Over the course of the last few years, the WWE Divas have been picked apart, under-appreciated, ignored and criticized by WWE executives and the WWE Universe alike.
By far the most prevalent complaint made by the fans is that WWE is wasting its time attempting to train models rather than just signing independent women's wrestlers who already have skills and experience to bring to the ring.
Sometimes, it is a valid complaint. Other times, however, the IWC can be unnecessarily harsh; and respected former WWE grappler and trainer of the Divas, Fit Finlay, has spoken out in defense of WWE's women.
“I do think it’s unfair. I’ve had a great relationship with all the girls, we’ve trusted each other and I taught them quite a bit, and it was a real privilege for me to work with those girls and see them grow. But they’re under a microscope, you know, and it’s easy for anyone to sit at home and criticize. You can’t look back at Moolah and all those other people and compare them. Wrestling has changed, it’s different and it’s just moved on.”
Speaking on the criticism thrown at former models, he says: “Those girls are so beautiful, and most of them are models, but every single one of them that I’ve worked with has got a passion to be in the ring. If they didn’t—they wouldn’t be there. I know nothing about football, absolutely nothing. And I can sit and watch and pull it apart, but I can’t go in and do it. Opinions are like backsides, everybody’s got one. I think the girls are very unfortunate that people try to pull them apart. They’re not as good as this, not as good as that. Hey, here’s my opinion: shut your mouth unless you try it.”
“I’ve seen them all get busted open, you know. Trish dislocated her shoulder, or her elbow I think it was. Victoria slapped Beth in the face and broke her jaw, I’ve seen all sorts. And for someone to sit at home and pull the girls apart, especially girls doing this as a profession, as their job, they need to just sit back and enjoy it. As I said before, if you’ve never done it, shut your mouth.”
I can say that I 100 percent, wholeheartedly agree with him.
I have stepped inside the squared circle. For six months, I was in training at a small school in Hagerstown, Maryland; and I admit that it was hard. I drove over an hour four days a week, sometimes five, just to get to the school, and I was the only female trainee there.
Needless to say, it didn't take long for rumors to run rampant about me.
Rumors aside, though, I was burnt out after those short six months. Evidently, my training was coming along nicely, but I realized that the passion just wasn't there. I wasn't at all willing to give up my other desired pursuits to spend all my time training at a tiny little school that, honestly, probably wasn't going to get me anywhere. So I made the decision to walk away.
I didn't walk away from pro wrestling entirely; obviously, as I'm writing articles on this wonderful site. I can honestly say that, had I not experienced those six months of training, I might never have started writing for Bleacher Report. At that tiny school in Maryland, I learned more about the business than I had ever known and, more importantly, I learned that I would much rather be involved in pro wrestling in a journalistic or creative capacity, and not as a performer out in the limelight. Because of that, I know my time was not wasted.
All that being said, we have to realize that we can't truly criticize these Divas until we walk a mile in their wrestling boots. I really do believe Finlay's statement that all the Divas he's worked with, models or otherwise, have a passion to be in the ring.
To be a WWE Diva or Superstar is an all-consuming career, and if the passion wasn't there, they would have walked away.Maryse is an absolutely perfect example of this. Not only was she a model, but she actually had some decent skill in the ring and was generally liked by the IWC. However, as she recently told TVA Sports, she decided not to sign a five-year contract offered to her by WWE because there are other more important goals she has in life than to become a great women's wrestler.
I think the passion is there in the current Divas roster. What I don't think is there is faith in them from WWE executives.
All that is wrong with today's Divas division can be blamed on WWE brass. They misuse their female talent, using good wrestlers as valets and girlfriends and attempting to use the ones who would be better off as valets and girlfriends as wrestlers. They don't give them enough airtime to showcase their talent. They chronically book the Divas Champion into irrelevancy.
It is because of this that the Divas division is in shambles; not because of the Divas themselves.
I haven't walked a mile in their shoes, but I have gotten an extremely tiny glimpse, and I can only imagine what these women have to deal with.
So like Finlay says, if you've never done it, think twice about how you criticize the Divas.
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