SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
PWTorch reader Joe G. asks: Now that Drew Galloway is injured can we expect Aron Rex to turn heel? Drew can than return from injury as a babyface?
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: I think Aron Rex is more suited to be a heel and Drew more suited to be a babyface, so in that sense, it’s a good move. The downside is turning Drew twice relatively quickly can do more damage than the positive gained from him turning back to the babyface role he’s more suited for. Rex hasn’t clicked yet in TNA. His promos seem reserved and robotic and just lack any verve or wit that he known for in WWE as Damien Sandow. If I had to vote to turn them both of keep them as they are, I’d vote to turn them both, but with some reservations. Rex is much more talented than he’s shown so far in TNA, so change for him could be particularly beneficial. Last night at Bound for Glory, Drew’s interview felt like it leaned babyface, so maybe you’re onto something.
PWTorch reader Roxanne asks: I have enjoyed the so-called Diva’s Revolution. Have women finally earned the respect they deserve in wrestling, or do they still have a ways to go? Should there be a Women’s Royal Rumble to augment the men’s Rumble to earn a title shot at WrestleMania?
PWTorch editor Wade Keller answers: They have made great strides. I liked the ceremony for Gail Kim last night, and I think her work in TNA at a time when WWE’s “Divas” division was in the depths of demeaning pillow fights and lingerie contests did establish an example of how women’s wrestling in the U.S. could be treated more seriously (which was undercut by repeated promos cut by TNA Knockouts calling each other “skanks” and references to going back to their jobs at the strip club). Then came Ronda Rousey (preceded on a smaller scale by Gina Caruso) in MMA. Then came NXT’s women’s division. Each step along the way led to what is today a stronger division in WWE in terms of its presentation and athleticism. There are still weaknesses, such as the depth of talent, especially post-roster-split. It’s WWE, and there’s going to be a range of character, some of which might seem taking a step back, but it’s probably no worse now than the range of men’s characters.
I think Charlotte is a great representative for the Women’s Division on Raw, and of course Bayley, Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Sasha Banks are good anchors to build around. The next step for WWE is to build a rivalry for Charlotte that justifies headlining a Raw with a big title match or, even better, a WWE PPV event with a Charlotte title defense.
As for the Rumble for women, I must confess to loving the Royal Rumble as a match, but not liking it conceptually as a vehicle to prove who deserves a title shot at WrestleMania. It’s good business to do it, s it adds a ton of prestige to the Rumble match because it has major ramifications, but the winner of the match is such a result of luck (of the draw, of who they bump into or are double-teamed by) that has no thing to do with earning the no. 1 contender slot in a one-on-one match against the champion. I’m not suggesting a change in the current Rumble format, but I think the Women’s Division is better off having top contenders determined by matches that resemble the one-on-one title match they’re aiming for. I also think it waters down the Rumble to have more than one Rumble match per year.
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