For the longest time women’s wrestling in the WWE was an afterthought. It wasn’t important. Any matches the featured the women (Divas as they were called back then) were short and rather meaningless. In fact, women’s matches were often referred to as the “bathroom break” matches. From the year 2004 to as recently as 2014 the Divas division was lacklustre to say the least. This lull in the quality of the women’s program was brought about in part by the WWE’s lack of interest and quality writing and by their tendency to hire women based more on appearance rather than actual in-ring work. This mindset of the WWE also led to the creation of one of the worst title belts the company has seen in a long time. The much maligned Divas Title.
Seriously, look at that thing. That somehow made it past quality control. A group of people in management thought this thing was a good idea. This belt alone shows the condition women’s wrestling was in for the longest time.
Now recently the WWE have been putting in a lot of time and effort lately to rebuild the women’s division. With the additions of women like Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Bayley the women’s division is in great hands going forward. Not to mention they finally abolished that god awful belt. Never to be seen again. However, despite the great strides forward that have been taken with the women they still seem to be slightly behind the men. Make no mistake; the women have been putting on barnstormer matches with increasing regularity, see Sasha Banks vs Bayley in the 30 minute iron-women match as an example. But if the women are going to put on an equal footing with the men they need to given the same opportunities to put on various types of matches.
Typically if the male competitors are involved in a heated feud they will be given a special type of match to end the feud, or at least elevate the feud further. One of these particular matches in the Hell in a Cell match. This match takes place in a giant steel cage and is frequently viewed as the most barbaric match the WWE has. Anything goes in the Cell which is part of the appeal of the match as a blow off to a feud. While the craziness of the match has been diluted as time goes on it is still an interesting match for two competitors to have. In what is known as the “PG Era” of wrestling the amount of violence in the cell has greatly diminished. Some people view this as the Hell in a Cell match losing its significance or its mystique. Long considered one of the most dangerous matches created it served as a great way to end a feud with a high profile match.
The fact that the match quality has decreased of the Cell no longer holds the same amount of drama shouldn’t matter. The fact that two women are being given the opportunity to participate in a match like this is what’s important. If the WWE are going to make this feud between Sasha Banks and Charlotte feel even more important they have to give them an appropriate stage. One way to do that is to put them in a match such as this. To put them in an environment that, until this point, had only been occupied by men. By giving the women equal billing to the men with a match like this can only be a good thing. These are two of the most talented wrestlers on the planet; as such they deserve the chance to show the audience that they can put on a great match in this scenario. We are long past the point of wondering if women can put on a good match in general, they’ve shown us that much. But now they have the chance to show us that not only are they the equal of the male competitors, they can surpass them. I really feel like Sasha Banks and Charlotte are going to tear the house down with this one.
Now I’ll admit that I have some reservations about this match. While Sasha and Charlotte are amazing in ring workers, they have been known to get a little ambitious. While a great thing most of the time it has led to a few frightening moments. Namely that spot at Summerslam where Sasha was dropped squarely on her neck, look it up if you can, it was horrifying. While an environment like the Cell breeds crazy spots in the match I want the two, first and foremost, to be safe. Please God, don’t let either of them jump off the top of the cage. I don’t want to see anyone do that again.
Having said all that, I am beyond stoked to see what these two do in the Cell match. They are both supremely talented and can’t wait for them to absolutely steal the show.
Check out Episode One of the Title Hunt Podcast.