On the last episode of Monday Night RAW, the monster diva simply known as Kharma interrupted an eight-diva tag team match. But instead of attacking the divas, Kharma just paused and cried. I simply could not believe it. Once I learned that Kharma was taking a lengthy leave of absence, I simply lost interest in the lackluster divas division.
And so, how did the "smart, sexy and powerful" women of the WWE simply turn into "smart and sexy," but not "powerful" enough? Without further ado, here's my two cents.
The term "diva" was coined back in 1996 when newly-inducted WWE Hall of Famer Tammy Lynn Sytch, better known as Sunny, debuted as the valet for the tag team known as the Bodydonnas. Her golden blonde locks and cheerful personality became a forerunner for future WWE divas.
A couple years after Sunny's debut, Marlena, Sable and Chyna joined the roster. Marlena was the valet of current WWE superstar Goldust, while Sable was the valet of Marvelous Marc Mero.
But it was Chyna who defined the term "smart, sexy and powerful." Not only did she compete against other divas, but she also wrestled men as well. She was the only woman to be a two-time Intercontinental Champion as well as compete in the Royal Rumble not once, but twice.
Between 2000 to 2005, the WWE saw numerous divas such as Ivory, Lita, Luna Vachon, Jacqueline, Trish Stratus, Molly Holly, Stacy Keibler, Joy Giovanni, Jackie Gayda, Christy Hemme, Torrie Wilson, Jazz, Miss Jackie, Gail Kim, Nidia, Terri Runnels and Victoria make their debuts.
Lita was known for her acrobatic moves while Stratus won numerous Women's Championships as well as a Hardcore title.
It was this period that saw more "bra and panties" matches, pillow fights and pudding matches as well.
By 2006, the divas landscape was changing as the likes of Beth Phoenix, Melina, Michelle McCool, Candice Michelle, Jillian Hall, Mickie James, Ariel, Kelly Kelly, Trinity, Kristal Marshall, Brooke Adams, Layla, Cherry, Maria, Ashley Massaro, and Maryse joined the WWE. It was at that time that the WWE shifted its focus away from talent and more on looks.
The WWE continued the trend of hiring former models as divas such as Eve, the Bella Twins, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox and Natalya joined the roster. Although Natalya had plenty of wrestling experience (her father was Jim Neidhart and her uncle was Bret Hart), most of the current divas lack any wrestling experience.
In contrast, TNA Wrestling featured very talented female wrestlers, known simply as TNA Knockouts, who would put on one heck of a match. The same cannot be said for the WWE divas, as the likes of Natalya, Phoenix and Kim are pushed aside by the likes of Kelly Kelly and the Bellas.
What could the WWE possibly do to revamp its already lackluster divas division? Only time will tell.