Rob Bonnette is in the house to cover the renewed push for Tamina. Does she deserve it? Rob says yes.
She really does!
A common recurring complaint on Wrestling Twitter is that WWE constantly misuses people on it’s roster and that so many people there ‘deserve better’. Now I tend to dismiss most of those arguments because from where I’m sitting the crux of them usually are that (insert name here) is a great in ring worker so they should get more TV time, be in main events, win a world title, not have to play a goofy character, etc. And the problem I have with that is that we’re not just watching a two or three hour exhibition of in ring work, we’re watching a TV show and if the only or main thing you have to offer is in ring work then that’s going to make you not very attention getting as a TV character which is what you are ultimately playing. But that’s not all. The other problem I have with this take is that there a serious lack of consistency in how it’s applied. What do I mean? Well, look no further than the SmackDown Women’s division.
For years Tamina has been relegated to second and mostly third fiddle status as a tag team partner for someone deemed more important (Sasha Banks and Naomi, Nia Jax) or the muscle for Vicki Guerrero or Lana. If she wasn’t doing that then she was relegated to a quick out in a battle royal or Survivor Series match. When she worked a house show it was to put someone else over who was getting a push on television. But since the week before WrestleMania she’s started to get what looks like an actual, legit push. She had a good outing in the five way elimination match at Mania, laying out everyone and needing a four on one pile on to get eliminated, she’s gotten the better of Sasha and Bayley in some confrontations and she beat Sasha to earn a title match against Bayley at Money in the Bank. Finally, someone who has been stuck on the back burner for years (a decade actually) is getting a real elevation and a real opportunity. She even got a hype video to boot:
— Tamina Snuka (@TaminaSnuka) April 25, 2020
So we’re happy, right? This is the kind of thing we want, isn’t it? Well I don’t see the same enthusiasm on Twitter over this and in fact I’ve seen a few people not happy about it. But why? Too often when her name is mentioned it’s followed by ‘she sucks’ or ‘she only has a job because of her family’, and to me that’s just not fair. She’s been a loyal soldier who labored through the first women’s Royal Rumble despite being injured and has done everything that’s been asked of her with only the occasional title match or quick heat up for a pay per view as a booking reward of any kind. She also has a very easily translatable persona for television in that she looks like she can kick anyone’s ass in front of her. There’s no reason she couldn’t have gotten this earlier and it would have been every bit as deserving as it is now.
So yeah if you’re really about opportunity then you should be ok with this. We’re talking about a few weeks of more prominent work, a few segments where she’s gotten to look impressive and a title match on a pay per view that makes sense given that Bayley has beaten everyone else on SmackDown that there is to face her one on one anyway. One match, with maybe a second one depending on how this one goes, isn’t cool for someone who’s put in the time simply because they’re not someone on your list of deserving people? Really? What exactly were they supposed to do, bring someone over from NXT? They can still do that after this is over if they so choose, you know.
And if the unthinkable does happen and she wins the title……what’s so bad about that? She’s a supporting player in the bigger Sasha/Bayley story being told. Would someone who’s been the same kind of good and loyal soldier that you like to talk up all the time getting a likely one month title reign as part of a longer story be some miscarriage of justice? Of course not! Not when I see people throw out all kinds of names saying that they deserve a just because World Title reign that would last just as long, or saying that people who don’t translate well to TV for anyone that isn’t a workrate mark should be on more just because they’re good in the ring. Are you about opportunity, or do you just want to see your personal favorites in higher positions that they’re in?
From where I’m sitting, if you have a real problem with this then you’re part of the problem as far as wrestling fans go. To bang the drum for people to get more then get mad over a short program for someone who’s put in more time than most people there is the height of hypocrisy. Nobody’s calling for her to get a year long run with the title or anything. Whether this is an on the fly booking adjustment because of the coronavirus or it was planned all along, it’s a nice change of pace for a month or two. If you can’t handle that, and instead you want to rant that she should have gotten fired a couple of weeks ago or a year ago or whatever, then do the rest of us a favor and just go away already. If you can’t be consistent then just be quiet.