Some people just want to be famous. They’ll say and do all the right things to get where they want to be and revel in the success they think they earned by pretending to be someone else.
Some people have a dream. Their dream is born when they’re young and hopeful, and as adults, they learn how to work hard to make that dream come true.
This is the story of Eva Marie vs. Bayley, who clash Wednesday for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Eva Marie is one of the faces of WWE’s Total Divas Reality Show on E!. She’s everything Vince McMahon and the current WWE women’s creative team want from their female athletes: a marketable look, passable mic skills, and the ability to draw nuclear heat from fans. The problem is that fans are booing Eva because they see her for the fake she is and not the wrestling heel the WWE office wants her to be.
Her passable mic skills let everyone hear her total lack of heart and make it clear Eva’s just around for the fame. Worse, her lack of in ring skill has lead to her hurting other wrestlers in ring, for real and not as part of the match, forgetting to kick out when she’s supposed to, exposing the business as rehearsed, and putting on clumsy matches that make it hard for women’s wrestling to be taken seriously. If that last bit is particularly unfair to put on one wrestler, it’s the same weight every wrestler has to bear, male or female, when they perform a choreographed fight recorded for millions of WWE fans.
Bayley is the last of the Four Horsewomen of NXT not yet called up to the main roster. Her character has evolved from a happy go lucky wrestling fan turned wrestler who slowly accepted that she was good enough to compete with her idols. Her last PPV NXT Title defense main evented the show and her title win a month prior is considered a favorite for match of the year. And all of her success flows from the grit and dedication she’s poured into her character born from the dream of a hopeful teenage girl.
It won’t be a tragedy if Eva Marie wins Wednesday but it will be wrong. Wins and losses are way less important than legacies. But rewarding the mediocrity and fame mongering of a person like Eva Marie is a mistake. It undercuts the Divas Revolution the WWE is trying to fuel and sends the message that having sex appeal is enough to trump athleticism, heart, and hard work.