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WWE’s ‘Diva Revolution’ comes full circle with first-ever women’s Royal Rumble

World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) women wrestlers have seen a number of historic firsts over the past two years, with the first-ever all-women’s Royal Rumble just the latest feather in the division’s collective hat.

other sports Updated: Jan 27, 2018 08:39 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
World Wrestling Entertainment,WWE,Royal Rumble
Stephanie McMahon announces the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble. It was just the latest first for the women’s division over the past two years. (WWE)

When the team of Paige and Emma faced The Bella Twins in a tag-team match on the February 23, 2015 edition of WWE Raw, they had no idea about the revolution that the encounter will start.

This was a time when the women wrestlers were known as ‘divas’ and there were rarely any proper storylines for them. As a result, when the match ended in just 30 seconds, it came as no surprise.

However, the online community were enraged by the constant under-utilisation of the women’s division and they started voicing their concerns on Twitter. Soon enough, the social media site was filled with fans urging the company to create better content for the women wrestlers and #GiveDivasAChance started trending.

The voices were loud enough to reach WWE chairman Vince McMahon who responded with the post: “We hear you, keep watching #GiveDivasAChance”.

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Since then, the women’s division has seen a lot of innovative matches and on Sunday, they will create history once more as they take part in the first-ever women’s Royal Rumble match.

The match will cap off a huge year for the female superstars who competed in a number of high-profile matches and the Mae Young Classic tournament gave them a platform to showcase their talent.

Stephanie McMahon, WWE Raw commissioner and someone who has been a part of the company for almost two decades, couldn’t control her emotions while talking about the announcement.

“My favourite WWE Raw moment was when I had the opportunity to announce the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match,” McMahon said in a conference call.

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“One of the reasons why is because I had the chance to acknowledge the women in the ring, the women on Monday Night Raw, the women on SmackDown LIVE, the women on NXT, and any woman to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring, regardless of what promotion they worked for, because they are all part of it. They are all responsible for making it happen,” she added.

The entire main roster will be a part of the Royal Rumble match with all the big names like Asuka, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks competing for the championship opportunity.

However, only 18 out of the 30 competitors have been finalised and the fans can expect big returns and debuts. As a result, it is one of the most anticipated matches of the event but Stephanie is already looking at the next goal.

“We’re just getting started. We haven’t made it until women headline Wrestlemania,” she said.

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On the flip side, the Royal Rumble match is also a huge challenge for the WWE – a company who have faltered a number of times on big occasions. From Santino Marella winning the Wrestlemania 25 women’s Battle Royale to James Ellsworth ruining the ending of the ‘Money in the Bank’, the promotion have not handled big occasions well.

As a result, a lot of fans will be apprehensive about the match and a controversial on Sunday can tarnish the recent legacy of the women’s division.

First Published: Jan 26, 2018 23:15 IST