Emmalina problems point to bigger issues with WWE creative team
The way WWE handled the Emmalina makeover proves there are fundamental problems with the creative team's approach to new characters.
This past week on Monday Night Raw, the WWE Universe finally had its first look at the brand new reinvention of Emma into a revitalised character dubbed “Emmalina”—yet it was over just as quickly as it began.
While there is still a chance WWE can salvage this mess and turn things around, the fact that that is even a discussion from what is essentially the very start of the angle proves there were many issues in the development of this story.
In fact, this Emmalina fiasco isn’t alone, as we’ve seen many of these problems rise up over the years in different ways and for different wrestlers, yet rarely do they all attack one person at the same time.
The story here isn’t that the makeover from Emma to Emmalina didn’t work and it means it’s time to release her from the company, but rather, how it was doomed to fail given the nature of how the whole thing was handled.
There are five major issues of WWE’s creative team that have been exposed even more than normal based on the botch of the Emmalina character alone.
#1 Poor sense of timing
While there are certainly times WWE appears to have the big picture in mind when building toward the future, planting seeds that won’t blossom for months or even years to come, if you look back on the history of the company, that isn’t necessarily the case.
Instead, WWE is very much a reactionary business which focuses on the present and the immediate future rather than thinking too far ahead.
In a way, the nature of sports entertainment forces this upon them. After all, if you plan out five years into the future what you’re going to do with certain people and they get injured, all of your ideas go out the window.
What WWE makes the mistake of doing, though, is being so busy that there’s very little time spent on taking a deep breath and really thinking things out for the future. For the most part, WWE has a mentality of “shoot first and ask questions later.”
Very soon after we heard that Emma would be cleared to compete again, the Emmalina concept was introduced to us, yet it took 17 weeks before it finally happened, all to just throw it away immediately.
Why was she not brought back sooner?
It isn’t as though they couldn’t have used her beforehand on Raw, as the women’s division on that roster has had Paige and Summer Rae out with injuries for months, Alicia Fox mostly busying herself with 205 Live, and Dana Brooke missing in action.
Even still, why bring her back now before WrestleMania when it’s clear she won’t be a priority to book for the big show if we are getting the rumoured Fatal 4-Way between Bayley, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Nia Jax. Worse, they brought Dana Brooke back the very same night, so Emma/Emmalina can’t even fill the void left by her for even one day!
Dana and Emma had a team together called Team EnD before Emma suffered her injury, which led to Charlotte taking over in her role as Dana’s friend and mentor.
It’s strange that they would both be gone for an extended period of time, particularly after Charlotte seemed to ditch Dana, only for them to both appear the same evening in completely unrelated segments that spoke to how nothing has changed since the last time we saw either of them. Dana is still Charlotte’s friend and Emmalina will apparently still be Emma.
This means one of two things must have happened: 1) WWE legitimately thought this was the best time to bring her back into the mix, not realising that she would be lost in the shuffle as most people do around this time of the year, or 2) WWE jumped the gun with starting to promote the Emmalina character without actually having any ideas in mind as to how to bring her onto the show, so they stalled until they felt they couldn’t any longer
When it comes to the former, just ask The Ascension what happened to them when they made their main roster debut at the end of the year, only to be jobbers by the time WrestleMania came around.
When it comes to the latter, though, that seems to be an issue of impatience. Rather than waiting a few more weeks to test things out and get a proof of concept, they got the ball rolling without knowing where it was heading, which eventually led them down this path.
Judging by the way some of the promotional material was done, it definitely appears to be more of an issue of an unwillingness to wait.