We are now over six years into WWE’s women’s revolution, which has seen the women’s division in WWE rise in importance on Raw and SmackDown.
The women were given more time to perform and tell stories, which ultimately led to the first women’s WrestleMania main event at WrestleMania 35 in 2019, and the second just two years later.
Many fans don’t look back on the Divas era with much fondness, though there are some women who do look back fondly on those times.
Former WWE Divas Champion Melina recently spoke to WrestlePurists, where she spoke about wrestling during that era, and how the infamous gimmick matches of the time were used as ‘punishments’ for the women.
“We’re blessed to have this contract, this opportunity, and it’s not to say that hey, let me bash the company, whatnot. There’s so many structures, like the top person has to delegate to this person and then these people. It’s like, it can’t be controlled unless it’s delegated. So I can’t blame the whole entire company, whatever, but this is the thing. There are things within the roster where things should change, but it hasn’t. It’s still kind of trickling from the years and the decades and the eras prior. Certain attitudes or maybe viewpoints, it’s still there. So whatever toxicity, it’s slowly getting flushed out, but not fast enough. So when it comes to a coalition or anything where it’s like, hey, girls, let’s get together, we’re lucky we have a job, but we don’t want to lose our job, and we’ve seen people come and go. It’s like, how do we go about where we keep our job but kinda like push this in [and not get heat]. We’d kind of come together, and then it’s like okay, pick your spots, and we’d get punished. Our punishment was, ‘Hey, here’s a lingerie match right after you did something extraordinary,’ or here’s like, I don’t know, a swimsuit match. They would do stuff like that to kind of see what we’d do. It’s like okay, what are they gonna throw at us at this point? I turned it into, in my kind, I turned it into like a game. Like okay, let’s see what they’re gonna have us do now. [Laughs]. Okay, they wanna see our reaction to this.”
Melina spent 6 years on WWE’s main roster from 2005 until 2011, where she was introduced as the valet for Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro, before going on to become a WWE Women’s and Diva’s Champion in her own right.
Following her WWE departure, Melina has appeared in IMPACT and the NWA.
Melina made an appearance in the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble match, where she entered at number 2 and started the match alongside Sasha Banks.
transcription via Fightful
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