I said I had no original views on this, I lied.
I recently came across an ESPN article that interviewed the five NXT call ups and covered, among other things, how they feel their groups fit together. Rose and Deville talked at large about their time on the most recent incarnation of Tough Enough and how they formed a friendship through the show and their time in NXT and the Performance Center. That is all fine and well, but thus far WWE has made no mention of this or the fact that Paige served as a judge that season as well. In fact, I don't think WWE has mentioned anything about Tough Enough outside of hyping it while it was airing. The only real success story thus far from that season has been Patrick Clark, aka The Velveteen Dream, and no mention of his time there has been mentioned.
On the Smackdown side, Riott and Logan talked about being long time friends from their days on the independent circuit, where both made decent names for themselves before putting pen to paper on a WWE contract. Again, no mention has been made thus far of the two of them both having that bond from their pre WWE days, though I'm not holding my breath. Morgan, who I feel is the biggest sore thumb among the five, mentioned she had no real connection to her trio, other than some matches with them while in NXT. While you could argue that WWE might make mention of the Tough Enough days for Absolution given that it occurred under the WWE umbrella, it seems that we may never get an explanation as to why the Riott Squad came together. While Riott, with her punk rock persona, and Logan, with her backwoods tough girl persona do at least look the part of heels who are intent on destroying a locker room, Liv and her blond hair, bright eyes, and bubbly personality further stick out as miscast. Even in a recent WWE photo shoot featuring the girls, Liv looked uncomfortable and out of place, almost as if she inadvertently walked into a grimy mosh pit outside a Hot Topic as opposed to her scheduled trip to Sephora.
It is also worth noting in the interview that both Rose and Morgan made mention of the fact that neither of them traveled with the NXT crew for their recent trip to Houston over Survivor Series weekend, because they had no place on the televised card or the series of live shows scheduled in the area. Morgan was scheduled to put in time at the Performance Centter and Rose had to cancel travel plans she made to visit her family for the Thanksgiving holiday before they received news of the call up. It further reinforces the idea that WWE brass simply drew a few names from a hat and threw them together.
I do try to find some positives in the situation, and while they are few and far between, they do exist. Above all, I have been a fan of Riott since she was performing in the indies under the name Heidi Lovelace, as well as Logan when she was known as Crazy Mary Dobson so getting to see them get a chance on the main roster is a treat for me. Always nice to root for a couple of gals with connections to my home state. I also like the idea that there are paths from NXT to Raw and Smackdown that don't include winning NXT gold, holding it for a couple of TakeOvers, then dropping it and debuting soon after. Riott had been in position a few times, even appearing in a triple threat for the Women's Title, but the other four girls were mostly fringe contenders, or in the case of Logan, fresh out of the Mae Young Classic and they never really had the opportunity to establish themselves in NXT. The two trios also will provide fresh blood to the already thin women's roster and should provide a few fresh match ups before we fall back into the routine of multi woman matches to determine number one contenders.
If it were up to me, Riott would have been the only one of the five call ups who were close to the main shows. Morgan and Rose especially looked very green in my time watching them in NXT, and thus far Logan has only shown she is capable of producing a groan inducing Southern accent. That said, if WWE feel that the gals are ready for the big show, who am I to argue with a near billion dollar company? That said, this reeks of WWE's lack of creativity and foresight in regard to women's wrestling, the same division they claimed to revolutionize while continuing to beat us over the head with the same simple tropes and ideas.
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