Ringside Rhetoric / Wrestling

Ringside Rhetoric: The New New Nexus

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On this Monday’s episode of WWE Raw, something happened. Whether it was great or terrible has yet to be determined. After months of speculation on how the NXT women were going to debut on the main roster, we finally got our answer. They weren’t gradually brought up the regular way, nor did they have an invasion angle, making them the New New Nexus. What we got instead was a pairing up of rookies and veterans much like the original NXT game show of years back.

On-screen Nikki Bella is the worst person on the planet. She thinks very highly of herself and she makes people believe that the divas division would fall apart without her. If you’ve watched her on Total Divas lately, you’ll see that she thinks herself the female John Cena. According to Nikki, she’s turned the divas division around and they are no longer considered the “break match.”

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In reality she is the main reason the division has stagnated the way it has. The way women wrestling in WWE has worked since the late ’90s is by having one really hot woman who can’t wrestle a lick, but gets top billing and all the titles. In the past this was Sable, Trish Stratus, Lita (Yes, Lita), Torrie Wilson, and most recently, Kelly Kelly. AJ Lee broke up this cycle for a little while, but they quickly went back to their standard defaults. While Nikki Bella has stepped her game up a bit, she’s still doing her best to hold the roster down from the few women who actually can wrestle, Paige, Naomi, and Natalya.

The recent hashtag of “Give Divas a Chance,” was not aimed at Nikki Bella and the rest of the hot women who can’t wrestle. It was directed at the NXT women with actual talent. What did WWE do? They extended their matches by 5 minutes, and gave them maybe 8-10 minutes tops. This resulted in a bunch of long goofy matches between Nikki Bella and whoever else just happened to be hanging around that night.

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Cue up this past Monday night. The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox come out the ring and are met by Stephanie McMahon, the mother hen of WWE. Junior McMahon proceeds to put Nikki and Brie in their place by ordering out a bunch of divas. Paige comes out. Stephanie says that Paige can’t do it by herself, so she calls out Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (Woo!). She puts them together with Paige to create some sort of team. Stephanie McMahon was not done apparently, because here comes Naomi and Tamina, who feel that they were rightfully screwed out of tittle contention for no reason whatsoever.

Naomi does have a good argument, since she had been gaining a lot of momentum while Paige was out with an injury. After Paige came back Naomi was quickly removed from the title picture as if she never existed. This is also reminiscent of when Alicia Fox had a small push then was just shoved to the back as if none of it ever happened.

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Mother hen Stephanie decided to put NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks together with Naomi and Tamina. So, now we have three teams of women. Stephanie leaves the ring and the nine of them do some of the worst brawling I think I’ve ever seen. The three new divas from NXT get three of the WWE divas into their submission moves and Michael Cole has no idea what the names of these moves are. All the while Stephanie just stands there with a satisfied smile on her face.

My biggest problem with this is that Stephanie McMahon had to be the one to introduce these women. The three of them can stand on their own merits, but the mother hen had to take credit for their success. Stephanie McMahon had absolutely zero to do with the NXT women. If anything, her husband (Triple H) should be the one getting all this credit since he was the one who gave them all the opportunity to compete on this stage by creating a forum for them to showcase their talents at NXT.

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Much like a lot of the pundits predicted, the new women may ultimately get buried on the main roster. The matches aren’t as long, they aren’t given enough of a spotlight, and they are presented as merely sex objects, and the bathroom break before the main event. Many people are applauding the fact that Stephanie McMahon has taken the reigns of this division. Are they forgetting that she was also supposed to be in charge of WWE’s version of ECW? We all saw how that turned out.

I give this run a few weeks before these women are either forgotten, or pushed aside for another Bella run. Either way, the one who is going to suffer the most here is Naomi, one of the few women on the roster who actually deserves a chance to shine, and deserves to carry that belt. I wouldn’t be surprised if she just pulled a Gail Kim and left, since the pool is so deep now. I only say this because WWE tends to only highlight one or two divas at a time, and dammit, you can’t have a divas division without a Bella!

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