Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 9.5.04 Divas downright deplorable

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 9.5.04 Divas downright deplorable

Post by Evad Seltz » Sun, 19 Sep 2004 07:10:37

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/columnists/deto...

Divas downright deplorable

By Rennie Detore
TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Vince McMahon's confusion between controversy and creativity became
more painfully evident last Monday, when profanity supplanted
professional wrestling as the main source of motivation for "Raw."

Amy, one of the would-be WWE Diva bombshells, dropped a bomb when a
few choice expletives slipped past the censors Monday. The WWE
hopefuls were participating in yet another inane "test" -- they had to
one another -- to prove that they're worth a $250,000 contract.

Previous challenges included seducing Kamala, selling ice cream and
playing dodgeball -- not exactly the criteria employed when deciding
on future talent. Not even The Rock could save the "Divas" segment two
weeks ago when they practiced their pie-eating skills for a merciless
25-minutes.

Truthfully, this entire charade is the brainchild of McMahon, who
seems convinced that his entire audience is made up of 16- to 18-year
old boys who have never seen a female in a bathing suit.

The majority of McMahon's fanbase, however, consists of 18- to
35-year-old viewers who want wrestling interspersed with
entertainment, not the other way around. Look no further than sales of
the Ric Flair DVD and book to put this in perspective.

McMahon reportedly loved Monday's "Divas" offering, hoping the
exchange between Amy and Carmella would ignite a word-of-mouth buzz
and re-establish that "anything can happen on "Raw."

That motto meant more five years ago more because WWE was cultivating
new stars and adopting a different outlook on the industry, not
catering to a gaggle of glorified beauty queens who have no business
frequenting a wrestling show.

Carmella no-showed the "Divas Dodgeball" at "SummerSlam." Her
punishment: Nothing.

D-Von Dudley and Rey Mysterio showed up at a recent WWE show and
failed to adhere to WWE's new policy on dress code: dress pants and
shirts. Their punishment: A $500 fine.

Granted, Carmella isn't a WWE employee, but her actions and the
subsequent lack of discipline show that McMahon apparently values a
talentless, pseudo WWE Diva over two proven wrestlers.

What kind of message is McMahon sending to his roster and audience?

That a Diva-in-training deserves special treatment for missing an
event. The right thing to do is tell Carmella not to come back, given
her obvious lack of commitment. Instead, McMahon opted to ignore the
incident and allow the charismatically challenged Carmella to
continue.

Why? Because the other girls don't like her, and that might make for
interesting television. What the girls and their hatred for Carmella
did was create controversy devoid of creativity, when ideally the
latter should spawn the former.

McMahon hasn't been able to grasp that mentality again since the days
of Mr. McMahon fighting the disgruntled employee, "Stone Cold" Steve
Austin. That creative combination of Austin and McMahon sparked
controversy at the purest of levels: between the company and its
audience. Every middle-class employee could relate to Austin
expressing his ill-feelings toward his billion-dollar boss.

Simply tossing 10 or 20 inexperienced models, Playmates or aspiring TV
stars out on your show can't replace the realism behind a logical,
thought-provoking storyline that is rooted in wrestling and less in
campy entertainment.

The simple act of Randy Orton spitting in the face of Triple H two
weeks ago offered more emotion and drama, and sparked more interest,
than all of the "Divas" segments combined.

Fans clearly would rather salivate over Orton facing his mentor,
Triple H, then slobber over cheap thrills provided by a clan of
forgettable "Divas."

n WWE squandered any chance for a surprise Shawn Michaels return by
showing clips of him at the Republican National Convention last
Monday. Michaels, according to the storyline, is nursing a brutal
injury at the hands of Kane. The match between Michaels and Kane at
"Unforgiven" should be the first time fans see Michaels since the
"injury" a few months ago.

Instead, WWE haphazardly showed a perfectly healthy Michaels on
television, completely killing the angle between HBK and Kane.

Lapse in logic that subsequently turns into a lack of respect for
ongoing storylines is nothing new for WWE. McMahon brought back Scott
Hall, Kevin Nash and Hulk Hogan -- the New World Order -- to destroy
the company a few years ago, then featured highlights of the trio
playing softball with other WWE superstars.

Edge will be out about six weeks. He tore a muscle in his groin, but
he won't need surgery.

Rennie Detore's Pro Wrestling Insider appears Sundays in the