Kendra, our queen bee here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com, mentioned the Freebird Rules recently in regards to the Cesaro/Kidd and New Day feud. It got me thinking about seeing an intergender element added to what has been an entertaining back and forth. I’ve been mulling it over for a few weeks and done some additional scouting on Xavier Woods as he’s the one, like most of you, I’ve seen least in the ring. I’ve convinced myself that I think this is a great opportunity for the WWE and they should pull the trigger. The timing is right, the players are right, and their competitors are excelling at it.
(Quick digression-can Cesaro/Kidd please officially get a name? Hasn’t “The Uppercats” been adopted for them, especially because “Masters of the Universe” was awful? I’m sick of referring to them individually, yet together. From now on I’m calling them “The Uppercats”. It is decided. Rant over.)
We have entered what is usually the post-’Mania lull. We’ve been trained as an audience for some time that this period doesn’t really matter. I think those days are over and we are actually starting to see a change in this pattern of booking. This is likely thanks to the need for the WWE Network’s success. It has been getting a lot of attention lately as they’ve been adding a lot of new content-some good with potential (“Unfiltered with Renee Young”), some just eh (“Too Hot for TV”). It is the foundation of Vince’s business model so they will do everything to keep building its subscriber base. I think bringing back an element they haven’t regularly used in some time would add excitement and they could pair it with adding some Women’s/Diva’s Division content.
It gives them additional plot options and creates opportunities for other intergender stables to be created and utilized. NXT has Enzo Amore, Big Cass, and Carmella who will eventually be called up. When the Usos return they have a hopefully elevated Naomi. We only got to see mixed-tag matches between The Usos and The Uppercats, to my recollection. There are a lot of intergender booking options where they can keep the talent protected while putting on entertaining, technical matches. It could also revitalize some storylines for current Divas whose characters have grown stale or need a push. Eva Marie is being pushed during her time off and has been training with The Brian Kendrick and it seems like she’s going to be a babyface. Having her return with a storyline against a heel male (one that makes sense) who underestimates her, letting her steal the win could be a great direction to go. Just a thought.
With Paige out, and some may argue even when she’s around, Natalya is the best technical wrestler amongst the Divas. People would mark out if she got in the ring to lock up with Kofi Kingston or Woods if it was booked and built-up correctly. Big E may be more of a challenge because he is so much more physically imposing than she is that I think you lose the element of believability, but I thought that when Sexy Star faced Big Ryck in Lucha Underground and they proved that it could work so maybe I’m wrong there. Kingston is so athletic, and his style so similar to her husband’s, that I think he and Natalya would work smoothly together. If it came to it she could carry Woods and he, especially, would have a great opportunity to get even more heat as he continues developing into a great heel. He’s mostly been managing, but I think that has more to do with his ankle injury he was dealing with most of this year. He’s been doing some great work outside the ring, I’d like to see what he can do back in it. I also think it would be huge for Natalya to be part of either winning or defending the Tag Team Championship which is generally considered a men’s belt.
They need look only to Lucha Underground (LU) and how they pulled off their Trios Championship Tournament for the most recent shining example of how to correctly book an intergender matches. Brooke Adams faced Robbie E on an episode of Impact on March 13th and while it wasn’t Malenko/Guerrero or Bryan/Rollins from a technical sense, it was an entertaining match that told a story while giving Brooke a push. It served its purpose. LU is probably the current bar-setter for intergender matches, especially considering the variety of ways that they book them. Both Ivelisse and the masked Sexy Star have wrestled men individually and as part of a group, in addition to facing each other. Each has had their character enhanced recently via the intergender route. Star saved ring announcer Melissa Santos from an attack by Pentagon Jr. and Ivelisse pushed through almost two full matches, back-to-back, with a legitimate broken ankle to help her trios team (including Angelico and Son of Havoc) last week.
What better way to give the Diva’s division a bump? It needs to go back to being the “Women’s Division”, but that’s a different story. Ronda Rousey is a megastar. Mo’ne Davis is the face of the future for female athletes and genuinely gives me hope that we may one day see a woman play Major League Baseball. By putting Divas against the men I think you are showing them respect. There are some who may not be ready yet and that’s fine. They’ll work to get there or they won’t and it doesn’t work for them. Find out who thrives in the environment and let them run with it. Between the two Diva’s rosters (WWE and NXT) off the top of my head I’d say that Paige, Naomi, Natalya, Charlotte, Sasha, Bayley, and probably Becky Lynch could step into the ring right now and make a great intergender match with a partner who made sense. They’ve been giving the Divas more run, why not mix it up at the same time? If the talent pool gets deep enough maybe we’ll see a return of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
What do you think? Are you for or against WWE bringing back intergender matches?