Last Monday night on Raw, WWE gave us a rare moment of real change, when Stephanie McMahon called up Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch all at once, bringing the NXT women’s revolution to the main roster. It was a significant moment for a lot of reasons, and the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer went into depth about how it came about.
Apparently there was a lot of debate about how exactly to bring up the NXT women. One of the original plans, was to bring the NXT division up en masse and have them destroy and replace most of the current Divas division. Eventually the decision was made to integrate the NXT women into the current system, but there was a lot of indecision about who to bring up. At times, the plan was to bring up four women (Charlotte, Becky, Sasha and Bayley) and at other times the plan was for only two (Charlotte and Becky). Ultimately they took the middle road and brought up three, leaving Bayley behind. Poor Bayley.
WWE is said to be looking closely at UFC’s success with Ronda Rousey as inspiration for the future of women’s wrestling in WWE. The Rousey formula is basically to portray her as unfettered badass in the octagon, and a sex symbol in outside stuff like magazines, movies and talk show appearances. You may start to see WWE slowly going in that direction, with women’s wrestling being treated more seriously on WWE’s main programming, and the sexiness and drama being reserved for Total Divas and other side projects.
So, the big question – will WWE actually stick to their guns with this new direction? Probably, at least for the short-to-medium term. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are reportedly very behind increasing the prominence of female performers in the company, so the NXT ladies will be given a real chance, but of course Vince still dangles his Sword of Damocles over any new WWE directive.
What are your thoughts on the future of the Divas division? Do you think it has a chance? Will they (hopefully) stop calling them Divas? How would you ensure the NXT women’s success?