Kayfabe is dead, or so reigning WWE Divas Championship holder Nikki Bella would have fans believe. Bella’s comments came during a fan event at Wizard World Indianapolis last weekend. A WWE fan in the audience asked Bella for her thoughts on how the hit reality show Total Divas has affected in-ring story lines of its stars, which includes much of the WWE Divas roster.
Nikki Bella’s response was straightforward.
“In our generation now, kayfabe is dead. And, with all the bullying in this world, if we promote this stuff [wrestling storylines] as real, what message are we sending? We have to think about the little kids watching.”
Bella’s statements may annoy older wrestling fans. Fan who started watching in an era when Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, and Iron Sheik were larger than life and engaged in a weekly battle of good versus evil. Though it does beg the question, does Nikki Bella have a point?
Nikki Bella’s real name is Nicole Garcia-Colace. She’s 31-years-old, from Scottsdale, AZ, and is in a relationship with WWE Superstar and 15-time WWE Champion John Cena. Years ago, these details would have been secrets closely held behind the wall that separated wrestlers from the fans that cheered (or sometimes jeered) them — the wall of kayfabe. Today, personal information about wrestlers lives if more available than ever before, and interviews routinely swing between the world of fantasy and reality, sometimes in the middle of a single answer.
Consider WWE Diva’s Championship contender Paige’s answer to a recent interview about her upcoming match with Nikki Bella at the WWE Fastlane pay per view event on February 22.
“She is an awesome competitor. I’m very excited to face up against her. I know, hopefully, we’re going to get to tear the house down. It is going to be a good competitive match. You’re going to see some surprises and crazy stuff. I can’t really tell you much about it but tune in and watch cause its going to be great, I promise.”
There is no doubt that Nikki Bella is athletic, but Paige’s comments imply that the winner will be decided based purely on athletic prowess. That somehow the conclusion of the match won’t have been decided long before either of the two women enters the ring, if it hasn’t been decided already.
In fact, WWE matches follow a pattern so familiar, that entire websites are dedicated to predicting not only the outcomes of matches, but the backstage reasons for the outcomes.
If you are curious, Nikki Bella is currently the projected winner of Sunday’s match.
If the primary concern of the WWE were entertaining fans of all ages while sending a positive message to younger viewers, then Nikki Bella would be absolutely right.
Though it must be noted, the WWE is a multi-million dollar business with stock that is finally beginning to rebound after last year’s less than successful WWE Network launch. Would Vince McMahon risk the company that has made him a billionaire?