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WWE's women's division has seen many highs and a few lows over the last two years. Women's wrestling ultimately reached its peak last year which continued until WrestleMania 35. Ever since then, its been a mixed bag with the Lacey Evans experiment not quite working out, women switching brands to challenge for titles and WWE not having a clear direction for the Women's Tag Team Titles.
Regardless, things are looking up for the entire division with more promising storylines, title opportunities and women returning from injuries. Paul Heyman's influence backstage since becoming Executive Director of Monday Night RAW and his genius mind is certainly proving to be effective for the division already. Promos are being delivered much better and are less scripted. It feels like there is a renewed passion and fire in the entire division. This can only mean good things are ahead for the women on the RAW brand.
Many big names like Ronda Rousey, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss were injured or absent from TV at various points in time. Becky Lynch, Bayley and Charlotte Flair have been the central figures in the title picture by either holding one of the women's titles or challenging for either title. Lacey Evans challenged Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Title in three straight PPVs following WrestleMania 35, however, it was too rushed and she was not seasoned enough to be put in that role so soon.
So where did things go wrong for WWE with the Women's Division?
It's apparent that things may have started going awry for WWE because of not having a strategy in place prior to Ronda Rousey's departure after WrestleMania 35. The women's division was already coming into its own before Rousey's arrival in WWE at the 2018 Royal Rumble, but it's clear that WWE wanted to build the division around her. Rousey's background in MMA and mainstream appeal assisted WWE in getting the women's division noticed.
This is where it possibly backfired for WWE. It seems that they placed all their eggs in one basket, making Rousey the standard-bearer of the division. Many of the women weren't used on TV, while others merely assisted in helping Ronda look strong until WrestleMania 35.
While helping Ronda get over was good for WWE for the mainstream appeal, it wasn't the best move for the women's division overall. Many people, unfortunately, got minimal exposure on TV and people started to lose interest in them. Since Rousey's departure, the women who weren't getting used on TV are now receiving that exposure and gaining credibility. This is certainly a win for the division.
The effect it has had on the division initially wasn't the best for the company, however, things are becoming more interesting again. The return and heel turn of Sasha Banks, as well as Bayley's heel turn, is already helping the division gain the attention and interest of fans. As long as WWE can continue putting out great storylines like this, they can certainly bring back the magic of the entire women's revolution.
How can WWE turn things around and make the women's division succeed again?
The best thing that WWE can do is continue to provide the women with more TV time, more storylines and allow them to continue having competitive matches. The company needs to utilize as many of the women as they can and help them get more exposure. WWE is good at building new stars, so this shouldn't be an issue for them. The company won't need Ronda Rousey there to make the women's division successful if they can rebuild the women they currently have. Ronda Rousey can just be a special attraction like Brock Lesnar.
WWE needs to build the division around multiple women. It doesn't necessarily need to be the NXT horsewomen either. There are a lot of talented stars like Asuka, Kairi Sane, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross and others, who are all capable of being top Superstars if given the opportunity. These four have tremendous fan support and are great workers in the ring. They just need to be provided more opportunities on the main roster like they were given in NXT.
If WWE can bring back a women-only PPV, it'd certainly help the division and force the women to stand up and deliver. If the company truly means business with the women's revolution, then holding a women-only PPV every year is certainly something that must happen.
It's great to see that things are picking up and becoming interesting again for women. If WWE plays their cards right, Sasha and Bayley could become the most over Superstars of the women's division. Sasha has always played the heel role better as compared to being a babyface. Bayley's gimmick was stale and certainly needed a change. It'll be great to see how WWE can make Bayley become a despised heel character.
The company needs to create a top babyface on SmackDown. It's hard to see people getting behind Charlotte Flair as a face, however, perhaps making underutilized talent like Kairi Sane, Asuka or Ember Moon into top Superstars will fill that void. Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, Mickie James and Nia Jax are all other options when they return. For now, we hope that WWE continues making positive strides with women's wrestling.