If there was a modicum of a storyline going into this Diva’s Revolution, it was that Nikki Bella was coming up on becoming the longest-reigning Diva’s Champion. She was only a few months away from breaking the record of previous holder AJ Lee, and Stephanie McMahon brought up these new girls to add some competition for the dominant champion. McMahon was looking for a new girl to dethrone Bella, and that competitor would be Charlotte who won the previously mentioned Beat the Clock challenge on Raw a couple of weeks ago. Nothing like two weeks to build an important title match, eh?
The stage was set: Monday Night Raw – Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella for the WWE Diva’s Championship. If Nikki won, she would break the record and solidify herself as the most dominant diva in the company. If she lost, Charlotte would have shown the world that there is more to WWE Women’s Wrestling than The Bella Twins.
The result was a DQ finish were neither girl won. Although Nikki has now broken the record.
The finish saw The Bella Twins attempt to use Twin Magic, with Alicia Foxx distracting the ref and Nikki rolling to the outside to be replaced by her sister Brie. The idea is that, because they’re twins, the ref doesn’t notice the fresher Bella winning the match for her sister (although this ignores the problematic issue that Brie has different coloured hair, a different body type and boobs that are several sizes smaller). However Charlotte rolled up Brie and pinned her. Her music played and she celebrated in the ring with her fellow Team P.C.B members and her father “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Then Stephanie McMahon’s music hit and she informed Charlotte that she didn’t pin Nikki and is therefore not the champion, and to ensure “the integrity of the championship” (ha!), she ordered a rematch for this Sunday’s Night of Champions where Nikki can lose the championship even by DQ.
So Charlotte didn’t break the streak, Nikki didn’t defiantly cement herself in the history books, and the crowd were treated to a terrible finish. And not only was it a terrible finish, it was the same finish we saw at Money in the Bank just a couple of months ago only with Paige instead of Charlotte.
But at least Stephanie McMahon was once again the focal point of the angle.
What this shows us is that the match meant nothing. If we weren’t coming up on Nikki’s record setting day, this would have been fine. Charlotte was screwed out of her win, but she’s getting her rematch on Sunday where she can finally get her revenge on the heels. But because it had Nikki’s record on the line and it didn’t factor into the outcome, it just told us that the amount of time she’s held the title ultimately means bugger all. And if her title reign means bugger all, then the revolution has served no purpose.
Just like #GiveDivasAChance, the “Diva’s Revolution” hasn’t changed a damn thing about women’s wrestling in WWE. An actual revolution would see these girls in matches that tore the house down, main event segments and storylines that were on par and given equal screentime as the male ones. Women’s wrestling on a WWE card is still in the same position it was five years ago, only now they have better performers. Their quarter hour segments aren’t drawing in a new audience or even a larger one and they still only have one match on each PPV. This is not a “revolution”, it’s a slight step to the side. Only it’s a side step that comes with branding.
What’s even more amazing to realise is that there is another company in North America that managed to create a Diva’s Revolution without even trying – TNA. The company first introduced their women’s title – called the Knockouts Championship – at Bound For Glory in 2007 and would then go on to promote their women’s matches to the same degree as their male counterparts. And it worked. Because they had great matches (often show stealing matches), quarter hour ratings for women’s segments started to increase. In fact if you broke down weekly TNA ratings during their 2007-2009 run, segments involving the women’s storylines more often than not drew a bigger audience, who would then turn off the show when they were done. TNA – who can’t buy an audience at the moment – managed to draw fans into their product. There was even talk of TNA introducing an extra TV show that focused solely on the women’s wrestling. This all self-destructed as 2010 rolled around and Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff dismantled the division piece by piece and allowed top talent like Gail Kim and Awesome Kong to leave, but there was a period in North American Wrestling History when women’s wrestling was hot – and a revolution did happen.
The WWE Diva’s Revolution, on the other hand, was dead on arrival. It died of mediocre booking, it died of trying too hard and it died because of a power-hungry dictator installing herself into an angle she had nothing to do with.
But, hey, at least we have Bayley defending her championship against Sasha Banks in a 30-minute Iron Woman Match in the main event of the next NXT Takeover special with weeks of build and a storyline people care about. Wonder why that will get over…
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.