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Flatlining: C.R.E.A.M. Get The Money

November 23, 2013

Long time no write, huh? Some of you might have caught me invading the comments section, or heard about metorturing Blair (dude was in debt to me, he’s lucky to be getting away with a single recap), but the main thing I’ve been doing over the past few months is just real-world stuff. I started college, so I’m generally sleeping before RAW starts. This will come as a surprise to Americans, but colleges in Scotland aren’t about fucking/drinking/getting high/playing hand-egg and all that other “fun” shit, we study one thing for a whole year (or two) and we get to do so for free. I’m doing Computer Arts and Animation, which is a fancy way of saying “fucking about in photoshop”. It’s the least pretentious of all the art courses, but still…

Anyway, lots of people have left Pulse while I’ve been away. Steven Gepp, the rock (or, uh, mineral) of Pulse Wrestling, the dude who’s columns set the bar for everyone else writing, has bought himself a small island with all the profits from his published works. Mike Gojira, the man who made Smackdown somewhat entertaining, is walking the earth in search of both inner peace and his recap partner, Kelly Floyd. Kyle Fitta has bounced around about 15 wrestling sites while trying to find someone to take what he types seriously. Ralph Hardin and Reymundo have fell off the face of the earth. James Sawyer has been trying to avoid the temptation to break into the meth industry while going through his latest sessions of chemo…

In their place, new people have tried to fill those slots. Some have had success, some not so much. They’ve brought some weird fucking commenters with them though, and now people are being accused for being “MRAs” and whatnot.

MRA stands for Male Rights Activist. The term gets a bad rep because of reddit and morons jumping on the bandwaggon. Some things actual male rights campaigners want include:

Better legal recognition for male rape.

Divorce proceedings (custody, alimony, etc.) to be based on circumstances rather than gender.

Some things “MRAs” (the internet stereotype) want include:

Women in kitchen.

It’s slightly more complicated than that, but if you find yourself being branded as an MRA in the comments, this’ll probably clear that up for you.

Similarly, lets clear up feminism as well, then I can get on to writing about some actual wrestling in this wrestling column…

Some things feminists want:

The right to choose what they do with their body.

Better legal recognition of rape.

Divorce proceedings (custody, alimony, etc.) to be based on circumstances rather than gender.

Again, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you’ll notice the lack of “to cut off your balls” on that list. You should also notice the overlap of things male rights campaigners want and things feminists want, this is because the end goal of both is equal treatment, regardless of what they happen to have between their legs. Certain people will try to turn it into something else, but every community has the odd extremist or two.

So, that’s covered the whole “feminists vs MRAs” thing I’ve seen popping up in the comments of some of the columns here, lets take a look at how that equality concept works in wrestling…

WWE have had their fair share of female, uh, “leaders”? Power figures is a better term, I guess. AJ, Steph, Linda and Vickie have all had some sort of on-screen power, and two of them actually had power backstage. They’ve not really been the nicest of people, but the only WWE “corporate figure” any of us would have actually enjoyed working for was Commissioner Foley. Post-Jack Tunney, they’ve all had their own agenda (even if the agenda was just “lets tell jokes about Al Snow”).

In terms of in-ring action, we’ve only ever seen two women compete with the men. Chyna and Kharma. The women compete in their own division and, mostly, in their own little feuds that don’t affect the rest of the roster in any real way. I think if corporate cared about it at all, “Divas” would be it’s own little show on Saturday mornings. They’d still have the girls separate from the boys (which they seem to want), and the women would actually get to wrestle in lengthy matches (the type you actually gain experience from).

The problem with using that as an example of WWE’s poor treatment of women is that light-heavyweights are in the exact same boat.

A few years ago, all the dirtsheets and wrestling blogs were running a story about WWE doing a “luchas” show with their light-heavyweight guys. Nothing ever came of it, so Yoshi Tatsu’s still confined to 5min matches on whatever the modern day equivalent of Shotgun/Velocity/Metal/Jacked/Livewire/Afterburn/Heat is.

I’m not saying WWE treat woman fairly here. Shit, you just have to look at Johnny Ace’s time as head of Talent Relations to figure that out. Im saying that the people in charge care about what they think is a draw. For Vince, it’s always been tall guys with ridiculous muscles and endless supplies of baby oil. For HHH, it’s HHH. For Steph, it’s probably HHH.

AJ Lee took up a lot of airtime last year and got backlash in the comments and whatnot. What we failed to see from those commenters was their stance on Teddy “Hold on, i’m gonna make this a tag match, playa” Long or any of the other GMs WWE has had over the last few years. Still, we have people that call the “Divas” matches “piss-break” and whatnot, so the fans are also partly responsible for this.

If the majority are calling a match “this piss break”, why would someone with any sort of creative sway say “I know, we’ll do a 20min Divas match at the top of the show”?

People don’t have the same hatred to Chikara’s Joshimania, or Shimmer and whatnot as they do for Divas matches, but if you were running WWE, would you spend a ridiculous amount of money hiring and training women from the indy feds when the majority of people are saying “we don’t want to see women’s matches on RAW/Smackdown/PPV”? Instead, they got one woman from the indy feds and are using her to train the current crop of “divas”. It’s a business move that makes sense.

Another business move that made sense was the reality show. Total Divas on E! Might sound like one of Johnny Ace’s many nights out in the New York club scene, but it’s an attempt to get a new audience caring about these characters. Has it worked? Fuck knows, but WWE have historically used their top guy in their non-wrestling ventures (i.e. Hogan’s cartoon, Hogan’s album, Rock’s early movie appearances, Cena on boxes of cereal…), so it’s some sort of change, and that’s about all you can hope for from a company that has repeated the same gimmicks and storylines for the past 30+ years.

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