It’s a new era as it pertains to the WWE Women’s Division and the women that compete within its confines. First there was the Divas Revolution. Perhaps the moniker watered down the actual product, but Stephanie McMahon certainly lit under a fire under the division when she announced the debuts of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch. Then came the first-ever pay-per-view to be main-evented by women, featuring Sasha and Bayley closing out NXT Takeover: Respect in a 30-minute Ironman match.
WWE fans were then treated to a classic triple-threat match at WrestleMania to determine a new WWE Women’s Champion. The term “Divas,” as well as the butterfly belt that accompanied it, were done away with, and the women were now referred to as superstars, just like their male counterparts. No, it’s not the first time it’s been referred to as the WWE Women’s Championship, but it signified a new day and a motion to take these women more seriously.
But according to Vince McMahon, it’s still not quite enough, as reported by the Daily Wrestling News. Vince is reportedly calling for some more established character-differentiation within the Women’s division. Apparently, the re-branding isn’t yet complete despite the name-change. Vince desires more defined characters, and he has the support of WWE officials as well as Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. The latter two have been extremely instrumental in bringing prominence back to the WWE Women’s Division, with Hunter making the call to place Sasha and Bayley in that main event.
It’s looking to shake out like a three-step process. Step one saw the invasion of young stars who were more than a pretty face (Bayley will join her other cohorts soon, but not until the NXT women are in a comfortable spot without her). Step two was re-branding from Divas to WWE Women. And now step three appears to be clearly defining who these women are outside of just superior athletes who could go pillar to post with the men.
Yes, Sasha Banks is The Boss with a famous WWE Hall of Fame cousin. And Becky Lynch is the Lass Kicker from Ireland. Charlotte is genetically superior thanks to her father and manager, the Nature Boy Ric Flair. Natalya has a legacy of her own, with perhaps the most prominent family tree in the entire industry. As for the rest of the WWE Women’s Division, it remains unclear, outside of ring entrances, what gimmicks the ladies are operating under. Even Paige has blurred the lines since her slide down the pecking order, despite being one of the more gifted wrestlers the division has.
The Divas Revolution was designed to bring exposure back to a group that were getting it primarily from their reality show, Total Divas. But this new crop of performers seemed more interested in submission holds and suplexes than allowing cameras to document their relationships and personal lives. Sasha recently went as far as to say that she’ll never appear on Total Divas. She’s a part of the WWE Women’s Division to compete and to be champion. And you get the sense that the same goes for Charlotte and Becky.
Reality television has provided opportunities and demonstrated that there may be life after wrestling for a lot of the WWE women, but for those concentrating on the foundation of the industry, character development seems to be on the forefront of the chairman’s mind. Charlotte has been given the most opportunities to showcase her personality alongside her father, but if these character changes are to be implemented division-wide, look for the women to get more mic time in and out of the ring to carry them out to their fullest potential.
[Image via WWE]