Two years ago today, Charlotte Flair defeated Nikki Bella to win the Diva’s Championship. While it wouldn’t become the Women’s Title till WrestleMania the next year, this was Charlotte’s first reign and was the symbolic end of the Divas. Since then, Charlotte has gone on to become a four-time Raw Women’s Champion and it’s safe to say that on the whole, women’s wrestling in WWE is much better off, but how much better off is it?
For while we have ditched a lot of what made the Diva brand so toxic for women in WWE, recent weeks have made it clear that there is still a long way to go. At No Mercy, the Raw Women’s Title will be defended in a five-way match and in that we see a lot of the problems. WWE doesn’t seem to have figured out that it is possible to have more than one feud in the women’s division, and since WrestleMania 32 they have had twelve Network Special which only featured one women’s match on the main card. They’ve had two ten times and have only gone above that number once.
This is despite women making up 51% of the population and WWE now having more than enough talented wrestlers on their roster to make up an entire show with them. Asuka’s introduction to Raw only strengthens what is already a very talented group and yet you can bet she’ll be slotted in alongside all the others. SmackDown isn’t much better, as despite the many talented women at their disposal they continue to go out of their way to have them all involved in the same programme.
Now, to give WWE some credit, they have come a long way. The Mae Young Classic can be viewed as a genuine triumph. Three years ago the idea of such a tournament happening would have been laughed out of the room. The fact that they are now willing to take talented women from around the world and spotlight them (even if they don’t have a contract) is a big deal. Even on the main roster, it’s hard to deny the changes they’ve made. The days of three-minute women’s title matches seem to be in the past.
Yet, it’s hard to not get frustrated at the backslapping that goes on in that company. It’s hard not to get furious when Stephanie McMahon smugly congratulates them – and herself – for the difference they made. Particularly when Steph has been working in creative since the early 2000s. It’s got to the point where women can compete in WWE without being embarrassed and ridiculed. However, we are a far away from the point where they are anywhere near equal to getting the same chances as the men, and until that day, the Women’s Revolution is far from being over.