A few months back, I wrote what is probably the most ringing endorsement Mickie James has gotten since she was recommended to WWE all those years ago. I called for an immediate push and layed out a simply stunning case that she, and only she, was the top candidate to be the first woman to hold both the Women’s and Diva’s belts.
Back when I wrote the article on Mickie, a sort of “Women’s Renaissance” followed, helped mostly by the momentum boost caused by its winning the Article of the Day and being followed by an equally important piece written by our very own guru of the abstract, AkD (which won the same award 24 hours later).
AkD penned a defense of Michelle McCool, declaring the hatred and anger spewed forth towards her was unfounded and unwarranted. To his credit, I agreed that things often get taken a big too far with McCool, but also said that there are times her push seems far too forced–especially since I have the utmost respect for Michael Hayes as a booker.
Fast forward to now. WWE seems to have taken me up on my idea, since Mickie’s days of being the invisible tag partner of Kelly Kelly were dropped almost immediately and ever since then she’s been embroiled in a feud with Maryse that’s been slowly reaching a boil. It’s pretty cool to see my dictations actually be paid attention to–even if it’s just a nice coincidence.
My desires didn’t totally come to pass, however. While Mickie looks set to either get the Diva’s title at Night of Champions or SummerSlam, she’ll become the second woman to hold both–not the first–although she’ll probably be the one remembered more. You see, at The Bash, Michelle McCool and Melina traded a few punches then traded ownership of the belt. McCool had won a title at The Bash for the second time in as many years and had, in fact, become the first woman to hold both the Women’s and Diva’s titles.
The McCool directed vitriol resurfaced about as quickly as…well as quickly as she’d won the match, really. No sooner had she wrapped the Women’s belt around herself when the anger towards McCool started.
And therein lies the problem.
No, it’s not criticism of McCool. As a public figure she’s open to scrutiny, and as someone who had a long term relationship with Callaway, her pushes are always open to question.
In fact, given the circumstances, any responsible journalist *should* question her credentials for a push with the information at hand.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Michelle McCool wasn’t exactly headlining a lot of viable candidates lists for the first woman to hold both the Women’s and Diva’s titles. Mickie James, Gail Kim, Beth Phoenix, Melina, and Natalya were all better candidates for one reason or another, and some of them hadn’t even won one of them yet. Hell, my list put Katie Lea Burchill ahead of McCool and Katie hasn’t even competed for a belt yet. (Speaking of egregious misuse, why is “The Hair” allowed to get top shelf time on RAW, yet Katie wallows in ECW against the useless Bella Twins?)
Just as importantly, despite her undeniable athletic ability, McCool isn’t even topping the lists of top talent on SmackDown. In fact, most rational people will place her between second and fifth depending on factors that include: perceived potential of Eve Torres; perceived improvement and continued marketability of Maria; how soon Nattie Neidhart gets back into a title picture. The point here is that McCool wasn’t even getting a lot of nods to be the next in line for a backwater title, much less an immortal spot in women’s wrestling lore.
Given that information and combining it with her known relationship with Mark Callaway, it’s perfectly responsible of a writer to call attention to the information, and that’s what I’ve done here.
Not calling it would be irresponsible of me as a writer who wants to have an ounce of credibility to what he writes. If she didn’t have the relationship, there’d be no reason to suspect anything other than Michael Hayes had lost his mind.
However, McCool did have the pull with Callaway, who in turn could probably sell Vince’s grandkids to Somali pirates and still get whatever he wanted. With McCool’s lack of prestige, and lack of fan following, the decision to make her the first woman to hold both titles has to come into question…especially with the lukewarm response she’s received since.
In fact, given the information available, it is this writer’s opinion that whether she and Mr. Callaway are still what TMZ would dub an “item”, McCool’s continued pushes are a direct correlation and as such have to be looked at with some scrutiny.
Again, this isn’t inappropriate to set forth in the least. I haven’t railed on her for a lack of athletic ability (which would be a lie) and haven’t debased myself or my work by making false accusations or resorting to childish name calling. It’s also true that if I said the same thing about Mickie’s push, or a push for someone like Katie Lea, Gail Kim, or Melina, it would be highly inappropriate because none of them have nearly the same pull as McCool would with her connection to Callaway.
That’s no different than if your wife and the wife of a judge were up for the same promotion within the court system which ultimately went to the wife of the judge. Had it gone to your wife, there’d be no grounds for suspicion: after all, your wife is married to a lowly peon (or in Mickie’s case, she’s probably dating whoever does the lowly peon’s laundry). The judge’s wife, however, shares a bed, house, car payment, and Mexican time share with someone who would have immense pull in said area.
All that aside, there’s a line that’s far too often crossed by wrestling journalists.
Lowering yourself to accusations that she is only in the company because The Undertaker gets to see what’s between her legs is outlandish and forgetful of her physical ability which is on a level that if she ever could match her charisma, she’d be ready for something special. Names like McCrabs, McSleaze, McWhore, et. al aren’t acceptable no matter who you are or what your story is.
By all means, question her place. There’s been nothing to justify her push.
Question her place because you want an answer to what seems like a slap in the face to the litany of other women who put more into the show; not because you want to tar and feather a woman from behind your keyboard.
Call attention to the questionable pushes she’s gotten over legions of superior candidates because they reek of nepotism and subsequent poor booking; not to yourself for childish and unfounded attacks on a woman’s moral character.
Whether it’s McCool, or Big Show, or John Cena, or anybody else; when you question their push, their place, or their talent, be a damn journalist, not a vandal.
Don’t forget to go to the ROH forums and start demanding we see more Grizzly Redwood; while you’re at it, go to WWE Universe and raise hell until Katie Lea gets some freaking recognition.
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