Happy Mae Young Classic Day, everyone! The first four episodes of the much-anticipated women’s tournament officially debuted Monday on the WWE Network. Along with the excitement, however, comes a very real and serious amount of trepidation.
Decades of reductive female content left fans reticent to trust that WWE truly believes in their self-congratulatory “Women’s Revolution” talking point. You don’t even have to go back that far to find the fuel for fans’ niggling concerns about WWE’s hamfisted treatment of female characters and “history-making” matches.
After the incredible successes of Network affairs like the Cruiserweight Classic and U.K. Championship Tournament, not only are the MYC competitors expected to strand on their own, but also live up to the groundwork laid by the Brits and the lightweights. But should they be?
One thing WWE consistently fails to realize is that their female Superstars do not have to live up to the expectations of men. There are those who are want to jump into the comments crying “oh, what, so you just want to ignore an entire demographic? Doesn’t sound very equal to me!” First let me say this: haha, it sucks, doesn’t it? Secondly, and unequivocally, yes I do. Women need to be able to fail on their own merits, not be criticized and picked apart when they were set up to fail by the very people profiting from their labour. Setting them up for success seems to be the biggest stumbling block in this whole ‘revolution.’
Now, the Mae Young Classic presents an opportunity for a whole new group of athletes to do just that. Will WWE give them the chance to shine, or hamper them with the same restrictions as they have with female performers in the past? Or, sadly, the Bayley’s of right now?