As another season of Total Divas looms on the horizon, its newest cast members are hitting the promo circuit and hitting it hard. Carmella is one such Superstar, pounding the metaphorical bricks to get people pumped up about how her season is gonna be challenging but entertaining and, of course, f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s.
The Smackdown Women’s Money In The Bank briefcase holder sat down with The Wrap to do just this, but the following quote has as all scratching our heads:
I really think it is important especially at this time in the women’s revolution to show we’re not here to bring each other down, we’re here to bring each other up. There’s going to be inevitable drama with the travel, sometimes it gets to you and you forget what’s really important and why we’re all here. My role on the show so far from filming is trying to be the peacemaker and remind everyone what we’re doing here — we are making history, having great matches and moving forward with this women’s revolution. I just want to be champion, I want to make history. I am here, I am doing it and I want to make history.
” … we’re not here to bring each other down, we’re here to bring each other up.” I know, I know. I heard it too. Here’s some music.
Now, I’m not trying to take a defeatist approach, but Carmella? You trippin’, boo. She claims to have watched the show, but I feel like she watches much in the way that Impact Wrestling writers watch the show (translation: not at all). Total Divas, if anything, is designed to create drama and intrigue through petty fights, made-up jealousies and alliances, and an alternate reality where Summer Rae is anything but an actual ray of sunshine.
If it were designed to build women up, why Is Nattie…y’know, Nattie? She’s out here toasting her father’s sobriety with a glass of wine in front of him, and snitching on her fellow female Superstars to stir the pot. Remember Paige’s fight with Foxy that was more fake than … well, I guess all the other times they got into a friendship-threatening fight?
If Total Divas is gonna switch gears and not be the scripted E!-style reality show we know and guiltily love, then sure, by all means talk about how progressive the show is. The fact is, much like WWE itself, the representation of female Superstars on television has a long way to go. It’s faltering attempt at being revolutionary is barely scratching the surface of the literal bare minimum. If we embrace Total Divas as nonsense, then sure, whatever.
But presenting it in this way undermines the already difficult task of raising women up on the main roster (hi Bayley!) by portraying them as catty, in-fighting bitches behind the scenes — the “reality” of how these women really are.
If WWE is truly committed to marketing women as strong athletes worthy of main events and increased screentime, just call a spade a spade and admit that it’s a cheesy show where the biggest show of female solidarity was when Foxy and Paige waxed Rosa’s gitch. Worse is these retroactive assurances coming from poor Carmella, someone already under fire for WWE’s decision to make her the first female MitB winner by having James Ellsworth win it for her. That backpedalling resulted in a complete do-over to “legitimize” her win, but the damage was already done.
I’m still not quite sure how WWE keeps bungling their approach to women in the company (men, probably), but look: being honest is essential. When fans already doubt your sincerity at every turn, trying to sell us on the progressive and empowering merits of Total Divas’ trashbox of earthly delights isn’t gonna cut it.