Women who defined wrestling: Post 2015
It is the best time to be a female pro wrestler right now, because of the number of opportunities these performers are getting. In 2015, WWE management finally decided to come out of their 'Divas' mindset, and for once chose to treat their female performers like wrestlers.
#GiveDivasAChance became so popular on social media that year, and it started the movement in wrestling. We all know how these wrestlers grabbed that opportunity with both hands.
To quote Stephanie McMahon,
"These women have not been given opportunities, they have earned them."
We are trying to recognise women who paved the way for women's wrestling in the different time periods. We have done articles about the 20th century and the period between 2000-2015, and now it is time to take a look at women who have continued to take the torch forward post 2015, and made being a woman wrestler a privilege.
Before we have a look at the 5 superstars who have been the flag bearers of women's wrestling in the last few years, we look at some superstars who didn't make the cut, but deserve a mention nonetheless.
Ronda Rousey has changed the whole meaning of rookie year by the amount of authority she has established in less than a year, and don't be surprised to see her main event WrestleMania 35.
Superstars such as Naomi, Ember Moon, Ruby Riott, Sonya Deville and Natalya do not get equal credit due to the lack of star power, but if the Four Horsewomen are the heart of the women's division right now, then these women are the arteries that supply blood to the whole company.
Alexa Bliss and Paige have defined how bad and mean a heel character can be. Even though Paige's career was cut short due to injury, she will always be the woman who made the term 'women's revolution' popular among WWE fans.
Lastly, there are wrestlers such as Kairi Sane, Shayna Baszler, Dakota Kai, and Nikki Cross who kept the fire alive in the developmental brand NXT after the promotion of other wrestlers to the main roster.
Bayley was the most over babyface during her NXT days, and some even regarded her as the lady John Cena. Her character comes naturally to her. Being part of the Four Horsewomen of WWE, Bayley played an integral part in getting women's wrestling where it is today.
Her 30-minutes Iron Woman match with Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Respect is still talked about, and will definitely go in history as one of the best-choreographed matches of all time.
Her underdog gimmick connected with the audience, and it helped her initially during her main-roster run when she was in a feud with Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women's Championship.
She is a complete wrestler who is as good with the mic as she is in the ring. In pro-wrestling, in-ring skills make you a star, but your gimmick can make you a superstar; Bayley is an ideal representative of that.
Even though she does not have any concrete plan moving forward due to poor booking, she is capable of bouncing back strongly whenever WWE needs her in the championship picture.