Craig Wilson, Jamie Lithgow, Brian Damage and John Carbery
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Eva Marie.
Craig: If we were judging this on aesthetic appearance she’d be a sure fire Book. But based on in ring is it just as unequivocal that she’s a Cook?
She’s been with the WWE since 2013 and as synonymous with Total Divas! as she is for her, less than stellar, in ring appearances.
That said, she has shown some improvement and I enjoyed her run in NXT with Nia Jax. But is that enough? Is there enough potential in her? Bear in mind, she turns 32 this year.
So, all, do we Book or Cook Eva Marie?
Jamie: She’s 32?! I find myself with the same mindset as Cory Graves: book her regardless! I do find it ironic that Graves – as NXT commentator – conveys the attitude of booking her because she’s hot, but that is exactly why she has been booked on the main roster.
Putting her looks aside, and assuming she continues to improve, she is a keeper in my book. However, I will add the caveat that she should be confined to NXT until she is actually ready to step up. My argument for keeping her is that she is the last of the Divas.
With Brie Bella effectively retired and Nikki injured, Eva Marie is the last woman hired by WWE purely due to her looks. Even then, we’ve all but forgotten and – to a point – forgiven The Bellas ‘Diva Search’ background. Whether Eva Maria develops into a world class wrestler or not, she will always be able to draw heat from fans who regard her as pure eye candy who was only hired for her looks.
Brian: If by 32 she hasn’t gotten it yet…then something tells me she never will at this point. I understand what Jamie is saying by her being the last of the “Divas,” but honestly, she just isn’t good in the ring. It’s not without a lack of trying, but when you have a roster filled with more than capable women now…she stands out like a sore thumb.
Is she hot? Yes, but at least have some sort of charisma to be a valet or something like that. She is like watching paint dry when she cuts a promo. No real facial expressions, no enthusiasm…not much of anything for me as a fan to cling on to. Is she worth all the effort right now? I just don’t think so.
Craig: Despite Brian ruling out my chances, then, of becoming a WWE wrestler, I can’t really disagree with the thrust of what he’s saying.
He’s absolutely correct when it comes to her performance. I don’t doubt that she knows the moves, it’s just that she doesn’t sell emotion behind them properly. That coupled with her average, at best, in-ring work screams cook, right? I mean, it’s not that there’s a lack of female talent in the WWE or that an alternative role is that obvious for her.
Is there anything that saves her?
John: I’d straight up get rid of her. Sure she draws heel heat but its X-Pac heat as the old adage goes. Eva Marie is a holdover from a toxic hiring policy where looks were more important than ability, in ring or out. Its actually not really her fault that she’s not a capable performer by current women’s standards as high level wrestling wasn’t really required of her when she signed her contract.
However, from where I’m looking anyway I don’t think she’s ever shown any real aptitude for any part of wrestling. She can’t really talk or wrestle and hasn’t improved any over the years she’s been employed to do so. Her spot is one that far more talented women could be occupying. If the WWE needed a high profile, attractive women’s heel I honestly think they’d be better off going with Alexa Bliss who’s got that Hollywood look but with the goods to back it up too. She’s not Manami Toyota bell to bell, but she has great expressions and good psychology. Plus the Sparkle Slam is a cool finisher.
So in summation, I say cook poor Eva. I’m sure she’d find other opportunities that would better suit her anyway.
Jamie: I absolutely get that yes, she is not very good in the ring and she does attract ‘X-Pac heat’, but if I’m a WWE official I’m thinking ‘X-Pac heat’ is better than no heat. That is what is tempting me slightly towards the ‘book’ side of this argument. Fans want to see her fail, it’s just a shame that she isn’t a bit better in the ring to really make the most of that fact. She really should be a female version of the Baron Corbin character, if she were just a bit better! We assume that Bailey will debut on the main roster sooner or later, and Asuka probably won’t be too far behind. After that what is left in NXT? The aforementioned Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Nia Jax…and Eva Marie.
Okay, time to get off the fence. I’d book her, but only in NXT. Another caveat I’d add is that if she does not seize the opportunity to step up and improve once Bailey and possibly other women depart for the main roster then it will be time to cook. She’s already had more than enough time, but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt because, at the end of the day, people do react to her more than many other performers…whatever that reaction may be.
John: If WWE could get their audience to boo the people who they actually want to be heels like they do Eva, we’d probably have another Attitude Era on our hands. Vice versa with the faces too!
Brian: Cook her and give her spot to somebody who might be of great value to the women’s division in the future.
So there is our take, 3 cooks and a book from Jamie. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.