Anyone else feel like even during a decent women’s match, the announcers manage to demean the whole thing with a-bit-more-than-latent sexist commentary?
“aw, lookit her, she’s pretty spunky! She’s like a little pocket rocket/bottle rocket…” etc… I get the impression that when someone the size of, say, an Evan Bourne or Bryan Danielson get in the ring they don’t come up with pet adjectives to use.
I’m not one to usually call people out on this sort of thing, but, to me, it really continues to underscore the fact that, basically, Vince McMahon probably does not give a fuck about women and the company overall probably holds it’s female athletes in lower regard than high school cheerleaders.
Two good points here: the cute nicknames the announcers give the women not only underscore what might be a serious contest (or at least a contest between two serious people. There is a difference), but also that hearing these names over and over gives the impression that the company as a whole is downplaying women. It’s certainly a fair thing to vocalize.
I don’t think Vince McMahon doesn’t care about women. I just think WWE doesn’t really know what to do with a great female wrestler. Even if you give them similar stories as the men (title chases, personal vendettas, etc) it doesn’t really work, because women are different than men. I think this frustrates WWE creative, who I think would love to do more things with the female roster, but literally don’t know how. This is why female wrestling is really great for a few months every few years, but never great consistently. They get a good idea every now and then.
The best female wrestling angles are ones that simply can’t be reproduced with men. Take, for instance, the excellent months-long story between Trish Stratus and Mickie James in 2005-2006. You couldn’t have done that with men. You also couldn’t do Gail Kim VS Awesome Kong with men. The secret of a great female wrestling match/angle/story is thus: find a pairing that gives the audience something to think about, give them a story that is wholly unique to their situation and character, and let it build logically. That may be the same template a lot of male wrestling stories use, but it’s important not to use the same particular ingredients.
As for the cutesy nicknames and the “smart, powerful, sexy” tagline, well, that’s what WWE thinks women wrestlers represent to the WWE audience. I don’t think it’s the WWE being sexist so much as the WWE acknowledging the base sexism of their audience and, unfortunately, attempting to capitalize.