Trish Stratus was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday night for her tremendous accomplishments as a female superstar. It happened on the same weekend where the current Divas champion, Kaitlyn, isn't even on the WrestleMania 29 card.
Two teams of Divas, the Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) and the Bella Twins, will be part of the show in an eight-person tag team match. But the fact the division's title holder isn't featured illustrates a problem that was highlighted by Stratus' induction.
Kaitlyn can always be added to the card—pre-show or main show—at some point during the night. If she is, it will come after an almost nonexistent build and without any hype leading up to the biggest event of the year. The entire division has been underutilized for quite some time.
Perhaps Stratus' entrance into the Hall of Fame will help turn the tide. She's a reminder to Vince McMahon and the rest of the decision-making individuals backstage what can be accomplished if the Divas are given a chance to shine.
The seven-time women's champion explained why she thinks the division used to be more successful in an interview with Jon Robinson of ESPN.com, who asked about storyline development:
It’s more than just the time to develop storyline. Back then, the girls really had a chance. A lot of us started as valets, and I think a lot of that is missing where now they have a woman wrestler, and they’re like, 'Go fight for the championship.' Before, you were a valet who transitioned into full-time wrestler, and that transition is an important one.
Quite frankly, there isn't enough time dedicated to the Divas to accomplish that key transition anymore. Aside from AJ Lee, who's the brightest star among the group right now, and whoever the champion is at any given moment, very few members of the division are given television time.
Even the champion is usually restricted to extremely short matches when she does receive them on Raw, SmackDown or a pay-per-view. Without the necessary time to develop a character or a storyline, it's impossible to find consistent success like Stratus had during her time in the WWE.
Furthermore, there's really no excuse for it. The company has six hours of prime-time television commitments every week if you count the two top shows and Main Event. It should be able to find more time to highlight and push Divas.
There was a short moment in time, back when Kharma and Beth Phoenix were both on the roster, when it seemed like the division was destined to get more heavily involved. It never materialized, and nothing has changed since.
Maybe featuring Stratus during WrestleMania weekend will change that. A more complete Divas division would lead to a better overall product, and the lull that always follows WrestleMania would be a perfect chance to begin a reboot.
Who knows, maybe the next Trish Stratus is sitting in the locker room just waiting for her chance to break through.
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