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How Triple H and Stephanie McMahon helped change women's wrestling forever in the WWE

Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
Rachel Miller
ANALYST

The WWE women's division has become one of the hottest things going on right now, whether it's former UFC Champion, Ronda Rousey, making waves or Becky Lynch mesmerising the WWE Universe with her "The Man" moniker, the ladies of the WWE have reached new heights. And all of this wouldn't be possible without Triple H and Stephanie McMahon.

Prior to 2012, most of the WWE's female roster (who were also known as "Divas" at the time) were primarily former fitness and swimsuit models, with virtually no passion for wrestling whatsoever, though there were a few talents such as AJ Lee and Beth Phoenix who had prior wrestling experience, and were hired by then WWE's Head of Talent, John Laurinaitis, as the ladies' main purpose was being eye candy for the predominantly male audience.

In addition, the girls also took part in degrading matches such as pillow fights and costume battle royals.

By the summer of 2012, Triple H was transitioning from a wrestler to a behind-the-scenes executive. It became clear that Laurinaitis was getting plenty of criticism regarding his recruiting practices, which also included hiring bodybuilders and ex-football players in addition to the fore-mentioned models.

As a result, Triple H replaced Laurinaitis as WWE's Head of Talent, and was determined to make some changes, as it became evident that the division most in need of improvement was the women's division.

Under Triple H's influence, the WWE has stopped scouting for female talents by attending swim-suit catalog photo-shoots and fashion shows, but instead have attended independent wrestling shows such as SHIMMER, WSU, Shine, etc.

It was at these independent shows Triple H recruited the likes of Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Asuka, the Ilconics, Ruby Riott, and other talents - while the likes of Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Layla, and others have either retired or have been released.

In addition, Triple H also hired SHIMMER alum Sara Del Rey as a trainer for the women. Even though Del Rey's predecessor, Fit Finlay, did a very decent job training the women, Triple H felt the women needed a female coach who could take them to the next level.

When the women of NXT were starting to deliver top matches the main roster was lacking (as evidenced by the 30-second tag team match featuring Paige and Emma versus the Bella Twins during a February 2015 episode of RAW), the WWE Universe finally had enough, as they created the Twitter hashtag #GiveDivasAChance.

In July of that year, three NXT talents (Banks, Lynch, and Charlotte Flair) made their main roster debuts. These three women (alongside Bayley) represent the Four Horsewomen who proved that they could deliver exciting matches, rather than be eye candy.

During the same period, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were gaining more power in the WWE. They felt that the women were being underutilised, while Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn apparently saw the women as sideshows.

As a result, numerous changes were implemented in the WWE Women's Division - dropping the derogatory term "Diva", discontinuing matches such as pillow fights, substance matches, Santa's Little Helpers matches, and no more sexy photo shoots.

We have now seen first-ever stipulations such as the Royal Rumble match, the Elimination Chamber match, steel cage matches, Hell in a Cell matches, and TLC matches. All of these wouldn't be possible without the first couple of the WWE.


Edited by Anthony Akatugba Jr.
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