It was two years ago that the WWE women's division was comprised of Divas who cared more about promoting their reality TV show than actually wrestling. Some of the Divas could wrestle, with Nikki Bella actually improving over time, but what a difference two years makes. In 2016, the WWE changed the name from the Diva's Championship to the Women's Championship, brought in former superstar Lita to announce it, and then began to push actual talent in the ring like Sasha Banks and Charlotte.
The hashtag #GiveDivasAChance started trending in 2015 and Vince McMahon actually responded to the hashtag on Twitter that said the WWE heard people and asked them to keep watching to see what happened next. Stephanie McMahon told ESPN this week that it was the fans who caused this new women's revolution to happen.
"Our fans spoke out. It was a global trend that was so loud and so powerful. It was a cry for our female performers to be given longer match time and to be given more meaningful story lines and to have deeper character development. Our fans said with their voices very loud and clear that we want more from our female performers."The hashtag itself came after a WWE Monday Night Raw match lasted a total of 29 seconds, The combatants were the Bella Twins, Paige, and Emma. The fans booed and the hashtag started almost immediately. Stephanie said that she noticed it immediately and it really struck home when it was still trending two days later. The WWE women's division has always struggled to maintain a push. It never really mattered in the grand scheme of things until Trish Stratus and Lita proved that the women of the Attitude Era could be more than T&A. However, when those two retired, it went back to more of a drama filled Divas division that led the way to a reality television series.
There isn't much difference between the bikini and lingerie matches of the Attitude Era and the women fighting because of a pseudo-reality TV show storylines in the past few years. However, thanks to the fans, things have changed dramatically with Charlotte and Sasha Banks leading the way.At WrestleMania 31, two months after the hashtag started, AJ Lee and Paige beat the Bella Twins to wrap up their feud and then the next night everything changed. Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch were all called up from NXT and the era of the Diva was no more.
After a short feud between Charlotte and WWE Diva's Champion Nikki Bella, Charlotte won the belt and then Stephanie McMahon had Lita come out and introduce Charlotte as the new WWE Women's Champion. It was a huge move that proved that the WWE wanted to really take the women seriously, with Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch joining her for a year's worth of great WWE women's matches.
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One year later and most of the Divas were gone, replaced by actual wrestlers. At WrestleMania 32, Charlotte beat Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks in a three-way match that got over 16 minutes of time and was the best women's match in WrestleMania history.
On the very first WWE Monday Night Raw after the WWE Draft and brand split, the WWE chose to make a statement by having Sasha Banks use her Bank Statement to beat Charlotte and finally win the WWE Women's Championship. In a conference call with Sasha, Planet Wrestling reported that Banks feels the future is bright for the WWE Women's Division.
Sasha Banks said that it was hard to get time on TV before, and now with the brands split, they will get more time to tell their stories. Sasha also mentioned that the best could be yet to come for the WWE Women's Division, as Banks envisions a four-way at WrestleMania 33 between the Four Horsewomen -- Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Bayley -- for the WWE Women's Championship.
[Image via WWE]