From ‘Divas’ To ‘Superstars’: WWE Embraces Women’s Sports Revolution

April 5, 2016 - WWE

WWE women's champion Charlotte celebrates her feat during WWE WrestleMania 32 on Sunday.i

WWE women’s champion Charlotte celebrates her feat during WWE WrestleMania 32 on Sunday.

Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE

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Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE

WWE women's champion Charlotte celebrates her feat during WWE WrestleMania 32 on Sunday.

WWE women’s champion Charlotte celebrates her feat during WWE WrestleMania 32 on Sunday.

Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE

In Jul 2015, World Wrestling Entertainment executive Stephanie McMahon called for better, some-more critical roles for women in veteran wrestling.

Invoking a success of a U.S. women’s soccer team, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm and Miesha Tate in a UFC and tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams as explanation of a flourishing poke of women’s sports, McMahon called for changing a “Divas” (women’s) multiplication of pro wrestling. She said, “there is a series in women sports function right now. … we wish this series here in WWE.”

The video next picks adult right after McMahon announced her envisioned revolution. In it, she introduces new womanlike characters — that means some-more camera time for a women and some-more courtesy for their storylines.

Nearly 8 months later, during Sunday night’s WrestleMania, WWE took another step in a series by announcing a new championship — well, a new name anyhow. With most fanfare, WWE denounced a rebranded “divas” championship as a women’s championship.

“The tenure ‘divas’ fit their womanlike characters behind in a day when a product was not as child-friendly, with women competing in matches such as bra and panties matches,” Jack White, a London-based TV reviewer and contributor for a website Diva Dirt, told NPR in an email. He pronounced WWE’s changes are “absolutely huge.”

In an essay for a Players Tribune, a website that gives sports insiders a height to tell their stories in their possess words, McMahon explained a significance of a changes:

“Our womanlike performers are world-class athletes, actors, open speakers and philanthropists. They’re purpose models, moving and lenient women and girls to be assured and strong. They dedicate themselves to WWE, grasp good success and acquire a same honour as their masculine counterparts.

“Therefore, from this indicate forward, all of a performers – masculine and womanlike – will be famous as ‘Superstars.’ “

This change is a latest step in a social-media transformation combined by pro wrestling fans called #GiveDivasAChance, that demanded dynamic, some-more grown roles for womanlike performers in a dramas of pro wrestling. The transformation has been gaining movement — in Feb #GiveDivasAChance trended on Twitter for 3 days — and a WWE has been profitable attention. Female performers are no longer only decorations for a men’s matches.

“Now a WWE magnitude their womanlike athletes on their ability in a ring, rather than their looks,” White said. “The girls are now given a possibility to infer that their matches aren’t blink-and-you’ll-miss-it lavatory breaks, they are unmissable events.”

The A.V. Club described Sunday night’s WrestleMania women’s championship compare as “urgent, exciting, and relevant,” job it “the form of compare that has a intensity to singlehandedly change a march of women’s wrestling.”

While a WWE women are still hardly clad (so are a men) a programming is no longer geared as heavily toward a masculine gaze. The thought is to put reduction concentration on a women’s bodies and some-more concentration on their abilities, impression storylines and charisma.

CBS said a women’s championship might have been “the compare of a night” and that a wrestlers “put together a extensive opening with overwhelming nearby falls, good spots outward a ring and some engaging acquiescence combinations.”

But as Vocativ wrote progressing this year, WWE is still struggling to determine a story of portraying lady in essentially passionate contexts, as evidenced by a new coming from one of WWE’s biggest stars, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The essay read:

“Part of Johnson’s coming concerned an extended bit with Lana, another of a company’s immature womanlike talents, that consisted of a wayward digression about an apparent passionate confront a dual had final year. Even when Rusev, Lana’s fiancee both in storyline and reality, arrived on a stage The Rock continued to gleefully remember their X-rated antics, notwithstanding her apparent discomfort.”

WWE’s decisions to supplement some-more womanlike performers to a register and strike “diva” from a vernacular helps put masculine and womanlike WWE performers on some-more equal footing, though it’s also good for business.

In an talk final week with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, McMahon said, “Our fans wish to see a womanlike athletes positioned a same as a men.”

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