It has been seven years since the start of the “women’s revolution” in WWE, all starting from the simple hashtag #GiveDivasAChance. Fans all over the world took to social media to express their desire for a better women’s division in the sports entertainment giant and made their feelings known every week.
With so many people sharing their thoughts with the hashtag, it consistently trended on Twitter during both RAW and Smackdown. Eventually, the higher-ups in the company began to take notice, including Vince McMahon.
We hear you. Keep watching. #GiveDivasAChance
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) February 25, 2015
Stephanie McMahon commented on the situation to ESPN in 2016, discussing the moment they realized the impact of the fans’ opinions.
“Our fans spoke out. It was a global trend that was so loud and so powerful. It was a cry for our female performers to be given longer match time and to be given more meaningful STORYLINES, and to have deeper character development. Our fans said with their voices very loud and clear that we want more from our female performers.”
The days of the women being referred to as “divas” had grown tiresome. From the butterfly championship to the two-minute “bathroom break” matches, it was time to move in a new direction.
The changes needed on RAW and Smackdown became increasingly apparent when comparing the main shows to NXT. The women’s division was an integral part of the brand, and their matches captivated audiences every single week. With Triple H’s creative efforts and belief in the division, NXT was able to redefine what women’s wrestling was in the company and provided the women the opportunity to demonstrate their talents consistently in the ring.
They would flourish in their time with the developmental brand and were quickly brought to RAW in one of the biggest shake-ups in recent memory.
What led to the change from “divas” to “superstars?”
On the July 13th episode of RAW in 2015, Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch debuted to join former NXT Women’s Champion Paige in her quest to rectify the women’s division. Their call-up to RAW would become a defining moment for the company, earning its name as the start of the Women’s Revolution (or sometimes referred to as the Women’s Evolution).
The addition of three of the Four Horsewomen changed the landscape for women’s wrestling from then on. They broke barriers, put on phenomenal matches, and continued to make an impact with their performances each and every week.
All of that work came to fruition when Banks, Flair, and Lynch would main event WrestleMania 32. What was originally planned to be a match for the Divas Championship was changed before the match began. Lita would announce the retirement of the Divas title and the moniker, marking the end of the divas era. She would go on to reveal the new name and design for the WWE Women’s Championship, which would go to the winner of the match.
“We were evolving our female performers into superstars. No longer were they being branded separately from the men. Both men and women would now simply be branded as superstars.”
The match would become one of the best women’s matches in the history of the company and be the official launching point of the women’s superstar era.
Two years later, in October of 2018, WWE would hold its first ever all women’s PPV called Evolution. And in December of the same year, another sign of change would occur when the women’s tag team titles were finally introduced.
Over the next few years, women were featured on every weekly show and continued to have main event opportunities. Although it was a drastic change from what the division was before, there were still plenty of adjustments needed to make the division even better and thrive in the future.
Enter the Triple H era.
How does Triple H’s new title benefit the women’s division?
Judging from his time as the Head of Creative in NXT, it’s difficult to argue that Triple H’s presence on the main shows won’t make a dramatic difference. The women’s division has been significantly better over the last few years, despite Vince McMahon’s control. But Triple H kicked off the new women’s era in NXT and looks to be moving in that direction with his new position already.
Since becoming the new Head of Creative in late July, we’ve seen several positive changes in the division. Other than the women that have returned, Bayley from injury and Dakota Kai after her release, their matches and storylines have become more prominent within the weekly programming.
We aren’t seeing the back-and-fourth of the 24/7 title any longer or holding off on the more physical and lengthy matches for just pay-per-views. Random matchups aren’t being thrown together for the sake of having a women’s match on TV. And we’re seeing proper development of characters with meaningful storylines that have allowed the audience to become invested.
With likely more returns on the way, including Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Naomi, there’s a lot of potentially great moments ahead. As Triple H grows into his new role and has more time to cultivate the direction he hopes to bring the weekly shows, the women’s division is all but guaranteed to become a standout fixture in which it hasn’t been for quite some time.
It will be exciting to see over the course of the next several months and even years where the division will go. Triple H’s genuine care and investment in the women superstars will prove to be an amazing change and give the fans another aspect to look forward to every week.