The Diva's championship match between AJ Lee and Kaitlyn that took place at WWE Payback on June 16 in Chicago has earned a lot of praise from both fans and pundits alike. In the span of 10 minutes, they exceeded the expectations of many (including myself) and put on one of the better Diva's matches of late. Some even went so far as to call the match great and the second best match of the night.
Throwing the word "great" out there is a step too far and demonstrates a major roadblock with why we don't have great women's wrestling in WWE -- our expectations and standards are just too damn low. So much of the praise and accolades for the match are tinged with the backhanded and ever present "for a Divas/women's match" qualifier.
If we are judging AJ vs. Kaitlyn by the same standards that we would a men's match, it was simply decent and not much more than that. If it sounds like I am trying to denigrate women's wrestling, that is not the case. I am denigrating what WWE lamely attempts to pass off as women's wrestling.
Women's wrestling should be held to the same standard as men's because it is just as great.
If you don't agree with that statement, then I feel pity because you haven't been exposed to the wide world of great women's wrestling that exists both past and present. Watching the matches of wrestlers such as Manami Toyota, Aja Kong, Sara Del Rey, Jaguar Yokota, Amazing Kong, Bull Nakano, and so many more that I don't have the room to list leaves one in awe and amazement like any of the all time great men's wrestlers.
As fans, we bear just as much responsibility for the current inferior quality of women's wrestling in WWE as the promotion does. We place the demand on the product and they deliver to our expectations. If we maintain such low expectations and standards for women's wrestling, why should WWE do more when we are satisfied with less?
To those that say under the rule of McMahon and his management that we will never get such quality, you have such a short memory. McMahon has had under his employ such great workers as the Kongs, Nakano, Wendi Richter, Victoria, Jacqueline, Jazz, Trish Stratus, Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim, and Mickie James. Under McMahon's rule, Chyna was given a great push and put into matches with men that lead to her holding the famed Intercontinental championship on three separate occasions.
The problem lies in that he gave us some glorified models with T&A and we eat it up. From the lingerie matches to the bikini contests, we as fans went nuts for it.
To bring back great women's wrestling to WWE, it is incumbent on us the fans to create the demand for it. Our lowered expectations and different standards for women's wrestling do nothing but hurt the chances of getting great women's wrestling in WWE. What need is there for the WWE to bring in workers like Cheerleader Melissa, Jessica Havok, Athena, Rachel Summerlyn, and Allysin Kay if we are going to be satisfied with Kaitlyn, AJ, Layla, and company?
The goal of getting great women's wrestling in WWE isn't just beating our heads against a brick wall. The buzz created by the Kim vs. Taryn Terrell match at TNA Slammiversary back on June 2 had an effect on McMahon and he wanted to top it.
Unfortunately the pieces just weren't in place to do so.