Wrestling

Let’s Talk About Eva Marie – And Why WWE Shouldn’t Let Her Go

ScreenCritics Shaun talks about Eva Marie and the rumors swirling about her potential release from WWE – and why it’s a bad idea for the company.

In case you’ve had your head in the sand over the past few days, rumors have surfaced suggesting that Eva Marie may be set to depart from WWE. Unfollowing WWE’s Twitter account may not be the most solid ground for this, but removing all WWE nods from the social media account suggests that Eva isn’t happy with her current position. It wouldn’t surprise us, if only because wrestling always seemed to be an awkward fit for Eva. We’re just disappointed that just as it was getting good – it seems we’ll never get to see her potential play out on-screen. And that kind of sucks.

Let’s be fair, Eva Marie is truly an enigma in the modern-day landscape of WWE. Arriving too late to integrate herself into the Diva’s era, she feels like a relic from a bygone era. While the women’s revolution has changed the dynamic of the women’s division across the company, Eva’s lack of wrestling ability has caused her to become something of a lightning rod for fan dissatisfaction.

Yet despite this, Marie has featured prominently on E! Network’s Total Divas as a regular cast member since its inception. Not only this, she’s been afforded movie opportunities and the kind of positions within the company that don’t usually get handed to such new stars. Clearly WWE wanted fans to like her, which makes the abject rejection of her from the WWE Universe all the more hilarious.

Wrestling purists despise her, feeling she embodies the aspects of women’s wrestling that should be relegated to history. An unworthy recipient of WWE’s brass ring, she’s been pushed ahead of other female performers who worked harder and wanted it more. Yet despite this feeling, I feel that there’s huge potential within her to become one of the biggest heel female performers of all time – if only WWE could find a way to tap that potential.

There have been moments where it looked like WWE Creative had found this niche for her. I thought they’d found it when she debuted on Smackdown Live just after the Draft. Her constant weaseling out of matches and attempts to get out of wrestling meant fans had more reason to hate her. She was a heat magnet, rivaling Roman Reigns for the top reaction in the company. Fans hated her; and we loved it.

Sadly for everyone, Marie fell foul of a rogue Wellness Policy bust. Marie disappeared from WWE TV and hasn’t been seen since – with barely a mention outside of barbed jibes from Sami Zayn. Her absence has gone largely unnoticed as the Women’s Smackdown Division has gone from strength to strength – Marie’s position as queen of the heels seemingly handed to Alexa Bliss. With no sign of her heading into Wrestlemania; it’s very likely that she won’t be making much of an impact in the coming months. It’s why these rumors of her departure from WWE make so much sense – perhaps both party’s have grown weary of each other.

Part of me feels WWE Creative just haven’t understood what to do with Marie. She was awkwardly positioned as a face at Wrestlemania 32, something no one bought into. Arguably her most consistent run came in NXT where the decision was made to pair Eva and Nia Jax together. This coupling made huge sense on paper – Nia the monster while Eva held the reins. It was a double act so brilliant that it deserved a spotlight on the main roster – which made the decision to split the pair up all the more baffling. Eva’s lack of polish in the ring is well noted, but at least in this capacity fans had an excuse to hate her.

It’s just a shame really that circumstance and bad decisions from both party’s have de-railed her momentum. If Eva did leave WWE now, she’s likely be looked upon as one of the worst of all time. It’s a tag I don’t feel she deserves, if only because she has the potential to really make a difference. For many years fans have hated her, and only recently did WWE find a way to craft this hatred into something useful. To let her go without trying to address this feels like a missed opportunity.

Total Divas isn’t the best place to examine the inner-workings of WWE. It’s a hand crafted, manipulated glance at the behind-the-scenes world of WWE’s women. Yet there are moments on the show where truth shines through and where the real desires of its cast members becomes apparent. We’ve seen Eva Marie train on the show with Brian Kendrick (where she learned the Sliced Bread) and also seen her working in NXT, trying her best to get better in the ring. It’s here I feel that Eva Marie has really shone, showing the journey to main roster on WWE is littered with pitfalls and hard labor. Contrary to popular belief, she has been trying to get better.

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