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Mariah.

Carmella Shows Why She’s Everything A ‘Homegrown’ Talent Should Be

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Carmella went from being the last wrestler drafted in WWE’s 2016 draft to reaching the pinnacle of sports entertainment as a SmackDown Women’s Champion. But beyond the two wins against Charlotte Flair and Asuka apiece, Carmella has earned the attention of the audience each week as a shining example of what WWE needs from its homegrown stars.

There’s an understandable criticism levied by fans towards WWE regarding homegrown talents. Few of the wrestlers who end up emerging as stars from NXT are wrestlers that the company trained in its Performance Center. Many of their NXT Champions and biggest-name call-ups are wrestlers who cut their teeth with other promotions, such as Samoa Joe or the aforementioned Asuka.

Elias and Braun Strowman are two notable exceptions of wrestlers who went on to have greater success on the main roster, but one name who often gets overlooked is Carmella. Perhaps it’s because she received consistent mat and mic time in NXT, but was also overshadowed by either Big Cass and Enzo Amore or the other women in NXT.

Carmella, though, has became a shining example of how consistent hard work can cause a homegrown talent to eventually become a weekly staple.

It’s interesting how fans have panned Carmella’s in-ring chops frequently this summer. And it’s interesting not because the criticisms were invalid, but rather because of how quickly she improved. Like, go compare her first match against Charlotte Flair at Backlash to her post-SummerSlam title match against Charlotte on SmackDown Live. Or even her Triple Threat match at SummerSlam to her matches with Asuka.

What bothers me about the way women’s wrestling is analyzed is that people will tear them apart by creating these unfair comparisons. Who says Carmella has to be as good as Asuka or Sasha Banks in the ring? Who cares if she doesn’t measure up to the best of the best? Her recent matches have been wildly entertaining, and more fans would notice this if they were willing to shut up and watch.

To me, what earns the most praise in the ring is effort. If a superstar is willing to try new things, show off their athleticism, and go that extra length to sell, then their matches will automatically be enjoyable. Carmella checks off all those boxes, especially after months of making steady progress as a wrestler. Against Charlotte, she pulled out a headscissors on the ropes, constantly taunted Charlotte to try and add more heat to the match, and went ALL OUT to sell Charlotte’s moves, specifically her spear.

Of course, Carmella is one of those wrestlers who does so much more for a show with her work outside of the ring. There are so many great in-ring talents in WWE today, so the real standouts are becoming the wrestlers who aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves on camera. Carmella’s comedic timing, chemistry, and commitment to character have either endeared her to fans or made them hate her. (Or made them love to hate her!)

Whether it was her ridiculous segments with James Ellsworth, her over-the-top boasting as the SmackDown Women’s Champion, or her reclamation of the word “Diva”, Carmella has always been adept at talking the talk (she’s obviously the best of the best at walking the walk).

Her work with R-Truth is just the latest example of her quick wit, comedic chops, and willingness to work with anyone to get on screen for the purpose of entertaining others and getting the masses interested.

I’m impressed that Carmella has remained an important figure on the show, in spite of the fact that she’s out of the SmackDown Women’s Championship picture. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch are at the center of the women’s division with arguably WWE’s most-anticipated rivalry heading into Hell in a Cell, but Carmella is still a relevant part of the show, as evidenced by the fact that she was in multiple segments, including the main event, on this week’s SmackDown.

There’s a concern that wrestlers won’t be able to keep their momentum or remain anchors of the show without being in the title picture, and this is especially valid for women’s wrestlers, who often don’t have the benefit of obtaining meaningful storylines if there is no title involved.

Carmella, however, is still very much a big part of the show, and why wouldn’t she be? She has one of the largest personalties in WWE, which counts for so much more than so many wrestling fans care to admit. Even fans on non-WWE stuff have to admit that the silliness of wrestling story-telling is what makes this sport special, because the best moments of All In were silly, outside-the-ring moments.

It often feels like Carmella is playing backgammon while everyone else in the WWE Universe (or even in the locker room!) is playing Sorry! She even worked the hell out of Jim Ross, and all she did was gloat in a post-PPV promo! Recall that Carmella asked to team up with James Ellsworth, and her initiative helped her eventually become a SmackDown Women’s Champion.

So the next time you think about how much you hate Carmella or get upset at her laugh, promos, or me-first attitude, note that she very much knows what she’s doing. After all, this is a woman whose Twitter account has always been great about showing off fans wearing her merch, which is one of the best ways to build a relationship with existing fans while simultaneously advertising these products. WWE, if conventional wisdom is to be believed, looks at merchandise sales as one factor in gauging a wrestler’s popularity, and since Carmella’s merchandise is more in the quality-over-quantity bracket, this kind of tireless social media promotion is necessary.

When a WWE Superstar starts training in the Performance Center, there is no guarantee that they will eventually make it to the main roster, let alone become a champion. For most wrestlers, it takes time and patience to grind from the bottom to the top, and that’s quite literally what Carmella did. She often talks about going from being the “Ms. Irrelevant” of the WWE Draft to the SmackDown Women’s Champion, and the persistence she’s shown is admirable.

Both of her NXT stablemates, Big Cass and Enzo Amore, are no longer in WWE for varying reasons. In many ways, Carmella represents everything they are not. A hard-working individual who remained humble, took the time to meaningfully interact with fans, understood how to carve out her own opportunities without alienating others, and made tangible progress on a month-to-month basis.

In a lot of ways, Carmella is the blueprint for what WWE should want out of their homegrown stars. They need more big personalties who are willing to take the time to grow as wrestlers before reaching the summit.

Wrestling is such a difficult sport, because there are so many aspects of the business that can be nitpicked. It’s easy to be discouraged in the face of criticism, but it truly seems like Carmella grew from it, given the improvements she made this summer while under a serious microscope as a champion. She went from “comedic relief” to “must-see” in the span of maybe a week.

As the WWE roster gets more crowded, it will take longer and longer for wrestlers to break through, especially those who didn’t spend years working with other promotions and cultivating these very specific skills. That means WWE’s next crop of homegrown stars will have to be even more patient, coachable, and diligent in terms of self-promotion than ever.

Carmella is an example of how success for these WWE Superstars is achievable, even for those who initially struggled or seemingly weren’t earmarked for success by either management or the fans.

Written by Joe Soriano of Daily DDT

An excellent read and what Carmella stans have been preaching, one of the hardest working, most reliable women on the roster :clap: 

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11 minutes ago, Mariah. said:

What bothers me about the way women’s wrestling is analyzed is that people will tear them apart by creating these unfair comparisons. Who says Carmella has to be as good as Asuka or Sasha Banks in the ring? Who cares if she doesn’t measure up to the best of the best? Her recent matches have been wildly entertaining, and more fans would notice this if they were willing to shut up and watch.

Tea. And... what can I say? @Mariah. already clocked it, this was what us, the Carmella stans, have been preaching since the beginning. She has the capacity to adapt her character to whatever WWE needs, that's why she always have something going on unlike some of her WWE girlies who disappear as soon as they lose the title.

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I read this when it was posted last night. Fantastic article imo and further outlines the sexism still evident in wrestling(moreso in some way) during this so called women's evolution.

Carmella is doing great and with more experience under her belt she will be a top tier star in no time.

She's already making her presence felt as a character and the wrestling skills are coming along.

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It's really refreshing to hear someone in wrestling journalism actually analyze female talent equally as the men, and give credit where it's due. 

Carmella for her entire run was doing exactly what she was to do as a heel. She adapted, created memorable moments through false finishes i.e Jame's return, and even turned it out in the ring when necessary. Now that her title run goes down as a majorly successful one, Carm is an established, reliable, home-grown, and adaptable talent! Unless she herself does something to screw herself over, she has enough reactions and skill to be a permanent mainstay in WWE for years to come, even without a title feud.

This forum loves to do compare Bliss to her, so I'm gonna do it again and really question why they insist on having Bliss being a face of the WWE women when she needs a title to look reliable while Carm proves in one week that she can be entertaining in valet situations as well. The Bliss to Trish comparison really makes no sense to me when Carmella is actually more consistent with Trish considering how they both are able to adapt to WWE's constantly changing creative ideas :knit:

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I couldn’t agree more, I may rag her wrestling, but aside from it she does make up a lot with her character work. On top as proved on SD she’s showed she can work being both heel and face perfectly. Only a Diva. :clap: 

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Carmella's stupid ass waited until she lost the title to showcase her talent :skull: 

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I was discussing this article with him on Twitter and I'm really happy with it tbh. She's been putting in noticeable effort in her last few matches, and this article really reminded me that not everybody is going to be wrestling at a Sasha Banks/Asuka pace, especially when they're homegrown. As long as they're better than Alexa Bliss, I'm fine.

Mella is Money and Mella made an impact tbh. Her name won't be forgotten like it once was, and that's all that really matters. I'm proud of her.

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I’m waiting for consistency not one night where she suddenly felt herself. Good for it I guess.

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3 hours ago, WWFoverWWE said:

I’m waiting for consistency not one night where she suddenly felt herself. Good for it I guess.

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you're really always bitter, huh? this energy won't get Momickie a storyline. 

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Just now, Travis Roucka said:

you're really always bitter, huh? this energy won't get Momickie a storyline. 

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Didn’t you know this is my heel era no bitch is safe

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3 hours ago, WWFoverWWE said:

Didn’t you know this is my heel era no bitch is safe

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adjdnjfnjf, deserved

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Carmella has definitely come into her own and that’s good. 

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Yup. Queen 100%. Saw it during NXT when she was able to speak so well and adjust from playing a heel to playing a face and she's ONLY getting better every time you see her. She is an entertainer for sure and she just gets it. 

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1 hour ago, communist said:

Carmella is a good example of white privilege.

Please explain

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We been knew. I'm just gonna leave this endorsement here though. :clap:

 

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imagine HB being able to praise one woman without bringing up Alexa's name. the impact of an icon, i guess :coffee2:

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35 minutes ago, shumiley said:

imagine HB being able to praise one woman without bringing up Alexa's name. the impact of an icon, i guess :coffee2:

Why come in and say this when y’all weren’t able to say Carmella’s name in a good light unless you attached Alexa’s name into the sentence until someone called y’all out not too long ago?:frecklefox:

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52 minutes ago, shumiley said:

imagine HB being able to praise one woman without bringing up Alexa's name. the impact of an icon, i guess :coffee2:

The modern Rosa Mendes, I guess :frecklefox:

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Personally I think there is room for both women. At the moment one is just better than the other while the other one is stale as bread and tired. 

Continue to give the praise and recognition that Carmella deserves without trying to bring up the other. 

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2 hours ago, prince. said:

Why come in and say this when y’all weren’t able to say Carmella’s name in a good light unless you attached Alexa’s name into the sentence until someone called y’all out not too long ago?:frecklefox:

...i'm literally a carmella stan.

what was said :k2:

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2 hours ago, Amlex said:

The modern Rosa Mendes, I guess :frecklefox:

delete this fat

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16 hours ago, communist said:

Carmella is a good example of white privilege.

Oh, so we are just gonna pop into threads and leave irrelevant bullshit posts with no explanation?

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She’s a cute girl but she still just doesn’t wow me.  She’s the perfect supporting girl though.

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