24 hours after one of the best women's matches in the last decade between Beth Phoenix and Tamina Snuka, WWE pissed away their goodwill by having Eve inexplicably turn heel. Further, they had her explicitly state she was using Zack Ryder for fame and intended to use John Cena to the same end, only to have it all blow up in her face and have John Cena reduce her to tears seconds later by calling her "hoeski," "bitch," and then express concern that her "skankjuice" might give him a "disease."
Naturally, it was the biggest pop Cena's got in quite awhile.
In my Elimination Chamber review, I lamented that the only thing that hurt the Phoenix/Tamina match was the dead crowd, but you couldn't blame them when they've been conditioned for years to look at the Divas as nothing more than wrestling vaginas. Same thing happened with the crowd going bonkers to Cena verbally degrading Eve, they're going to cheer for it because she's a conniving gold-digging bitch with herpes and should be shamed for it, right!?
In all honesty, I have no problem with the fame-hungry bitch character. It's a bit cliché, but wrestling certainly isn't above cliché and it's present all throughout entertainment. Without it, reality TV would evaporate and Cee-Lo Green wouldn't have anything to write about, but if you're going to do it, at least build toward it. But that's how little WWE concerns themselves with the Divas, a female character can do a complete 180 in one show and it'll be fine because who cares, it's just a Diva. They'd never be allowed to get away with that with a male character that has gotten as much TV time as Eve has in the last two months. She went from horror movie victim at the end of last week's show to Kardashian sister at the beginning of the next. That's laughably bad.
And then it went from laughable to just plain offensive thanks to Cena's rant. I understand pulling the plug on the story, it was stupid and not something Cena needed dragging him down this close to what is being hyped as the biggest match in WWE history, but come on, slut-shaming and STD jokes? Really? A teary-eyed Eve literally throwing herself at Cena was just the icing on this shit cake, basically summing up the entire segment with a "LOL, bitches and their emotions, am I right, fellas?" I was waiting for Rick Santorum to show up at any moment.
I don't mind a woman being the target of a guy's anger or snark in a story, I don't even mind a woman being called a bitch when she's acting like a bitch or a guy being called a dick when he's acting like a dick (though I'm sure MANY will disagree with that and have a valid counterpoint), but why is it that women in WWE can only be defined by their gender? WWE Divas are never anything more than girlfriend, damsel in distress, bully that makes fun of someone over their looks, conniving gold-digger, or fat old pig if you're Vickie Guerrero, and that's it.
I hate when people try to look clever by complaining, "lulz, B.A. Star, the Bellas bully people every show." It's okay to have bully characters and then do anti-bullying PSAs because you're supposed to boo the bully, but when Cena, the face of the company and the face of this campaign is being the bully, that is a problem. Yes, Eve's character is suddenly bad, but Cena didn't "rise above hate," nor did he "embrace" it, he just came off like a dickish meathead. A frat boy who overcompensated after his friends gave him a hard time about the chick he hooked up with last week.
WWE, you're my team, but like seeing a Bengal get arrested every week or the rampant sexual harassment that goes on during halftime of a New York Jets game, this stuff makes me embarrassed to be a fan. I can't excuse it like I did when I was 14 and thought it was "edgy," because it's not edgy, it's stupid. And while you're certainly not alone, the video game, comic book and music industries are often just as bad and perhaps even more cynical about it, that doesn't make it okay. I don't think (or I at least don't want to think) this presentation of women is malicious, but the ignorance is staggering. It's 2012, we really shouldn't need to have this conversation.