Much like the female contingent on WWE programming, Total Divas has, and is, undergoing a major facelift. The past year has seen a renewed commitment to showcase the women on Monday Night RAW and Smackdown, not to mention NXT and WWE pay-per-views. The Divas Revolution spawned a new crop of competitors to the division. These were women who wanted to be more known for their work inside the ring as opposed to outside.
Once it was clear that the likes of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch would be carrying the division into the next era, the divas moniker (and butterfly championship belt) were replaced by the Women’s Division and WWE Women’s Championship. They were no longer divas as it pertained to their presentation within WWE. They were superstars, just like their male counterparts.
All these changes may have been welcomed with open arms by the WWE Universe and most of the women themselves, but there’s a strong opposition coming from a very influential group, as well. According to a recent report from Daily Wrestling News, there has been some serious debate over whether or not the E! network will have to change the title of the WWE-inspired reality series, Total Divas. Executives at the E! network were apparently not pleased with WWE’s decision to make the switch from divas to women.
Understandably, there has been a lot of money and marketing put behind the Total Divas brand since the show debuted in 2013. To change the name of a show that has already been on the air for five seasons could confuse viewers and dip into an audience that already took a considerable dip in its fifth season.
WWE and E! already agreed to an overhaul for Season 6 of Total Divas by bringing back Naomi, and also adding Renee Young, Lana, and Maryse. Mandy Rose, Alicia Fox, and Rosa Mendes were all dropped from the show as well. Season 6 of Total Divas is scheduled for a fall premiere, but no official date has been announced.
So, WWE dropped the term “divas” from its vocabulary completely. On the surface, the women are supposed to be on equal footing as the men, but with only one match scheduled for Payback, there’s still a ways to go. Two of the most popular women on the roster, Sasha and Becky, have been relegated to Smackdown for the most part, while Charlotte and Natalya have built their feud for the WWE Women’s Championship. That is by design, as it appears Sasha will get a featured look as we head towards SummerSlam, when she will likely take the belt from Charlotte.
The WWE has a lot of cache when it comes to the presentation of Total Divas, and the decision-making surrounding its key components. However, because the show drew such poor ratings in its most recent season, they may be forced to concede any name-changing to E! executives and producers. WWE and E! recently announced a spin-off show, Total Bellas, that will focus on the lives of Brie and Nikki Bella, who were generally seen as the stars of Total Divas. The Total Bellas name clearly plays off Total Divas, so that would be another hurdle to overcome should they decide to change the name.
Sasha Banks recently said that she’d never appear on Total Divas because, as noted, she’d prefer to shine in the ring as a wrestler, and not have the spotlight shine on her personal life or her relationships. So, if the name of the show is changed, she may not ever have to anyway. But the more eyes on the female division the better, regardless of the original source.
If E! was forced to change the name of Total Divas, what would be a suitable alternative?
[Image via E! Network]