A lot of us have been fans of Women's wrestling for quite some time. Ever since I started watching wrestling in the early 2000s, I've always wondered why a majority of the women on the roster catered to the audience as eye candy rather than as world beaters. There were obviously a few superstars who became household names like Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James, and others as wrestlers, but they're more the exception than the rule. Eye candy is great and we understand that WWE is also in the business of selling their specific brand of entertainment to a niche audience, but surely there was a price to pay once WWE went ahead and made that their only selling point in the division. What do you mean, you ask? WWE went ahead and destroyed any semblance of what was known as women's wrestling and decided to give birth a new era with female wrestlers known as Divas. To be fair to the Divas of that time, especially those like AJ Lee and Paige who are terrific wrestlers, this was all being done at a time WWE was going through an entirely new makeover with the shift towards PG programming. Now, let's be clear, our issues are with management and the idea that they thought something like this would go over well with passionate wrestling fans.
For almost a decade, fans were being desensitized towards women's wrestling. The constant bathrooms breaks that were taken when we saw The Bella Twins on the screen, or any other model who was having difficulty wrestling, simply drove us up the wall. Luckily, with the help of NXT, we've been able to witness something special taking place right now and that is the RISE of women's wrestling in the WWE! Let's look at 14 reasons that's taking place.
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14 Future Role Models
It's pretty great that female wrestlers are pushing the envelope in the ring to show their younger fans that absolutely anything is possible, making the new batch of female wrestlers in WWE much better role models. In NXT, there's a little girl who's such a huge Bayley supporter that she's regularly seen sitting in the front row, ready to cheer for her favorite. She's not a supporter because of her great looks, but because she's such an underdog and makes her believe that she can do anything she sets her mind on. We may have a future women's champion on our hands with Bayley.
13 These Women Like To Take Risks
This new batch of female wrestlers aren't just in the ring throwing slaps and pulling hair, they're getting in there and dishing out, and receiving, some hard bumps. We're so used to seeing the typical bland take down, or as Rosa Mendez describes it (or at least her style of wrestling... whatever that may be), ground and pound, but that's no longer the case. Not only are they not afraid to get dirty, but also they want to hit hard and take insane bumps. This style of wrestling hasn't been utilized in female wrestling for quite some time.
12 Fan Engagement
Yours truly attended both NXT Takeover: Brooklyn as well as SummerSlam last summer and those events were something special. What really stuck out was how receptive fans were to the female wrestlers who were giving their all and how much they enjoyed both terrific women's matches at Takeover. However, what really stood out was Sasha Banks vs. Bayley for the NXT Women's Championship. That singles match alone was one of the greatest matches of the year and you could hear the crowd absolutely eating up every second of it.
11 More Than Just Looks
While most of the women in the division are still gorgeous, this new batch of female wrestlers can absolutely hang with any of the men on the roster. They’re so passionate and are starving for an opportunity to shine on the main stage. Wrestling fans love the fact that we can watch a bunch of talented women in the ring now, who have paid their dues to get into the business and shown the tenacity to take it to the next level.
10 Pressure on the Male Stars
We've witnessed this idea in NXT, as the product did't discriminate between the female and male divisions. Not only did that reinforce the interest of women's wrestling, but also supported the idea that the male roster was no longer the only form of entertainment by default. If the women were going to come along and blow the roof off with their matches, then the same was expected from the males as well. To be fair to the boys, some of them have responded well lately with some stellar matches.
9 The Champion Treatment
Charlotte has been in quite a few commercials lately. Not only is she getting the champion's rub, but she's getting the recognition that she truly deserves. Recently, if we were to see a Diva make appearances, it was typically one of The Bellas or someone who started on the show Total Divas and it likely wasn't associated with wrestling. It's awesome that Charlotte is able to get some well-deserved attention outside of the ring and it's proving that the Women's Champion in WWE is a big deal, which can only bode well for the future.
8 Storylines Are Improving
On NXT, the storylines for the women's roster have been top notch and you can look to the interesting battle between Sasha Banks and Bayley as evidence. It's not entirely accurate to say that it's been the same for the ladies on the main roster, but it's not to say they're not working on it. At WrestleMania 32, the story that was being told by the three women leading up to it made for some great television and they even delivered one of the best matches of the night. Who knows what they'll come up with next.
7 Experienced wrestlers
It's common knowledge that prior to the birth of the women's revolution, most of the female stars that were being recruited onto the roster were typically picked out of a models catalog. Jim Cornette once told Jim Ross on his podcast that John Laurinaitis had been looking for female talents through a catalog. It was that level of ignorence that gave birth to the abomination that they called Divas wrestling. Granted there were a few diamonds in the rough that came through, but it wasn't enough. The ways that WWE search for talent has changed for the better, especially with Triple H stating that he wants "real talent" on the roster.
6 Increase in Television Time
Do you guys remember a tag team match on Raw between The Bella Twins and Paige and Emma? We figured you didn't, as it was only a minute long and epitomized what the division was all about. That segment helped propel the whole #GiveDivasAChance movement on Twitter. Well, the ladies are getting far more time to tell a story in the ring of late and had one of the longer matches at WrestleMania 32. It's about time WWE.
5 In-Depth Characters
Female wrestlers typically played two roles on television. They were either the psycho chick, which has been abused over the last couple of years, or the super hot valet chick. The ceiling has finally broken for these girls to allow them to bring in all sorts of personalities. For example, we have Bayley who's the bubbly underdog, Becky who's a total ass kicker and Sasha who's an arrogant wrestler who can back it up. Their ability to develop characters will only help them going forward.
4 They've Gained Power Backstage
It's been reported numerous times that Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are keen on developing the women's brand. That's obviously huge news for the division because of the blatant disregard higher officials had towards the Divas division over the last few years. Thankfully, with Triple H's guidance in NXT, we were able to see what these women were capable of and now they're being backed by the most powerful couple in wrestling on the main roster.
3 We Know Real "Wrestling" When we See it
In wrestling, if you're able to put on a show with very little story, fans will still get behind you. Usually what makes a match even better is when you can get both elements (show and story) going in a match. So when we see matches like Bayley vs. Sasha or Natalya vs. Charlotte, we're able to get behind these ladies as they're are terrific matches with plenty of story and substance.
2 We May Be Entering the "Platinum Era"
In an interview done by the folks at The Miami Herald, they spoke to Trish Status about her feud with Lita and the state of women's wresting. To paraphrase, she stated that their era of women's wrestling was The Golden Era and that since the women of today are doing even more incredible things in the ring, we may be heading into The Platinum Era of women's wrestling. If Trish is sold, we're sold.
1 New Belt
Charlotte was presented with the new WWE Women's title on Raw a couple weeks back after Lita unveiled the new Championship at WrestleMania 32. This signified a much needed change in the division, as their old belt was absolutely laughable. It was also great that Stephanie McMahon stated in an interview that they were going to drop the term "Diva" as well and call them Superstars. With a new belt that demands respect, these female Superstars are ready to take the world by storm.
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