Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Some More Thoughts On That Women's Ladder Match

Note: This was originally going to be done in video form, but I decided against it because it would take time away from that other Ramble video I want to get out this week. So here's the text; warts and all.

Last Sunday was the place where WWE held its first Women's Money In The Bank ladder match featuring five of Smackdown's best women and the winner of the the first-ever Women's Money In The Bank ladder match... is James Ellsworth... who is not an active participant in this match and also not a woman.

Did WWE hire back Vince Russo or something? Because this sounds like the sort of thing he'd write.

Well... that was an interesting show... is what I would've said if it hadn't put me to sleep.

This is a statement that I say every so often, and most of the time, it's the usual hyperbole. "This so-and-so is so boring it put me to sleep." What I say here is the very rare instance it actually is true. What I say now is devoid of hyper hyperbole or exaggeration; WWE Money In The Bank 2017 literally put me to sleep. It was a struggle to stay awake during this show, let alone show any semblance of interest or emotional investment. By the time we got to the title match between WWE champion Jindermahinder Taj Mahal and hometown boy Randall K Orton, I was out like a light. And by the time I woke up, I see AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura going at it for a bit before Baron Corbin takes both guys out and grab the briefcase.

Now seeing this disappointed me... not because Baron Corbin won it - though truth be told he would not have been my first choice, but I'm indifferent either way. But see, on the second viewing, with a clearer and well rested head, because it helps to enjoy a good match like that, I was almost expecting someone like a Tamina Snuka or some other well-built woman... or actually, you know what? Forget that. Here's what would've been the perfect ending. There's a ladder standing in the middle of the ring. Everyone is doing the whole outcold thing and laying all over the place. And then all of a sudden, out comes... I don't know. JoJo, I guess. She runs in, she climbs the ladder, she grabs the briefcase, and wins the match.

So you have the Women's Ladder match won by a skinny, chinless man in James Ellsworth. And you have the Men's Ladder match won by a little petite woman in JoJo... smell the ratings, bro. Smell the ratings, bro. And then you know what, bro? We take both briefcases, bro, and we stick 'em on a pole, bro. And... sorry, getting carried away here.

So for those who know this stuff, the ending to that Women's Ladder Match - where James Ellsworth climbs the ladder, grabs the briefcase, passes it off to Carmella, and then the bell rings and she wins because... sure, why not? This is a case where the heel manager is giving the assist and the win to his or her client in an effort to generate some hatred towards the Superstar. So Carmella won the match, but her manager or agent or boy toy or whatever did all the work for her. Because that's heat... apparently.

Some people will see that... mostly those people who have been following this form of entertainment for a long time and know all the particular quirks and tropes associated with it. Some more people will, unfortunately, be more focused on the fact that the first Women's Ladder Match thing ended with a MAN winning because take that, feminism and all that jazz. And that's a very narrow mindset to be adopting, but unfortunately, it's one that's fairly prevalent and real easy to adopt; especially when you just had a ten minute video package pushing this Women's Revolution concept that's supposed to be WWE's attempt at giving the women that same level of prestige and legitimacy as the men... and then you end that match with a man grabbing the case and giving it to a woman, which brings up a whole bunch of very small-minded thoughts that... yeah, some people see heels being heels, some people see the ending in more sexist, misogynistic viewpoints.

All I see is a really lame stupid ending and I say that regardless of where the participants' reproductive organs are situated. There are better ways to go about giving one of your heel wrestlers the easy win. Seth Rollins climbing the ladder that Corporate Kane was holding on to a couple years back is probably a good example. I'm sure Ellsworth can hold on to a ladder while Carmella is climbing it... but I guess we're going with this ending because we need some semblance of controversy or something. You know, the kind I alluded to a short while ago.

Look, on the first viewing when I was half-awake, when Ellsworth climbed the ladder and grabbed the briefcase, I actually got a good laugh out of that because I was thinking "Oh dear god. James Ellworths' got the briefcase. James Ellsworth just won the match." And for whatever reason, I was just envisioning this ridiculous improbable situation where James Ellworth would declare himself the first ever Miss Money In The Bank and he would get the guaranteed title match against the Smackdown Women's Title. And when that comes, he would follow in the footsteps of former WWF Women's Champion Harvey Wippleman and be the second man in WWE history to hold a Women's championship...

Hey, it's stupid. It throws every pretense of seriousness and supposed legitimacy out the window... but again, Harvey Wippleman's a former WWF Women's Champion.

Also, anyone remember Wrestlemania 25? That Divas Battle Royal where they brought back a bunch of former Divas with virtually no fanfare to crown the first-ever Miss Wrestlemania? And then the first-ever Wrestlemania ended up being Santino Marella dressed in drag... and that's why we no longer have Miss Wrestlemania. I would not put it past WWE to do something this ridiculous and stupid... but, hey it'd get the people talkin', bro.

But then he drops the briefcase to Carmella and the bell rings... and then I guess she won because she caught the briefcase. And all the refs are arguing about the legalities or validity of that win and that makes them look like complete and utter stupid idiots since they don't know the rules to a ladder match - I guess they're still working off the old WWE rulebook instead of the new one - and we have to wait until Smackdown to see what goes on, which will either see a rematch of a lower caliber or the decision stands and Carmella is Miss Money In The Bank and... meh, whatever.

OR... and this is unlikely to happen, but humor me.

Smackdown opens up with the returning Daniel Bryan Danielson to a chorus of cheers and YES chants and after some pleasantries are brought, he calls up Carmella and James Ellsworth to the ring to discuss the MiTB controversy. And after much deliberation, he declares that the winner of last night's first-ever Women's Money In The Bank ladder match is NOT Carmella because she didn't grab the briefcase.

Despite James Ellsworth not being the match, James Ellsworth was the ohe who grabbed the briefcase and as such, James Ellsworth won the match, James Ellsworth is Miss Money In The Bank, and James Ellsworth has a guaranteed title match against the Smackdown Women's Champion at any time... and then from there... I don't know, everything goes to shit.

And let's get this bit out of the way - if the genders were reversed, then yes, I would make JoJo Mr. Money In The Bank and JoJo would have a title shot against the WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal... and this is why I'm not a wrestling booker because good lord, that would be a trainwreck...

Also, this is why I'm glad that they're keeping Asuka in NXT, because she actually has a good thing going there and I'd hate to see that get ruined by the creative monkeys at WWE. Actually, you know what? Let Asuka keep the NXT Women's title for a couple years; I don't think anyone would mind. And then she can beat Bobby Roode for the NXT title and she can keep that... Actually, you know what? Give Asuka all the titles in WWE... even the defunct ones. She deserves them all.

Even Miss Wrestlemania. I'm sure Santino won't mind.

Anyway, I think I gave this more thought than I probably should. More than I probably would've... but now that's over and done with, we can all forward the next great WWE Network epic, Great Ballz Of Fire...

Egads. They're running out of ideas, aren't they?

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