The women of WWE have been kicking down the doors and breaking barriers the past few years as they continue their long journey to booking equality. On Sunday night the first ever Women’s Money in the Bank match took place and kicked off the show. What ensued was met with anger and complaints from the WWE Universe.
“The first ever women’s Money in the Bank match was won by a man!”
“How dare WWE disrespect women like this!”
“This was the worst PPV ever!”
And on and on it went. Social outrage over the ending to a wrestling match. I promise you guys, Vince and WWE creative are not sexist. They created an unforgettable moment whether you liked it or not. The match itself was sub-par. If it ended like any other ladder match it would have been cool that it happened, but not truly a historic moment. Instead we have an incredible talking point in the stalest part of the wrestling year. The ratings for RAW and SmackDown are sinking like stones and WWE needed to do something to make us tune in this Tuesday night. And they did just that.
Even beyond a simple ratings explanation, WWE attempted to create a new star at Money in the Bank. That is what this ladder match is meant to do. Find a talent that needs a boost to reach that next level status and elevate them up the card. Carmella – and Baron Corbin for that matter – are those talents this year.
Carmella has not been able to flourish like many of her fellow women who kicked down the doors from NXT to the main roster. Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Bayley became the four horsewomen and have been the leaders of this Women’s Evolution. Alexa Bliss broke out last year and is now a three-time women’s champion. That leaves Carmella who has taken major steps since her introduction to the main roster and has found a nice groove alongside James Ellsworth. But for her to reach her potential she needed a boost.
Carmella has struggled to get the crowd reactions most of her career. What better way to try and change that then what happened on Sunday night. Like him or not, James Ellsworth has become a powerful device for Carmella. We love it how Maryse has reinvigorated The Miz, how Lana made the Rusev character a top heel, etc. Well now the roles are reversed and a man is elevating a woman. Think about that. To me, this is major progress.
We have been teased with this moment multiple times. Lita tried to climb the ladder for Edge and Maryse tried to climb the ladder for both Ted Dibiase and The Miz. No one seemed to think that was an issue. Now the roles are reversed and people are upset. James Ellsworth is supposed to be an extra heat magnet for Carmella. WWE turned that dial up to 100 at Money in the Bank.
The best WWE storytelling is when they use real life happenings or social issues within their story. Women’s activism is one of the most debated and discussed topics right now and WWE is using that to make Carmella the top heel they envision her becoming. I hear you when you say, “Why did the man have to win it though? Why couldn’t Carmella just climb herself?” That outrage is the emotion WWE is trying to channel. The characters started playing their parts immediately as seen below:
It is okay to be upset and hate the way this happened. That is what it was meant to do. For me personally, I enjoyed it. Carmella is someone I was hoping would get an opportunity to shine and now she has it. That is the most important thing. A simple win would have been regular and expected. Instead, we have this unforgettable controversial moment. WWE now has the ability to use the outrage to make Carmella one of the more hateable characters alongside her sidekick James Ellsworth. Will it work? Who knows, but I love the fact they are trying something different.
Let me know your thoughts below or on twitter @JCoftheJK.