Andy’s Angry: Wasted Talent & Musical Chairs

There’s a lot to like right now in WWE.  It’s not perfect, by any means.  There will always be talented and popular guys waiting in the midcard, for a push that never comes.

That said, there seem to be a lot more hits than misses these days.  In 2013, Big Show feels hot and fresh.  THAT’s telling.  CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are making the Wyatts look amazing.  The Shield is still awesome, while slowly building a handful of storylines.  Big E Langston just became a star. The Usos are moving up.  Even 3MB have been refreshed.

Like it or not, the midcard hasn’t been so good since the Attitude Era.  Same goes for title credibility.  Don’t believe me?  Go back and listen to the pop when Big E Langston beat Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Title.  Go back and listen to the pop when the Rhodes boys beat The Shield for the tag straps.  Fast forward to the next US, World, or WWE title change.  More of the same.

Then there’s the Divas division.

I don’t know that I’ve ever had less respect for women’s wrestling, or pro wrestling in general, than I did this Monday.  AJ Lee versus Vickie Guerrero in a 5 minute segment that was four-and-a-half minutes too long, and a dozen girls playing musical chairs.

MUSICAL CHAIRS.  ON LIVE TV.  ON A LIVE PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING SHOW.

Abysmal.  Even JBL spoke up, declaring the segment “the worst thing we’ve ever done.”  I’d be hard-pressed to disagree.

Keep in mind, this televised abortion was supposed to convince you to do two things: watch Total Divas, and pay to watch Survivor Series.  You know, that’s the show where Natalya, Cameron, Naomi, The Bellas, JoJo and Eva Maria will take on AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Kaitlyn, Rosa, Summer Rae, Aksana and Alicia Fox.

Yes, AJ and Kaitlyn are on the same team.  And yes, Eva Maria is wrestling on pay-per-view, despite having wrestled in a grand total of THREE matches.  JoJo just had her first match.  Rosa Mendez has been around for years and STILL looks totally helpless whenever she gets anywhere near a wrestling ring.

The division is a mess.  Only half the women (at best) can wrestle a respectable match.  The characters have zero continuity, at least when the women are lucky enough to HAVE characters.  With the exception of AJ Lee, the division as a whole is a total channel-changer.

MEANWHILE, IN ORLANDO….

As is mentioned once a week by my fellow Juice Make Sugar fanboys, NXT is probably WWE’s number 2 show.  Unintentionally, of course, but it’s fantastic.  Hungry young talents.  Bold, vibrant characters.  Matches that let these young guys and girls show off, and try to make a name for themselves.

All with WWE’s top-of-the-line production.

Watch any episode of NXT on Hulu.  In fact, watch every episode of NXT on Hulu.  When you do, DON’T skip the women’s match.  You’d regret it—because of both the action, and the characters.

Emma is money.  Dig up her match teaming with Santino against Fandango and Summer Rae.  She’s GOLD.  When she said that WWE stands for “World Wrestling Emmatainment,” I was sold.  I need this girl on my TV, and so do you.

Summer Rae is everything Kelly Kelly should have been.  Beautiful, talented, and charismatic as hell.  JBL calls her Mrs. Fandango, but I call her the future Mrs. Angry Andy.

Bayley is fun.  To put it simply, she’s a female fan-boy.  Oh, and she can SELL.  Most of the main-roster divas don’t know what that means.

Paige can be a star.

Sasha Banks is a great Layla to Summer’s Michelle McCool.  Needs work in the ring, but there’s potential.

Charlotte is still new, but she’s already showing some serious athletic potential, and glimpses of her dad’s natural charisma.  She’s already better than her brother, David Flair could have ever dreamt to be.

Not to mention the woman training these future divas, Sara Del Rey, is a world-class wrestler in her own right.

There is incredible talent on the roster, it’s just not being utilized.  And that begs one very serious question.

If this kind of talent exists, and is just waiting to be used, why does WWE give us MUSICAL CHAIRS instead?

The short answer isn’t very satisfying, but it is pretty simple.  WWE doesn’t care about good wrestling, at least when it comes to the girls.  WWE cares about marketing and making money.  For whatever reason, Vince & Co think that a bunch of untalented women playing musical chairs is best for business.  It doesn’t matter where you see talent.  All that matters is where Vince and Co. see dollar signs.

So how do we get good quality women’s wrestling, without sacrificing production quality?

Number one, watch on Hulu.  Make your friends watch, too.  Rewatch good episodes.  Show WWE that there is a market for this brand of wrestling.  Without an audience, and a way to monetize the product, there’s no reason to build it any bigger than it is now.

Number two, Tweet.  Tweet a lot.  WWE cares about social media more than it should.  It judges its TV shows not by Nielsen ratings, but by social media scores.  Tweet Emma, or Paige, or Bayley, or Summer.  Don’t be creepy, but show your support, and let it be known that you want what these girls have to offer.  In WWE, trending is profit.  Use it to your advantage.

Fight for the brand of wrestling you actually want to watch.  It got us CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in the main event.  It got us Antonio Cesaro.  Pretty soon, it will get us guys like Adrian Neville, Sami Zayn and Solomon Crowe.  The same strategy could bring us Emma, Paige and Bayley.

Unless, of course, you’d prefer musical chairs to talented women wrestling.  If the most mediocre of women’s wrestlers failing to improve is your thing, enjoy Raw.

I’ll hold out hope for the future…. But I won’t hold my breath.

@AndyMillerJMS