"So-and-so is a great talent on the indy scene. WWE should sign so-and-so right now. So-and-so would be amazing on the WWE roster."
Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Every single person reading this right now has said that at least once through the years, provided you know even a teeny, tiny bit about the independent wrestling scene. I know I've said it on numerous occasions in my columns. That's fine, though, because most of the people I said it about actually did get signed at some point. I was right on the money with some names (CM Punk and the artist-formerly-known-as-Bryan-Danielson), but I also whiffed on some names (Colt Cabana and Low Ki).
In today's column, I'm going to say it all over again, but this time, it comes with a twist. Actually, it comes with two twists. I'll get into the second twist later, but the first twist is something that will immediately jump out at everyone.
Even though I never mentioned anything about it, I guarantee you that everyone assumed I would be talking about a male here. Well, you'd be wrong. This column is going to be about a woman. This column is going to be about the woman that I think is the best overall female worker on the indy scene today. Ladies and gentlemen, this column is about Jessicka Havok.
All pictures courtesy of Ms Havok's Facebook fan page or Twitter account.
I wanted to give a nice mix of "action" and "glamour" shots there, with different "looks", so that those of you who have never seen Jessicka Havok have a good idea of what to picture in your head.
First and foremost, let's start with the tale of the tape. Standing at 5'11", Havok is an imposing figure. Just for the sake of your mental pictures, Beth Phoenix is billed as being 5'7", Eve Torres is billed as 5'8", Alicia Fox is billed as 5'9", and Kharma is billed at 5'11". In my opinion, mainstream women's wrestling could use more women with that type of body. Too many of these skinny, "Barbie"-type women come through, and that's not realistic at all. I don't care who you are.. Kelly Kelly getting offense in and beating Beth Phoenix isn't believable. At all. On top of all that, you give the women watching at home someone to look up to. I honestly can't even tell you how many times I've heard from female wrestling fans that consider themselves to be either "tall" or "big", and just how upset they are at the lack of role models they see in wrestling. These women don't want to be represented by the Bella Twins of the world, or even people like AJ Lee and Layla, despite their popularity within the IWC. Before anyone comments on it.. yes, there's a huge difference between liking someone's in-ring abilities and/or their character and wanting them to represent you and your gender.
If there's one thing that really stands out about Jessicka Havok, though, it's the character she plays. I'm going to say this, and it's going to sound like a negative thing, but I mean it in a 100% positive way.. she comes across as an absolute fucking psychopath. It's one thing when a male wrestler portrays a character of that type. Wrestling fans are used to it. We've seen dozens.. maybe even hundreds.. of male workers as "psychopaths" through the years. We have seen women on the mainstream scene play a "crazy" character (someone like Daffney comes to mind), but there's a major difference between "look at me, I make weird faces" and "don't look at me, because I'll fucking kill you if you do". Daffney is the former. Jessicka Havok is the latter. Think about the current crop of WWE Divas and the characters they play on television..
- Layla is cute and feisty, almost playing an underdog role, even as the Divas Champion, coming off of her injury
- Kelly Kelly is the "Barbie doll"
- Beth Phoenix is a "Glamazon", but that's a nickname, not a character
- Tamina isn't much of anything, other than being the daughter of a WWE Hall Of Famer
- Natalya goes back-and-forth between being nothing much and being a gassy comedic character
- AJ Lee is becoming mentally unstable, but at the same time, she's still the opposite of physically imposing
- Alicia Fox is.. umm.. tall.. or something
- Aksana is the girlfriend of Antonio Cesaro
- Kaitlyn is a punky, slap-magnet for AJ
- Rosa Mendes is a Latina with the worst Spanish-speaking ability since Hernandez
- Cameron & Naomi are dancers, which actually puts them damn near in the lead as far as "playing a character" is concerned
- Eve Torres is an Executive Director, but she doesn't appear to be an in-ring performer anymore
- Kharma, if she ever comes back, is just.. bigger than her opponents.. which is a glandular issue, not a character
As you can see, there just aren't a lot of real characters in the division. Even the women that can work and are worth watching in the ring don't really have much of a character, and are just kinda.. there. WWE could really use a character like the one Havok plays for the Divas division. A woman that is not only looking to win matches, but is looking to hurt.. to destroy.. her opponents. Someone who will be able to cut promos and actually advance her character, instead of just going out there and saying "you're a meanie, so I'm going to beat you" in the little promo time they get to have. I get that this isn't professional wrestling in the 1980s, but I'll be damned if we aren't seeing, on a weekly basis, that there's a serious lack of characters in this business that we all happen to love so much. The return to characters looks to be getting underway again, especially in recent months (Brodus Clay becoming The Funkasaurus, Lord Tensai, Skip Sheffield becoming Ryback, etc), so adding someone like J-Hav to the WWE family would only make sense at this point.
She's a versatile worker. She excels in the hardcore style of wrestling, but is also an accomplished mat worker who also happens to be one of the stiffest strikers.. male or female.. on the independent scene today. The believability in the character she plays shows both in her in-ring work, as well as in her promos, to the point where, even in this day and age of "smart" wrestling fans, people wonder if she really is as crazy and as violent as she comes across as. That's talent, folks. She goes out there and does everything in her power to entertain the fans, and unlike a lot of the women we see in the business, she really loves what she does, and strives to improve all the time. It shows. I will be the first to admit that I've only recently become acquainted with her work, but I've gone back and watched some of her older stuff. She's improved so much, and continues to do so. At the tender age of 25 (she turns 26 in a couple weeks), she still has her entire career ahead of her. You know what that means.. more improvement.
As an added bonus, even with her character, she's still a very attractive woman, and can be marketed as such. For WWE, that seems to be important for their Divas, who all do the photo shoots and bikini pictures for their website, whether they're faces or heels, and no matter what their gimmick happens to be.
Remember earlier, when I said that I had a second twist to this type of column? Well, I do, and here it is..
While I truly believe that WWE would really benefit from having Jessicka Havok on the roster, I don't think they should go after her.
The reason for that is simple.. she would be wasted in the current landscape of WWE programming. It's crystal clear that the company doesn't know what to do when it comes to putting together their Divas division, and it's even clearer that there are some serious image issues going on with someone backstage. There's no doubt in my mind that, within three months of her main roster debut, she'd be involved in some storyline that revolves around her weight. If she's a face, the heel Divas would mock her week in and week out for not being twig-thin. If she's a heel, the face Divas will "playfully" mock her week in and week out for not being SUPER DUPER MAXIM MODELS. You know it's coming, and I know it's coming. It's a crying shame that it happens, but there's no denying that it does, in fact, happen.
Another problem with signing her right now would be the way she tweets. She is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most entertaining tweeters on the social media site. She has no filter, so to speak. She tweets whatever happens to be on her mind, without having to worry about being politically correct. She curses. She's open about everything, from life to live to wrestling, and everything in between. She responds to tweets, whether you're praising her and telling her she's your favorite wrestler, or if you're bashing her and telling her that she's terrible. To compare, she's somewhat like CM Punk on Twitter. Punk tweets his mind all the time. He tweets about everything under the sun. He responds to numerous tweets, whether they're pro-Punk or anti-Punk. However, the major difference is that Punk is a key televised face of a publicly-traded corporation, which means he probably has a team of people watching every move he makes on Twitter, and even then, he slips up occasionally, as the recent controversy over his comments toward a fan over the gay rights debate would show. Punk has built himself up to a certain point where he has earned quite a long leash. He can "slip up" and not receive punishment that is too harsh. Do you think any of the Divas would have that same luxury, let alone one that is brand new to the company? There's not a chance in hell. If someone in management even begins to think that Havok is too "controversial" on Twitter, they'll shut that down quickly, or they'll force her to "storyline tweet" instead, and that's when the "I don't like you, I'm going to beat you tomorrow on Raw, RAWR" bullshit begins.
So.. WWE would take one of the more attention-grabbing workers on the indy scene, who is a must-follow on Twitter.. and they would, undoubtedly, cut her character off at the knees, as well as put the kibosh on her being herself on Twitter. Obviously, it's the dream of damn near every wrestler to reach the big time and appear for WWE, and if I had to venture a guess, I'd say she would love to wrestle for WWE, but she has to know the risks that come along with that. She has put in a lot of hard work to get where she is today, and to flush that away in a heartbeat would be a crime.
I know what some of you are thinking.. yes, there's always TNA. It would get her on television, and put her in a bigger spotlight than she's currently in, but even the biggest of TNA fans would agree that the company has seriously screwed their Knockouts division up in the last year or two. At one point, the Knockouts division was full of talent, and they were getting some serious television time every week. Now, TNA makes many of the same stupid mistakes with their women as WWE does with their own women. If Havok showed up in TNA now, she'd be dealing with most of the same problems she'd be dealing with in WWE, but for much less money. With her being the top name for a promotion that is able to hold iPPVs (WSU), and with her appearing for other promotions, both in America and in Canada, all the time, she probably makes far more money now than she would by appearing on Impact and dealing with the garbage there.
I'm just in a weird spot with this entire thing. If news hit the wire today that Jessicka Havok signed a WWE Developmental Deal, I'd truly mark out. I'd be thrilled for her. She deserves it. I'd immediately send her a congratulatory tweet. I'd do some fantasy booking scenarios in my head.. maybe she'll debut as some sort of crazed "psycho backup" for AJ Lee, since AJ isn't the most intimidating Diva of all-time.. or maybe she'll just come in as a new legit threat to Layla and the Divas Title after Layla defeats all of the competition placed in front of her. These are the things that I'll do. However, it isn't going to take long for those bad thoughts to come creeping into my head. It has nothing to do with her, of course. I love her. She can do no wrong, in my mind. I just have a complete lack of faith in the WWE Creative Team these days, especially when it comes to anything other than the main event of Raw and Smackdown. A lot would need to change in WWE for me to be truly comfortable with that type of signing.
WWE signing Jessicka Havok would be the best idea they've had in a while.
WWE signing Jessicka Havok could be the worst idea they've had in a while.
I highly recommend you follow her on Twitter, by the way..