Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ronda Rousey Give Divas a chance, WWE NXT,and how it all helped start a WWE Woman’s revolution

Ronda Rousey Give Divas a chance, WWE NXT,and how it all helped start a WWE Woman’s revolution

Everything Written below as always is my opinion as a wrestling fan. I'm not a "wrestling expert" nor proclaim to be one -please read and enjoy :) :) if you enjoyed this blog then ...

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To me the story of the women's revolution In WWE has been one of the big news stories of the year. the re-emergence of Women's Wrestling in 2015 is redefining the business itself and the genre.

Women's Wrestling as I was growing up was very sparse. I was a big WWE fan and started watching in 1990 as a 4 year old. We used to see some females in front of the camera Miss Elizabeth, Sensational Sherri and more but rarely did we see them wrestle. 

As time moved in into the mid nighties the first female wrestler I remember seeing was Aludra Blayze where she had a title match vs Bertha Faye apart from that I cant remember any more women's matches until the attitude era.  

As I got older and WWE transitioned into the attitude era they brought back the WWE Womens Title (It had been previously chucked into the trash on rival WCW Nitro) at this time it was more about a woman features and how she looked rather than the matches they put on in the ring.

 The only 2 exceptions to this in my opinion at the time were Trish Stratus and Lita who could both have amazing matches and could pull off anything asked of them they really did an amazing job they were sexy and could wrestle as well the perfect combination which has been hard to match since.

Trish (left) and Lita (right)
On from this WWE throughout the early 2000s and through into the late 2000s had a mentality and strategy that Jim Ross described on his podcast The Ross Report as "The higher ups in WWE at the time wanted Playboy cover girls and Size 10s and that's where it began and ended" that wasnt Jim fault just to clarify it was a company mentality.

 WWE were hiring models from lingerie catalogs in the John Laurenitus era as VP of Talent Relations. This era was frustrating I would go to WWE live events in UK and people would use the Women's match as a bathroom break - that to me was so disappointing and it was surprising that WWE let this go on so long and let fans view Woman's matches that way. I would stay and watch all the matches on the card (I learnt the art of Bladder control) but all it was out of respect. I wanted to see what the ladies could do here in England we wait over 6 months for one show, I want to see,experience everything on that show. 

So WWE Divas Division carried on as it was....... 

Until 2014 the revolution in my mind began

I think one of the things that inadvertently helped WWE diva's revolution was actually a woman that is not a WWE diva or Wrestler at all but a UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey.

Ronda Rousey

Ronda has really come to the fore throughout 2014 and exploded even bigger in 2015. Ronda Rousey is a female UFC fighter with a  record of 12-0 she is known as the best female fighter in the world and now boasts endorsement deals, Movie roles and has a huge following an popularity.

Rousey caught and made headlines and in turn I believe caused waves in many other sports around female athletes. I don’t think it was any mistake that following the success of Rousey that Women’s Sports and their participation on sports has become more prominent in the media and throughout society in general.

Ronda caught the eye due to her tremendous ability inside an octagon, her ability to take down opponents and finish a fight within a matter of seconds. No one had ever seen that before, she is and was of unique and different and gave a different representation of Woman, not to mention Ronda is beautiful too….. (Yes I have a small crush on her!)

As Ronda Rousey popularity grew she even appeared on WWE television as part of Summerslam 2014 where she “helped” Stephanie Mcmahon do the ice bucket challenge and then at Wrestlemania 31 in a moment most fans thought they would never see Rhonda Rousey came into the ring and her and The Rock went face to face with Triple H and Stephanie Mcmahon in an incredible moment.

The Rock,Ronda Rpusey, Triple H and The Rock
I believe that Due to the success of Rousey  it was a key motivator behind the fans of the WWE finally speaking up and using hashtag #GiveDivasAChance. I believe fans saw Rousey kicking ass in the UFC and wondered why these fantastic WWE female athletes weren't allowed to do the same in WWE

#GiveDivasAChance came about because on an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw (which is 3 hours long) the powers that be in WWE decided that the women on the show that evening should only have a 30 second match.

 #GiveDivasAChance trending on twitter and drew the views of many fans and WWE legends such as Mick Foley.


This in turn angered fans who thought that these Female Wrestlers (or Divas as WWE has dubbed them) should start being given the same opportunities as the men on the WWE roster.

While the debate raged on Social Media, there was something going on in the background of WWE, something that was the answer.

WWE COO Triple H Had approached WWE Owner Vince Mcmahon about changing their system for Developing New talent for the WWE. Triple H felt (and he was correct) that the old system they had in place was not working and Triple H wanted to put together something that could be a sustainable System for WWE and a perfect environment for aspiring Wrestlers to Develop Triple H came up with WWE Performance Centre.

When the brand new modern performance centre came into being with 7 rings and promo rooms, Training rooms etc Along with this WWE hired trainers to help train and mould this brand new generation of talent one of the trainers they hired was Sara Del Ray.
Sara Del Rey

Sara is a very accomplished female wrestler this is one of the best female wrestlers in the world and WWE hired her so that she would be able to train the next generation of female superstars in her style in order for them to compete in top quality matches.

Along with Performance Centre came a new brand WWE NXT.

WWE NXT is the proving ground for all the trainees from WWE performance centre before they go to WWE Main shows and roster. WWE NXT started off very small but with the advent of WWE Network grew very quickly. Triple H explained himself that NXT Arrival only came around due to the fact that WWE Network had arrived and he stated that “I wedged myself in there on WWE Network as I felt we could give fans a new different type of show and help iron out an wrinkles with WWE network”

It was on that show that the revolution started. Paige and Emma were in the 1st Ever WWE NXT Woman’s match and they put on and incredible match it so entertaining well paced and so different from what fans were used to seeing on Raw and Smackdown on a limited timeframe. They both put on such a great match that opinion was starting to change and on from this the momentum for a Divas Revolution grew and grew.

Paige (left) Emma (right)

New Female Wrestlers were coming into WWE NXT Charlotte,Bayley,Becki and Sasha Banks. These women got introduced (all of which trained with the aforementioned Sara Del Ray) and suddenly the whole landscape of Women's wrestling had changed. These 4 dubbed themselves the 4 Horsewomen (after Ric Flair’s Group 4 Horsemen) The 4 Horsewomen were having consistent best match of the night with each other in Singles matches, Tag Matches or whatever match they were put in.

Triple H said it himself he didn’t put them in the main event the Women of NXT went and grabbed the Main event and made it their own and have been doing that ever since. Those Women that have made such an impact were brought into WWE main Roster Paige, Emma, Becki Lynch, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley and more are all products of WWE NXT and now all are on the main WWE Roster on Raw and Smackdown each week entertaining fans all over the world. Recently Charlotte become WWE Diva champion defeating longest reigning champion Nikki Bella. 

Which now leads us to the Next WWE NXT takeover Special on WWE Network featuring in the Mian event for the 1st time ever a WWE NXT Women's title match Champion Bayley vs Challenger Sasha Banks in a 30 minute IronWoman match.


This has never been done before and this is going to be another incredible chapter in the revolution of Women's Wrestling on WWE. The momentum isn't going to stop and is another huge moment for WWE and Women's division. The Evolution and Revolution will continue more Women will come through NXT and walk the road laid down by these Tremendous female athletes they have shown WWE and the World a new way I hope this new way is here to stay Women's Wrestling, Women's Revolution.

Sasha and Bayley really did push the boundaries in an incredible Ironman match in which Bayley retained her NXT women’s title. They had so much pressure on their shoulders being the 1st Women’s Main event on a live NXT Takeover special on WWE Network those ladies delivered they didn’t just deliver actually they cemented themselves as trailblazers and as Diva’s that have set the road for others to walk down, because  these two and their incredible match it will open the door for more women to be in the main event of special events, Raw, Smackdown etc. If you have the WWE network check out that match it was nothing like we had seen before and was a true credit to the business and industry as a whole.

 I don’t think it will be long until we see a main event women’s match headlining a PPV and Wrestlemania, excellent quality, athletic women’s matches that tell a story are here to stay and we have a special golden generation of women who have the ability, strength and passion to take this to even greater heights.

Thanks For Reading

Jonathan Orchard

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