Judging from last week’s Monday Night Raw, WWE is heading into a new direction highlighting an edgy product. Hopefully, the women don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Last Monday saw a shocking sequence of events occur during the Jun. 1 edition of Raw. Events that under the new executive direction of Paul Heyman could very well shake the current foundation of the WWE as we know it.
With Heyman now providing his creative input for the red brand, it seems WWE will be heading into a more edgy and unpredictable direction. Last Monday, we saw Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley crash through the mini-tron LED board at the very start of the show. Soon after, we’d see Maria and Mike Kanellis debut whilst the former revealed their pregnancy in the same breath (wishing that Becky Lynch was the father, oddly enough) before AJ Styles turned heel and re-formed The Club.
A lot to be excited about for WWE in the future, although the women’s roster isn’t looking as promising at the moment.
After coming off the heels off last month’s banger of a feud with Bayley, Alexa Bliss progressed that feud heading into their title rematch at Extreme Rules by losing to Carmella in less than five seconds.
Which, hey, shock factor, I get it. As an isolated incident and as a means to get people talking, this was fine. The only problem is that between this past Raw and SmackDown Live, not much love was given to the women’s division. Neither segment of Moment of Bliss lasted much longer than five minutes on either show. Meanwhile, the respective show’s other two women’s matches – Nikki Cross vs Carmella, then Bayley – were given a respective three and four minute runtime.
Even the Raw Women’s Champion’s mixed tag match with Seth Rollins was an afterthought compared to the big angle revolving around the Kanellis. If Raw’s own top star and top women’s champion can’t get a spotlight on her own match, that’s something worrisome to consider for the future of not only Raw’s women’s division, but that of WWE as a whole.
WWE’s struggle to book their women’s division has been consistent for awhile now and has continued to receive complaints just about every week at least since Mania. Whether it’s about the Women’s Tag Team Champions being continuously being M.I.A. or over worries from critics that Becky Lynch may have lost steam coming out of WrestleMania, the women’s division as a whole has seen its fair share of issues.
However, it seems like those issues are even more prevalent as WWE heads into a more edgy direction. Beyond wacky pregnancy storylines and short matches, it just feels like the women’s roster got even less air time than they usually get between the main roster shows, which says a lot.
It felt like while Paul Heyman came up with plenty of creative ideas for most of the men’s roster, he came up dry when it came to figuring out what to do with the women’s roster. Which coming out of such a hot, entertaining Raw, is unfortunate and disappointing.
If that episode of Raw told us anything, it’s that Paul Heyman has retained whatever creative genius he had during his days running SmackDown or even ECW. However, even in those days, he never highlighted women in the best light. At the very least, some of his most high profile women’s angles – like, for instance, Torrie Wilson being sexually harassed by Dawn Marie – haven’t aged well.
While Heyman wasn’t an expert at booking women, his women in the “Divas” era of WWE at least got plenty of air time and attention. Can’t say the same with this past episode of Raw where they practically got overshadowed entirely.
Hopefully, this was merely one misstep in the beginning of Raw’s new direction. The next episode is tonight and I hope to be proven wrong. Hopefully, last week’s hiccup leads to a big burp of energy injected into the women’s division’s segments and matches this time around and, hopefully, going forward.
This last Raw was a great start to create a new regime in the WWE, but not so great for the women’s division. Hopefully, heading into tonight’s episode, Heyman and Co. have come up with a few creative ways to incorporate their women’s roster in larger doses. Even if they’re not the best ideas, at least incorporate the women in some way.
You have a deep, vast and talented well of talent in your women’s division, WWE. Don’t waste it by allowing them all to get lost in the shuffle.