Last Friday, Twitter lit up with #NaomiDeservesBetter. WWE Hall of Famer Booker T weighed in with his wrong opinion.
On the last edition of Friday Night SmackDown, Naomi lost to Lacey Evans (who has turned heel again) when the latter tied the former’s braids over the ropes.
Incensed fans immediately took to Twitter to voice their displeasure about how Naomi has been treated. They got #NaomiDeservesBetter trending quickly. Although it’s no longer trending, people are still talking about her treatment days later.
On the “Hall of Fame” podcast, Booker T gave his take.
"“They can go to hell with all these hashtags as far as I’m concerned. Nobody deserves a chance, alright. First and foremost, you have to earn your chance and your spot on the roster. This is not some movement to just pull somebody up just because. I hate to sit here and say this and talk this way because I like Naomi. But, as far as the business goes, you get it on your merit alone. “"
Whew. You can read his full thoughts here, but let’s unpack those six sentences.
“All these hashtags” are usually created by fans. It’s how they get their point across. Remember #GiveDivasAChance? Fans were frustrated in how the women’s division was being handled. It’s years later and fans are still having to use Twitter to complain about how WWE treats some of the women.
(Side note: remember when Corey Graves said he hoped GDAC would fail? What’s with these men having an issue with fans calling attention to problems in the women’s division?)
GDAC propelled WWE into action to actually do something. Has it been perfect? Not even close. We’re still miles ahead of where we were. #Kofimania literally put Kofi Kingston on the road to WrestleMania. The twitter buzz combined with the live fans’ reaction pushed Kofi Kingston to not only have a Mania match, but to have his “Mania Moment” when he won the WWE Championship.
Naomi has been with WWE since 2009. She has more than earned her spot on the roster. Booker T talking about her like she’s some rookie that just got called up is disrespectful. She has gotten this far on merit alone. Not that they’ve given her much over the years. They start to push her, only to take it away.
When Naomi finally won the SmackDown women’s title in 2017, she was forced to relinquish it just nine days later. A knee injury would prevent her from competing for 30 days, which goes against WWE’s mandate. WWE stripped her of the title and when she returned, treated her as if she was just another woman on the roster.
Fast forward to this year’s Royal Rumble. Naomi was the 18th entrant and Minute Maid Park felt The Glow. She had finally returned from a hiatus and didn’t miss a beat. Her return went viral and brought a ton of new eyes to the product.
WWE had the opportunity to capitalize and make Naomi into a huge star. Instead, she faced Bayley at the blood money show in Saudi Arabia. That’s been about it. A couple of weeks ago, they brought her back to TV to take part in a karaoke segment. You read that right.
That segment coupled with the loss to Evans pushed fans to their breaking point. They immediately went to Twitter to let the company know what they think. When the hashtag started trending, it caught the eye of actress Keke Palmer who said she wants to play Naomi in a movie.
Multiple wrestlers such as Charlotte, Big E, and Big Swole have all expressed support for Naomi getting a push.
Naomi has put in her time. She has the talent and the charisma. She made her moment went she went viral. Naomi has done everything she can do. It is WWE who has failed her time and time again.
So yeah, Booker, #NaomiDeservesBetter.