It's a sad state of affairs that it took so long for WWE to actually push women's wrestling as more than the swimsuit model, bra and panties, mud wrestling fiesta that we had to endure for so many years. Whether or not this was down to Vinnie Mac living out his teenage fantasies or not is debatable, but the fact remains that the female contingent of the roster was hired for their looks instead of their abilities in the ring.
But not anymore. In the past four years, we have seen women's wrestling come on in leaps and bounds, with the cream finally rising to the top. So today we look at 10 Most Important Matches Of The Women's Revolution.
10 Paige & Emma vs. The Bella Twins
There is an argument to be made that this might not deserve a place on this list. After all, it was a thirty-second squash where the entrances lasted longer than the actual ring action. And if this was a list about the best matches then you'd be right, but it's not and the importance of this cannot be denied.
This started the whole #givedivasachance movement, a long overdue uproar from fans and wrestlers alike at the treatment of the women's division, and can easily be seen as the genesis of the women's revolution within the WWE. And it was about bloody time.
9 Asuka vs. Nikki Cross: Last Woman Standing
Asuka was a monster back in her NXT days, running roughshod over the entire division before her ill-advised move to the main roster, and it was this match with Nikki Cross that stands out amongst a fantastic CV.
This was the first ever Last Women Standing match and it was given away on NXT's weekly program, it didn't even get on a Takeover, but that didn't make it any less important. Brutalizing each other with everything they could lay their hands on, both of these athletes put in a performance that nobody who saw it would forget in a hurry.
8 Charlotte Vs. Bayley Vs. Becky Lynch Vs. Sasha Banks: Fatal Four Way
The Four Horsewomen have been an intricate part of the women's revolution, ever since their NXT days, and this performance at NXT Takeover: Rival in 2015 was proof, if more was needed, that these wrestlers could be relied upon to carry the entire division on their backs if needed.
Being second from last on the card only seemed to add fuel to their fire as all involved put on an absolute clinic in how to pace a match, building slowly towards an intense finish that would see Sasha dethrone the Queen as NXT Champion, but all involved played their parts to perfection and undoubtedly stole the show.
7 Paige vs. AJ Lee
If the first entry on this list was the official jump-off point then this title match, a year earlier, could be seen as the unofficial one.
When the NXT champion showed up on RAW and provoked the Diva's Champion into an impromptu fight, little did anyone know that she'd be walking away as a double title holder. Having already put the belt on AJ Lee it seemed that maybe, just maybe, the WWE was going to go all in and give actual wrestlers the chance to shine. And when Paige emerged as the winner it looked like a change was on the horizon. It's just a shame it would take another year to follow up on this promising start.
6 Sasha Banks vs. Bayley: Iron Woman Match
The feud between Sasha and Bayley might very well be the reason that the women's revolution caught on as well as it did, with both competitors involved leaving it all in the ring every time they stepped through the ropes, and it was this Iron Women match that cemented their places in WWE history.
The thirty-minute stipulation meant that they were allowed to build a story without the usual time constraints and both performed above and beyond expectations, proving that not only did they deserve to headline NXT Takeover: Respect but that both were, easily, the best that brand had to offer.
5 Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte: Hell In A Cell
There are rumors that it was this match that soured Vince McMahon on Sasha Banks as she had the nerve to not go through a table as planned, thereby leaving the Mad Titan convinced she was too small to truly be worthy of a push.
If this is true or not will remain speculation, until Sasha leaves the company and comes clean about the whole thing, but what isn't in doubt is that the match itself was pretty damn vicious and deserved to not only be the first women's Hell in a Cell but to also be the first to headline that specific PPV.
4 Women's Royal Rumble
Thirty years after their male counterparts had been in their first ever Royal Rumble it was finally time for the women to step up to the plate. And step up they did.
The inaugural Women's Royal Rumble was a lot better than it had any right to be, as the whole concept can be quite messy at times with far too much going on, and when Asuka ran out as the winner, guaranteeing a title shot at Wrestlemania, everyone had high hopes that the Empress of Tomorrow was about to go on a massive tear through the main roster. Yeah, how'd that work out?
3 Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair: Last Woman Standing
This was the first Last Woman Standing match in WWE history so it had to set the bar high like Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon for Ladder matches at WrestleMania X. They didn't disappoint.
Both Becky and Charlotte put their careers on the line with some of the most outrageous spots and bumps that we'd seen from any wrestlers, male or female, in a very long time. The fact that this, for some reason, didn't headline the event, instead we had Rousey vs. a Bella, should not take away from the fact that they threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at each other and completely stole the show.
2 Charlotte vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch: Triple Threat
Before Wrestlemania 32, there really hadn't been a great, let alone good Women's match on the Grandest Stage Of Them All but Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch would rectify this and then some.
With the new WWE Women's Championship up for grabs, this Triple Threat did not disappoint as the three involved rocked the AT&T Stadium to its foundations. Sure, the end was a bit screwy, with Slick Ric getting involved so that Charlotte could win, and there's a great argument that they really should've put the belt on Sasha at that point, but those two niggling points aside, it was awesome.
1 Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte: Triple Threat
It may not have had the best-looking finish in the world but Wrestlemania 35 will go down in history as the most important moment in the Women's Revolution.
Four years into the freeing of the female wrestlers on their books and WWE pulled the trigger, allowing this Triple Threat match to headline the Show of Shows. Six years ago this would've been unthinkable, with those women, bar a couple of exceptions, being nothing more than eye candy for a demographic that had long since stopped existing, but here we were with the three most popular wrestlers in the company battling it out for all the gold. And the fact that Becky won? Well, that was just the icing on the cake.