Written By: April Prince
Naomi is a female wrestler currently working for WWE on its Smackdown roster. She’s been a part of the company since the early 2010s and has been a consistent workhorse for the company during her tenure. However, she’s also been overlooked in comparison to her fellow wrestlers in the women’s division.
If you’re part of the wrestling community on social media, you may have read the recent tweets from WWE’s Naomi. She voiced her concerns over rumors the women’s battle royale match at Wrestlemania was canceled. A genuine complaint considering the abruptly cancelled women’s matches in the past.
Unfortunately, her tweets brought criticism from the WWE Universe. Many of the responses were telling Naomi to be grateful for any opportunity she could get. Others claimed she was spoiled and ungrateful for voicing her concern. However, Naomi is deserving of having her spot on the Wrestlemania card, very deserving. Here are some reasons why.
What sets Naomi apart from a lot of her contemporaries, both male and female, is her raw athletic ability and showmanship. When you’re watching a Naomi match, your eyes fixate on her. She knows how to make the most of the squared circle, utilizing every part of her body to dazzle the crowd. Her movements are fluid and eye-catching from start to finish.
Every other WWE superstar’s entrance pales in comparison to Namoi’s. Her entrance is an elaborate dance to the ring with tight choreography and gymnastics. Namoi’s ability to perform an entire routine, then maintain her high-intensity wrestling style takes strength and stamina that not every wrestler has.
The WWE brass values how marketable their performers are. Can this wrestler sell out an event? How well does that Superstar move merchandise? Do these performers sell a match and a storyline without it coming off cheesy and inauthentic? These are things Naomi can easily do and has done for years now. She’s someone who has an evident love for the business and takes every task with the same enthusiasm and passion as the last.
Naomi’s Feel The Glow persona is one that lends well to merch and can be used to motivate and inspire fans of all ages. The Glow is about believing in yourself and not letting your confidence falter through bad times. It’s a philosophy that anyone can get behind or relate to. She personifies this with her glow in the dark ring gear that makes her a stand out amongst her peers. It’s something that hasn’t been seen in WWE before Naomi.
It’s easy to forget Naomi had what most would consider a catastrophic injury. During a match in 2014 against Aksana, Naomi injured her eye socket and cornea when Aksana accidentally brought her knee down on Naomi’s eye. It was hard to watch, and one can only imagine the pain she was going through. But she didn’t let this stop her from competing.
Most people would take extended time off from work to completely heal their injury. Not WWE’s Naomi. Sporting an eyepatch, she returned to competition. Somehow she managed to be a part of the active roster. All while nursing an eye injury that no doubt had to affect her depth perception and peripheral vision.
Naomi is a stand out for many fans, but for those in the Black/POC (Person Of Color) community, her contribution to wrestling rings deeper. She’s one of the few black women wrestlers to hold a major title in WWE. She stands alongside Alicia Fox, Jacqueline, Jazz, and another current black Superstar who’s making history in WWE, Sasha Banks.
In addition to her showstopping ways in the squared circle, Naomi is also a singer, dancer, actress, and model. She collects talents the way people collect Pokemon cards. She always gives 110% to every avenue she takes. Nothing is a small project in her (completely healed) eyes.
For many black women, both young and old, seeing Naomi on TV and all that she’s managed to do is inspiring. She’s hasn’t reached her peak of success, but one can only hope that she’ll continue to ascend the ladder.
Volunteer contributor April Prince wrote this piece as part of our pilot Contributor Crew Program. If you would like to participate, fill out our prelim form and let us know what you are interested in doing.