I am a wrestling fan. I watched the WWF (now WWE) and WCW switching back and forth depending on which match was better up until the late 1990s. I then fell off of wrestling when female wrestling became about “Divas” in bikini contests showing off their “puppies” to horny teenage boys. I came back to wrestling in about 2015 when my now husband introduced me to Lucha Underground and showed me that not all wrestling is the same. And then the WWE began their “Women’s Revolution,” and I was on board.
Monday’s RAW was a step backwards for women and LGBTQ characters on wrestling. Since the end of September, the characters of Lana, Rusev and Bobby Lashley have been in a “love triangle” which culminated in a kayfabe wedding on the December 30th RAW. The main event segment of RAW was Lana and Lashley’s wedding. This wedding was cringeworthy in a way that wrestling fans love and hate, ex-spouses showed up, the bride and groom were in ridiculous wedding attire, and mysteriously there was a person-sized cake in the ring.
Towards the end of the segment, the character of Liv Morgan showed up. Now I do hate that this is the way her character was reintroduced after months of social media build-up but that’s not the point of this article. Liv Morgan’s character had not been seen on TV since July 16th and it was a shock to see her. She objected to the wedding because the love of her life was in the ring when she first came to WWE. It was implied and assumed that it was Lashley, with Lashley even saying he had never touched her. And Morgan then replying, “No no no not you Lashley, I’m talking about LANA.” She says this with whip pan to Lana’s face.
What is upsetting is two-fold. One being that WWE is using an LGBTQ storyline for shock and awe. While we don’t know how this story will pan out, it shows that WWE doesn’t see a lesbian or a bi-sexual woman as nothing more than something titillating. Liv’s declaration of love breaking down to nothing more than a cat-fight.
What is also frustrating is the fact that WWE has an openly gay wrestler on the Smackdown brand.
Deville has, according to reports, been pitching an LGBTQ storyline to the WWE. We can assume it would probably have been treated with more dignity than Morgan surprising Lana on her wedding day. In 2020 shouldn’t we be at a point where being gay isn’t a big deal? Shouldn’t we be at a point where a person’s sexuality shouldn’t be playing for shock and awe? I am curious about next week, but if I don’t like what I see next week, I may switch to AEW.