There has always been a thin line between reality and fiction when It comes to television with professional wrestling. However these days WWE seems to want to for the lines even more with shows like Total Divas and Tough Enough. Now I have nothing against these shows as I feel they help expand the scope of how the general public perceives the wacky world that is professional wrestling. But just like other shows in the genre just like the WWE product in general seeing is not always believing.

This whole discussion comes from watching last night’s season premiere episode of Total Divas. The premise of the one hour episode entitled “Diva Divide” focuses around The Bella Twins trying to decide whether the they want to “re-sign” with WWE. This causes the other cast members to try to scramble to fill the void of the leaving duo. In the midst of this, the women of the WWE roster learned that Eva Marie was training in Southern California. The veterans of the roster find this disrespectful that the redhaired siren gets preferential treatment. The bulk of the woman saying that there division is on an upswing as of late and they don’t want someone that feels entitled not paying their dues the way they did.

I know the show isn’t for me. But if you look at the episode the thing that the women were so angry at was the only wrestling.on the show. I’ll admit the women particularly the Bella Twins have gotten far better than they were when they first started. But the Divas division still is trying to find its way. Having Nikki Bella talking about what it takes to be Divas Champion just seems insulting to anyone that tries to get into the actual WWE product. Then again the casual viewer is probably just there for the drama of the reality TV genre. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you really want to showcase what it means to be a diva maybe E! could do one 13 episode run with the WWE Roster Divas with the second following the Women’s Division of NXT showing the bumps and bruises it takes to be a woman in sports entertainment. Do I think this will happen probably not? But I think if you’re really going to try to get across that the women mean something to the company. That’s a good way to do it. And who knows maybe if NXT keeps growing the way it is maybe we will see it. I mean look at the growth of the brand in the last year. It’s entirely possible. Although I think of that does happen as it points out the flaws with the main cast.

Truth be told this whitewash mentality is plaguing Tough Enough a little bit. It feels a little overproduced but it’s not terrible. I understand going with the format they did as it’s worked with NBC Universal in the past. I just think it’s missing the core fundamentals of what made the original seasons work on MTV. They don’t show enough guys doing drills or taking back bumps. Maybe it’s by design because of the Bill Demott controversy they don’t assure too much of that but the real story of any performers journey is how they are faced with learning skills and overcoming obstacles when they just don’t click. I don’t mind the goofy tasks every week. The other shows had those two but they were able to mix in ring training in the really show these kids busting their ass.

Personality is key for you need to show that these guys can actually and work a match. The reality TV elements seem to overshadow anything that resembles training. Maybe that’ll change as more talent get eliminated and there’s more time to fill. I guess we will have to wait and see.

As I’ve said before looking back in the history of television, professional wrestling was really the first reality show. Going all the way back to the likes of Buddy Rogers, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair and Gorgeous George were stars that you followed because they were dynamic personalities. The whole business has worked on the premise to make you believe the drama is real much like reality TV does now. It’s amazing that WWE sometimes forgets that very fact and tries to fit themselves into a genre that they already are kings of. But as with anything you want to be more palatable to the mainstream. So you do these reality shows as offshoots hoping to get more eyeballs. It’s understandable but it seems like the snake eating its own tail.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.