Don’t Call Them Divas: How Ronda Rousey And The Women’s Division Have Taken Over The WWE

Well over a year ago, UFC Legend Ronda made her debut in the WWE. As an avid fan of the sports entertainment outlet, Rousey had been rumored for months leading up to her debut. Appearing at the conclusion of the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match, the fans packing the Wells Fargo Center erupted in cheers when Ronda hit the entrance. With a simple point to the Wrestlemania sign she let everyone know her intentions were to come in and take over.

Rousey first made her presence felt in the WWE back in 2015. At Wrestlemania 31 with arguably the most famous person to come out of the WWE, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, would pull Rousey out the crowd to help him assault the WWE Authority (made up of Stephanie McMahon and Triple H). This assault would fuel the fire of Rousey’s first feud in the WWE.

Making her in ring appearance at Wrestlemania 34, Rousey had a debut most sports entertainment athletes only dream of. She was flawless. All the critics who were worried she could not adapt or was too rusty were silenced in a single match. Her debut match will easily go down as the greatest debut for any performer in the history of the WWE.

Even without the introduction of Ronda Rousey, the WWE women’s division still has become one of the more entertaining facets of the WWE brand. Once labeled as divas and used merely as sexual objects, the women’s division now showcases some of the best talent in all of wrestling. From second generation superstar Charlotte Flair to international wrestling sensations like Asuka, the women’s division is rich with talent. WWE audiences now come to expect women’s matches to be on the same level, if not better than the men’s division. With dynamic storytelling and showcasing some of the best athletes anywhere, the women’s division is becoming a league all in its own.

Introducing numerous new female talent has become one of WWE most important initiatives in recent years. Audiences have recently seen the women’s division compete in matches typically only saved for men. This has allowed the women’s division to showcase even more athleticism. The establishment of the Mae Young Classic, a yearly tournament giving talented women from around the world a stage to show off what they got, has given the WWE an influx of new women superstars.

WWE also given the women’s division their own version of historically male events. Audiences now see a yearly Women’s Royal Rumble match, with the winner receiving a shot at the women’s title of their choice. The women also compete in a yearly Money In The Bank ladder match where the winner receives a contract to a future title match. Also just last month, the WWE introduced Women’s Tag Team Titles to the division. Opening up  even more potential for the division and sport in general. The biggest thing the WWE did for the women’s division was giving them their own pay-per-view, Evolution. Allowing the women to show off on their own event shows how much the WWE believes in this division.

After the success of her first match and the stellar crowd reaction, WWE would strap a rocket to Rousey that would propel her into the sports entertainment stratosphere. A little over four months after her debut she would win the WWE Raw Women’s Championship, the sports highest prize for female talent. Following several exceptional matches, Rousey would meet her true test in one Becky Lynch.

Lynch has been in the WWE for several years, but this past year has seen the Irish superstar break out huge. Channeling a persona similar to that of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin from the 90s Attitude Era, Lynch has been able to do things many never thought they would see a female superstar do. Rousey and Lynch were set to meet at this years past Survivor Series pay-per-view. However following an injury to Lynch’s face after an assault on Rousey the match was changed.

Charlotte Flair, daughter of wrestling legend Ric Flair, was brought in to replace Lynch in the match. Flair and Rousey would compete to a no contest following a vicious assault by the hands of Flair. WWE would eventually set the stage for a potentially huge main event at their biggest yearly pay-per-view, Wrestlemania 35.

Following Lynch’s win at the 2nd annual Women’s Royal Rumble, the stage was more than set for the match fans could not wait for. However, WWE does not always make it easy for fans. Lynch would be hit with a kayfabe injury ( kayfabe is a common sports entertainment practice of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic) that would result in the WWE Authority pulling Lynch and replacing her with the healthy Charlotte Flair.

Leading WWE audiences to this weekends Fastlane, the last pay-per-view before Wrestlemania. Arguably the biggest match of the night pits Flair against Lynch. If Lynch wins she will join the Wrestlemania match with Flair and Rousey. This past Monday on the WWE’s flagship show Raw, Rousey would make her opinion on the matter known by destroying both opponents. Rousey would also voice her opinion on the situation, and entire WWE universe on her recent YouTube vlog. Going off on a verbal tirade that would call out the WWE for not just being scripted but also fake. No word yet on what the repercussions of Rousey’s actions will be but knowing the WWE it is not something they will ignore.

No matter if the match is a triple threat or one-on-one, the WWE universe will undoubtedly be behind it. The women alongside Ronda Rousey have come leaps and bounds from where the division was even 10 years ago. Once looked at as a joke, this women’s division is now filled with some of the most exciting talent in any wrestling promotion. The women’s division has hit many milestones in recent years. However, they have yet to see a women’s match main event at the WWE’s biggest event, Wrestlemania. Maybe this is the time that last piece of glass is shattered from the ceiling.

Jake Riggs

He/Him/His - Pop Culture Junkie - Community Organizer - LGBTQ+ & Proud - #SupportTransWomenOfColor #ProtectTransKids #LoveIsLove

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