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  1. #1
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    To be the (wo)man you have to... beat the man?

    TO BE THE WO(MAN).. YOU HAVE TO BEAT THE MAN?




    We are smack dab in the middle of a cultural shift the last few years. Men are being held accountable for their actions, cognizant of how they treat and talk about women. What was acceptable decades ago as "guys just being guys" is put under a much different microscope today. The objectification of women in music videos and television is starting to disappear. Victims of rape and sexual assault have a platform now to come forward and have these difficult conversations that they felt couldn't be had in the past. Good men have risen up in support and the bad ones who can no longer use money, fame, notoriety, or power to control a woman. #MeToo hasn't just been about women, it's separated real men from those who never grew up.

    Those are all good things.

    Almost exactly 5 years ago, the hashtag #GivesDivasAChance was trending for a short time. during a match that saw Paige and Emma take on the Bella Twins- a match that lasted just 30 seconds. People all over social media expressed their discontent with the underutilization of women in wrestling. What looked like an insignificant moment started a conversation that birthed all sorts of new precedents for women the last half decade. We now have a women's royal rumble with the same tangible prize then men get for winning theirs, we've seen hell in a cell, ladder matches, and even a spot in the main event of Wrestlemania for the ladies. Women are being heard, charging forward and believing they are empowered to do anything and everything without limitations.

    That too, is a good thing.

    I believe the WWE executives have answered the call in the treatment of women while maximizing all of their opportunities within the company. In fact, with everything that has been accomplished the last few years, you could make a legitimate case that the WWE markets women better than any sport in the world- which includes both tennis and soccer- two sports in the US where women are arguably more popular than the men.

    But where do you draw the line?

    Yes, I said draw the line- and not because I'm some misogynistic jerk that believes opportunities for women have a ceiling- quite the opposite in fact. I'm a fan of WWE's success and I believe success has no prejudice. I say draw the line because of something that happened this week, something that stuck out to me so much that I believe a real conversation needs to be had on it.
    It might be wrapped up in the same divisive narrative that has put people at odds about everything the last couple years, but there's more layers to it and I think we need to talk through it.

    Last week, NXT decided to drop women's from their championship. Not only is this unnecessary, it's confusing. Becky Lynch, however, was all for it during an appearance on WWE backstage last week:

    “The best thing for the Women’s division right now is that we eliminate the term ‘Women’s.’ I think that it’s now starting to hold us back. Why do we need that division? We need people. We need characters. We need people looking for the main events. Not the top women’s spot, the top spot.”

    You see, the problem with calling yourself "the man" is that you make a clear declaration that being a woman isn't good enough and getting where you need to be requires being a man. The premise here is that women are treated unfairly and everyone should strive to be a man in the women's division as your only chance of being heard- which now includes even stripping the "women's" name from the title. That story doesn't hold up given the circumstances and progression of the women's division. By trying to hard to be equal to a man, you lose the uniqueness of being a woman. Just child birth alone, bringing another human being into this world, is something a man could never fathom, yet many women have gone through pregnancy and gruesome labor, sleepless nights up with a child, and come back to kick ass at their profession (including wrestling).

    I fear what Becky Lynch wants eventually, just based on her comments, is an even playing field. Strip away divisions and let everyone compete for the world championship. She may not have said that directly, but that's what she wants.

    So we're at an interesting crossroads. Eventually someone like Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair will be hungry for more. Eventually, winning the women's royal rumble, headlining wrestlemania, and getting comparable screen time as your male counterparts will not be enough. Eventually, they will break Cena and Ric Flair's title records. Then what? On one hand, you cannot blame a woman for wanting to break down barriers and set new precedents. On the other hand, you have to fairly weigh the repercussions of it without sounding like a close minded woman hating jerk. There's a reason men and women don't mix it up in significant matches.

    How does a man find the motivation to want to fight a woman? What's in it or the male wrestler? Is putting over a women going to change the business for the better? If working a safe match and hoping your credibility isn't shot is the upside to it, what's the point? We know how a Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair side of this works as they fight for the validation of being not just the best women's wrestler, but the best wrestler period. That part is an easy story to tell.

    The problem is telling the male side of the story.

    If a significant match took place for a world championship between a man and a woman, and the woman won, where do we go from there? I don't know if that is something history will look back kindly on, even if in the short term it appears ground breaking. A large demographic of people had an issue with Riho (5'1'', 93 lbs) beating Nyla Rose (5'7'', 185 lbs) for the AEW Women's championship. What is it Becky Lynch is expecting by shedding the "women's" label? Is this pandora's box she wants to open?

    What about answering to sponsors? Social media and groups of offended people drive how companies react and force them to make quick decisions to avoid backlash. Regardless of who comes out on top, would companies endorse the WWE if they saw a man body slamming a woman?

    The truth is, the WWE isn't bringing in new fans. The median age of a pro wrestling fan was 28 in 2000 and 54 in 2016. The attitude era fan base, mostly comprised of males, is still the driving force behind any relevance that is left. So the context sets up that you haven't brought in a new audience in nearly 2 decades (despite the success of women's wrestling) and you're asking a mostly male demographic to buy into an even playing field where height/weight and overall strength no longer matter. A world where 5'6'' 135 lb Becky Lynch can throw the "disarm- her(him)" on and make an established male star tap out. I understand you can carefully craft a woman to beat a man in a scripted match (surprise roll up, interference, etc.), but is it worth it to even start to overthink how to make this work?

    Two things can be true at once: Men are (mostly) stronger than women and women are equally as important to the men on the roster. That should be celebrated because it really is a huge accomplishment in the face of a demographic that was conditioned to see most women in wrestling as eye candy, sex appeal, or a bathroom break before a big match started. Of course you had your Lita, Chyna, Trish and a few other talented women like Jacqueline, Ivory, and others sprinkled in during the attitude era, but after that was a huge undertaking to change the perception of women's wrestling in the early 2000's that had Kelly Kelly, Candace Michelle, and Eve Torres who never had near the pure talent of women today. There are women's sports like the WNBA that would kill for the relevance that the women have compared to the men.

    What women have done is a signature all their own that doesn't need to mesh with men. I do not need to see Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Shana Baezler, or any woman win a men's world championship to know they are on equal footing with the men. If I was asked to cut the WWE roster, start over, and only keep 10 names, I can assure you talent wise that at least 3-4 women would be on that list. The truth is, 'woman' should hold the same connotations as man does in wrestling, and this can happen without the two having to settle in the ring. Stripping labels is not the answer and should never be the answer.

    Inevitably, I think the WWE will test the waters with a significant man vs. woman match and if that does happen my only hope is that it's done in a way that makes sense and is a once in a very great while thing, not the beginning of a woman becoming the world champion. Impact Wrestling, a promotion that people have not cared about for some time, did what they did with Tessa Blanchard for shock value at Hard to Kill- a fitting PPV name considering that promotion should be dead and isn't. The WWE does not need to stoop to this level to get people talking.

    Becky Lynch is right: we do need characters. We need people we can connect with that will glue us to our televisions. If you want to be the best, you don't do that by sharing a ring opposite men that are traditionally bigger and stronger than you- you do it by being an engaging character, earning TV time, and taking those significant time slots from the men if it's what the audience wants to see. What we don't need is male and female characters fighting for the same prize and unnecessarily debating the legitimacy of if a woman could beat a man.

    Every other sport is separated by divisions for a reason and not one would benefit from combining them. The WWE should be no different. It is not a slight to any of the hard working women that they are not men and the more Becky Lynch tries to drive home that women need to be like men, the more harm it does to what women can uniquely offer the sport. I understand the spirit of why she says she's "the man" and I respect that she's solidified herself on an even playing field, but perhaps it's not so terrible to be the woman-- and aspiring younger girls should love that message too.
    Last edited by typeitinmaan; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:27 PM.

  2. #2
    I think you're misinterpreting what Becky was saying. When she says women should not just want the top women's spot, but the top spot period, she's not saying the women's wrestlers need to beat male wrestlers in matches. An example of what she's talking about is Ronda Rousey when she was in UFC. She was one of the biggest draws in UFC history and her fights usually main evented pay per views that consisted of mostly men's fights. She never once had a UFC fight against a man, but that didn't stop her from becoming more marketable than most of the men.

    Becky isn't pushing for intergender matches and I doubt WWE has any plans to do any except on rare occasions. Becky is saying each woman should strive to become the most marketable wrestler on the roster, male or female, just like Ronda Rousey was during her time in UFC.

    This was a very well written column, but it was based entirely on a misinterpretation.

  3. #3
    The Brain
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    Type! Always a pleasure to have you stop by, even though I guessed right from the title that I would be torn on the content.

    First I want to say I really appreciated how much credit you gave to the changes that have already been made so far at the beginning. On the idea that a lot of positive progress has been made in culture and in wrestling, bumpy though the road may have been at times, we totally agree, and I think it really strengthened your later arguments by putting that up front.

    On the idea of the name change being confusing, I’m conflicted. I don’t think it will really confuse people too much because as soon as you seen who is wrestling it’s pretty obvious which title we’re talking about. I will agree as someone who tracks a lot of matches, stats, and titles, it’s a little weird. Perhaps it would have made more sense to add “Men’s” to the male side, if a change was needed? In my notes I’ll probably keep it the old way, in all honesty, just so it’ll be easy to search if I want to look something up.

    On the Becky Lynch quote, I can see what she’s getting at. Labels can be inherently limiting because of context, and for so many years any title with the word “women’s” in it has been bottom of the barrel. Words do matter, so from a certain point of view it makes sense. On the other side, the “Women’s” title has now main evented Wrestlemania, so you could argue the term is already being “reclaimed”, if you like to think of language that way.

    I do disagree with you on Becky’s nickname being an attempt to erase womanhood in wrestling. “The Man” has become, especially in wrestling but really everywhere, synonymous with holding the top spot. Look at Ric Flair’s catchphrase and the context is clear on this one I think. I really don’t think she’s saying every woman has to try to be a man in order to succeed, but I do think trying hard to be on equal footing with men isn’t something that could hurt the status of being a woman. Sure, men and woman will always have a few unique experiences, but that doesn’t deny the idea of equality.

    Here’s where it gets sticky… I’m a big fan and a big proponent of the thing you fear. I think intergender wrestling is great and I do think, eventually, it could become the norm. So we’re going to be on different pages here, and that’s ok. I’ve long recognized that intergender wrestling isn’t for everyone. Some may be won over in time, some may just never prefer it. More on that as my (probably feature length) feedback as we go along!

    I also have to agree with Rip on this one, in that I don’t think Becky was really pushing for this at all. It’s not impossible that she might want that, but I don’t see it being an immediate goal or something she could possibly accomplish in the WWE any time soon even if she wanted to.

    I’m not sure I’m fully following your argument that someone like Lynch of Charlotte breaking title records is a bad thing. What if a man breaks Cena and Flair’s title records? Is that a bad thing? I guess it would all be in the execution, no matter how you look at it. I guess I don’t see what repercussions we’d be looking at specifically in that scenario.

    You and I are also not on the same page regarding your “how does a man find the motivation to fight a woman” question. How does a man find motivation to fight a man? If creative can’t create a reason for two wrestlers to fight in a business that exclusively focuses on people fighting, then we have much bigger problems than gender barriers. What’s in it for any wrestler? Money, victory, a championship, a personal score, take your pick. “Is putting over a woman going to change the business for the better” is also a question that depends *entirely* on context and execution. If the woman is more popular or can make more money for the company, then of course it does. And the credibility issue also comes down entirely to execution. Credibility, such as it is, can be shot by any match in wrestling. If a female wrestler is faster than her male counterpart, or has a better strategy, or capitalizes on the right opportunity, surely it’s worse for everyone’s credibility if she comes up short simply because she has a vagina?

    If a significant match took place for a world championship between a man and a man, and the man won, where do we go from there? Again, it’s entirely up to booking the champion in a way that’s compelling, regardless of gender. The “will history look kindly on this?” argument doesn’t hold up well for me either, because history may just as well look back at the moment in a positive way as a negative one. There’s no way to know for sure, so it just depends on whether it works in the moment or not.

    The Riho example also rings hollow, because while I’ve certainly heard people reference complaints about her, the numbers show her segments consistently increase the number of viewers on Dynamite. And if we’re drawing lines at weight, isn’t that a pandora’s box by itself? How many times have we seen a difference of 100 pounds or more overcome in the men’s division? Should Rey Mysterio lose almost all his matches and Big Show win all of his? That’s a worse world to me than the one you’re describing!

    I think the point about the sponsors will ultimately be the most important one and the thing which will ensure we don’t see much intergender wrestling anytime soon in the WWE. If sponsors complain and people who get offended complain, it’s going to make it hard to stick. So that part makes sense to me and is probably quite practical, even if I disagree with other parts of your argument. But ultimately there may come a time when sponsors and fans are in favor of this kind of thing, and then the conversation may change. There are already smaller wrestling companies that operate without gender barriers, and while of course none are as popular as WWE they do manage to stay in business and maintain or even grow their fanbase because of it. In the end it may remain a niche, but you never know.

    Another point we can agree on is that WWE isn’t attracting new fans, but following along that logic the idea that they *shouldn’t* try something new doesn’t necessarily pan out. Maybe this isn’t the thing to try right now, but failing to take bold chances and constantly playing it safe rather than explore new possibilities is a big part of the problem WWE is having, in my opinion. Wrestling’s most profitable moment in the last 50 years was one wrestler slamming and defeating another despite a weight difference of over 200 pounds, after all. If they had sat backstage and said “hey, let’s not overthink how we can make this work, let’s just let the bigger wrestler win”, where would we be? Again, I think it’s all about context and execution.

    Another place where we agree is that it’s not necessarily the case that we NEED to see divisions break down and women win titles usually reserved for men in order to prove their success or relevance. Stripping labels doesn’t have to be the answer and may not be the right answer now, though it must be obvious at this point that I don’t agree that it should NEVER be the answer.

    I agree that it’s possible WWE will experiment a little with this, but I doubt it will go very far. DEFINITELY we agree that doing it in a way that makes sense is the most important thing, if they do attempt it. I can’t really agree with your dismissal of Impact’s decision to put Tessa Blanchard on top though. It’s easy to pick on the popularity and strangely unkillabe nature of Impact (god knows I have!), but this is something they built up for a long time and worked very hard to craft as an important moment. Dismissing it as being only for shock value reveals a lack of understanding just how popular Blanchard is with the Impact fanbase and how much they put into making that moment happen.

    Last but not least, one of the greatest things in wrestling is you can see things you would never see in other sports. A match with the weight and size difference of Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker would be a joke in most sports, particularly any combat sport. Wrestling has the power to go beyond the limitations of other sports, and I think as long as the fans want it and there’s good money to be made, it should at least be on the table.

    And I’m glad you do recognize at the end the spirit of Lynch’s “The Man” nickname, even if we still don’t agree that there’s an implied message that it’s terrible to be a woman. Although it’s an unfortunate truth that if you’re a woman, you probably will be treated terribly at times both in and out of wrestling! But whatever path WWE and the wrestling industry go down, I hope things will only continue to improve and they’ll be able to maintain all the positive progress they’ve made. To me that’s the most important thing, so whatever accomplishes that will be all fine with me.

    Ha, ok time to wrap this up! I totally recognize how tough it is to voice something like this without risking backlash, so I want to commend you for doing a really good job articulating an opinion that some would probably disagree with even more strongly than I do. I think overall you were pretty fair, even if we don’t see all aspects of the situation the same way. And again, I think you probably have nothing to worry about for the forseeable future in WWE! Cheers, Type!

  4. #4
    mizfan, I'm not sexist, but most intergender matches would kill suspension of disbelief. Through no fault of their own, women have a disadvantage athletically compared to men. At the professional level and even the college level, women can't compete with men. There's a reason there are separate teams for the men and the women. The only way they could compete at that level is if they took steroids, which is why Chyna and Nicole Bass beating up male wrestlers was actually believable.

    However, it's very possible for professional female athletes to be just as popular and marketable as the top male athletes. Ronda Rousey was one of the top 2 or 3 biggest draws in UFC history. Venus and Serena Williams are just as popular, if not more popular, than any male tennis player today. The US Women's soccer team is more popular than our mens team. During the last winter Olympics the Gold Medal game for women's ice hockey got great ratings. And on the list of the twenty most watched sporting events in US television history, 19 of them are Super Bowls. The other one is women's figure skating from 1994, featuring Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding.

    The goal of all wrestlers, male and female, is to draw money. Women in pro wrestling or any real sport for that matter do not need to compete with men in order to draw money.
    Last edited by RIPbossman; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:19 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    It’s not every day that I’m moved to think about wrestling any more nowadays, but the column and Mizzie’s feedback that is almost as long as the initial column itself has got me to do so. With that said, prepare for what might column number 3 in the one thread!

    I’m not confused if they drop women’s from the title name at all, because it’s pretty obvious and you can infer very quickly which title is being talked about. I know in MMA people will routinely just omit ‘womens’ for shorthand, and there’s never a problem there. However, I guess you could say if intergender became the norm, this defence goes out of the window. In fact, if intergender becomes the norm, then separate titles become redundant and you might as well ditch at least two of ‘em.

    I’m also not really on board with the idea that calling yourself ‘the man’ necessarily means you have to be a man and being a woman isn’t good enough. If we’re going to go down the rabbit hole of thinking through the effects of the words that we use then the use of the definite article, the man, is just as important as the gendered implications of the word man and because they are linked in a kind of lexical chain the meaning is altered as they are in sequence. I’m not really a fan of those kind of immediate binary theories – very much in keeping with French philosophy – because they tend to be too prescriptive for me. I’m much more open to the idea that by knowingly invoking things that we know and understand about wrestling’s past, Lynch is able to play with the signifiers that people had used to designate their status as the top star and use them to her advantage. While it’s obviously a bit of a challenge to what was historically a masculine prerogative you also have to see it more as a playing with the boundaries of gender conventions rather than an outright challenge to them, given that she calls herself the man while still wrestling with a face full of make-up, hair extensions, and pretty much looking like a model.

    Combining that with the credibility she’s now got, to have that iconic image of her bloodied face during the Smackdown invasion…. Full credit to her, actually, for carrying all that off. I’m not sure many could, and she might be the closest thing WWE have to a genuine star not named Lesnar or Rousey (and neither of whom they are responsible for, incidentally).

    A quick technical point – I’m not a fan of the three sentences starting – ‘I fear what Becky Lynch wants….’ Because rhetorically it doesn’t work well. You start out not knowing, being hesitant. ‘I fear’, and ‘just from her comments’. But by the end you are definitive. ‘She didn’t say it but that’s what she really wants’. So, how that reads is that I don’t really know anything other than what she’s said but I know that she means something other than what she’s said. And to be honest that doesn’t really convince.

    However, I think you’re on much stronger ground with some of the questions you raise. I suppose I’d pick up on Mizfan’s point here and say that if this ‘isn’t for everyone’ and yet it ‘could be the norm’…. does that mean we’re already preparing for ANOTHER exodus of wrestling fans? We know how hoping that they’ll be replaced has worked out for the past 20 years. Or is it more that people hope that the critics will mostly just adapt to it? Something to think about given that – and this always bears repeating – wrestling has never, even been less popular in the time it’s existed. Can it really afford to lose anyone else?

    I could go into everyone of the questions you’ve raised but I think taking them and Mizfan’s responses here the comeback seems to generally be that it’s all about context and execution. While I’m pretty down on intergender as currently constituted I think I’m actually more positive about it than most people. I can remember buying into Chyna as a threat to the men, for example, back when people were roundly shitting on the angle (was recently listening to a podcast where they were talking about her getting booed massively at the 2000 Royal Rumble). So I’m not a hater, in that sense – you give me Chyna or Aja Kong or someone that is clearly remarkable and I’m onboard - or would have been, when I was watching wrestling. But with that said, I think the one thing you’ve got to acknowledge is that context and execution are that much harder in an intergender environment, just as they are in a situation where a man outweighs another man by 100 lbs or more.

    As to the believability of wrestling a woman…. I mean, I actually have wrestled with women in a semi-competitive environment, so I’ve got a rather unusual perspective on it. Not properly competitive because it’s not like tournament or whatever (which obviously wouldn’t be allowed because I’m a legit heavyweight) but rolling for exercise in kind of a mash-up of folk wrestling, jiu jitsu and the freestyle stuff. Anyway, point is I have wrestled with women with more experience, who are technically superior to me, faster than me, and have better strategy because they know more of what they are doing…. And the sad fact is that I still win, unless I back off because I want to let them train different positions and not get squashed all the time. In essence, even with all those advantages, unless I’m a bit patronising and let them in, strength and size checkmate all those advantages every time.

    Now I’m a realist, and obviously Cris Cyborg would kick my head in – but the point is, no one on the roster of a pro wrestling company is supposed to be at my level. Everyone is supposed to be someone who could credibly make it to the top. Otherwise, why are they there? Why are we watching them? You don’t have people who box once a week for fun getting onto the undercard in Las Vegas. And that’s where the distinction comes in – you lose to a woman who isn’t obviously out of the ordinary in some way and unless it’s a fluke…. As Steve Austin said of Marc Mero after he let Sable powerbomb him, ‘why would the fans think it’d take more than five seconds for me to beat him now?’

    As for weight, Mizzie, you want the honest answer to that if you want people to buy it? Big Show should hardly ever lose, absolutely, and if Mysterio is going to win a lot should wrestle most of his matches against people close to his own size, only stepping up in weight occasionally – where it becomes a ‘can he do it’ story. Outside of that, you’re gonna lose people – faster than I think some people realise. To stick to the Big Show thing, the best-case scenario if people lose too much is that they think he’s shit – the worst is that they think the whole show is bollocks.

    I think I’m with Type on the likelihood of this stuff drawing long term. The argument of trying new things… I can see why it’s seductive, but it’s also a bit of a logical fallacy, because it kinda runs into ‘we must do something, this is something, ergo we must do this.’ Famously you can turn that into ‘all cats have four legs, my dog has four legs, ergo my dog is a cat.’ I think we can all agree that while it’s important to try new things, trying the wrong new thing can actually be pretty damaging – and if WWE and AEW try new things on major TV, then the damage could be much more far reaching than if it happens in front of smaller, more sympathetic crowds. Right now there’s enough pushback against this that it should be enough to make anyone pause and think about the potential consequences, unless you’re just rolling the dice to try and stay alive.

    Last point because this has gone on long enough – the one thing that’s really in favour is that I don’t buy the ‘it would kill suspension of disbelief’. To be honest, suspension of disbelief for most people hasn’t been possible for a decade or more. Two, in a lot of cases. While women who weigh 45-65kg wrestling men who weigh 90+ on broadly equal terms is faintly ludicrous if you know anything about actual wrestling, it’s actually no less ludicrous than things that are seen as a matter of routine on pro wrestling nowadays.

    So, with that said, I think if you genuinely believe that a lack of plausibility is to the detriment of wrestling – speak up. Get mad about it. But be consistent, and apply it across the product, because it’ll barely matter at all in terms of growing an audience if this is the only area you apply it to when there’s so much other shit that gets a clean bill of health. I think the reason people sometimes think it’s sexist is that so much crap gets a pass until the women are brought into it. If you’re going to be OK with tag matches that have no rules or the use of weapons that go unpunished or dumbass gimmicks or all the myriad of the things I could bring up, then you’ve probably got to let them go along with this too – because what does credibility even mean, then?

    Thought provoking work – thanks for writing it!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #6
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Great to see you back Type! Hope this is the start of a full comeback, not just a one off.


    My thoughts on this are the same as they've always been, and (without having read the other guy's comments yet) I'm just going to repeat what I've said on a number of threads where anything related to intergender wrestling was discussed:

    Sooner or later you have to show a man beating the crap out of a woman and that is never going to be acceptable.

    Impact will presumably suffer from this sooner or later, and in this day & age I believe it's a line the WWE will be sensible enough not to cross.

    IMO, if they wanted to remove the word "Women's" from the title to make it equal to the other NXT Championship, they'd actually have been far better served to have renamed the other one the "Men's NXT Championship". Most events at the Olympics specify Men's as well as Women's, so if they wanted to brand them equally that would have been the better way to go.

  7. #7
    The Brain
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    I suppose I may have a different perspective here because (among other reasons), I never for a second in my entire life had any belief that any aspect of wrestling was "real" or even looked remotely "real". To me it's always been a larger than life story, and in that context it's very open ended. So the "suspension of disbelief" argument does fall flat for me, because if you can suspend your disbelief in the way you're talking about regarding any modern wrestling, you've got more elastic thinking than I do!

    But I recognize I'm not the norm here, and that's why I agree intergender very likely wouldn't draw on the WWE level and I don't think it's something that will happen on that level anyway. I just disagree it should be discounted or dismissed entirely, because I've seen it work first hand under the right circumstances. Even if it always remains a niche within a niche, it clearly has value and appeal to some!

  8. #8
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    ^ a position we've come across before in our conversations but not one that has gotten less painful with time!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I admittedly didn't like the tone of this column after I posted it. I think the old me would've cleaned some of that stuff up, but I was excited to reel a column off for the first time in forever.

    Tend to agree with Bossman's critique. I understand Becky didn't mean she wants separate divisions by saying what she said, but I didn't articulate that well. The column moreso turned into what that would look like.

    "The Man" thing, however, I do stand by. I believe it has negative connotations overall.

  10. #10
    Regarding suspension of disbelief being dead, I don't think that's true. Judging by some of the crowd reactions over the past year it seems like a lot of fans can still get immersed in the storylines. During last year's Road To WrestleMania Daniel Bryan was doing a promo where he was saying some harsh stuff about Kofi Kingston, and the fans were chanting "ASSHOLE" at him. In real life Bryan is one of the nicest, most humble guys you'd ever meet and I think most fans are aware of that. However, during the show they can suspend their disbelief and get angry at him.

    I mean, some movies and shows, like Star Wars, are really far fetched. But that doesn't stop people from getting immersed into the movies, even with things like light sabers and the force involved. Pro wrestling has a lot of stuff that doesn't make sense, but its still much more realistic than some other popular shows that are out there.

  11. #11
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I mean, I'd argue suspension of disbelief in wrestling is very different from the way it works in some other media, and there's a world of difference between fans choosing to play the role in a show and chanting asshole knowingly and the way that fans used to suspend disbelief - back when it'd translate to some genuine enmity. I've been to too many shows and see fans join in, and go back to being smarky assholes, within a few seconds, and I've seen it too often to put much faith in crowd responses anymore.

    I guess the problem I have with the argument is that it lacks consistency. If you want to bring in things like the Jedi and how they are fine with suspension of disbelief still existing, then I don't see how something that would be plausible in comparison like the topic under discussion would be a problem.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  12. #12
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    In this day and age, men fighting women - albeit scripted - wouldn't go down well on a mainstream show and I highly doubt WWE would want any form of negativity directed to them. Which is why I don't think intergender matches would possibly become the norm on WWE TV.

    The women don't need to fight men to break boundaries. They've already done so by becoming a major influence on WWE TV.

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