The Women of WWE: Breaking Barriers

Photo: Twitter (courtesy of Trish Stratus @trishstratuscom)

I’ve been a fan of the WWE for as long as I can remember. I have religiously watched it every week, multiple times a week ever since I was a child. I’ve witnessed incredible changes over the past 15 or so years. I’ve seen my favorites retire and the debut of some of the greatest wrestlers ever. But nothing compares to the incredible journey that is happening today for the women in the WWE.

Back in the early 2000s and even early 2010s women weren’t afforded the same equality as men. They had matches but they were televised for only for about 5 minutes during a two-hour programming. Insane, right? The matches the women competed in were usually some sort of gimmick match such as a bra and panties match, where the winner was the person who stripped her opponent to nothing but her bra and panties. For a long time, the women were props, so to speak. They weren’t taken seriously and looking back, that’s truly a shame.

In the last few years, however, women have been getting incredible opportunities that one could only dream of previously. In 2015, two women, Sasha Banks and Bayley, competed in the first ever Iron Man match between two women. To say it was incredible would be an understatement. They wrestled for 30 minutes, with the winner being the one who picked up the most pin falls in the 30-minute time slot. They not only had this phenomenal match, but they main evented a NXT: Takeover Event. In the next year, two women, Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair, competed in the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell match.

Women have also made history by having falls count anywhere matches, steel cage matches, table matches, and the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match all in 2017. Things got better when Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer of WWE, announced that this year the women would compete in their first ever Royal Rumble match! 30 women would be battling in an over the top battle royal to declare a number of women contenders for either the Raw or Smackdown Live Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania. That match happened this past Sunday and I am thrilled with how it turned out. The men also competed in a Royal Rumble match but the women blew theirs out of the water. To say it was incredible would be an understatement. The past, present, and future all collided in that match, and it was a beautiful thing to witness.

And this past Monday it was announced that the women would compete in their first Elimination Chamber match later this month. As a wrestling fan I couldn’t be prouder of all the changes and opportunities that women are receiving to showcase that they are just as great, if not better, than the men. It makes me proud to not only be a fan but proud to be a woman because I have such incredible role models to look up to.

Photo by: Jasmine Tovar

These women show that yes, they are beautiful, but they can kick butt too! They are showing young girls and women all over the world that women are strong and to go for that brass ring no matter what and to never let up. They give me faith and hope that women are going to keep evolving and breaking down barriers while showing the world that women are just as capable as the men to carry the show because they are. And they do it oh so well. Now is definitely the time to be a wrestling fan!