Women’s wrestling has come a long, long way since the Attitude Era. Even though I and many men were fans of a good “Bra and Panties” match, the women of today have totally eclipsed those memories with solid matches on both brands. However, Raw’s women’s division fails to keep up with Smackdown’s women’s division.
Since the Draft, the Raw women have put on high caliber matches and starred in entertaining segments. They’ve main evented on TV as well as pay-per-view. However, they’ve also taught you how to play “hot potato.”
The Raw Women’s Championship has changed hands seven times since the Draft, and is most likely to change hands again at Wrestlemania. The division was a two horse race between Sasha Banks and Charlotte for most of 2016 – the title was traded back and forth six times between the bitter rivals. The main purpose of this game was to showcase Charlotte as a big deal on the pay per views: she went 15-0 in title matches on pay per view until losing to Bayley at WWE Fastlane. After all, the division has been built around the Nature Boy’s prodigious daughter, with her carrying the genre from “tits and ass” divas to credible wrestlers.
But this has done nothing for the rest of the women on the Raw roster.
Sure, they brought in Bayley after Summerslam, but what immediate impact did she really have on the division? None. She was fed enhancement talent so the main roster fans could start to get behind her like the NXT faithful. Nia Jax was also fed enhancement talent for weeks until she got her first real program against Sasha. Alicia Fox went back to her crazy antics as a valet for Cedric Alexander and Noam Dar in the cruiserweight division. Summer Rae has been injured. Emma has had the best development for a character but it crashed and burned faster than the Hindenburg.
This division has only showcased three members of the NXT Four Horsewomen. While Becky Lynch holds down the fort on Smackdown, Sasha, Charlotte, and Bayley are the Raw division and apparently no one else stands a chance. The Smackdown women have had much more compelling storylines and have all had a chance in the spotlight. For example, Nikki Bella and Natalya had a hot feud that started with Carmella and has now transitioned to Maryse and Alexa Bliss. Some of Natalya’s soundbites were on the verge of breaking the PG boundary, and that’s what wrestling fans want. Not this kiddy crap of picking on Bayley. The Smackdown women put on three solid matches at Elimination Chamber while Raw put on only two at Fastlane.
Either they develop the other women of Raw more or bring up a couple NXT ladies to inject new life into the division. I know my job is to write about Raw and showcase its good points and bad points, but it’s getting really hard to watch the Raw women’s division without thoughts of using their matches for a bathroom break.