It started officially with a simple hashtag on Twitter, and just like that women in pro-wrestling were no longer campaigning for better or longer matches behind the scenes, now the fans- millions strong -were also campaigning for them.
The hashtag #GiveDivasAChance went viral for three days and was so strong that WWE could no longer ignore the sweeping demands of their customers. The people had spoken and it was time for the female wrestlers to enjoy the spotlight just as the men.
For as long as I can remember I have loved watching wrestling and I had always accepted on some level that there were no real women matches, that the women were side characters, that their matches were more comic relief than actual story-lines, or they were stuck in crazy love interests and rarely had screen time.
At first I thought maybe they just were afraid to get as physical as the men, afterall a lot of them looked more like models than fighters. Then I became angry because I wanted to see more women have those chances, I wanted to know what it would be like to see a woman diving off the second rope and tackling another. I wanted to see them evolve.
The late Chyna, better known as “the 9th wonder of the world” was the eye-opener for me. She was a huge, muscular and pretty woman who was not afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone. Male or female and I remember one Saturday as me and my brother watched the program wondering if there would be a time when more women would be allowed to show their might as fighters.
Fast forward to 4 years ago and I’m watching AJ Lee and Paige put on a match that took my breath away. I live for the story-lines and the way the matches develop. I also love when you can see emotions and passion in a match that fit the story being told. This match was perfect for me. When AJ Lee dove off the top of the ropes onto Paige, they instantly became my favourite and just as I did with Chyna, I was front and center whenever they were on TV.
Finally WWE listened and created the ‘Divas Revolution’ that meant more women wrestlers on their shows, this lead to the birth of women being called ‘Superstars’ instead of ‘Divas’ and it also lead to women being featured in the main events of the shows, having more than one match at the pay per views and being seen as more than side pieces but legit fighters in their own right.
Finally the misogynist views of the WWE were crumbling. So can you even begin to imagine my excitement about the upcoming All Women’s Pay Per View on Sunday?
No you cannot. There are a few matches I am beyond ready to watch, including the first ever Last Woman Standing Match with one of the best story-lines WWE has ever had, just because it took over 5 years to properly flesh out and it has not gotten old yet. I can watch Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair go at it for ever- they are part of the four horsewomen of the WWE for a reason.
This pay per view has come a lot faster than anyone could have imagined but it shows that finally the WWE is ready to embrace the emotions and needs of its fan base and the fans themselves are indeed ready to let go of the idea that wrestling is for men only and see the real talent, passion, hard work and sacrifices that both sexes are putting into their careers.
For that alone I hope to see more progression and growth for the industry and more amazing and entertaining matches. The aesthetic on female athletes are changing and the promotion is ‘Yes you can, just be you and never give up’.