We can still assume that an alarming number of WWE fans still don't like women's wrestling. And that's OK. It doesn't make them sexist, it's just their preference. For me, I don't like softball. Of any kind. The only way softball could change my mind, is if it were baseball. But it's not.
However, the difference between women's wrestling and men's wrestling is objectively slim. Outside of the sheer size of the competitors, they are nearly identical. With such a similar formula, why then, are fans reluctant to jump on the Women's Revolution? Is it because the athletes wear functional wrestling apparel rather than just nipple stickies and thongs? I'd like to think that affinity for women's wrestling isn't tied exclusively to sexuality, but some people just want to see bra and panties matches. We can't all be woke, I suppose.
Even though people roll their eyes at the mentioning of WWE's Women's Revolution that doesn't mean it's been an ineffective agenda. In fact, this commitment to women's wrestling has been tremendous. Regardless of the naysayers, WWE has dramatically shifted its level of energy to the women's side of the sport. Sure, they haven't headlined a PPV, but not long ago that idea was laughable. Today, it's a real possibility.
The Revolution started with bringing in a new cast. Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bayley and Alexa Bliss represent a new generation of female workers. Gone are the days of sloppy, floppy matches. These girls are unquestionably the most talented wrestlers the women's division has ever seen. This class of women has been steadily folded into WWE's programming getting opportunities that their ancestors could only dream of. And for the most part, they have delivered. I mean, could Torri Wilson do a picturesque moon sault outside of the ring?
We now know all of the characters, perhaps too well as some of the WWE Universe (or at least Twitter) shows signs of boredom. That's fine because as mentioned, it's time for Phase 2. Phase 2 is how WWE will wrangle in those skeptic fans who still think girl wrestling is dumb. To warm those cold, apathetic hearts WWE will use its most trusted tactic: Violence.
Back in October 2016, WWE stuck Charlotte and Sasha Banks in a Hell in a Cell. It was a valiant effort but came up a tad short. In a match with such strict association to brutality, the fact that WWE gave them that opportunity was the real victory. The most important thing? The match was successful enough for WWE to follow up with similar concepts. Without it, we wouldn't be getting Alexa Bliss hammering Bayley with a kendo stick nor a SmackDown Women's Money in the Bank Match. Now, we have a trend.
People want to be entertained. For some, two women chain wrestling is their personal version of Star Wars. But for others, it's the perfect opportunity to use the bathroom. So when Alexa starts splintering a kendo stick over Bayley's back, that pee break will have to wait. When the SmackDown girls start taking mega bumps off that ladder, that pending urination is going to involuntarily happen on the couch.
This kind of violence represents novelty, something WWE is damn near fresh out of. It doesn't need to be gratuitous, just on the proverbial table, no pun intended. If WWE can condition its fans to anticipate brutality in the women's division we'll all have that much more of an incentive to watch. Heels will get an unforeseen amount of heat. Faces will earn potent amounts of sympathy. This is how we get to Phase 3 of the Women's Revolution.
Phase 3 is women headlining PPV's multiple times a year - it's the women's division becoming a highly profitable entity of WWE. Do not be mistaken, all of this is about money, not sex, to WWE. After violence is fully integrated into the women's division, they will officially lack a single, final element that unlocks Phase 3: A Feud of Legendary Proportions.
A defining singles feud is what the women need to headline WrestleMania. For two competitors to reach that level of WWE's hierarchy, they are going to need some potent storytelling. The best way to make that connection is with unprecedented violence. All it took for Roman Reigns and Triple H to headline WrestleMania 32 was an exchange of gratuitous ass whippings. Getting beaten to a pulp on live television breeds the quest for revenge, WWE's most timeless story. This is how we get Charlotte vs. Sasha to close WrestleMania 35.
We are officially on the path. I think WWE is aware of this transition and will hopefully encourage these women to let it rip in the coming weeks. Undoubtedly more people will watch the women's matches at Extreme Rules and MiTB. I mean, I would totally watch more softball if people were getting hit by chairs. Let's just hope they all stay safe.