JC’s Top Rope Report: I Hate To Say I Told You So…
Sometimes I don’t like being right. This is one of those occasions. During Wrestlemania season I wrote this piece. In it, I talked about how the WWE is bragging about a Women’s Evolution at the expense of the rest of the women on their roster. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were pushed as a cut above the rest when it came to the women on the roster. Every other woman was thrown into the battle royal or the Fatal 4 Way Tag Title match. This is how I finished that piece:
It is all well and good that the women are main eventing Wrestlemania. But doing it at the sacrifice of the rest of the women on the roster is not a smart move. There are talented women on this roster who are going to be thrown into a battle royal, or in that Fatal 4 Way Tag match. It will be the WWE’s responsibility to build these women back up post-Wrestlemania in hopes that they really care about these women getting a fare shake, and not just a certain select few.
And here we are at the next big show on the WWE calendar. These words couldn’t be more true.
Ever since Wrestlemania the “Women’s Evolution” that the WWE liked to brag about has gone nowhere but down. Perhaps the key piece to that is Ronda Rousey no longer being around. Whether you loved her or you hated her, there is no denying that the WWE higher ups cared more about the women when she was around. Becky Lynch continues to be one of the most over people in the company. But what has the WWE done with the rest of the women on their roster since then? The answer is not a lot.
The WWE has not given the fans a reason to care about any other woman on the roster since Wrestlemania. If you need stronger evidence, just take a look at how the women were treated on this past week’s RAW and Smackdown Live. On RAW, we were treated to a Fatal Four Way match between Naomi, Natalya, Alexa Bliss and Carmella. With the winner being given a Title shot at SummerSlam against Becky Lynch. Someone thought it would be a good idea to give these four women 23 minutes. Alexa Bliss lost two Title matches in a row. Carmella has been part of a comedy act for the last few months. And I don’t even know where Natalya and Naomi have been. The crowd turned on the match. And it was justified given the lay out of the match. But the fans also had little reason to care about any of these women. What stories were they given over the last few months? None. They were just thrown into a match that should have been half as long as it was. This prompted the following tweets from Alexa Bliss:
That’s a slippery slope to go down. Men get this stuff chanted at them all the time. While it may be disrespectful, the criticism of the match was justified and this isn’t the hill for Alexa Bliss to die on. She’s one of the few women the people somewhat care about still.
Now lets shift over to Smackdown. There were three different women’s matches on this show. Of course the one that got the most time was Charlotte Flair taking on Liv Morgan. And to the WWE’s defense, it looked like they might actually be doing something with Liv Morgan. But the other two matches? Well Ember Moon and Bayley beat Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in about 90 seconds. Then Bayley just handed Ember Moon a Title match after. And The IIconics took on Asuka and Kairi Sane, where the IIconics got themselves intentionally counted out after about 2 minutes. Paige actually threw some subtle shade at the length of these matches on Twitter:
Part of the problem is this new WWE initiative to not have any wrestling during commercial breaks. It is leading to shorter matches, which is just plain stupid. I continue to recommend the person that told Vince McMahon that live sports don’t have action during commercials should be fired on the spot.
Of course the entire WWE product has been bad since Wrestlemania. It isn’t just the women. But it is pretty clear that the women have become less important since Wrestlemania. There matches have been getting less and less time. And hell, the same five women have been involved in every PPV Title match since Wrestlemania: Becky Lynch, Lacey Evans, Charlotte Flair, Bayley and Alexa Bliss. Sure you can count Nikki Cross too I guess. Bayley, Alexa Bliss and Lacey Evans are probably the next tier after Becky and Charlotte. But Bayley has done squat since winning the Women’s Title. And they did a great job making her seem like a big deal at Money in the Bank. Alexa Bliss lost two Title matches in a row yet continues to get opportunity after opportunity. She also needs the right opponent to have a good match and her and Bayley have never clicked. And Lacey Evans got pushed way too soon, lost three Title matches, and now the fans have no reason to take her seriously again. She was pushed too soon because “tall and blonde” and Vince has already ruined her.
How hard is it to write competent storylines for all the women on the roster? Not hard at all. I mean you can look at my Justin C’s Alternate WWE Universe stories here to prove my point. You can also look at NXT where they have two good storylines going on as well. Of course the key to all of these stories is that you are given a reason to care, and there is usually a payoff. But most of the payoffs in the WWE are short matches that don’t mean anything in the end. If you aren’t considered a top star in the WWE, you are just another number. And if you are lucky, Vince McMahon and Co. will remember your number at some point.
There’s a reason Sasha Banks needed a break. While I’m sick of her subtle tweets at this point, she was right to not like what happened with the Women’s Tag Team Titles. And I like the IIconics. But they have mad those Tag Titles an absolute joke. There is zero reason to care about them anymore. I was even fine with them winning the Titles at Wrestlemania. But I would take that back now in a heartbeat. They should not be holding these Titles this long and that match on Smackdown Live was a farce. The titles mean as much as the 24/7 Title right now. Hell they could mean even less.
At this point you can tell there is no Evolution PPV this year. The excuse the WWE will use, and has been rumored, is that without Ronda Rousey they don’t think they can draw well. I’m here to tell you that is horse shit. And in my Alternate Universe in the week’s ahead, I’ll show you why. All it takes is some concentrated effort, a reason to care about every woman on the roster, and some compelling stories and you can put on a good show. Most people will tell you Evolution was a good show last year. If given proper build up it could be good again this year. But why try to write competent women’s storylines when you can have Shane McMahon on TV half the show?
The WWE likes to brag about how they are so visionary and ahead of the times with their women. Can you imagine how bad it will get when they have a women’s match in Saudi Arabia? They will shove it down our throats as ground breaking when it is nowhere near the case. And Saudi Arabia still treats their women like shit.
Now that the media spotlight is off the WWE, the women’s evolution is once again in the shadows. Their matches continue to get shorter and shorter and it is obvious they aren’t a priority anymore. Stephanie McMahon likes to proclaim to be the head of this Women’s Evolution. She once practically begged for a YES chant after the Royal Rumble announcement. Stephanie McMahon said “If there was ever a time for a YES chant it is now.” Well Stephanie, if there is ever a time to show you actually care about the women’s evolution, it is now.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka