Women in Wrestling
Posted by Nik Johnson on May 23, 2003, 19:00
The zenith of Tatanka's entire WWE stay revolved around his
unparalleled winning streak. But, I think they also shit the bed with that one. When he finally did lose to Ludvig Borga, there wasn't as nearly as big a deal
made of it as should have been. Borga beat him, they mentioned the demise of the streak and that was it, a mere mention. They could have made it into a bigger deal and set up a feud revolving around it, but they more or less dismissed it, which did little for both careers"
Paul Carboni is spot on here, talking about how WWE wasted
another opportunity after building it up. The most infuriating thing
is that it is so obvious what they should have done!
Last week, I asked for match-booking ideas. There were some great entries, including ultra-violence and turning the Rock heel at Wrestlemania, but I had one favourite:
John Sklba’s idea for a match ending involves a heel taking referee "classes" (or whatever other contrived idea WWE has for making someone a referee.) Then, when they are the challenger for the title, can call the match themselves and declare himself the winner.
A lot of people came up with variations of the following, but Asif Kahn was there first:
I just love it when it's Linda's 'time of the month'
You’re all horrible, horrible people.
Thanks to Scott Keith, J Hawk and Tony Jaymz for plugging my column last week. Scott’s book "Tonight in this very ring" is available at amazon.com, while J Hawk and Tony’s columns can be found right here at thesmartmarks.com. Anyone else who plugged my column... well done, but I didn’t notice. Sorry.
I'm sure that you've read everyone's views on the show by now, and tried to
blank it out of your mind, but here's my thoughts anyway.
For the first time ever, I turned a PPV off. After the horrible, horrible Battle Royal, I’d had enough. Just the opening video package was enough to put me off – they hyped HHH/Nash, Lesnar/Big Show and Mr America / Piper.
6 man tag - It was like they took the first 2 minutes, and last 2 minutes of a 20 minute match and just aired that. Rhyno didn't even tag in. Everyone out there was the shit, and has the potential to do so much more
Steiner / Test vs. La Résistance - Awful. J.R. was pimping the Steiner / Test tension before the match, so it was painfully obvious what would happen. And the whole angle sucks, as do Steiner and Test. La Resistance are quite good, but resorting to racism to get them over is a shame.
Ladder match - same old shit. Basically, they do all the spots from a regular match, but a bit higher. There was nothing new or innovative here, and the slow climbs always succeed in pissing me off.
Battle Royal - A FUCKING REF BUMP. It was horrible how most people were eliminated straight away, yet the final 4 lasted forever. Jericho and Goldust's eliminations rocked, but the ending was awful. As soon as the ref went down, it was pretty obvious. And why didn't Austin / Bischoff do something, since they were watching? And what about the refs on the other sides of the ring - presumably the ones who called for the bell and had T's music play? Or am I just thinking too much... the answer is obvious.
I assume it was just a test of Booker T's reaction from the crowd, before his
inevitable IC Title reign.
At this point, I had enough and turned off. I figured I could do something more productive with my time, so I watched paint dry.
Anyway, I did go back and watch the rest of the show in fast-forward-vision, thanks to the miracle of VCR.
Sable vs. Torrie – The same thing we’ve seen a million times on SmackDown
Roddy Piper vs. Mr America – Even in fast-forward, the moves were in slow motion. A horrible, horrible match that had no place anywhere near the year 2003.
HHH vs. Nash – I didn’t go near it, and from what I’ve read all across the net, everyone hated it. Except McMahon, who will re-run the match next month at Bad Blood. Yay.
Trish vs. Jazz vs. Victoria vs. Jackie –Typical women’s match. Nothing special. No need for Jackie to still be employed, really.
Lesnar vs. The Big Show – not a bad match, just not a good one. Lesnar looked a million dollars, and the Big Show looked awful. Again. I fail to see the logic in feeding Rey to the Big Show in his big return, and have Show no-sell ANOTHER 619.
Dames Diatribe on the show is here
This week was the E3 video game exhibition, and among the new games that are in development is the latest in the SmackDown! series, SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain. The features listed for the game include three “new” match types: Elimination Chamber, first blood and Bra and Panties.
That’s right: Bra and panties.
Now I feel like I’m being judged when I buy a wrestling video game anyway, but to have a wrestling game where a bra and panty match is one of the main features will be horrible.
Maybe it appeals to someone. Maybe it will appeal to those people that bought Tomb Raider just to see Lara Croft’s ass. Maybe it will appeal to people that haven’t figured out that there are real people out there, and not just graphics.
I could be wrong and it is a hugely popular mode with a wide range of people. I doubt it, but I could be.
Now this got me thinking: What is the role of women in WWE? And who are WWE appealing to by using female wrestlers?
There are two types of woman wrestler, those that can wrestle and those that can’t. Thankfully, due to the roster split, these two groups have been split up. Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie are “wrestling” on SmackDown!, while Trish and Jazz are putting on some decent matches on Raw.
Having two groups of women causes a problem though – what are the fans meant to think of women’s wrestling?
One week, Trish Stratus is going out and busting out some cool moves in a great match, then the next week she’s taking part in a gravy-bowl match. All the work she’s put in making herself look like a legitimate wrestler is ruined, because she’s basically put out there for jerk-off material. Even her website is 2002babeoftheyear.com, and only showcases her looks – not her wrestling skill.
So next time she goes out to wrestle, sure people remember the wrestling match, but they also remember the “rolling around in her underwear” match. And what does Jerry Lawler shout about while she’s coming out? Her tits. Good one, Jerry. Why doesn't he talk about Goldberg’s shrivelled up dick? Exactly – nobody cares. We can see that Trish has tits. We CAN’T see (as she walks down the ramp) that she is an excellent wrestler.
And lets face it, an ugly female wrestler would get no reaction at all. Do
you really believe that the huge pop Trish gets is for her wrestling skills?
Trish Stratus has put on some reasonably good matches in the past, as have Jazz,
Chyna, and shockingly even Stephanie McMahon. I don't recall any *****
women's matches, but they can be a nice change of pace in a show. Women's
wrestling is good, and there have been some really great matches - Stephanie
McMahon vs. Trish Stratus at No Way Out 2001 is an excellent example. But
sadly, all these matches are overshadowed by the T&A part of it.
What, exactly is the point of Stacy Keibler? To be more accurate, what, exactly is the point of Stacy Keibler appearing on a wrestling program? She obviously has zero wrestling talent, but she does have a willingness to appear in her underwear on TV. There’s a million women out there (literally) who could do what she does, and do it a lot better. She can’t act, can’t wrestle, and on a personal note... she’s not that hot. You may disagree, and I’m sure many people do, but I find her pretty average.
It seems that Vince McMahon wants both worlds – women to be used for their T&A value, and also to be used in wrestling matches. It doesn’t work. Hence why Trish always gets “we want puppies” chants. She just isn’t being taken seriously as a wrestler, when she should be.
Chyna managed to avoid the T&A aspect of wrestling (mainly because she was UGLY) until she posed for Playboy. This did help legitimise her somewhat as a real (as opposed to "female") wrestler. The other thing that helped her was that she wrestled with men. I’m not saying that all female wrestlers should wrestle men, but look how much it legitimised her. Having Trish get a win over someone who WWE don’t care about would do wonders for her legitimacy.
So, who are WWE trying to appeal to by having Torrie Wilson come out in a bikini once a month? Is it sad, lonely, desperate people that haven’t got a girlfriend, and never leave their house? Is this really what Vince thinks his fans want?
In fairness, the second most ordered-on-replay PPV is Armageddon 1999, where the Kat went topless, so there is obviously some market for T&A.
If people want to look at hot women, then shit, there’s hundreds of TV shows with women on. Or there’s the internet. Or... get this: Real people, out there in the real world.
Sure, most guys have no problem looking at women. It happens. But this is a wrestling show – who wants to get turned on by Trish, and then see HHH come out?
WWE don’t seem to know whether the women are proud of their bodies, or don’t want to show them off. Like last week at Judgment Day, there was the Torrie and Sable bikini contest. Like this is a million miles away from a Bra and Panties match, in which the first woman down to her underwear loses. Half the time, they act all “hey, look at me,” then when it comes to bra and panties matches, they just don’t want to be seen. It’s a little thing, but what it comes down to is this:
Nobody cares, they just want boobies.
If Torrie came out for no reason in a bikini, it would get just as much of a pop as if there were 6 segments to build it up. All anyone wants to see is Torrie in a bikini, it’s not like it matters about Al Wilson or Dawn Marie or anything like that.
Why bother watching women’s wrestling, when nobody can get over the fact that they have boobies? And why watch the T&A part of it, when there’s far better T&A out there for free? (Shit – why would anyone pay the best part of $40 for Judgment Day when Torrie’s Playboy issue is out for about 1/10th of the cost?)
Oh, and for the "Molly is a heel because she's a virgin" angle, and for inciting
the "she's a fatass" chants, fuck you, WWE.
I’ll leave the final words to Sak who posts at The Smart Marks Forums,
and Uberforums (which I promised to link
It doesn't offend me as a heterosexual female, it offends me as a fan of wrestling.
Here’s the caption competition for the week, e-mail me with your witty caption and the best will be up next week.
I’m also intrigued by your thoughts on women in wrestling. Do T&A segments turn you on – or do you turn off? Drop me a line and let me know.
Oh, and sorry for the lack of pictures this week. My girlfriend would kill me. :)
And sorry that the images that are up are so horribly formatted. Not my fault.