INDUCTION: Emmalina – She’ll Be Here Next Week. Or Maybe Never.

42 Submitted by on Thu, 25 January 2018, 20:00

WWE, 2017

I have to admit, I was somewhat surprised the fiasco of Emma morphing into Emmalina placed so low in the 2017 Gooker Award voting.  That’s not to say the winner, in which Jinder Mahal, a skinny jobber somehow magically became a jacked to the gills WWE champion, was undeserving.  It was.  Nor would I take exception to the hideous Bray Wyatt-Randy Orton feud garnering so many votes.  Heck, I was so sure that was going to take the prize I inducted the week after it happened last year, and gave it the prize six months in advance to boot!

Still, while those storylines were bad, at least they went somewhere.  Somewhere horrible, but there was a destination nevertheless.  Contrast that with today’s induction, which may be the single biggest waste of time in the history of the business.  I know a lot of folks reading this have been watching pro wrestling  even longer than I have (thirty-three years by last count), so I ask you: has there ever been a longer build for something that had absolutely zero pay off?

We always talk about the infamous Baby Doll-Dusty Rhodes photos, but that took place over a matter of a couple of weeks.  That’s nothing compared to this disaster.

Ok, I may be getting ahead of myself.  Let’s introduce the star of our show today, Tenille Dashwood.

You may know her better as Emma.

I used that exact shot of her for a reason, as it was during her first stint in NXT when she was able to use her personality and connect with the audience.  You know that whole deal where Bayley was in NXT and considered a “can’t miss” prospect?  And how everyone was aghast to see her botched beyond recognition when she hit the main roster?

That type of things is nothing new.  It’s happened many times before.  And while Emma was always somewhat of a risk to the mainstream audience, she had an inherent likability that felt like it SHOULD translate wherever she went.  After all, she was able to get over with the NXT crowd doing a goofy dance routine that absolutely screamed indy opening match.  To her credit, however, she made it work so props to her.

Perhaps seeing that, WWE brought her to the main roster with no build, instead just throwing her out on Raw doing her silly shuck and jive routine.  She more or less died in front of the live audience, and it took her a while to gain any footing whatsoever.  She was paired with Santino, but even that didn’t seem to help much.  Eventually she just kinda floundered with no direction whatsoever.

And then apparently someone bothered to look up her Instagram and saw this woman was in fact absolutely stunning.  A hot chick on the roster?  Maybe, maybe they could do something with her.

Oh, and remember when I mentioned her debut on the big stage came with no videos letting fans know who she was in advance?  When WWE decided to freshen up her image, they wouldn’t make that mistake again.

In fact, they would do the exact opposite of it.

It all started on October 3, 2016, when we were told Emma was going away.

In her place?


So we got a video, and make no mistake about it – the formerly plain jane girl had become a total smoke show.  This was straight out of one of those stupid John Hughes films where the ‘ugly’ girl suddenly becomes the hottest woman alive to the shock of everyone.  She was stunning, and without question, attentions (and likely other appendages) were grabbed.

The following week, we got another tease.  She no longer looked like some also ran on the roster, she looked like a complete, bonafide model.  It was a change so jarring as to be jaw dropping.

Another week, another video.  So we are at three weeks of hype, with us being given nothing more than further imagery of just how hot this woman could be.

Did I say three weeks?  I meant four.

And did I say weeks?

Because I meant MONTHS.

Every single week, we would be informed that Emmalina would be “premiering soon.”  It got to the point that not only were the same photos being used over and over, the exact same videos were too.  Was any of this ever going to lead anywhere?

Let’s not complain though, but even though we were getting mostly the same pics as before, now we had something new: TEXT!

That’s right, WWE spared no expense firing up the Font-trolla and throwing verbiage all over the place to explain what this woman was all about.  Gorgeous!  Captivating!  Irresistible!  Glamorous!

(Does anyone else remember that period where anytime they mentioned a woman on the roster she was described as “sexy strong and powerful”?  Why weren’t those listed on there?)

So this went on for two solid months, before finally, FINALLY, we were told she was going to debut.  Good things come to those who wait, right?  So the big week came and…

Don’t hit refresh, you’re not missing an image there.  I’m giving you a blank screen.  Which is exactly what the company gave us.

You see, despite this being the alleged big day, Emma or Emmalina or whatever she was to be called was nowhere to be found.  The story coming out of Raw was there simply wasn’t time for her to debut.

You know, on a three hour show.

So a couple more weeks pass with no mention and then all of a sudden…

…another video!

And guess what, she was still on her way!

By this time, it was becoming a running joke.  The announcers had a tough time trying to play this off as anything legit, with poor Corey Graves appearing as the hype master trying to explain what was taking so long.  God bless the guy, he did his best, noting how “she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world…she’ll show up when she’s ready!”

By December, Corey was running out of material, but he may have had the line of the year telling us, “I’m fully prepared to wait until 2018!”

At this rate, the odds may have favored him needing to do just that.

Another week, another dose of poor Corey.

“Emmalina can make us wait forever, and I’d be ok with that!  We’ll be lucky when she gets here!”

So after sixteen weeks, we got a very slightly different video.

To be fair, it was identical to others, save for the final seconds.  Go back, and let’s pause that.

Did you read that, kids?

Better yet, let’s get some cheap clip art arrows to point it out.

That’s right – next week, we were finally going to see what this was all about.

We were finally going to witness this amazing makeover.

Now sure, we’d been promised this before, but this time THEY MEANT IT.

And for once, this company actually delivered on its promise!

Emmalina had finally arrived!

With the microphone in her hand, she showed us just how glamorous she was, smiling and looking lovely.  We all held our breath as she told us about her amazing plans.  And that would be…

…that she was going to become Emma again.

And she looked absolutely thrilled.

Corey Graves, who had been a great sport and arguably the star through all this, hyping this woman up week after week, for over a third of a YEAR, had his greatest line ever.

“Come again?”

She then turned around and walked sadly to the back.  And that was the end of Emmalina.

As she proclaimed, she did in fact go right back to being Emma, this time with a slightly heelish makeover.

Why, she even got a couple more video packages!

Wait, wasn’t she already here?

She stuck around a few months, eventually losing to Asuka and then vanishing altogether.

So what was the real story?  What really happened here?

Sources have told this reporter the idea was for Emmalina to become an over the top sex symbol.  Those had not been en vogue in the company for a few years, and the idea was she could be a throwback to the likes of Sable and Stacy Keibler.  During dress rehearsals, however, management felt she was not believable in such a role.

Apparently, this is not believable as a sex symbol.

I know I am out of the primary target demographic, but she kinda looks like one to me!

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42 Responses to "INDUCTION: Emmalina – She’ll Be Here Next Week. Or Maybe Never."
  1. Christopher Haydu says:

    Good induction. It’s not just a throwback to 2017, but to the Mailbag in 2002 as we get even more criticism of John Hughes! I’d love it if in December RD, in addition to the traditional Christmas movie induction, inducted whichever John Hughes film he hates the most. That would be great!

    • RD Reynolds says:

      Yeah, I’ve never been a big John Hughes fan. I do like the Vacation series and Home Alone, but that’s about it.

      • 80s Guy says:

        Oh, come on, not a John Hughes fan?? Planes Trains and Automobiles? Ferris Beullers Day Off? Weird Science? The Great Outdoors? Uncle Buck?? The Breakfast Club???


  2. Erich says:

    It could have been worse.
    After all that hype, she could have come out as a funky dancing dinosaur-person.

  3. Andrew Elder says:

    Heard she wasn’t keen on the idea either. Corey Graves finally had it also and said I guess will have to wait several more weeks again for Emma lol. Biggest thing why she was let go is they put her in with Asuka and she actually gave her a run for her money (which made Asuka look bad) but was supposed to get squashed(E finally released you go call up local talent to squash/job).

  4. Plastic Diver Guy says:

    She should have come out of a giant egg & danced to Turkey in the Straw. That would have gotten over.

  5. Adam says:

    I’d forgotten how long this all actually went… you have to give it to WWE. Nobody else commits to non-committal plans quite like them.

    (Probably a coincidence, but this is a fitting induction for Australia Day.)

  6. Josh Owens says:

    Was injured again while vignettes were airing. That is what took so long.

  7. Hulk6785 says:

    Good God, it amazes me how stupid the people running WWE really are. I would call them “blind” as well, but even blind people can see how hot Emma is.

  8. Kev says:

    You know what would have made this angle amazing? If after Emma FINALLY re-debuting, we got sixteen more weeks of video packages promising the makeover of Emmalina to Emma.

  9. tom hastings says:

    would anyone be believable in a role defined by Sable? Would that not require surgery to remove a portion of your brain????

  10. Flochs says:

    The company proved to be especially “likeable”, when their creatives basically blamed her for that fail then. Because if you come up with such a creative name like “Emmalina”, do completely pointless vignettes with probably the worst dislike/like ration on youtube in the company history for months…, it can not be a complete fail by creative, right?

    What a waste of one of the best performers, that could have succeeded in many roles, they had in the women’s division.

  11. Gerard says:

    wanna clue that wwe has no idea what the hell its doing anymore?? look no further then this storyline. they built it up and built it up only to have emma/emmalina herself say basically yea this whole thing is stupid and i am just gonna stay as the same character i have always been!!

  12. Mav says:

    Pretty bad when the WWE is stealing ideas from WCW. Very much like Dustin Runnels’ “memorable” debut as Se7en. Minus the creepy horse.

  13. Peter says:

    Such a waste. At least Brodus Clay finally debuted and was kind of entertaining.

  14. Seb Richer says:

    Good induction. I don’t know if it was voluntary on your part or not, but you didn’t mention that in between the disaster run with Santino and the Emmalina debacle, she went back down to NXT, changed her entire look and gimmick, got over as a heel and came back up to the main roster before being saddled with Emmalina.

  15. Mweyer says:

    We complain about WWE misusing NXT guys and that works out a lot. But it’s also that what works for a small Florida base doesn’t on a huge stage. That’s actually a problem going back to the old territory days, reading great books on things noting that an act that played great in Texas or Florida would flop up North or even a few states over. WWE could have done more but it’s also a sign that some folks are better off bigger fish in a smaller pond and some NXT guys really aren’t ready for the big time.

  16. KeldorKing says:

    2 things missing here. No mention of the arrest and release? And also wasn’t it said that management had big plans but soured on her when they felt she wasn’t committed enough?

  17. Jim says:

    I could see them getting cold feet in general about having a woman Superstar “just” be a sex symbol today as opposed the Attitude Era, but why didn’t they do rehearsals, oh, two months into the video teases rather than waiting until she was finally going to debut before concluding (somehow) that she couldn’t be a sex symbol?

    Also, I may have imagined it, but didn’t Emma first appear on the main roster in the crowd holding signs like “Emmalution” or “Emmatainment”? Not a great build, but not exactly “no build.”

    As is often said, it is amazing what WWE fails to do with some incredibly attractive and talented women.

  18. KeldorKing says:

    What happened to the comments?

  19. jerm says:

    This was definitely not the easiest induction to read at work.

  20. Sean Wilkinson says:

    We got a full trio of teasers that left us with figurative blue balls last year – Emmalina, an in-ring Sister Abigail, and whatever the fudge Goldust was promising.

  21. Chris Oakley says:

    Emma was trash from day one.

  22. Gerard says:

  23. Scott says:

    I think she does too.

  24. Rich says:

    There’s a bit of a gap in the timeline here, as when the original Emma gimmick didn’t get over on the main roster, she returned to NXT and developed the “Evil” Emma persona. That’s where she teamed up with Dana Brooke and wound up being fed to Asuka the first time. Soon after, she returned to Raw in that gimmick and initially her and Dana were going to team up again, only for Emma to get injured quite soon after Dana’s debut. It was only after the injury that they began the Emmalina teases (and I do believe part of the reason for the slow burn was that she was still recovering).

  25. New Here says:

    It was “smart, sexy and powerful” and every time they used it, I wanted to throw up.

  26. El Atomico says:

    I hope we get more inductions of other Gooker nominees, especially Jason jordan as Kurt Angle’s son.

  27. Lycanthrokeith says:

    As for angles that never paid off, the White Hummer Limo Driver from WCW comes to mind. As does the “Who Raised the Briefcase” angle. Neither were dragged out as long as this one, but they had more potential importance.

  28. Guest says:

    “She stuck around a few months, eventually losing to Asuka and then vanishing altogether”.

    That’s being a bit too charitable she stuck around winning (but mostly losing) a few matches after they pulled the plug on the Emmalina gimmick then hyped up facing Asuka for a PPV match (which she lost) then having a rematch (I believe the next night after) where she apparently worked Asuka over before losing again before being given the boot.

  29. posting to see the comments says:

    hello comments section

  30. SCLSCL says:

    As somebody who watched during the Monday Night Wars.. it has been so surreal to see WWE turn into WCW over the last 5 years or so. This wouldnt have been out of place on a Nitro in 2000!! Russo-esque awfulness.

  31. Konietzko says:

    The real reason is probably anti-Australian bias at the WWE. We should sue the crap out of them. They didn’t even put Outback Jack on a Legends contract.

  32. Titan Ted says:

    That woman wasn’t believable as a sex symbol?

    And which jealous women and gay men were asked about that?

    • oknazevad says:

      Hell, every gay man would say something along the lines of “you slay them, girlfriend”. If anyone knows what works for sexy women models, it’s gay men!

    • Really? says:

      (-_-;) Women DO celebrate other sexy women, contrary to popular belief circa 1950.

  33. Hobu0 says:

    She was *criminally* underrated, underused and underappreciated.

    When she went from goofy, dancing Emma to a vicious heel….her work was brilliant.

    Shame that she didn’t get to participate in the Women’s Rumble. She deserved to be in it.

  34. Dashing Wood says:

    Poor Emma. First she got canned when she was just catching steam with the Santino thing for nicking a phone case, after she’s back in NXT in a rather cool heel tandem with Dana Brooke she gets called up again, flounders a bit, gets paired up with debuting Dana again and promptly gets injured. Dana jumped ship to Charlotte and the Emmalina thing started.

    An interesting thing I did hear was that the Emmalina thing was at one time supposed to be that she was a smoking hot bombshell at first glance but something just wasn’t “quite right in her panties” (something WWF tried to sell Marleena on when she started there many years ago as well, which she refused to do). So the “Makeover” would have included some “plastical surgery”, I guess. Remember when Nipple H announced WWE would feature LGBT characters? Emmalina might have at one point been discussed to be such and may have possibly contributed to the aborted “premiere”. If that was the case, it might have been for the better that she went back to her pre-injury heel persona. Too bad they gave her a horribly unfitting theme music after a while and she got let go shortly after. Hopefully she’ll do well outside WWE, though.

  35. Bonesaw Shaw says:

    Emma needs a Brazzers contract ASAP

  36. KatieVictoriasSecret says:

    I’m glad this one snagged its well-deserving induction after all. There’s nothing more annoying than wasting that much in resources and talent only to allow the whole thing to fizzle in two seconds.

  37. Trekkie313 says:

    Calling John Hughes movies stupid? Induction worthy right there!

  38. Mr. Boing says:

    If I booked this I would have re-used a certain gimmick from the past. She would have become “Naked Emma” the diva who refused to wear clothes or any kind of wrestling gear.

    Would be wishful thinking if she would have accepted my gimmick idea or quit even faster

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