Former WWE United States Champion Finlay has been speaking about criticisms directed towards the Divas’ matches in a recent interview he granted to I Met A Wrestler ahead of this weekend’s WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles.

When asked about WWE hiring models and then trying to turn them into wrestlers, the former Divas trainer said:

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 [Stratus] dislocated her shoulder, or her elbow I think it was. Victoria slapped Beth [Phoenix] 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.

Unfortunately, while I see the point that Finlay is trying to make, there is a fundamental flaw in the argument.

Now, I accept that it is not easy to be a wrestler, and these girls – many of whom who may not have an athletic background – are sent out there to wrestle with a limited knowledge of what to do, they are trying their best. They get hurt, they recover and come back. I understand that and I’m not going to knock them for their effort. However, as a consumer, I have the right to have an opinion on someone who has chosen to put themselves in front of an audience and perform. If I’m paying money to see something, I expect to get my money’s worth – if I don’t think that has been the case, I should be allowed to comment on it, or not return.

Also, I have never cooked food in a restaurant, but I am allowed to complain if my steak is bad. I have never played in the NBA, but I know if a player was being a donkey if they fluff an easy lay-up. I’ve watched wrestling for 20 years and can differentiate between a good and bad match, and I’m free to say if I think someone has had a bad match or is a bad wrestler. I’m not saying they’re a bad person – just that wrestling may not be for them. And to take it even further, if I have no right to criticise a wrestler because I’ve never wrestled myself, surely I cannot compliment one either, as I don’t know what I’m talking about?

Finlay is no fool, and I appreciate he is defending the girls, but I think given a few more moments, he probably wouldn’t have used that argument, as it is pretty easy to pick apart. What should be noted is that since his departure from WWE, Divas matches have gone downhill as a whole. Hopefully a veteran wrestler can take some of the girls under their wing and give them the extra guidance if they desire it. I can’t believe that any Diva wishes to go out there and die on their arse – it’s just that they need more time and work. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the end result produces good matches.

– Lee Burton