Back in the turn of the 2000s, in the so-called “Attitude” era, the female presence in WWE consisted mostly of bikini competitions, fights in the slime of your choice, and other uplifting things like that.
Posted at 8:18 p.m
Twenty years later, the famed wrestling organization has finally caught up with the company, presenting a women’s product that focuses on real, real, between wires, and is based on the skills and athleticism of female fighters.
Saturday’s show is named Elimination Chamber in honor of the cage that will serve for two fights. However, this particular cage is also used for a female fight.
Natalya will take part in it. This Canadian, daughter of the late Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, will be one of six wrestlers represented in the women’s section of the event.
“I’ve done a few cage fights, but only once in the elimination chamber,” she explains to La Presse. I won’t lie, it’s one of the riskiest fights I’ve ever done. After my fight in 2020, I had bruises on my elbow for two weeks because Shayna Baszler slammed a door on my arm. I thought I broke it. It was terrifying! »
women on the rise
In recent years, women have taken an increasingly important place in WWE. In 2019, a tag team belt was added to the women’s division. Since 2018, we’ve featured two Royal Rumbles, those famous matches that pit 30 wrestlers against each other via elimination: one for men, one for women.
And at Friday’s media event, WWE sent six wrestlers to the scene: three male, three female.
However, the shows are not yet fully gender specific. On Saturday there are three men’s matches, one women’s match and one mixed match. During the last WrestleMania in April 2022, 3 of the 16 fights were female.
“We’re getting par, with a female rumble, a female elimination chamber,” lists Pat Laprade, host of La Lutte WWE Raw on TVA Sports.
The analyst recalls that it was Ronda Rousey’s achievements in mixed martial arts that sparked this shift in mentality in WWE.
“She showed that a woman can reach the finals of a martial arts event and attract a crowd,” said Laprade. It wasn’t Vince McMahon who pushed for it, it was Triple H and Stephanie McMahon [le gendre et la fille de Vince McMahon] had an argument: It will work if we get it right and if we show people that our wrestlers can do more than a five-on-five two-minute fight. »
This shift in mentality coincided with the emergence of Charlotte Flair (daughter of the legendary Ric Flair), Bayley, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch headlining women’s fights. Rousey then moved to WWE.
Natalya joined WWE in 2008, so she can fully measure the progress made.
“I’ve been here for 15 years and it’s changed so much,” she says happily. In my first seven years, from 2008 to 2015, women were not valued. We didn’t feel special. It’s good to see how far we’ve come and it’s good to see that there are now people watching wrestling specifically for women’s fights. That’s not to say guys aren’t great, but women have never had exposure like this before. »