Friday 6 February 2015

Marital Troubles

One of the few consistent stories WWE’s told over the last few months has been the one concerning the marital problems of Tyson Kidd and Natalya. It’s been a prominent part of Total Divas and has been a regular, if minor, aspect of the pair’s appearances both on the main roster TV shows and NXT. All the signs indicate that it’s not something that’s going to come to much outside of Total Divas, which is a waste because WWE could do something memorable with it if they wanted to.

It’s been pretty well established that part of the problem is Tyson having a problem with Natalya getting the spotlight when he doesn’t. There have been times where he’s posed in front of her after she’s gotten a victory and he’s frequently not bothered going to ringside for her matches, while she accompanies him for all of his (unless a storyline reason prevents her from doing so). There’s also been the more highlighted stuff with Tyson being “overly friendly” with Nikki Bella when she’s been competing against his wife.

Note Tyson's complete lack of interest.
So how about building towards Natalya versus Tyson Kidd at WrestleMania 31? Have Kidd continue to upstage Nattie on RAW and SmackDown across the next week of TV, and refuse to accompany her to the ring for matches she considers important. Nattie could win a number on contenders match on an episode of SmackDown, earning her a shot at the winner of the Nikki Bella versus Paige Fast Lane match on an episode of RAW. Her celebrating could be interrupted by Tyson strolling to ringside and batting her out of the way to stand on a turnbuckle. Because he’s totes a megastar.

Natalya could shrug that mistreatment off as she shrugs all his mistreatment off, and then convince Tyson that she really, really wants him there at ringside to see her become the Divas champ at against Nikki or Paige. He’d reluctantly agree (it’s not like he’s on RAW much anyway) and be at ringside for the match. This being wrestling he’d end up accidentally costing her the match in some way and then storm backstage when she dares to blame him for her loss.

This would end up being a turning point for Natalya, the moment that makes her realise that her husband doesn’t respect her or her career. The following week’s RAW could see her announce she’s made a decision about her marriage, setting up the reveal for the following week and giving people a reason to tune in. Naturally the commentary crew could play up that she’s going to ask Tyson for a divorce, because that’s the on the nose approach favoured by WWE.

But instead the next week’s show would arrive and Natalya would get an in-ring promo segment challenging Tyson to a match at WrestleMania. He’d laugh it off before being convinced (through a slap or the threat of separation or some other Grand Gesture™) that Natalya’s serious. Maybe he could say no and then spend weeks being convinced that Nattie will go through with her threat of divorce, or maybe he could simply say yes to begin with.

Either way it would need to be clear that the match isn’t about spousal abuse (because that’s distinctly un-PG and, more to the point, not something I think pro wrestling is well-equipped to tackle) but rather about respect and gender equality (the former of which is firmly in pro wrestling’s ball park and the latter of which really should be). Natalya would want to prove she’s just as good a wrestler as any of the guys and that Tyson should respect her. Tyson wouldn’t necessarily have to transform into a raging sexist for the story to work, he could simply remain the inattentive husband who believes Natalya supporting his endeavours is of greater import than him supporting hers.

Natalya would need to win the match, of course. A mid-card husband versus wife story of this nature needs to win with the wife vindicated otherwise it sends a very poor message. Ideally she’d go over with the Sharpshooter before they reconcile with a hug. I think Natalya and Tyson could have a good match if they had more than five minutes, and it would be nice for them to get a genuinely memorable, meaningful WrestleMania Moment.

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