Divas “frustrated at their lack of screen time”
A lot is discussed about how the WWE Divas feel about the short amount of TV time they are given for wrestling, and even less for angles, interviews and promos – something that we discussed with Kelly Kelly in one of our early Women Of Wrestling Podcasts – and it seems there is some credence to those rumours of what goes on behind the scenes.
A poster over at GameFaqs claims that he was an assistant for the writing team, primarily based at WWE’s facilities in Stamford, CT. He claims that his time with the company was not long – just between September and December of last year – but during that time, he says that he picked up on a number of different issues. Whether they hold any water or not is your decision, but we believe some of the allegations – listed in two posts by Scott Keith here and here – are plausible.
The overlying point is the frustration that the women in WWE have for the short amount of screen time they have to get over – which generally isn’t enough, but they have to make do, though they apparently do not take out their issues on their colleagues:
The biggest complainers are probably the Divas, and rightfully so. They always wish they were getting more TV time and longer matches and I can’t blame them…
The Divas all seem very nice and friendly. I only managed to introduce myself to AJ backstage at Survivor Series. She was sweet and introduced herself as April. Beth [Phoenix], Natalya and Alicia [Fox] walked by me on a few occasions backstage and smiled or nodded professionally.
After the jump, there is more, including how the Natalya farting gimmick came about, and why Tamina Snuka was pushed earlier this year:
First off, the abandoned heel turn of Kaitlyn, who was meant to turn on AJ and join Beth Phoenix and Natalya. The angle was even filmed on December 6 for that week’s SmackDown, but never made it to air:
Kaitlyn was supposed to be the third heel diva to join Beth and Natalya in the Divas of Doom. They even went so far as to have her turn on AJ at Smackdown, but due to poor planning the segment was really poorly done. Kaitlyn, Beth and Natalya didn’t really know what to do and it didn’t look good so it was edited out of the show and planned to be re-done the following week. However some other Diva drama came up backstage or whatever [which could be this situation, as Beth was removed from TV for a month], leading to the whole division being kind of in the doghouse in Vince’s mind. Vince ultimately decided there didn’t need to be a third heel diva at all, and broke up Divas of Doom soon after before deciding to push Tamina.
Ah yes, Tamina. Apparently, the reason why she was pushed and received a Divas Title match at Elimination Chamber in February was because Vince McMahon was upset at the writers not pushing the second generation wrestler:
The thing with Vince is he goes through these weird and seemingly random phases. For a while he’ll be into the tag division, then he couldn’t care less. He’ll want to do Diva storylines, then he doesn’t care if they make it on the show at all. He’ll hire someone like Tamina and not do crap with them for years, then one day ask “Why aren’t we doing anything with Tamina Snuka? She’s a Snuka goddammit!” and Tamina will get a random push.
Right now I guess he’s in the mood for some attention on the tag division.
After the end of the Pin-Up Strong gimmick, Natalya was lumbered with a career-killing gimmick, encompassing some “comedy” segments involving her farting at inopportune moments. Apparently she got the gimmick – get this – because the writers liked her.
We used to make fun of Natalya a lot because from what we heard she had kind of an eccentric personality. It was in good fun though and not malicious, but at some point the “Nattie Neidfart” joke came up and we had a good laugh talking about stupid stuff like changing her move to the “shartshooter.” Several weeks later when I was already fired and the story actually made it to TV my jaw dropped and I cracked up. You’d be surprised how much stuff is done just as a rib on people.
As you digest that, here a couple of final tidbits to consider:
There was talks for a long time of Layla returning with an eccentric fashion-centered gimmick in the style of Lady Gaga, but obviously that didn’t happen.
They were considering doing a relationship between a face Diva and a heel superstar. I believe the frontrunner was Kelly Kelly with Wade Barrett, but that never happened.
The coincidence with the Layla story is that FCW Divas Champion Raquel Diaz tweeted a picture yesterday of her new look, and it’s very Gaga-esque, so whatever idea that the current Divas Champion may have had pitched to her as she was getting into ring-shape ahead of her WWE return may have been transferred to Diaz, who is also pitching herself as the “Ultra Diva”. Either it’s just dumb luck or Diaz is working with a second-hand gimmick, but she has an opportunity to make it work either way. After all, Leon White wasn’t the original choice to be Big Van Vader…
Like we said, the person who made all of these claims (who is understandably staying anonymous, as employees are made to agree to certain confidentiality clauses) may be just blowing smoke, but there is a level of plausibility to these revelations. It is up to you whether you believe them or not, but there is a lot of stuff there that seems to make sense.
- Lee Burton