The tribe hadn't spoken yet...
What the hell am I doing?
Seriously, when I decided upon opening up my series to suggestions I knew this would come up. I mean it has been put forward as a match that put women's wrestling back 10 years. So I understand that people are wanting to hear my rants. But still people, you ask a lot!
Sigh, let's begin.
So before we get to the match itself we have to scrape around for the paper thin story, and that means talking about these guys:
TNA seemed to have the same approach to the nWo as an American diner has to eggs- in that you can poach them, boil them, fry them, scramble them and more. However even the diner knows that eggs are still eggs in the end, while TNA seemed to think that every new iteration was like an alchemical breakthrough. In any case, like the original nWo there was a big build up when we were to find out who the financial backer was.
Which was...a Survivor reality TV series winner?!
See, one of the most underrated 'acquisitions' that the nWo made was Ted DiBiase as their benefactor. The reason is because it gave the nWo a veneer of class and wealth that gave the nWo some cred. Indeed, Kevin Nash was one of the most protective of this image, shown particularly with his dismay that nWo Souled Out would be held in Cedar Rapids Iowa rather than Vegas or another flash city. But in this case, with a stable whose gimmick was to be similar to the mafia- replete with legit main event talent, it was thought that the best person to be seen to be the financial backer was a reality TV contestant?! Who was writing this bowl of fruits and nuts?!
Russo has never been a proponent of...enlightened views towards women's wrestling, and has often been willing to dream up ludicrous ideas when the siren song of celebrity comes calling (see Arquette, David). So in this way it shouldn't be a surprise that the creative force behind TNA at the time thought that the best way to shine a light on the product was get a Survivor winner some sort of kayfabe power over the major heel stable.
Unfortunately Sharmell thought that Morasca lacked class and needed to be brought down a peg or two because um...*checks notes*
Oh, it's because all women are catty bitches who can't support each other! Did I get that right, Mr Russo?
So the whole thing culminated in a 'match' at Victory Road 2009, with Awesome Kong in Morasca's corner as her trainer and Sojournor Bolt in Sharmell's. And then Sharmell came out...in an evening dress.
Now I can see that Sharmell may have wanted the match to prove to Jenna that she had no class, but still this was a wrestling match and as such a evening gown was ridiculous and did nothing to justify this as a true contest. But if that was bizarre, it would only get worse, for when Jenna Morasca hit the ring, there is the most uncomfortable shot of a woman's derriere in the history of pro wrestling. If you haven't seen it I won't urge you to, suffice to say it seems at one point that the cameraman is searching for polyps while Sharmell looks on disapprovingly and the announcer tries some stand up material from the 1960s about how the cameramen figure out who is going to take that shot.
In any case the match starts with Sharmell doing a twirl and Jenna gyrating her hips (I am not making this up) but before long we have our first lock up and body blows...and um...we're not looking good. Sharmell seems to have an odd hop before hitting Jenna in the match while Jenna throws Sharmell for a awful Irish whip only to be countered into a... clumsy throw onto the ground? Sharmell soon tries her own Irish whip and elbows Jenna on the way back which Jenna sells terribly, before going for a pinfall and oh God I wish that was it.
Sorry, I'll keep it professional.
In any case soon Sharmell goes to her corner and gets some advice from Bolt and then applies a camel clutch, which she applies for about 20 seconds before...just letting go?! WTF?! Was Sharmell's car about to be towed?! But wait! Sharmell goes for another Irish whip but Jenna ducks the 'clothesline' on the return and (and I'm not making this up) jogs around her before hitting a crossbody (I think they were trying to both hit the opposing ropes but since they are going at about half speed and their timing is off it just looks wretched). Just to add to the legitimacy of the match then Sharmell stands on Jenna's hair and...lifts Jenna up in a sort of lazy surfboard submission.
Bolt then gets involved, cutting off a comeback and stomping on the prone Jenna but even that isn't enough to put away the plucky Survivor winner who begins a comeback with slaps that look like a seal hailing a cab that Sharmell sells for like they're Flair chops before hitting a...um...'spear' (or hugging Sharmell's waist and falling over with her) and then seeming to fan Sharmell's face frantically with open hands so much that referee Earl Hebner gets in front of the hard cam to obscure how awful it looks, leading to a spot where the two girls roll over poor Earl as he is trying to make this look like a legit match (this also gets one of the biggest cheers of the match).
Naturally the end sequence of this match has to do with Sharmell's weave because Russo doesn't think the bottom of the barrel has been scraped. Having ripped out some of Sharmell's weave with her 'blows', Jenna then dodges an enraged Sharmell who knocks Bolt off the apron (she takes a nasty fall too, with Kong not quite positioned right to catch her). Jenna then gives said weave to Kong who punches Sharmell out when she asks for it back (again, I am not making this up), allowing Jenna to...lapdance on Sharmell's prone body?! She then jumps up for joy and insists to be hoisted on Kong's shoulders, only to piss Kong off enough to be knocked out too.
Soon after this Morasca and TNA parted ways before she could stink up the ring again. But that is not really why this match is so awful.
See, I think deep down people like Bischoff, Russo and McMahon are actually quite happy with the idea that women's wrestling got better with the Horsewomen. And in the case of WWE it's true that we now have a roster that is as deep as any point in the company's history. HOWEVER, this is also an oversimplification that implies that women's wrestling needed to wait for a better caliber of wrestler. Which is frankly bollocks. There were good wrestlers before the Women's Revolution and *gasp* there were even good women's matches in mainstream wrestling before the Women's Revolution; it's just that they were drowned out by dross because the creative spent more time on stories like this, where female wrestlers were not able to outgrow the stereotype because the powers that be thought there was more money in having them trapped by it. And that's why these sort of matches should not be just cast to the dustbin of history. Not just because they are terrible; but because for a good 20-30 years all sorts of so-called geniuses of booking would invest more time in matches like this, or seeing Trish Stratus strip and bark like a dog, or a MMA trained worker like Eve Torres be berated for being a hoeski by John Cena, or have Lita apparently have a baby with Kane, or-JESUS-CHRIST-I-CAN'T-GO-ON!!!!
Put simply, for 20-30 years many wrestling companies dragged their feet when it came to female workers- in particular WWE and TNA. Don't let them forget that and don't let them commodify (and take credit for) what was something that they took far too long in implementing- a wrestling show that actually took its female wrestlers somewhat seriously.
And that's no, 89! Next time we delve into another request- a multi parter!! But time is still available if you'd like to throw your two cents in on a omnishambles I should cover! Until next time!
#1 Owen Hart vs Stone Cold @ SummerSlam '97
#2 December to Dismember 2006
#3 The Fingerpoke of Doom
#4 The Scott Steiner vs HHH Feud
#5 Ryback vs Mark Henry @ WrestleMania XXIX
#6 Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon @ WrestleMania XXVI
#7 The Jerry Lawler/Michael Cole Feud
#8 The Curtain Call
#9 Bash at the Beach 2000
#10 Royal Rumble 2014
#11 Warrior/Hogan II @ Halloween Havoc
#12 The Cena/Laurinatis Feud
#13 The Firing of Ric Flair From WCW
#14 The Brogue Kick of Doom
#15 Lesnar vs Goldberg @ WrestleMania XX
#16 Immortal Revealed @ Bound for Glory 2010
#17 Sting vs Hogan @ Starrcade 1997
#18 Triple H vs Booker T @ WrestleMania 19
#19 The Corre
#20 The Undertaker vs Big Boss Man @ WrestleMania 15
#21 Jeff Hardy vs Sting @ Victory Road 2011
#22 Road Wild 1999
#23 The John Cena/Kane Feud of 2012
#24 Hulk Hogan's Mancow Interview of 1999
#25 CM Punk vs the Rock @ Elimination Chamber 2013
#26 The Reign of Bill Watts in WCW
#27 The Claire Lynch Affair Part One And Two
#28 Triple H vs Kevin Nash @ TLC 2011
#29 The Cactus Jack Amnesia Angle
#30 Hulk Hogan Leaving TNA
#31 HBK vs Hulk Hogan @ SummerSlam 2005
#32 David Arquette: WCW Champion
#33 Katie Vick
#34 nWo Souled Out 1997
#35 The Vampiro/Sting Feud of 2000
#36 Once in a Lifetime, Episode II
#37 The Angle/Jarrett Feud of 2010/11
#38 The McMahon/Lashley Feud
#39 The Shockmaster
#40 CM Punk vs Ryback @ Hell in a Cell 2012
#41 Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper @ Starrcade 1996
#42 The WWE Championship Reign of Diesel
#43 Cena vs the Wyatts
#44 The Main Roster Run of Emma
#45 The WCW Run of Bret Hart
#46 John Cena vs the Miz @ WrestleMania 27
#47 The Lone Wolf AJ Styles
#48 Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger @ WrestleMania 29
#49 The Transition of Mike Awesome from ECW to WCW
#50 The Dolph Ziggler Conundrum Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five
#51 The Rise and Fall of Damien Sandow/Mizdow Part One and Part Two
#52 DDP & Jay Leno vs Hollywood Hogan & Eric Bischoff @ Road Wild 1998
#53 Triple H vs Randy Orton @ WrestleMania 25
#54 Lord Tensai
#55 LOD 2000
#56 Sid Vicious vs Scott Steiner @ Starrcade 2000
#57 Bret Hart vs Yokuzuna (feat. Hulk Hogan) @ WrestleMania 9
#58 Royal Rumble 2015
#59 The Crucifixion of the Sandman
#60 Brock Lesnar's First Year Back in WWE
#61 Bo Dallas' Main Roster Run
#62 Vince Russo vs Booker T for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship
#63 Randy Orton vs the Big Show @ Survivor Series 2013
#64 AJ Styles vs Abyss @ Destination X 2010
#65 EV 2.0
#66 The Summer of Punk Part 1; Part 2; Part 3
#67 The Lex Express
#68 Goldberg's first WWE Run
#69 Paige's Main Roster Run 2014-2016
#70 Seth Rollins' First World Title Run
#71 Hulk Hogan vs Sgt Slaughter @ WrestleMania VII
#72 Sting vs Abyss in a Last Rites Match
#73 The Undertaker vs Big Show in the Punjabi Prison
#74 Ric Flair vs Hollywood Hogan @ Uncensored 1999
#75 Roman Reigns' Road to WrestleMania 32 Part One, Part Two. Part Three
#76 Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice @ WrestleMania VIII
#77 Muhammad Hassan
#78 Sheamus' World Heavyweight Title Reign
#79 The Ghastly Match
#80 Bray Wyatt vs Randy Orton @ Wrestlemania 33
#81 Goldberg vs Steiner vs Nash @ New Blood Rising'
#82 The Lesnar/Angle/Big Show feud of 2002
#83 Aces and Eights
#84 Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar @ WrestleMania 32
#85 Jinder Mahal: WWE Champion Part One, Part Two, Part Three.
#86 DDP & Karl Malone vs Hollywood Hogan & Dennis Rodman.
#87 Triple H vs Sting
#88 The 1992 Run of the Ultimate Warrior