The Great American Bash, 2005. On one end of the ring stood Torrie Wilson, a former model and ex-girlfriend of Kevin Nash who earned a WCW, and then a WWE contract based solely upon her looks. On the other, a tough enough contestant and former Miss Hawaiian Tropic whose main claim to fame was her split-legged slide into the ring. As a special referee, a former Playboy Playmate. The ultimate goal of the match was not a pinfall or submission, but to strip the opponent down to their underwear.
It was a bra and panties match, and at a pay per view at that. It was also a low point for the portrayal of women in the WWE, where wrestling talent took a clear backseat.
To be fair, the revolution in women's wrestling didn't truly begin in WWE, it began in rival TNA (now Impact Wrestling.) Their Knockouts division pushed wrestling ability over looks, and with ring general Gail Kim as the main star of the division, they proved women's wrestling could be a draw. Other stars, like the Beautiful People and Awesome Kong, helped blaze a trail that WWE would later follow, thanks to Triple H.
When Triple H was put in charge of NXT, the first thing he did caused many to scratch their heads. He started pushing women's wrestling as a serious attraction and not just a side show. Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, and Bayley all pioneered the division that would later be spearheaded by Asuka. NXT proved that women's wrestling could be just as physical, dramatic, and entertaining as the men.
Now WWE has held its first ever all female PPV, and the reviews have been generally positive. Evolution provides a prophetic glimpse into what is to come not only for the women in WWE, but the entire company itself.
Here are ten takeaways from Evolution.
#1.Old School is back in style.
It's hard for even long time wrestling fans to remember a time before a massive screen was a standard part of all but the smallest indie shows, but at one time such things were unheard of.
The Titantron's main purpose was to display events that were happening outside the ring, so the live audience could participate in real time. However, the presentation of the Evolution show was gloriously old school. The screen was much more discrete and smaller than the usual Titantron, and the focus was on in-ring action rather than backstage shenanigans.