I love that in the past few years women’s wrestling in the WWE has been something that has been brought to the forefront within the promotion. Not only do I believe that the women’s division of the WWE is consistently the best and most athletic division in the promotion, but it is nice to see that they are being treated (mostly)equally to their male counterparts. Having witnessed the first women’s “Hell in a Cell” match, “Royal Rumble” match, “Money in the Bank” match, and “Elimination Chamber” match, and watching them headline WWE Raw a couple of times over the past couple of years, it is good to see that the women in the WWE are finally taking their place in the company and not being held back by old conventions that women cannot wrestle and entertain the audience like the men.
But, on a personal note, just as important as the women of the WWE getting their equal share of time and respect from the promotion and the fans, is the fact that since they have been featured more prominently in the promotion, and in a positive manner no less (I.E. no more “Bra & Panties”, “Nightgown”, or “Mud/Gravy/Pool” matches), they have become more positive role models for young girls out there. Okay, for young boys as well as my sons’ favorite wrestler right now is Asuka – but there is no denying that for a lot of young girls who watch the WWE and/or are fans of the promotion now have someone of like them being featured in such a prominent and positive way. Not only have they shown that they can do everything that the men can do, but they can sometimes do it better than them. And it shows that they can be just as recognized and respected as the men.
In fact, in 2017, some of the women on the roster began pulling in some bigger paydays for their performances for the company. Now, they still need a bigger push to get some paydays that equal their male counterparts, but this is a good start. I mean, looking at the ten highest paid WWE female performers of 2017, you could argue that most of them are clearly underpaid compared to the amount of work that they do for the company. You could even argue that some women are getting paid a ridiculous amount for doing considerably little – but some women are getting the pay that they are because of how long they have been with the company. Still, looking at the list, you would expect some women like Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair to make more than they did… not to mention that women like Bayley, Becky Lynch, and Nia Jax are completely absent from the list.
(*Payday figures courtesy of Wrestling Hub.)
- Summer Rae – $150,000
- Alicia Fox – $180,000
- Sasha Banks – $180,000
- Tamina Snuka – $200,000
- Eva Marie – $200,000
- Rosa Mendes – $220,000
- Charlotte Flair – $230,000
- Paige – $250,000
- Natalya – $300,000
- Nikki Bella – $310,000
Paydays being what they are, it is still good to see that they women are getting more recognition, more respect, and more screen time to show that they can ply their craft in the middle of a WWE ring. It is good to see that the women are being recognized as the true athletes that they are and not just objects for the WWE Universe to ogle. That these women are more than capable of putting up a good fight and good show that sometimes overshadows what the men of the promotion have done on any given night. And I am glad that many young girls have someone on the promotion that they can look up to that are more than just bodies to adore. They are strong, independent, and capable women who won’t take things lying down (unless the storyline calls for it) and show themselves to be just as capable as the men of the show.
It is a great feeling watching WWE programming with my three kids and immediately see my daughter perk up when a women’s segment begins of the show and she watches intently and in awe as they wrestle in the middle of the ring. I see her eyes light up as the women of the WWE perform on TV and she takes it all in with a sense of pride and wonder. I have asked her numerous times if she would like to one day become a WWE female superstar but she continues to reply that she doesn’t want to be. But what she did say one day when I asked her this question showed me just how important it is to have the women of the WWE be shown in such a positive light. She answered, “No dad, I don’t want to be a wrestler. But if they can do what the boys do, then I can be whatever I want to be in real life too, right?”
Yes, mija; yes you can.