Knocking Out Divas: Why Women’s Wrestling is a Sideshow

Brian Damage

(Image courtesy of

(Image courtesy of

If you haven’t seen the documentary “Lipstick and Dynamite” I suggest you do so. It is about the past history of women’s wrestling featuring such past legends as The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young and Penny Banner. It is a great look into what women wrestling was and no longer is…

An era of wrestling where women had to fight, scratch and claw to be respected by fans, promoters and their male counterparts. Women who made pro wrestling their life and in the process at times sacrificed love, family or children. They were married to the ring. Now fast forward to today and it is completely different genre. For starters, the women are more athletic and attractive. Most look like the came right off the pages of a magazine and into a wrestling ring and in many cases they have. While the women of today may have more beauty, style and athleticism, they also lack something much more important…sustainability.

E! network and the WWE just launched a reality show called “Total Divas” which gives fans a behind the scenes look at various female wrestlers or Divas striving to be noticed or remain on top. I have to admit, the 1st episode was quite intriguing to see just how competitive it can be. At the same time, it also showed these ain’t the same women who paved the way like Moolah and Mae Young. The show made me realize in a way, that women’s wrestling will never be in the same class as the males…never. Not because many of these women can’t wrestle, they just have an expiration date on them. Current Funkadactyl Naomi said it best when she and her partner Cameron were bumped from their Wrestlemania 29 match…she said something along the lines of….I have only about 4 more years of this before I want to settle down get married and have kids. She has only been with the WWE main roster for 1 year, and 3 years prior in developmental. That’s 4 years in the WWE total and she gives herself another 4 before possibly retiring. In contrast, a male wrestler 8 years in is still a relative newbie who’s just getting started.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not begrudging any Diva or Knock Out who wants to call it a career after a few years to start a family. I get it with maternal instincts and dreaming of a big lavish wedding, etc. On the flip side, I get why many promoters don’t invest as much into those divisions. There might be a certain level of hesitation to invest on females who may or may not be with the company after a couple of years or at least until their contract runs out. It’s a Catch 22, do you train, hype and promote a female grappler who may just want to wrestle a couple of years and start a family…or pursue acting or more modeling etc or do you take the gamble and make as much with a female wrestler as possible?

It is proven that a talented woman can sell tickets and can be highlighted on a show. Trish Stratus and Amy Dumas proved it when they were the first women to main event an episode of Raw. TNA also proved it when Gail Kim and Taryn Terrell’s match at Slammiversary was the talk of that pay per view. It can be accomplished, but for the most part isn’t because they are treated as secondary or sideshow attractions. A Divas match is usually put in between two big main event matches as a way for the crowd to gather their voices for the next big match…sota like “Time for a bathroom break.” That to me is a bit sad, considering what many of these females can do in the ring….but I understand. Their shelf life just isn’t the same as a male wrestler. In a way, Kharma aka Awesome Kong ruined it for many of the females…

3 thoughts on “Knocking Out Divas: Why Women’s Wrestling is a Sideshow

  1. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling | Ring the Damn Bell

  2. Pingback: This Week in Wrestling | Ring the Damn Bell

  3. Pingback: The Future Pt. 1 | Ring the Damn Bell

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