I think the talk about a Women's match ME'ing a Raw is pretty ridiculous. The main topic of conversation on this board is how the men need better storylines and better matches. The majority of WWE fans couldn't care less about the women's division, other than seeing "puppies". Before the WWE tries to make us care about a Women's division, they should make sure the people that most people care about, the men, have well written storylines and well developed gimmicks.
I think women wrestling is very similar to cruiserweights that both can be a very good & entertaining part of a total package, but for both too many bad decisions and it is easily ruined. BigShow & Kane are lucky you can do some bad booking with them but you just need to push them strong for 3 weeks and they're back as legit. Bad booking for women (and cruisers), the credibility of what they do goes in the dumps... Women wrestling was doing fine. Early 2002 Jazz/Trish was two of the most consistent workers in The E. Late 02/Early 03 Trish/Victoria was a legit #3-4 storyline on Raw, sometimes #2. So much so they had interaction with a strong tag division and even main evented the Raw before Armageddon (Trish/Dudleyz vs. Vic/Y2J/Christian tables match) and it delivered a very good rating. Raw has 10 segments, a PPV has 7/8 matches, I'd rather see talented women have a part then the 20th and 21st best male wrestler
The problem I see is the lack of caring for the characters. Arguably Trish, Victoria and Molly are the top 3 overall wrestler/divas, I think all 3 in the past several months had such uncaring treatment of their character. Molly shaves her head and there's not real character advancement or purpose to it except walking around with stupid wigs. It's like they had a plan of Step 1: Shave Molly bald. Step2:( ... ). Step3: Success... Victoria did a complete U-turn & they didn't even bother to explain why she's not involved with Stevie anymore, it's not like they had a short-term partnership, they were a unit & drop it imagining no one will notice or care. Trish is another one, who went from strong, goal-oriented woman to a submissive loser who's IQ was cut in half & acting like Jessica Simpson. They took the one stable performer in the division & erased it.
I think Trish's heel turn & being taken out of the division at WM buried it. You had your crown jewel of the division, your major babyface doing a big turn without having a direct effect to the division. It was a waste, sure she did good work with Y2J/Christian. But damn, that's what valets are for, Stacy backstage being asked by Todd "What do divas do" is the extent of what she does. If you don't have confidence in your valets to pull a storyline like this off, get rid of them & bring in women who can! Because whatever valets do has no effect to other women wrestlers cause they're not in the ring with them. Trish is! Turning Trish is this manner is a waste of Trish & show's total lack of respect to the division... It's like losing Lesner on SD & not being prepared to fill his void, but that was unforeseen. They should have been more cautious when doing something as drastic as removing/turning Trish.
Victoria face turn was doomed to fail from the start as they pretty much threw her to the wolves. If they gave the a tenth of the effort to Victoria's turn as they did to Lita return, Victoria right now will be doing fine. Lita return was set up of a month long heel beatings on Trish. Lita returns as a savior. Protected in tag matches as Trish did the work & Lita go the tag and the superhero pin... Victoria was "okay you're a babyface, now be facey". They gave her some half-hearted tag matches with Lita but no actual purpose or reasoning. Even Trish who didn't need much help got some when she teamed with Lita to go against the Alliance girls in 2001. You do the same thing with Victoria in 2004, have her partner with Trish vs. a common enemy. Allow Victoria to find her niche as a babyface and when confident enough push her as top babyface, it would have been a smoother transition.
Lita's return has hurt more then it helped. I was impressed in her first couple of months, she looked motivated. But after a couple of months, I don't know if it's because she noticed she was over she just stopped trying & became complacent. Lita really should have been on SD, Lita on Raw is just bad for the whole group as they are stuck in a catch 22. Lita is not competent to be the lead for the division, but her characters needs to be portrayed as "xtreme" so they put her in there at the expense of the others... An example is a houseshow this weekend had Lita/ Vic vs. Molly/Gail. Lita removes Molly's wig as she runs away. Then Lita DDT's Gail for the pin. Where to start 1)Molly being a joke. 2)Your champ a non factor. 3)#1 contender pinned by 4)the woman who's not even in the division. I know it's just a houseshow but the same result happened on Raw a week before Gail making Vic submit 1on1.
smark/net attack wienerville advisory stays at BLUE alert - Guarded (With Benoit & Eddie being World & WWE champions you'd expect all's be right but couldn't do it due to Trish/Y2J character switches & whats the deal with JBL PPV main event)- 5/6
Um............folks, lita just beat Gail Kim cleanly. Gail was just about the only person who can legitametly challenge for victoria's title, and she just lost to the worst worker in the history of the wwe. WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING?
Adding a babyface people care about and a heel who's a good worker to the match (b/c it previously had neither).
I largely agree with the wonderful Net Hack Slasher's post about the women as an entertaining supplement to the overall package (the height of which probably being Trish chasing the title from SurSer 02 to Mania 19). I am well aware of how he feels about turning Trish, but I gotta disagree (perpetually).
I think she went as far as she could go as a babyface chasing the belt and it was time to turn, and she was going to get over a whooooole lot more by turning on Chris Jericho than she would've by turning on Victoria. He's absolutely right that losing her as the anchor killed the division though.
The key thing about wrestling is this: They need to tell me why I should care. The average fan cares about Chris Benoit because he (i) Won the Royal Rumble, (ii) Made HHH & HBK tap out and (iii) Is the World Champion.
Why should I care about Trish? Why should I care about Lita? Why should I care about Victoria? Especially Victoria. She turned with no fanfare and no explanation, and any semi-longstanding fans were left scratching their heads as to WHY she wasn't psychotic anymore. The apex of the Women's division was when Trish & Stephanie were fighting (2000 or 2001) because they were a part of the main event angles and we cared for them by association. Now? Nothing.
2004 CALGARY FLAMES: 42-30-7-3 in 82 games for 94 points in the regular season 15-11 in 26 games in the playoffs 2004 Western Conference Champions
Originally posted by Freeway420 The apex of the Women's division was when Trish & Stephanie were fighting (2000 or 2001) because they were a part of the main event angles and we cared for them by association.
Yikes. I almost hesitantly agree with that.
(edited by thecubsfan on 8.6.04 1431) After a quarter of a century on this planet, there's three things I know for sure... 1)Ain't nothing like a Dirty Pair marathon on New Year's Eve. 2)I'd make a fine Mrs. HHH II. 3) I'd make an acceptable Mrs. Orton. 1400 reasons to luv me!
You guys are totally ignoring when Trish was quite over as a babyface chasing the title in '02-03 and having good matches with Victoria. The apex was from their Chicago Street Fight in January through the return of Jazz and Wrestlemania.
Iovry needs to be wrestling. They need about three or four more women who are both eye candy and good wrestlers. Their matches need to more than 2-3 minute squashes. The annoncers need to call the matches, not scream "puppies" and "jezebel." Those things would be the first steps in the right direction for the Women's Division.
The apex of the division, as integrated into the WWF/E, was the aforementioned period with Stephanie, Trish, and Lita interacting with main event players.
However, the apex of the women's division as a standalone division was the Trish-Victoria-Jazz period, where fans cared enough about the wrestlers on the strength of consistent booking, good wrestling, and strong characterization.
What I advocated earlier in the topic was a mix of both, where those who are affiliated with topcard guys (Trish, Lita) bring their heat and fan interest, while good matches, consistent booking, and character-building with strong workers and new faces (Victoria, Jazz, Molly, Gail) fleshes out the matchups and holds fan attention with ringwork and storyline advancement. Ideally, even a diva like Stacy should have a part to play in the division, where she should be paired with a wrestler, (because really, a valet without an escort is useless) and can occasionally mix with the women wrestlers as either a "damsel in distress" babyface or a "cunning and manipulative bitch with backup muscle" heel.
If you really think of it, something like the Molly-Gail alliance (in its initial incarnation) would be better served with a Stacy Keibler and a Shaniqua playing the heel roles. Instead of having two (arguably) competent wrestlers with the same goals working together for the benefit of the better wrestler, you'd have the hoss (Shaniqua) providing protection for the weaker wrestler. A similar argument can be made in favor of Stacy being better suited to have a "Problem Solver" of her own, or for her (hypothetical) boyfriend to be trying to protect her from Kane, who intimidates her as she wrestles. All that I ask is that they be booked to their strengths, and not pushed as square pegs into round holes. Molly, Jazz, Lita, and even Victoria aren't T&A, so if the fanbase sees them as such, the writers should either step up and change that situation, or cut fat, because they aren't what the WWE is looking for. And if they want to push wrestling, then they have to take the wrestling seriously. That begins with the bookers, but announcers have to do their part as well. When they begin to treat the Divas as professionals, the fans will do it too.
The last time I recall seeing her work regularly was August '03, & she was great then. At that time she was working intergender matches with Maven, Tommy Dreamer, etc against Victoria & Stevie. I haven't heard of her having any particular injury issues, although that's always a possibility. Sounds like she's actively been training people at OVW, so she's probably still in ring shape. And she's always been entertaining in the ring. Barring something we don't know about (like injuries), I would think she certainly could go. I would love to see her work, if that's something she still wants to do.
Originally posted by JMShapiroYou guys are totally ignoring when Trish was quite over as a babyface chasing the title in '02-03 and having good matches with Victoria. The apex was from their Chicago Street Fight in January through the return of Jazz and Wrestlemania.
The women's division misses Trish Stratus in the worst kind of way right now. She was over for a large number of reasons: She had the right look, was comfortable on the mic, had a number of opponents to work with (Jazz, Molly, Victoria), was a good worker in the ring (she couldn't necessarily carry anyone, but could hang with the best in the division), can work a crowd, and had 3 signature moves that got crowd reactions (Stratusfaction, Stratusphere, Chick Kick). (Yes, I realize she still has these.) No other woman on the roster has this combination. Victoria is bombing as a babyface because she can't work a crowd that well and outside of the Widow's Peak doesn't have many moves that the crowd can identify her with. The Standing Moonsault is fine, but the crowd needs more time to remember that it's hers.
I think that's the problem right now. They need a babyface that did as well as Stratus and has those key elements. Victoria's still in development mode as far as that role goes. I think, as soon as possible, they should put the title back on Molly until Victoria is comfortable in that role, or until they find someone who is.
Ok, so I've found two versions of the cover art, one featuring Rock and one featuring HHH. Even the one WITH Hunter doesn't really overdo it. I leave it up to you to determine which if either is the *official* one.