Stephanie McMahon has discussed the rise of women’s wrestling in WWE, and the the role of fans in the ‘Women’s Evolution’.
Speaking at Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sports, McMahon recalled thanking Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair ahead of their historic WrestleMania 35 main-event.
Talking about the #GiveDivasAChance social media movement, McMahon said:
“I actually pulled Becky, Charlotte, and Ronda Rousey — before the show, I pulled them aside and just thanked them because when I was a little girl growing up, I never could have imagined seeing women as such an intrigal part of the show and indeed the main event. For my three little girls sitting in the front row that night, they were going to see women main eventing WrestleMania because that’s just the way it is. That was a really pivotal moment.
“This year at WrestleMania, we had the first African-American female event with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. Even though it was early in March, the crowd gave so much support. The energy is kinetic and you can fee it at WWE events. What happened in that moment as Sasha and Bianca were standing and opposing each other, the audience started to show this respect. The two of them broke character for a minute and teared up, sort of making the ugly cry face. It was such a moment.
“Our fans are part of the women’s evolution. If you listen to your audience, they can impact your brand in such positive ways. Give them the power, empower your audience. We had started to train, develop, and recruit female athletes the same as men, giving them opportunities and the same match times, but it wasn’t until our fans started the hashtag GiveDivasAChance in 2015 that gave rise to the whole women’s evolution in our business. Listen to your fans, give them what they want, and it’ll work.”
There has reportedly been ‘significant frustration’ expressed backstage within WWE over the booking of the women’s division.
Of all the first-round matches of the inaugural Queen’s Crown tournament, across SmackDown on October 8 and Raw on October 11, the longest bout only lasted three minutes.
Transcription via Fightful.