3 ways WWE made the women's revolution a smoldering pile of rubble in 2018 (and what to do about it)
2018 is half over. It's been a down year for the company's main roster, to say the least, particularly so when it comes to the women's division.
One of WWE's sacred mantras is that the traditional 3-minute bathroom break Divas segments are over. Under their "women's revolution" banner, the company says it's committed to showcasing their women on par with their male Superstars. Unfortunately, this has proven to be more hype than reality.
Up to the mid-2010's, women's wrestling in WWE was notoriously bad, with its division being comprised mostly of eye candy with few ring skills competing in meaningless, catty, and short matches. The division's ultimate vapidity was made visual in the widely-reviled Divas butterfly belt.
The success of the NXT women's division from 2013 heralded the start of a change, and, from Stephanie McMahon's public proclamation in August 2015 until WrestleMania 33, there were reasons for optimism, despite some hiccups. Afterward, things took a dramatic turn for the worse.
And now with 2018 half over, the process of destruction is complete. The women's division on the main roster is a rubble pile.
All of the negatives of the old Divas division have been fully restored, except we now have to suffer through 20 minutes of the stuff instead of 3. Indeed, many fans sarcastically remark that the company should just bring the old butterfly belt back and make it official.
It's doubly unfortunate because the year started off with so much promise. How did we get here?
#1 Squandering a promising start
After a disappointing 2017, things in the women's division looked on the up as 2018 dawned. The first-ever women's Royal Rumble was coming, and the rumor mill suggested that Ronda Rousey's arrival was imminent. Though, like many fans, I was skeptical about Rousey, her presence generated a lot of buzz surrounding the division.
The women's Royal Rumble match was a triumph, and Ronda Rousey would go on to prove herself. However, ominous signs were already present. Instead of using Asuka's historic Royal Rumble victory to build up a true dream match with Charlotte Flair, she was used mostly to put over Nia Jax in February and March.
Meanwhile, Ronda Rousey's buzz was cooling off by putting her in numerous awkward promo segments. Talking obviously isn't the ex-UFC champion's strong suit, and the segments reflected an unwillingness by WWE to change its formula, even with a name as big as Rousey.
The match between Asuka and Charlotte, and Rousey's WrestleMania debut, were both triumphs nonetheless, but that was mostly due to the talents that all three possess. It's been all downhill ever since.