By Michael Chapman
Over the past few months WWE’s A. J. Lee has been at the center of a, no THE, major storyline in the organization. At first being treated shabbily and used by Daniel Bryan only to follow him around like the proverbial puppy dog. AJ gained the over all fandom’s support despite a large minority also supporting Bryan’s heel turn. As Danielson’s feud with WWE Champion C.M.Punk was heating up ‘poor little confused’ A.J. became entangled in a bizarre love triangle. ‘Love crazy’ turned into plain old crazy as Ms. Lee started teasing, to both the combatants and the fans, to whom her allegiances belonged.
A mistaken attempt by WWE’s writers to include Kane in a championship match only confused A.J. and the viewers more, as she was shown mooney eyed and kissing the Big Red Machine. All in all the program itself seemed well received by critics while still holding the fans attention, until… Vincent Kennedy McMahon shows up on the 1000th episode of Raw and names A.J. Lee the new general manager. In turn leaving the second hottest wrestler of 2012 a jilted groom. *sad trombone*
Meanwhile you have independent wrestling organizations like Chikara Pro featuring the amazingly talented Sara Del Rey. Sara often takes on male opponents and rarely if ever do you hear the dreaded chestnut “… one of the best female wrestlers in the world…”. Instead she is simply referred to as one of the best wrestlers in the world. As was the case during the build up to her match-up with Chikara Gran Champion Eddie Kingston. While she didn’t win the title, (Sara recently signed a developmental contract with previously mentioned WWE) they treated her and her title challenge with the seriousness it deserved.
When one watches pro wrestling like TNA and WWE, you come away with the feeling that a large group of teenage boys script and book the female wrestler angles. Mostly short matches, unfortunately used as filler in the night’s card. The women are sent out to present themselves as eye candy for the young males in the audience. A true shame when TNA has both Gail Kim and Mickie James on their Roster. The WWE have several talented females on their main roster including the aforementioned A.J. Lee. While no one holds a proverbial gun to their head you get a sense that the more dedicated female wrestlers do feel objectified in a way they would prefer did not happen.
WWE recently shifted to three hours of programming for their monday night flagship show RAW. Heres hoping that with the recently signed Ms. Del Rey, the WWE planners and schemers realize they have an opportunity to showcase a fantastic performer and do not need to stoop to ridiculous gimmicks or worse to present her to their captive audience.
You can follow Michael on Twitter @NUFC_monkey as he discusses Wrestling, Football and the importance of growing a beard.