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August 12, 2011

9

Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix: Hope for WWE’s Diva Division

WWE's Beth Phoenix

WWE's Kelly Kelly, Roddy Piper, and Eve Torres

WWE’s Kelly Kelly, Roddy Piper, and Eve Torres at WrestleMania press conference in NYC

Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix: Hope for WWE’s Diva Division

Fortunately, there’s hope; light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Beth Phoenix and Natalya Neidhart. One of WWE’s biggest mistakes for the women’s division was to get rid of the actual WWE Women’s Championship in favor of a new WWE Divas Championship. Originally having two womens’ divisions, they decided to merge than and unify the titles. It’s disappointing to see women’s wrestling represented by that. It’s very tacky, and in my eyes it’s even worse than the ‘Spinner Belt.’ However, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a merchandising ploy, good for business, and at the end of the day, ‘it’s just wrestling.’

What would be good for business is a greater emphasis on quality wrestling, however. Good, compelling writing and characters are just as much a draw to fans as visual appeal. It’s the same logic applicable to male wrestlers. A wrestler doesn’t have to be jacked to sell tickets. A ‘Diva’ doesn’t have to be a one-hundred-pound blonde bombshell to be a success, either. Japan proved in the 1980s and 90s that women wrestling can even out-draw men’s wrestling.

Kelly Kelly

WWE's Beth Phoenix

With Beth Phoenix, it’s clear that sexuality is a powerful marketing detail here, too, but at least Beth can back it up in-ring and on the mic in WWE compared to other Divas.

I’m not knocking Kelly Kelly, as she’s improved so much since her ‘Extreme Exposé’ days. It’s clear, though, that Kelly Kelly is no Trish Stratus, and she’s not even a Sable. I wouldn’t dare compare Kelly Kelly to Sunny, either. Sunny may not have been a wrestler, but she could TALK. I can’t say the same for Kelly Kelly, though. Everyone defends Kelly Kelly by saying she’s ‘improved so much,’ and I will too, because it’s the best I can come up with to play devil’s advocate here. But does improvement matter all that much when you go from horrible to less-horrible? In the realm of bikini-models-turned-wrestlers, though, she’s good for what she is and is relatively over. It’s pretty clear to me, though, that Sunday marks the end of her run as Divas Champion.

Beth Phoenix

On to Beth Phoenix. Beth Phoenix turned heel on Kelly Kelly after winning a #1 Contender’s Battle Royal on Raw. Kelly hugged Phoenix, which made very little sense. Phoenix clubbed her like the She-Bear she is and told her her days as the ‘perky Barbie champion are over,’ or something like that. Basically, the ‘model’ is getting her butt handed to her by a powerhouse female wrestler. Finally.

TNA Knockouts

TNA is currently running a similar angle which hasKnockouts ODB & Jackie as the tough-as-nails wrestling components versus the eye-candy team of Tracy and Velvet Sky. For a while, TNA’s best thing going was their women’s division, but they fell into the ‘sex-sells’ habit as well. Hopefully this marks the beginning of a departure from that, and hopefully WWE will be on a similar course.

SummerSlam

Not only do I predict that Beth Phoenix will win at WWE SummerSlam 2011, but I see her holding the title for a while as part of a monster push. WrestleMania will be potentially ‘wrestler-heavy’ this year (finally) and we may finally get to see one of my WrestleMania dream matches: Natalya Neidhart versus Beth Phoenix. Yes, I said ‘dream match.’ My theory is that Beth Phoenix is the quick replacement for Kharma, who had to leave due her pregnancy. Whether she will return or not only she knows, but I think that they may use some ideas meant for her in Beth Phoenix’s title run.

What are YOUR thoughts on Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, and the state of the Diva Division in WWE?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] about the guys, though. Last month, I posted some commentary on the WWE’s Divas division. I incorrectly predicted a victory for Beth Phoenix, but I will remake that same prediction for [...]

  2. [...] It’s worth being noted Brooke Tessmacher was a member of “Extreme Expose” with Kelly Kelly in WWE. I don’t even remember her wrestling back then, yet she progressed to be miles ahead of Kelly [...]

  3. [...] not a Dwayne Johnson reference, by the way. Forgettable match for a now-forgettable angle. I had high hopes for it a while back but they dropped the ball. Beth retained her title, [...]

  4. [...] now for something completely different: The Divas title. Beth Phoenix has gotten this site quite a bit of traffic due to a high-res image people like to hotlink to and steal my bandwidth. So for that… to [...]

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