Kharma Cries!

kharma criesThe WWE pulled a swerve on me with Kharma on Monday’s Raw that left me confused, intrigued, and ultimately amazed. A four on four match between Melina, the Bella Twins and Maryse and Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim and Eve had just begun with Kelly Kelly taking it to Brie Bella for pulling twin magic the night before at the ‘Over the Limit’ PPV. Suddenly, Kharma music hits and out struts the women herself, down to the ring. Kharma doesn’t hesitate to enter the ring and Beth directs the Divas to circle the Diva Killer. Kharma looks like shes getting ready to summon some ‘awesome’ power, and I’m wondering what’s going on, as I don’t see Kharma as actually able to take on every Diva at the same time. Then, Kia Steven falls on her knees and begins to cry! We’re talking real tears, eyes looking so wounded you think her heart has been ripped out. And the Divas are all looking on wondering what the heck is going on as Raw goes to commercial break.

My first reaction to this was, “I can’t believe they just buried Kharma.” Then, I realised what had just been shattered was my expectation of Kharma. A moment flashed in my mind’s eye as I recalled Vince McMahon looking at Bret ‘The Hitman’ Heart and asking, “Tell me, where can we go with Bret Hart?” It was a moment describing the events that lead up to the infamous Montreal Screwjob and it brought the situation into perspective for me. Vince knows he’s got something good in Kia Stevens, but a 2D monster who rips through the division only works until it’s stale and then there’s no where else to go with Kharma and she has to be released. By introducing an emotional vulnerability to Kharma, WWE has preserved Kharma as physically the ultimate Diva Killer and unmatched physically by any other Diva in the division, while destroying a 2D persona and replacing it with something that has durability.

This is a good time to point out that Kia Stevens just sold the angle of her life in the ring, and did it amazingly well. I get really pissed off when people knock the drama represented in wrestling. To me, wrestling is the modern-day equivalent of the people’s theatre and therefore enherits a very proud tradition of being an art form that communicates the daily trials of the masses. That’s you if don’t own a yact and roll like a gangster, or make your living of the back of the common man. That was an oscar worthy performance, improvised on the fly in front of thousands of booing fans.

So what the heck is going on? Well, there are several possibilities that come from this. WWE is in the middle of an anti-bullying campaign right now, and Kharma may be the poster child for this campaign. At the same time, Kharma now has the same emotional complexity of…Mankind, Kane, and other monster heels with issues. There is only so much that Kane can do in the ring, but his character is complex enough that he continues to be a draw after 14 years with WWE. And you know with Kane there’s this monster under the surface that can come out at any time and set Kane off on a rampage. The Big Show is dangerous normally, but tick him off and he can take on the entire WWE roster. Kharma now joins that rank of WWE monster heels as a long-term asset.

I expect a dedicated followup on what’s going on in Friday’s Smackdown, because WWE needs to explain this new and more complex Kharma to the audience ASAP! Maybe Layla can approach Kharma and get her talking. I find it hard to believe that a character this complex can be silent, so I’m expecting to hear Kharma talk and say what’s on her mind. I have seen Kia Stevens stomp and glare and emote the perfect monster- I mean, when she starts to glare you’d think she’s suddenly seven feet tall and four hundred pounds- but until I saw Kia break down in the ring on Monday, I had no idea just how good this woman is as a performer. I am now looking forward to seeing how good Kia can be on the mic. Does Kharma truly possess all three traits of a great performer? We shall see.

As weird as it all is, I have to give a nodd to Vince for throwing the dice and doing something unpredictable for a change. I’ll say it again, I am confused and intrigued by this swerve- it has truly thrown off my expectations and I can’t wait to see what happens next on Friday. Well done, Vince!

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