WWE: A groundswell of support for Naomi has been a long time coming

Naomi, WWE SmackDown Feb 14. Credit: WWE.com
Naomi, WWE SmackDown Feb 14. Credit: WWE.com /

WWE superstar Naomi deserves better. That much is clear.

Remember back in January of this year when Naomi made her iconic WWE Royal Rumble return?! I bet you do!

People were so excited to see Naomi again. So excited, her return ended going viral on social media! All her fans and wrestling bloggers were curious to see where Naomi would go from there.

Her fans, in particular, were all hoping Naomi would finally get the push and storylines she deserved.

That was the hope.

Zoom to July 2020 and she was barely used in between her Royal Rumble surprise return and recent episodes.

Some fans weren’t feeling the fact that Naomi has had very few matches and lost every one of them. Rarely seeing her in the meantime.

Next thing we know, Naomi was set to be involved in something called a “Karaoke Showdown.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came back on Beyonce’s internet, walked on Twitter, and saw that Graphic on my timeline.

I literally had to sit back, eat my bunny biscuit, and wonder, what year is this?

It just seemed like something straight out of the Divas era… which I could’ve sworn we weren’t in anymore.

Everyone saw what was coming the second that “Karaoke Showdown” was announced. And sure enough, it was a disaster!

Even Naomi, with that bomb outfit, couldn’t even save that lazy, tired, weak, out-of-touch, completely unnecessary and unasked for “showdown.”

This was Naomi fans’ worst fear. Naomi being placed in yet another divas-era style segment and WWE once again wasting her talent.

Remember that Dance-off?

Anyway… of course, the fans, bloggers, and wrestling critics weren’t feeling it and ripped the whole segment apart.

That whole segment reignited the anger of the wrestling community. But, specifically, Naomi’s diverse fan base also known as the Glow Mob.

This is the same woman who is a two-time SmackDown women’s champion! The only Black woman to win it! The only one to win it at WrestleMania!

The first-ever WrestleMania women’s battle royal winner– who never even received her trophy, by the way!

A WWE veteran that still has more athletic ability and creativity than just about everybody in both main roster women’s divisions combined! I dare say NXT as well.

She’s up there with Asuka, Kairi Sane, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and definitely Charlotte Flair!

WWE knows that! Yet, this is how WWE chooses to use her? It’s mind-boggling!

It’s not shocking considering what company you’re dealing with.

Remember how long it took Kofi Kingston to become WWE champion? 11 years!

Remember that tone-deaf Jordan Myles (ACH) t-shirt?!

But, it’s still madness!

And to make matters worse, they used that “showdown” to have Lacey Evans attack Naomi turning her heel at Naomi’s expense!

Lacey… Evans… who’s nowhere near Naomi’s level in any way.

So once again, they’re using Naomi to put someone else over who isn’t even in her same league! Remember when she kept losing to Dana Brooke awhile back? Twice, If I remember correctly.

And now, on the July 17th edition of SmackDown, WWE added insult to injury by having Lacey Evans defeat Naomi in a match that was a complete waste of the time that they did get… during the Women’s Evolution week just a week after that Karaoke Showdown.

(Notice Naomi and Alicia Fox are nowhere on that graphic. But, they had no problem putting Lacey Evans on it. Lacey Evans!)

And they somehow made matters worse by tweeting this…

Which only enraged her fans even further than they already were! They really put out a Naomi Appreciation tweet after that!

That’s when Twitter exploded!

Almost immediately, #NaomiDeservesBetter began flooding my timeline and when I left and came back, It was trending nationwide.

Today, it’s trending yet again through a Twitter Event! 

Now, this hashtag isn’t new at all. But, that’s a lot of the problem.

Fans are still having to use that hashtag because they (we) believe that it’s a message that still isn’t being heard by the higher-ups in WWE.

And if it is being heard, it’s being ignored.

This same kind of thing is what KofiMania was all about! Remember that? I bet you do!

Fans were expecting more after her viral return this year and lately, we’ve just seen more of the same despite huge fan support!

Now, here’s the thing. There’s something slightly different fueling the hashtag this time that I want to point out.

If case you’ve been living under a rock, we are currently in a global Black Lives Matter Movement!

Possibly the biggest civil rights movement in the history of the United States. Quite possibly, the biggest global movement in recent human history!

And over what?! Racism, police brutality, prejudice, and inequality.

Racism, prejudice, and inequality are still alive and well in the wrestling industry whether people want to believe that or not and fans, me included, are at a point where we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Especially, in the times that we’re currently in.

Wrestlers and fans have been speaking out about it for decades now. But, specifically in the past couple of years. So, basically, WWE just added water to a gasoline fire. Congratz WWE!

And that Women’s Evolution championship graphic didn’t help either.

Everyone who doesn’t see the issue is either ignorant, delusional, in denial, probably racist themselves, and/or a combination.

And whenever people speak out about it, wrestlers or not, they get dragged on social media and get called ungrateful, a reverse racist (yeah, they call people calling out racism in wrestling… a racist), told to shut up and wrestle … I can go all night.

That’s exactly what happened to two former WWE wrestlers in recent memory, both ACH and Lio Rush as well.

Rush talked about this on Twitter yesterday.

This #NaomiDeservesBetter movement is the loudest I’ve ever seen it and I don’t see it see it slowing down anytime soon.

She’s way too talented to be dealing with this foolishness!

This type of treatment of Black people in wrestling, regardless of gender and wrestling promotion, has been going on for way too long and needs to be tackled more heavily and more directly.

But, especially with Black women!

That’s my main message of this article. Social media is great, but we’ve done that for the past decade and we’re still having this discussion in 2020. It’s not enough.

It’s time to get more drastic because what we’ve been doing clearly isn’t that effective.

We don’t have time to be having this same discussion about these same issues facing Black wrestlers for another damn decade! We need to do more and we need to start with Naomi!

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We need to fight for her harder, and everyone like her, the same way people fought for Kofi with the KofiMania movement (cause it was a movement)! That same energy!

It’s up to us — the fans! Period! Let’s get to work!