In just a handful of years, women's wrestling in WWE has undergone a rapid change. WWE has replaced lingerie matches with Hell in a Cell and Ladder Matches. Instead of models, women Superstars have become main eventers.
Conventional wisdom says the Women's Revolution strongly correlates with WWE debuting the NXT class of Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte. But for Nikki Bella, this movement in the name of women's wrestling started long ago.
“Absolutely not, I don’t think it does at all. I think [Total Divas] helped start the women’s revolution. Total Divas [led to] more women started coming to our show, like, ‘I gotta check this out.’ I remember when Brie was fighting Stephanie McMahon, so many women showed up because they were like, ‘I can’t believe she’s fighting her boss, Oh My Gosh!’ It was crazy for them to even imagine, like, ‘She’s Gonna hit her? Like, This is nuts!’ and so I think Total Divas has done so much for women’s wrestling. It was the first time that we got an hour of TV to ourselves, to really showcase what women do."
Without question Total Divas has introduced women's wrestling to many new fans. The same fans who meet Nikki and the Total Divas crew on E! may be intrigued to watch them on RAW and SmackDown:
"It happened so quickly and so fast. I want to say that when seasons one and two came out, both of which we were lucky in that they had 16 episodes each, after that season two….Bam! Everyone wanted to know Natalya, Brie Bella, Naomi, Ariane. Everyone was like, ‘Who are these girls?’ and when we go to events, there would be women wrestlers who weren’t on the show and were getting more TV time than us and [the fans] wouldn’t care about them. They would be, ‘I want to see those Total Divas girls. Can you bring them back?'”
Total Divas has proven to be a launching point for careers. Despite all of the show's success, it may have developed a stigma for being a 'reality show.' Bella thinks this is bogus as she argues she and the Total Divas cast are working around the clock to enhance not only their personal brands but WWE's.
“What is unfortunate is that when Total Divas was succeeding and we became a hit reality show, they let people with a mic in the ring just bash it and us Total Divas never got a response. So, with the fans, it began to give Total Divas a bad name, ‘Oh, they are just reality stars.’ Actually, while the girls who aren’t on the reality show are just wrestling, us girls on the reality show are wrestling, are filming, are never sleeping, going to appearances, making sure that the world knows how amazing women wrestlers are. So, I don’t feel Total Divas gets enough credit because the words ‘reality show’ has ruined it for people. I think certain people also, characters for the company, have ruined it as well out of pure jealousy. I’ll admit that.”
We're not sure who she may be alluding to, but it's certainly clear that Bella feels Total Divas has been slighted within the company. While the reality show may not be for everyone, it's an essential part of WWE. For one, it gives WWE Superstars the chance to be on camera more, which cannot be bad for their wrestling careers. Even further, it allows WWE to penetrate the highly coveted land of pop culture. Without question Total Divas was one of the earlier pillars of the Women's Revolution.