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Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN PRO WRESTLING COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net. Yes, it is SummerSlam week, but we already took care of hyping that in my LAST COLUMN. My weekend shall be busy by covering BOTH SummerSlam and NXT Takeover for back-to-back days. 5 hour SummerSlam show, though? Just appreciate the work when I post it, please… Reviewing Pay Per Views is burning me.
No, I don’t want to discuss WWE SummerSlam 2018. I want to discuss something relevant that sparked lots of outrage over the past few days. Specifically, comments made by pro wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer as it relates to the looks of WWE women’s wrestler Peyton Royce. In case you haven’t heard the clip, Meltzer was remarking about comparisons of the Iconics work between NXT and the main WWE roster. Meltzer specifically said “transformation to look more attractive” and then remarked while in NXT, Peyton “was a lot lighter”.
Once Social Media got a hold of that, suddenly BODY SHAMING accusations were thrown at Dave Meltzer and many WWE wrestlers and personalities piled on. Dave quickly tried to apologize, but in my opinion, he didn’t need to take it any further other than apologizing to Peyton.
For the record, I’ve had my own issues with Dave. Recently, we’ve argued on Twitter about his 6/7 Star Award systems and then the attendance at Cow Palace. In the past, he disliked my Tributes book review even though I gave it an “A” grade (heard it from one of his friends!) and he singled me out for quoting too much of his Observer newsletter when I was reporting news back in the day. I’m in agreement with Jim Cornette that Meltzer’s tastes & preferences on the current pro wrestling products is a bit off… He loves New Japan too much and he also seems to give a pass to goofy antics and a lack of psychology that other promotions try besides WWE. Thus, I’m not one of his defenders.
But is he wrong for what he said? Bad taste, yes, as women have been treated by society poorly at times… You know, couldn’t vote when the country was founded, get paid much less than men for the same work & job qualifications, and lately as you’ve seen with the #MeToo movement calling out sexual harassment and assault at the workplace. BUT what he was speaking about was a specific “transformation” that reportedly occurred with Peyton.
And by accusing Dave Meltzer of BODY SHAMING everybody is overlooking the real issue.
What do most females on the WWE main roster have in common? Well, a few things… Most are under 130 pounds, for one… But two, having cosmetic enhancements seem to be unwritten rule backstage for the WWE.
Allow me to post a few News Headlines that will speak for themselves:
And I could post more… I reviewed Chyna‘s book and she openly discussed her cosmetic surgeries. Sable hasn’t denied getting enhancement work in the past. Stephanie McMahon openly admitted to adding implants because she thought that her chest looked uneven. Nikki Bella openly spoke about her implants on Total Divas, as her sister Brie Bella was upset at how they no longer looked alike…
Then, you have the eyeball test on many others that I could speculate on… Hey, what was Jerry “the King” Lawler always clamoring about on commentary whenever chesty females would come out? What was that? Oh, “puppies”.
Honestly, I DON’T CARE what you put in your body. Honestly, since WWE Takeover Brooklyn 2015, I view female competitors in the WWE as a valuable asset to the WWE. As I watched that Pay Per View and saw what Bayley vs. Sasha Banks did, I was impressed. After Trish, Lita, Mickie James, and others did their thing through the mid-2000s, Women’s wrestling took a nosedive thanks to the aftermath of those Divas Search contests and from female wrestlers being called “Divas”. HOWEVER, NXT Takeover Brooklyn 2015 opened my eyes and created newfound respect for Triple H as the EVP of Talent Relations. Suddenly, I was a fan of WRESTLERS like Bayley and Sasha Banks no matter what they looked like. They went out in front of that Brooklyn crowd and won my “MATCH OF THE YEAR” award for 2015 to make me an instant fan.
I’m a fan of the current crop of female talent in the WWE and have been very positive in my reviews of that division. That is despite WWE Creative butchering some of their call-ups but they have earned their spots on the card. WWE’s midcard has significantly deteriorated since the mid 2000s when the WWE began taking Tag Team wrestling and the United States/Intercontinental Titles less seriously. Women’s wrestling fills out the card nicely and creates nice variety. That, and all of the female competitors are well trained and we have real depth on the roster now to form 2 good divisions on both RAW and Smackdown brands. I REALLY like Women’s wrestling as a scripted athletic competition and find respect their ability to perform in that ring.
It’s not about looks. It certainly was in the past when ladies like Miss Elizabeth, Sunny, and Sable were marketed and sold for their beauty. Trish Stratus was too but then she became a highly respected wrestler. Did you see that reaction at the Royal Rumble 2018 when she appeared? Holy cow…
Women’s wrestling since the 2015 call-up known as the “Divas Revolution” has been highly entertaining… The NXT call-ups are legitimately good inside that ring and it has nothing to do with looks.
But yet, the WWE retains its late 2000s business model for how a female performer should look.
That is where Vince McMahon, the CEO/President of the WWE, and Executive Producer Kevin Dunn need to OWN this. Vince runs the company while Dunn is in charge of the cosmetic look of the television product.
It is a fact that Peyton Royce and Billie Kay took a significant amount of time off just before they joined the WWE roster. Just as they returned to the ring, both were posting pictures all over their social media to *hint* at something. Shortly after they returned to NXT, they received that call to join the WWE main roster. The timing of that is interesting.
Can someone name me another profession where cosmetic surgery is suggested as an unwritten rule to improve your standing at work? Especially one that draws attention to a specific body part?
Why would you have a breast enhancement surgery? Specifically to go upper C or D in cup size? Seems like you’re trying to get attention of the Television viewers and the live crowd? Does it work out better for photoshoots? Back in the day, it seemed helpful to get one of those Playboy shoots.
In my opinion, it’s not the chest size that matters in terms of being interesting in that ring. Eva Marie and many struggling-to-wrestle performers before her proved that. Someone like Alexa Bliss has amazing athletic ability and is great on the mic with her personality. Sasha Banks has swagger and charisma that mixes in with real psychology that she has in her matches. Charlotte Flair is an amazing athlete that can utilizes her flexibility to perform moves that no other wrestlers can. Becky Lynch looks like an athlete that could play any sport and he has a high energy level that keeps any match great. Nia Jax looks legitimately tough, not just physically but from her personality. Carmella, though many are critical of her in-ring ability, is full of charisma and swagger that draws heat. Asuka is possibly the most talented in-ring female performer and her persona is so unique. Bayley was an amazing babyface in NXT and actually wrestles the WWE style that should be appealing to WWE officials. Ronda Rousey is a legitimate drawing star and a badass with her real life fighting ability and athletic ability. She is quickly improving on the mic, too, as her speech about Natalya’s dad passing was amazing… And I like the Iconics, as they are entertaining as a team and funny on the mid belittling other wrestlers.
Did you observe how I didn’t mention breast size or anything else cosmetic? Because I don’t need to… I’m not looking to the WWE for a bunch of “hot chicks”, as again, I’d be flocking to Eva Marie… No, I want GOOD WRESTLING. And honestly, Women’s Wrestling since 2015 has helped me enjoy the WWE and NXT products more than I did before that.
But again, that is NOT the culture created by CEO/President Vince McMahon and Executive Producer Kevin Dunn who are always trying to model any female like Sable. Many reports of backstage happenings have come out on how Vince and Dunn lusted over Sable and spent extra time at booking and production meetings speaking about her segments. But then you have the walking enabler named Stephanie McMahon who SETS THE EXAMPLE herself of how to “make it” in the WWE. “Get the implants, girls… If I got them, you should too… ” is the idea that is presented.
YES, it is bad taste on what Dave Meltzer said… But he was stating the obvious. Things have cosmetically changed between NXT to the main WWE roster for the Iconics that many news reports have suggested. Why couldn’t they join the WWE without having a reported procedure? Weren’t they good enough in NXT without any “enhancements”? Why aren’t more women within the WWE saying “NO” to this hinted request? Where are the lawsuits that allege that opportunities were denied until a specific cosmetic surgery occurred?
Why do most females in the WWE have the same bodyshape (with a few exceptions)? They all seem to have that under 130 pound frame to be thin all around but with a certain breast size.
I agree 100% about giving females a little more slack on criticisms about their looks given how society has perceived women for the most part… That is NOT the debate.
The DEBATE should be about the CULTURE of the WWE that is PRO-breast enhancements.
Why isn’t THAT getting more attention in this #MeToo climate? Wouldn’t enhancing your breasts cause more unwanted attention from males? Isn’t that a form of intimidation that you must enhance body parts for the workplace that require covering up as a social norm? It would seem that larger breasts could open up female wrestlers to sexual harassment not just by fellow wrestlers but also by wrestling fans… Who are still mostly male.
Why can’t the FINGER OF SHAME be pointed squarely on Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, and Stephanie McMahon for the large breast CULTURE that they have created for female employees?
But instead, let’s jump down the throat of Dave Meltzer who has 40 years of Observer newsletters written and does multiple Podcasts per week. He says ONE THING about Peyton Royce and all of you are insisting that he should no longer have a job covering wrestling. Huh? What about the 99.99999% of his written and spoken word that wasn’t critical of female looks?
I have produced over 2,500 columns for LordsofPain.net and I’m sure that I’ve said some inappropriate things too. Nobody is perfect, especially when you speak. With a written column, you have a chance to edit it… When you’re speaking without a script, things slip out. Dave has been mostly respectable of the women’s wrestling in the WWE and for the past few Wrestlemania shows, he has suggested that Women’s matches were the best. The Social Justice Warriors will overlook that fact and will instead attack him for 30 seconds of audio from a 1-2 hour Podcast show. And we know what he was alluding to, as well, with the words “transformation” and “lighter” in NXT.
Again, why does the WWE get a FREE PASS regarding the required physical look of its wrestlers? Come on, #MeToo movement… Why does the WWE get a FREE PASS for creating a climate that (a) pays female wrestlers much less than males and (b) requests that females have cosmetic surgery.
I don’t quite see male wrestlers needing to have cosmetic surgery before they get a big wreslting push…
Don’t blame Dave… Blame the WWE culture that made Dave state the obvious even though Peyton didn’t need to be the one singled out.
October 26th… Take me, away!
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So just chill… Until the next episode!
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