For some pro wrestling fans, Eva Marie’s return to WWE is the greatest news of the year. For others, it’s a reminder that WWE doesn’t really care too much about a wrestler’s competence level between the ropes.
I believe there’s a basic level of ring skill that any wrestler should have to be featured on television, especially in the biggest pro wrestling company in the world, and Eva Marie failed to meet that minimum standard in her first run with WWE. But as Mickie James explains on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast, there’s a role in pro wrestling for anybody who can sell tickets, generate heat, and increase ratings:
“Honestly, I think it’s incredible that she’s been able to step away and still remain relevant, and rebrand herself, and almost excel outside [WWE]. Not everybody does that. And so, I don’t think her wrestling ability was ever her strength. I know that she’s been down at NXT working and stuff...I don’t think the wrestling bit was ever her thing, you know? I feel like there’s always been, even going back to old school wrestling, I still believe that there’s a role for everybody, and not everybody has to be a five star wrestler, or whatever, and have dream matches. That doesn’t have to be a thing. If their character is strong and they can sell tickets, and ratings, then I guess it works.”
“And she’s beautiful and she’s stunning, and I do have mad respect in the sense that she has a million followers and she’s been able to rebrand herself and really do a whole other thing outside of wrestling once she left. Me being an entrepreneur, and I’m always looking at stuff, so I completely respect that side of her. And I think that she can capitalize on all of this heat and just kind of go, ‘Yeah, so?’ That’s where...everybody will hate her, and it will be great for her.”
It’s almost a certainty that Eva Marie will end up taking television time and a spot away from other women on the roster who are more talented than her between the ropes. Will she still be able to prove her worth in the ways that Mickie describes above, or is it necessary for Eva to improve her ring work from her original run in WWE?