We’ve now gotten to the ridiculous part of the fan reactions to Monday Night’s kick to the face incident where Brie Bella accidentally kicked Liv Morgan in the face and knocked her out. The immediate ‘yikes, that was bad!’ that flooded social media was to be expected and not off the wall in the moment but now we’ve gotten to the point where the people who have been in a ring and understand how it all works are being hit with the infamous ‘well, actually’.
Bully Ray says that all of his injuries save an ankle were the result of an opponent but no worries, that’s the business and on come the ‘yeah ok, but…..’ Corey Graves says something similar, reminding us that his in ring career ended because of in ring accidents and gets met with the same response. Really, people? That’s what we’re doing now? I know you guys hate it when wrestlers get all dismissive towards us on Twitter, but sometimes it sure is warranted. Playing outrage police and scolding people, be it fans or people in the business, for not being sufficiently mad enough at Brie is worthy every brush off you get.
Yes Brie has had sloppy spots in darn near every match she’s worked since coming back. OK, fine. If the people backstage think that it’s more important to fix that than to get her reps in real matches to get up to speed then that’s their call to make and not ours. And if they don’t then it is what it is. But as with every other wrestler you like to complain is getting too much she’s not getting fired, ok? Your favorite work rate guy has more than likely injured someone by accident in a match or a training session. May or may not have been serious, but it happened. But in 2018 with gifs and memes we get to selectively call out who is a ‘botcher’ and who isn’t based on who we already like or dislike. If you don’t like Seth Rollins 2015 and 2016 were like fish in a barrel for you for calling out stuff. But if you do like Rollins or Shinsuke Nakamura or Samoa Joe then you didn’t have a whole lot to say on that front. If you were a big Owen Hart fan then that day at SummerSlam 1997 isn’t one you spend a lot of time on, it was an accident and accidents happen.
Some of you guys have taken this accident as an opportunity to veil your ‘concerns’ about Brie’s wrestling around your previously held grievances about Brie (and Nikki for that matter), such as:
- They came from the Divas era that was centered around looks and not wrestling
- They got where they are in the WWE because of who they were dating/got married to
- They’ve used wrestling as a springboard to make money off of other projects, that are clearly more important to them now, thus proving that they never ‘loved’ the business
- They’re being pushed only because of their appeal to those dreaded casual fans who ruin everything because they don’t care enough about work rate and MMMMOOOOVVVVEEEEEZZZZZ
None of those things, however true they may or may not be, make what happened Monday any better or worse. If everything went fine Monday you would still have those beefs with them. Now as far as those things I listed, here’s some food for thought:
- Natalya, Naomi, and Alicia Fox all started during that same era. Being from the era does not automatically make you a bad wrestler. And let’s be real, looks still matter today. Take a look at all the ladies there now including the ones that are considered ‘real wrestlers’. They may not all be your personal cup tea, but is there anyone there that doesn’t fall into some category of good looking woman? Not really.
- Brie marrying Daniel Bryan helping her career kinda runs contrary to that whole ‘Vince hates Daniel Bryan and constantly holds him down’ narrative, right? I mean, marrying some guy the boss allegedly wants to keep in some low place wouldn’t be much of a career boost so some part of that equation doesn’t quite pass muster.
- Sure they did, and maybe they don’t love it as much as someone who started training for it when they were 14 years old. Who cares? Please let those Mick Foley stories go already. Nikki is working with essentially a broken neck and Brie could easily go away and work on their other stuff now. And yet they still get in the ring and take the same risk as everyone else who does. Stop romanticizing taking bumps at 14 years old as if it’s some sign of authenticity. It’s not.
- Well, that’s how the business works. The men and women who draw the most attention and bring in the most money get put at the top. Until work rate and movesets start selling more tickets and getting more views than characters, looks, and entertainment this is what you get. Joey Ryan is a thing that exists and makes enough money to keep getting booked so what do you expect? Nikki and Brie have over 7 million and 6 million Instagram followers; the next highest is Sasha Banks at 3.5 and the only only one with more is Ronda Rousey with 11.4. That’s influence and exposure you do not get just by being a wrestler. Of course they’re going to get a favored position.
Which leads me to one question I keep asking: how much do you actually support the people you say deserve it? Do you buy merchandise for your favorite woman wrestler? Do you watch their YouTube clips? Do you follow their social media accounts? If you can afford to do a meet and greet and have the time, do you do it? Have you bought a ticket and gone to a house shoe since the Women have been getting a bigger push? If the answer to all of those questions is no, then what are you talking about here? Nikki and Brie have fans, and those fans put more money in their employers pocket than the other ladies who work there. If everyone who calls themselves a fan of one of the other ladies was supporting them to the best of their ability then things might be different. But for now that isn’t the case. That’s not Nikki or Brie’s fault, not your favorite’s fault, and not Vince’s fault. At some point you the fan have to make a conscious decision to make a material investment regardless of the spot your favorite has on the card and let the chips fall where they may.
As always, you don’t have to be a fan of theirs. You can prefer by a wide margin to see other women wrestle. You can wish that they would choose to play the background and not jump the line when it’s time for the WWE to do something big with the women. Those are all reasonable and fair viewpoints. But that doesn’t warrant bad takes, nasty insults, and overall stupidity thrown in their direction. Yes they could do a better job showcasing the other women on the roster but when they do throw us a bone there we are going to have to take it and run with it instead of dismissing it as insufficient crumbs. Because while we do that, the people who do get the most attention will keep getting so long as it is makes the most money for the company. So in other words, support your favorites instead of tearing down others. It’s a much better way to get what you want in the long run.