Women’s Wrestling in the WWE has been not only a push for equality but a ratings and moneymaking boom for the WWE. But for fans of the sport what has the Women’s revolution done, what started the Women’s revolution, and has it gone far enough?
WWE began using the term “Diva” for women on screen in the 1990s. This included wrestlers, managers, valet, etc. Notably, nobody ever called Chyna a Diva, probably due to her character being seen as more masculine than other women. The WWE Diva’s championship was a creation formed from the brand split between Raw and Smackdown wrestlers on the WWE Roster in 2008. There were two shows and at that time there needed to be two women’s titles. In 2010 the Woman’s Championship was united with the Diva’s Championship to be known as the Unified Divas Championship, although eventually the “unified” was dropped from the title. The Diva’s Championship was only defended once at Wrestlemania (the biggest WWE Pay-per-view of the year) in 2014. Two years later the term Diva was retired and all of the female entertainers would be given the same moniker as the males on the roster “WWE Superstar.” The Diva’s title was transformed into the WWE Woman’s Championship. A belt that looks very similar to the men’s belt just smaller.
Where did the idea of a Diva’s revolution even begin? On February 23, 2015, on an episode of raw The Bella Twins faced Paige and Emma in a match that lasted around 30 seconds. After this match #GiveDivasaChance began trending worldwide on twitter. The next step of the Diva’s revolution didn’t happen until July of 2015 when 3 major female wrestlers from NXT were brought in. These women had been having long matches and showing that women could wrestle just as well and as long as the men. The next Wrestlemania the Divas title was retired along with the Divas belt.
Post-2015 Women’s wrestling has become more prolific and more profitable. If we look at The Bella Twins’ YouTube page they frequently look at old their old matches and their matches were extremely short or would be cut for the sake of time if it were a pay-per-view. During the first season of Total Divas, the women’s match was pulled from the Wrestlemania card due to the Pay-per-view going over.
Women have become a moneymaking draw in the WWE, especially in the PG era, and parents don’t want their little girls wanting to emulate women who are seen as nothing but valets and bimbos. This generation of female WWE Superstars would never be seen doing a “bra and panties match” or a “chocolate pudding” match. The women in the current WWE are being taken more seriously, and are starting to get better stories. Has the revolution gone far enough? Are female WWE superstars treated equally as the men? No, there need to be more matches and more females who are given front and center storylines. WWE has some of the best talents in the world, they need to use it.
WWE has 36 female superstars between its Raw and Smackdown Brands, and 20 more in NXT according to their website. In the last four weeks, only ten female wrestlers have had 3 or more matches, with titleholders having the most matches. We need wrestlers like Dana Brook, Lacy Evans, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and Nia Jax having main event storylines and matches. I don’t understand why WWE is repeating matches over and over again.