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THE RANT: The Women's Revolution... Enough Already?

Posted By James Walsh on 07/16/17

In 2016, a feminist revolution seemed to arise in all forms of entertainment. Some of it, a larte portion of it anyway, likely had to do with Hollywood trying to drum up support for the first female candidate of a major party running for President with Hillary Clinton. In fact, I'd wager a guess to say 90% of the "girl power" stuff had that in mind. So, the politically inclined voice in my head has rejected, to some extent, the "Women's Revolution" stuff for this reason. While my political opinions might shine through with that statement, I also wanted this post to be far more than that. So, here's my post.

First, I think it is great that women's wrestling is being taken more seriously now than it ever has before. Sure, there were the glory days of the 80's with some fantastic performers like Sherri Martel, Rockin' Robin, Wendi Richter, and even a long-in-the-tooth Fabulous Moolah. The early 90's saw the breakout of Madusa AKA Alundra Blayze, Luna Vachon, and a myriad of other women's wrestlers. But, the opportunities to perform were drying up as women's wrestling was put on the back burner.

The late 1990's is where women's wrestling became bastardized. From WWE's very risque use of women where there were more cracks were on display than on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd and even some full blown topless content was seen on WWE's programming. It is funny, women were really more objectified before as they were in this period and yet it inspired so many of the modern era who wish to not be objectified. There's a catch 22 here.

But, with the WWE's Mae Young Classic mostly in the books, stories are being released about WWE officials finding the girls chosen for the tournament not to be pretty enough for the WWE standard. Ironic, isn't it? We've come so far... Or, maybe, just maybe, we want to pretend we have and we've not moved at all.

For the record, women's wrestling is a hard sell for me. I will not tell anyone that a match was good if it wasn't. I will not tell anyone that a match was good just because it was high on the card or even the main event. For example, Charlotte versus Sasha Banks at Hell in the Cell was not a good match. Had 2 guys, male wrestlers, gone in the ring and not been able to bust a table in 4 opportunities, that match would be panned and likely mentioned for years to come as a piece of garbage match. But, because we're told it was magic, people call it magical. If that was magic, I don't believe in magic. Not in either young girls' hearts.

That said, i do appreciate a good match when there is one. Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim stole the show at Slammiversary 2013. Sienna and Rosemary, more recently, had a fantastic match at Slammiversary 2017. Mickie James and Trish Stratus had some fantastic matches including their WrestleMania encounter. And, AJ Lee and Kaitlyn had one of the best female feuds in decades. All of these are examples of fantastic women's wrestling matches. I'd even go as far as to say Asuka versus Mickie James in NXT was strong.

Ring of Honor has some fantastic female talent. Kelly Klein is the "Pretty Bad Ass" and lives up to that name. Her match against ODB was sensational at the last ROH Women of Honor TV episode in December.

I'm WAY off point.

Women in wrestling used to be objects of desire. From Elizabeth and Missy Hyatt in the 80's to the women of ECW such as Francine, Beulah, and Dawn Marie.... Their goal was to roll around and rumble with each other giving us a catfight. And, that was good enough for us.

I think there could be a place for both serious women's wrestling AND T&A. But, the expectation of the girls to be both things as serious wrestlers is unfair. And, those judging are usually not lookers themselves.

Bottom line? If women's wrestling IS your thing, this IS a good time to be a wrestling fan. But, to think that the old view of checking a girl out every time she bends over is a thing of the past is a naive thought. We are not that far removed from those times. In fact, we're still in them. That is where the culture war rages. We'll see how it all plays out.