WWE is currently trying to reach out to former talent in the hopes of getting them on Wrestlemania 33, according to Dave Meltzer. It is unclear just what they are needed for or if they will be wrestling. Also unclear is just who has been contacted. Some of the names thrown around are Beth Phoenix, who is rumored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Trish Stratus, and AJ Lee.
Another possible name is Lita, who was released from her WWE contract last December. Lita, real name Amy Dumas, was present at last year’s Wrestlemania32, where she unveiled the brand new WWE Women’s Championship that would be awarded to the winner of a triple threat match between Diva’s Champion Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. The match, which saw Charlotte become the inaugural WWE Women’s Champion and retire the Diva’s Championship. was highly acclaimed and seen as one of the better matches on the card, and a legitimization of women’s wrestling.
Mickie James, another former Women’s Champion, was added to Smackdown Live’s roster last month when she was unveiled as La Luchadora, the ally of Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss who helped Bliss retain the title against Becky Lynch. Lynch and James are expected to feud over the coming months. Prior to this, James was brought back to challenge NXT Women’s Champion Asuka for the championship, though she was defeated. With the resigning of James, it would appear WWE is more than willing to reach out to former talent.
WWE seemingly struggled with women’s wrestling. In the Attitude Era, women were seen as sex objects and wrestled in matches such as the “Bra and Panties match”. Even when WWE made the shift to PG, the women were referred to as “Divas,” and most were signed based on looks and not actual wrestling acumen. Of course, there were legitimate, skilled wrestlers, such as Natalya, Beth Phoenix, AJ Lee, and Kaitlyn, but most of the time the matches were seen as “bathroom break” matches.
WWE made efforts to improve this with the “Diva’s Revolution” after a hashtag #GiveDivasAChance trended on Twitter. Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch were called up to the main roster, where Charlotte would dethrone Diva’s Champion Nikki Bella before retiring the belt at Wrestlemania 32.
In NXT, Banks, Lynch, and Charlotte, along with former NXT Superstar Bayley, were called the “Four Horsewomen” because they were all seen as highly skilled and gifted wrestlers. Banks and Bayley were the main event in NXT special Takeover: Respect in a 30-minute Iron Man Match. This raised the bar for the standard in women’s wrestling in the WWE and proved to many that WWE had not been treating the women’s division properly. When given the chance, women could wrestle a great match.
In October 2016, WWE made history at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view by having the first ever Hell in a Cell match featuring two female superstars. Aside from that, Sasha Banks and Charlotte were the first two women to ever main event a WWE pay-per-view.
WWE seems to be going in the right direction in their attempts at legitimizing women’s wrestling and correcting the damage done by the Attitude Era as well as the less talented wrestlers they signed. By bringing back former superstars, perhaps WWE hopes to prove that women could always wrestle as good as men and clean up their history a bit. We still do not know who has been contacted and what exactly they will be doing at Wrestlemania 32, but chances are they will be there to promote the current women’s division.
[Featured Image by WWE]