Wrestling is always a tricky subject to bring up with friends. A lot of people simply don’t understand the appeal and it leads to the dreaded phrase every wrestling fan hates to hear “You know it’s fake, right?” It’s difficult to convince people why wrestling is so fun and sometimes they just don’t like it, in fact it was a problem I had with my girlfriend. With me being such a die-hard fan she just couldn’t wrap her head around why I enjoyed it so much. That was until Total Divas came along. This is how Total Divas got my Girlfriend into Pro Wrestling.
As much as the word “Diva” is met with derision among wrestling fans, Total Divas is actually a pretty important show in the wrestling landscape and it’s more like the core product (wrestling) than people give it credit. For for those who don’t know, Total Divas is a reality TV show about the lives of the female Superstars in the WWE and the troubles they encounter (it’s available on the WWE network). And with the larger than life characters and drama of the industry translated into a more obvious Reality TV format, it makes wrestling easier to digest and makes the product as a whole lot more accessible than say, your typical three hour episode of Monday Night Raw. And with that I was determined to get the titular girlfriend (Anna) into wrestling.
When I first decided to show Anna Total Divas I was met with the same raised eyebrows I got when I asked her to watch Money in the Bank or the Royal Rumble but reluctantly she agreed and we got down to watching the show. It was difficult to gauge her at first but I soon realized how invested she was becoming. Before long she was becoming interested enough by these women to want to know more about them. She started asking questions about the Women and what women’s wrestling is like and she soon formed attachment to them, she had favourite characters. Something the show did to help nurture this interest was to often include big names like John Cena, with this she slowly started to learn the WWE roster. Learning the roster from a different perspective invited her to look at wrestling from a different perspective and it slowly started to appeal to her.
As the weeks went on and we watched more episodes it became clear that my girlfriend no longer looked at wrestling as something silly and childish, she was starting to gain an appreciation for what it is the WWE Superstars do. Something I thought was funny was her decision to explain this to me. She said that wrestling was a lot like RuPaul’s Drag Race. If you’ve never heard of it, RuPaul’s Drag Race is a reality competition series about Drag Queens who want to be the next “Drag Superstar”. It seemed silly at first but her reasoning was actually sound and made me realize why she was starting to like wrestling. She told me that although the actual art or act was not initially appealing, seeing the effort that the superstars put into their craft and how much of their life they sacrifice to the business is something she finds admirable and endearing. In fact the only thing I could find wrong with anything she said was that she was a fan of Eva Marie.
After watching Total Divas Anna started joining me for the Women’s matches on PPV in an effort to see more of the characters she had grown attached to and it wasn’t long she was tuning into other matches namely matches featuring The New Day because they are and I quote “Just so much fun. 6 months ago Anna couldn’t name any wrestles other than John Cena, The Rock and Hulk Hogan, now? She can name half of the active men’s roster, the entire women’s roster and has even bought us tickets to our first WWE live event together. So thank you Total Divas, you don’t get the credit you deserve.