When you are in WWE, you dream of that moment (in the future) when you get to reflect on your career and the things that you did and you get that wonderful individual honor. It seemed so far off in the distance for me (when I was wrestling). I didn’t know when — or if — I’d ever experience that feeling. I certainly didn’t think I’d have that opportunity this early in my life. It’s amazing and very, very humbling. — via FTW
Before the self-proclaimed “Women’s Revolution,” Phoenix saw multiple accolades during her tenure as a WWE “Diva,” including winning the WWE Women’s Championship three times, and the Divas Championship once. During what she describes in the interview as “leaner times” for women in WWE, she had the opportunity to become the second female performer to enter the Royal Rumble (Chyna of course being the first). Though the match between Charlotte and Sasha was, for some reason, heralded as the “first” women’s tables match, Beth Phoenix and current WWE Superstar Natalya actually hold that honour thanks to their tag match against Michelle McCool and Layla at TLC in 2010 in one of WWE’s first ham-fisted attempts to emphasize “wrestling ability” over aesthetic appeal.
Though it’s taken years for WWE to get there, and the struggle for true gender equality in execution is still a struggle, Phoenix no doubt helped pave the way for greater acceptance of female Supertstars to be looked at as comparable athletes. As Phoenix went on to say about women who tried to keep that narrative going in WWE despite the company’s best efforts, “if I was one of those women then I feel like I did my job.”