Out of the 180 minutes that constitute Monday Night RAW, Nikki Bella and the Divas Revolution were given a whopping 6 minutes and 41 seconds to showcase their talents.
It has become glaringly obvious that the WWE intends to have Nikki Bella overtake A.J. Lee’s previous record of holding the Divas Championship for 295 days. Despite, or in spite of the current movement to push Divas (whose wrestling acumen exceed their physical endowments), Nikki Bella, the face of wrestling women, has been given a pass and has not defended her title, even in the face of more capable and deserving competitors. However, finally the Divas and Nikki’s title would take center stage on RAW. Not in a Divas battle royal, which has been the tired go-to for determining the number one contender in a way that takes up the least time, but in a be a Beat the Clock challenge. Make no mistake, the Divas would be fighting the clock on RAW, just not for very long.
Since its inception in 2005, the WWE Beat the Clock challenge has been a fascinating way to showcase the glut of talent, while deciding a number one contender for the title in question. Last night’s first Diva iteration of the event was seemingly timed with a stopwatch, which begs the question: why, on a three hour show, was it given woefully little time? Throughout the history of this competition only two matches have been given equal or less time. On December 26, 2005 Kane squashed The Heart Throbs in twenty-eight seconds. More recently, Daniel Bryan defeated Jerry Lawler in two minutes and twenty seconds. Both these matches featured an obvious winner. The Heart Throbs were a joke gimmick and were deservedly crushed by Kane. Lawler was well past his wrestling heyday that even lasting 2 minutes was a real accomplishment. The newest Divas have proven that they can put on 20 minute clinics with more ring psychology and athletic skill than most of the matches their brethren get prime time exposure for.
To imply that any of the new look, wrestling-centric Divas are able to be defeated in under two minutes is nothing but detrimental to what the company is trying to accomplish. Ending this segment with a silent staredown from Nikki, who won’t defend the belt until after beating the streak, also left many to scratch their heads. Even the teased heat between the members of PCB quickly evaporated. It is admirable that this program has continued to be featured weekly, but in giving these segments so little time the Divas are doomed to be viewed more as performing weakly. Thirty second sound clips and two minute matches will yield the same investment put in.
NXT Takeover Brooklyn featured the co-main event of Bayley defeating Sasha Banks in what really could have closed the show and the main roster writers need to take notice. Given proper time, the new generation of women can succeed, but like has been done with other superstars, it seems the Divas are only receiving lip service that resembles support with actions that reveal true intentions. Big Show and Ryback, a downgraded SummerSlam rematch with The Miz on commentary, was given more time than the three Divas matches. Sting, a part-time superstar started and closed the show, promoting another part-time wrestler/full-time C.O.O who wasn’t even on the show last night. The time to make the stars is now, the WWE needs to capture the zeitgeist of feminine empowerment and allow these women to represent themselves, sink or swim. They may be surprised by the result, even if the rest of us won’t be.