April 6-7, 2024
In the world of professional wrestling, they don’t come any bigger than World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Where other promotions have fallen to the wayside, WWE has not only thrived but produced some of the biggest names sports entertainment has ever seen; names like John Cena, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker, Kane and so many more. More recently, however, the WWE has come into the spotlight for a whole new reason: its first-ever all-female pay-per-view, WWE Evolution.
A pay-per-view event consisting solely of female matches – the likes of which has never been seen – brings a whole new element to the empowerment of women. While the wrestling industry has, in some form or another, had an active women’s championship since the ’30s, with noted champions such as the Fabulous Moolah, Mildred Burke and Mae Young paving the way for future generations, it really wasn’t until the ’70s and ’80s that a real push towards female-rostered promotions began to emerge, such as Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, or G.L.O.W. (the basis for the Netflix series of the same name). Despite this long and storied history, women’s wrestling has – at least in the United States – historically suffered from a focus less on what female performers can do, and more on what they look like.
In wrestling, few female Superstars – or ‘Divas’, as they were called between 1999 and 2016 – were ever truly able to show their prowess in the ring. Regardless, it was also during the Attitude Era – through the influential work of now-revered Superstars such as Chyna (RIP), Trish Stratus, Lita and several others – that the foundations were laid for better things to come.
In 2016, the Divas division was rebranded to the Women’s division; its title belt, a pink butterfly filled with a swirly mess, was retired. A new Women’s Championship was debuted by Lita that year before splitting into two separate titles, one for each of WWE’s flagship shows, RAW and SmackDown. More broadly, the company started to take steps to bring the division into line with its male counterpart.
By putting more resources, trust and respect into its Women’s division, the WWE is ensuring the same calibre of performance that they expect from their male talent, and the results at Evolution are set to be outstanding. Some big names are set to return to the ring, including Alicia Fox, Torrie Wilson, Beth Phoenix, not to mention the tag teaming of long-time rivals, friends and Hall of Fame inductees Trish Stratus and Lita.
There is also a lot to be said for the new generation of female talent in the WWE that will be making a huge impact on this event, with Ronda Rousey defending her RAW Women’s Championship, Becky Lynch fighting her way to the top, Charlotte Flair standing on her own while also doing the Flair name proud, and Nikki Bella in all her glory. More importantly, we can’t get forget the Aussie contingent of talent, with Billie Kaye, Peyton Royce and Rhea Ripley also set to appear.
In more ways than one, WWE Evolution is set to be one for the history books. As an audience, we fully support empowering these women so that they get the pay and recognition that is on par with their male counterparts, which they so sorely deserve, and have done for decades. Here’s to the (r)evolution.
WWE Evolution is LIVE on MAIN EVENT & WWE Network Monday 29 October at 10am AEDT.
Supanova patrons will be able to take free snaps with some of your favourite WWE Superstars at Supanova Adelaide (3-4 November) and Brisbane (9-11 November) at the WWE Superstar Photo Zone! They’ll be life-sized (as standee cut-outs) and ready for some great photo ops to post on social! #WWExSupanova when you post.