagine you'd get scrutinized for writing an article like this, but I could see a huge gasp coming from women who want to paint anything against their agenda as sexist. I agree with you. Women's wrestling is NOT on par with men's wrestling in the manner that the WNBA is not on par with the NBA.

    I agree that women's wrestling is in a better place than say the days of Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly and Candace Michelle, but just because they set new precedents and call it a revolution doesn't necessarily make it one. The system is designed for them to manipulate outcomes and create events. The two most impressive people on the roster right now are Asuka and Alexa Bliss, both of whom's names were not even mentioned in this little revolution. Infact, I'll go as far as saying that 3/4 of the 4 horsewomen are either busts (Bailey, Becky Lynch) or misused (Sasha Banks).

    It seems like it's all a PR thing, in the days of sexual assault and women needing to feel empowered, they have gone out of their way to make sure the women are put in better positions than maybe they even deserve to be put in. I enjoy women's wrestling, but if it continued to main event and overtook the men.. the ratings would plummet.

    Nice column and a ballzy one to write, so I commend you.

  3. #3
    The Brain
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    Damn, there's a lot to unpack in here.

    I actually agree with a lot of this. WWE is pretty transparent in their cynical attempts to monetize various causes, the "revolution" has been pretty forced and awkward for much of it's existence with a overpoweringly self-congratulatory air, and the company has definitely tripped over itself a number of times trying to portray their women as "equal" without actually doing the legwork to get to that point. I couldn't tell if you were 100% serious or not with this point, but I'm actually a major supporter of intergender wrestling, which has become more and more popular in certain corners of the wrestling business. Some of my favorite matches from the last few years have been from the likes of Abbey Laith and Ruby Riott mixing it up with men. Some people can't stand that, for various reasons, but as long as it's presented well I'm a major fan of it and I think it's the true wave of the future, though it'll probably take quite a while to get to that point.

    In the meantime, I can say personally I actually enjoyed the women's match quite a bit more than the men's at the Rumble, and while that's not the majority response, most people seem to have enjoyed it just the same. I also think, on some level, that progress is progress, even if it's motivated by corporate greed. WWE likes to pretend they've already arrived at the end of the journey, but really we are still in the process, and that's ok. And like you said, the effect is pretty clear. Women's wrestling IS better in WWE than it was 5 years ago, by an enormous margin. Are the characters underdeveloped? Horribly so, but that's also true on the men's side, so that might just be a WWE problem, not a women's problem. There's talk of adding a women's tag team championship, which will ease the issue of them only having one goal to shoot for. People like Asuka and Alexa Bliss will continue to be developed, at least insofar as WWE develops anyone.

    So basically, while it is motivated by PR and greed at heart, it still can't help but represent progress for women's wrestling just the same. Women in wrestling have, historically, had an incredibly terrible time. Until recently, WWE promoted an actual pimp and borderline human trafficker as the peak of all women's history, so putting the women on last a few times even if they aren't as hot as the men and patting themselves on the back for doing so looks pretty appealing by comparison. I do acknowledge your points her and I think they're well made, but at the end of the day I'm still going to be happy about what I'm seeing, and I know you don't begrudge me that at all, and because we are both reasonable people that works out pretty well. I have friends who now feel like they are able to watch wrestling with their daughters, girls who now feel connected to the show in a way they never felt before, and I think no matter what the reason at the core we've made a net gain and are better off with what we have now. Could it be better? About a million times better, but I'm looking at the bright side on this one.

    Good piece here Tim, glad I could engage in a conversation about this because it brought out a lot of stuff that had been rattling around the back of my brain.

  4. #4
    I agree that progress is progress, but half the time it's not progress. Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma made progress by being in a match where no one had ever seen women inside. An all women's Rumble is a lateral move presented as progress because its literally just an all women's match. It's been done before with major steps forward, but we're not supposed to acknowledge that because then they couldn't market this lateral move as history making. Every women's match is an all-women's match, except when its "intergender" with the rules being that men can't touch women and vice versa. I'll admit that the TLC was a huge leap forward, and I started writing this before I had heard there was an all women Elimination Chamber which is super progressive and I'm really looking forward to it, too. The things that have never been done, so that's pretty cool. At least not to this extent (Lita, Stacey Keibler and Mae Young were going through tables before going through tables was cool). And I agree, the women's Rumble was 10x more entertaining than the men's, but that has nothing to do with gender. It was just a better match, period. Put together better, better surprises, better progression in stories, clearer agenda. I didn't really care for Ember Moon's inclusion, since she was still selling an injury. Not really the best way to showcase her to the main audience, in my opinion. But all in all, a joy to watch.

    And no, I wasn't kidding about intergender matches at all. It's ridiculous that in 2018 its considered too extreme to have a man fake clothesline a woman. Several feuds have required Stephanie to get hers that ended with her getting the last laugh. Even the times she got hit were presented as complete accidents and every time the man looks astonished that it happened. Remember when Stephanie was lightly bumped into during an all man brawl and Cena "broke character" to tend to her, standing side by side with Authority members? She's a former Women's champion. Men are literally devoured by garbage trucks and no one bats an eye, but a light brush to a woman and the show stopped.

    I mean, we definitely agree on everything. I just don't think they need to pretend anymore. Just keep going forward, quietly. Stop yelling, "Look at us! Women are people now!" Stop referring to everything women do as revolutionary.

    Also, push Alexa Bliss and Asuka. I don't mean as Women's champions. I mean push them. Sable push. Trish Stratus push. Don't push Rounda Rousey as a woman, push her as the UFC fighter she was. Just push them as the stars they are without reminding us that they're pushing them and they're women.

    Ah a man can dream.

    Edit:

    I went on a major tangent here. This topic is one I'm incredibly passionate about. It's my subject I'm writing about in school, except not wrestling related.
    Last edited by TimR; 01-31-2018 at 04:43 PM.

  5. #5
    The Brain
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    Definitely agree that not everything that WWE touts as "progress" actually is, and their tendency to ignore history is indeed staggering, but at the same time I think competitors like Beth, Chyna, and Kharma were presented as kind of freak show exceptions to the rule, while WWE continued to devalue the rest of the division, and IF there is actual progress here it's that this kind of thing is being made the norm instead of a shocking exception (or punchline). For the division to get the attention that an actual Rumble provided them was still a big deal, even if it was less "history changing" than WWE would like you to believe. Actually yeah, the more I read your feedback the more I realize we basically agree on everything, except maybe on how much WWE being unbearably smug about recognizing women as regular humans bothers us. I am 1 million percent in favor of pushing women not as "notable women TM" but as diverse characters. Not WWE's strong suit regardless of gender, but as you say we can dream.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    The Taco Bell straw thing - I've never been, but are they like the McDonalds one and wrapped in paper? Because the trick is to take the top of the paper wrapper off, just revealing the tip of the straw, and then blow through the straw to remove the paper sheath.

    I'm kind of good with the women's revolution having happened - although I've spent enough time grumbling about Stephanie casting herself as the Queen of the division and all of the stuff around it to make me think I should be doing something else with my time. One of the things that does kind of bug me is that they keep going back to that 'historic' well and saying everything is historic. The historic first women's tables, ladders, and chairs match. The historic first women's Royal Rumble. The historic first women's Elimination Chamber. The historic first time a women's match has been well built for WrestleMania and not treated like a piss break.

    I mean, it was high time it improved, especially seeing how poorly treated WWE themselves had treated the whole division since the early 00s (arguably throughout the Attitude Era as well, but the Ruthless Agression Era always seemed to pull it up a bit, initially). And WWE patting themselves on the back for basically not treating the women like shit on their shows anymore does feel a little self-aggrandising. So broadly I agree with you, dude. Just I'm equally happy that it's finally happened and it's going well, broadly speaking, so like mizfan I'm kind of OK with them slapping themselves smugly on the back now and again. That will hopefully all tail off in the not too distant future, when things stop being 'firsts', and then the division can exist on it's own. Only problem is, if you do firsts you kind of have to have seconds or else it's seen as a step back. Can they do another Rumble show without including a women's version, for example? They are painting themselves into a bit of a corner in some respect.

  7. #7
    I'm not a fan of women's wrestling either. I never really knew why though. Until I watched their attempt at a Rumble match.

    It's the way they run the ropes, and to be honest it's not their fault. The ring is set up for the guys who are at least twice the size & weight of most of the women, so when the women run the ropes it just looks like they get there, turn around & go back. The visual aspect of women's wrestling could be improved no end if that issue could somehow be resolved. Adjustable settings on rope tightness perhaps?

    I do question the longevity of the women's match though. As you said, all women are always fighting for a shot at the top/only women's title. Most of them receive multiple title matches as well. Unless the women's roster becomes as large as the men's roster and has multiple divisions within it, I don't see a long term future for the women's rumble.

    That gives them a dilema. Do they do it again next year? If they do, it becomes an annual thing. That's fine, if this so-called women's revolution is a long term thing. What happens though if in 2 or 3 years time they're in exactly the same position as today? All of a sudden, the women's rumble is dropped or at best on the pre-show. Doesn't that only prove that the revolution failed?

    It seems to me the Women's revolution is all or nothing. They either have to make sure the next Hogan, Rock/Austin or Cena is actually a woman, or they have to admit it failed.

    For me, in the long term, all it can do is fail.

  8. #8
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    DynamiteBillington has made the point in his reply that women in stature are not physically the same as men. Sort of like the WNBA is in basketball the women's division is in WWE. As great as female basketball players are they are not tall enough or strong enough on average to play in the NBA. Students in high schools across the country that are females try out for football. Most try for place kicker with a few going for other positions. Most (and I stress most) do not have the ability to crack the starting lineup. If to make women's wrestling look realistic the ropes need to be changed how can it look realistic for women to compete with men on a regular basis? Chyna, Beth Phoenix and Kharma are those athletes who could have made the men's team. All three have a physicality that most (I stress most) do not. Could Alexa Bliss do any of the power moves on Braun Strowman that any of those three could? Remember the posts on Rey Mysterio won the heavyweight championship? How unrealistic it was that he could be the heavyweight champion. How many of the other female members of the roster past or present could pull off a power move on Strowman? In boxing there are heavyweight, light heavyweight, etc. If the WWE had these divisions then the women could more realistically be involved. I enjoy the inter-gender matches I find. And although I am not as hardcore of a fan as many on this column I find them enjoyable. At least the ones where the women are treated as equals and not subject to boobplexes and other moves that point out the differences between the competitors. But we must remember that we are not the only fans of WWE. The general public needs to be sold the product to make it successful in ratings. Is the general public ready for inter-gender wrestling? Look at the ratings of the companies that put on inter-gender matches. Is Lucha Underground anywhere near the powerhouse in ratings as WWE? MMA features a women's division. Have you seen the number of posts about how viewers are turned off to see a female's face bloodied? Imagine if MMA were to allow inter-gender matches. Would it be a turn off to most to see a male bloody up a female by continually punching her in the face? We all know that WWE is scripted entertainment and therefore the matches can be scripted to protect that from happening. But will a general public viewing the product bring that into account? Or will they equate it with WWE saying violence toward women is okay? Look at the press when some young child pulls a wrestling move on a sibling or friend and injures or kills them. How quick will they be to point out that the male in domestic violence just watched a wrestling match where Braun Strowman pushed a stage on a woman competitor? Just some random thoughts on how our dreams might play out to the general public. And no Lucha Underground is not as bright a light to the general public as WWE. Notice how the press always goes after "big oil" and not the local wildcatter. So WWE would have to be very careful in their presentation.

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