How happy is WWE Universe, to have Women's Superstars division. Some of us needed that name-change for a different reasons - to celebrate the Revolution, to embrace some sort of equality, because they were annoyed by the Girlish- Prima donna- Candysweet term "Diva".
I have said it before: The name of the division is the last problem. That's why TNA are not in a hurry with changing their Knockouts' division name.
But let's face the present!
But before we do that AWOW and especially me, want to remind you of some names. To remind you that there was a time when all the men audience and the women wanted to see was a half-naked women, going around the ring.
Because it is easy to forget someone's contribution, especially when it looks tiny and non-comparable to today's women's wrestling presence.
I don't miss that days, but I don't feel sorrow that they were existing! Like it or not some beauties helped a lot by trailblazing the path for women's wrestlers. Let's go back and look at some of the most iconic beauties.
Valet most of the time. Randy Savage's valet. Lex Luger's valet. Wife to both of them in different times. Managing many Legands. Having several fights in WCW.
Miss Elizabeth was the beauty who put the foundation of the valet's existence. She interfered the way she can. Ripping off her skirt, dragging Sensational Sherri by the hair, slapping Ric Flair, accusing Goldberg in stalking. Not just a regular women's actions. At the time when the women fight to reach the ring in WWF and WCW, to have a match and they were pushed back to the valets role, Miss Elizabeth bring her own magic. Her sexual, feminine way to make legacy.
Exceptional beauty, always stylish, eye-catching! Woman from the top of the head to her feet! Yes, she didn't have a match in WWF! Her ring debut took place in WCW against Daffney (another legend), but her appearances and role as a manager , helped to bring attention on the women and to create the model that many other women will follow as valets years later (like Sable and Sunny).
Sunny (Tammy Lynn Sytch) has an interesting, full of love and drama path in wrestling business.
Sunny waited until 2007 to win her first and only professional wrestling championship in WSU. Until then she worked hard in the Indies, returning to WWE for the 25-Divas Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXV, RAW's 15th Anniversary and to be inducted in The Hall of Fame.
Sunny's legacy is the legacy of the modern valet, not just glamorous, but and the kind that makes the men in the audience to drool. Sable turn this into sort of art. Sunny was a part of the era when the women's appearance in and out of the ring becomes more and more desired, wanted and as a step stone for the generation of competitors, who followed. Her role was to concrete the position of the women's in that men's business, to pin their position on the map. From that point comes the competition and the rise of the beauties and not only women's generation who started as a valets and later become Legends!
For two years in WWF/E (1999-2001), Stacy "The Kat" Carter accomplish one of the greatest thing that many other really good and athletic women in WWE's past were not capable of - the WWF Women's Championship.
Of course the way she win it wasn't that amazing type of match that Mickie James won her first title, or Trish, or Sasha Banks. It was Fatal-4-Way in the pool title match, as then title-holder Ivory was destined to lose the belt. Her post-victory celebration is one of the memorable, straight into the feminists black list, one of it's kind of celebration. She drop her top literally!
Maybe one of her greatest moments in WWF, was the time when she managed Chyna. Then she dressed herself as dominatrix for the men's happiness. Her rivalry with Terri Runnels proves that two beauties can set the ring in fire, metaphorically.
The people who hated the term "Diva" have to thank this one for taking a part in its coining. Then they have to forgive her.
As embodiment of the term, Sable played vital role in WWF/E Women's championship revival, back in those days (1998), next to more experienced Hall of Famer Jacqueline. Yes, their rivalry becomes the reason WWF to re-introduce the belt after years of inactivity. So Lita, Trish, Mickie, Melina and etc. have to thank her, too.
Well, Sable open the path to Playboy, which for me was a step backward for all of the women! But the times was desperate, totally sexist-dominated, with the women objectified and sexualized. Dirty pages of humiliation and beauty exposed in a relentless ways. But that were a dark times in a pre-attitude era where the women get some beat down and table-powerbombing.
Three covers for Playboy Magazine, as the third was shared with Torrie Wilson. Sable create the WWE Playboy Bunnies Legacy (like the Baywatch Playboy Bunnies legacy was created by Pamela Anderson). Chyna, Christy Hemme, Ashley Massaro, Candice Michelle and Maria follwed her and Torrie's footsteps and "graced" the magazine's covers and pages. Well, that sort of appearance leads to a lot of controversy, storylines and epic rivalries (for example Trish Stratus vs. Christy Hemme, when Trish wrote the word "SLUT" on Hemme's back; Melina's total "can't-stand the Bunnies" attitude that lead to several matche on two separate Wrestlemanias and more).
But aside the legends about her, Sable wasn't afraid to compete. She competed against many Attitude and pre-Attitude women, who were more experienced than her (like Ivory, Jacqueline, Luna Vachon). Sable competed in a strap match, intergender matches and more. She is one of the smallest count of women who powerbombed a man. She is an one-time WWF Women's Champion winning a real pro-wrestling match (not a strip kind of match).
So Sable was the prelude to the transformation from sexually-objectified competitors to really-hard-working women wrestlers. Her legacy on every front of the sports entertainment is doubtless.
Terri Runnels finally received her long awaited WWE Alumni Profile. Now we are waiting for Gail Kim, Tori, Debra, The Kat, Nidia and some Divas Search Contestants profiles.
Terri helped for the manager's/valet's role evolution. Debuting as a manager of The Bizarre One - Goldust, Runnels was involved in his matches not only as a sexy distraction. Actually Chyan debuted as a planted fan, who attacked Marlena (Terri's ring character at the time).
Terri shared in an interview, that she never has an intention to wrestle. She loved to be a manger, interviewer. Vince McMahon demanding for her competing in the ring, because of her sex-appeal and nice shaped muscles. Well, Terri is really well shaped.
Of course her matches are not Hardcore, despite the fact that she is a former WWE Hardcore Champion. A lot of bra 'n' panties, stink face and other form of strip matches. In the golden era, when she played the role of backstage interviewer she had a lot of rivalries with the likes of Molly Holly, Victoria and etc. At the Invasion's angle time she fight against Lita and Trish Stratus in different occasions, as the Alliance member.
She is one of the several women powerbombed through a table by the Dudley Boyz, in her managing days. She was a manager of Perry Saturn, Raven, The Radicalz, Christian and Edge and etc. She has one of the nicest careers possible mixed with managing, storylines and catfights.
AND TORRIE WILSON
You can't separate this two former then-WWE Divas.
Both started together as The Alliance members, former WCW Nitro Girls, Stacy and Torrie (not to be confused with WWE Superstar Tori) quckly found their places in WWE's women's locker room.
According to Lita's biography both girls were not experienced in the ring. Then WWE Divas were able to helped them evolve and become a constant part of the roster for years. They are part of the period where the women were allowed to use their real names!
Torrie, a former fitness mode, has her natural All-American Sweetheart gimmick for a long time, changing the wrestlers who she managed, like the way Rosa Mendes is changing her hair color (kidding). Wilson was drafted to SmackDown! after the first draft, where she was able to compete against the likes of Nidia, Sable, Dawn Marie (that was notable) and Miss Jackie. Of course the managing, wasn't excluded as an option. She had some brief time managing Billy Gunn and other talents. One of her most memorable all-women storyline was when she and Candice Michelle were traded to RAW and formed the Vince's Devils or the Ladies in Pink, with Victoria. The heels stable caused a lot of trouble to many young Divas like Maria and WWE Divas Search 2005 Winner Ashley Massaro. The trio targeted then Women's champion Trish Stratus, too. As a part of The Ladies in Pink Torrie competed in the first ever Bra 'n' panties Gauntlet match, but was eliminated by Maria. She managing Carlito and Ric Flair in her last days in WWE and tried to earn a title shot.
For he nearly 7-years career Torrie wasn't successful in winning the Women's belt, but she faced many of the legendary women of WWE like Lita, Trish, Molly, Melina and Mickie James. She also graced the cover of Playboy Magazine two times (the second time with Sable).
Serious back injury forced her to retire from wrestling. Next week there will be a special episode of "Where are they now" with her. Don't miss it.
Stacy Keibler! The legs of WWE for almost 10 years!
Stacy refused two Playboy offers. The rumor say that she refused to become a WWE Women's champion, leaving the opportunity for other more wrestling-bounded girls. Stacy won Babe of the Year contest, once.
But Stacy was more than a beauty with long legs. Her career in WWE was that perfect mix of competition, storylines and managing the others.She debuted as a heel. Her first major match was the "epic" Bra 'n' panties tag team match (first and last) at Invasion, where she and Torrie Wilson were defeated by Lita and Trish Stratus, after weeks of dirty tricks and backstabbing attacks. Then Stacy has a short rivalry with her fellow Diva Torrie, which ended with Wilson thrown through a table by the Dudley Boyz, who Keibler managed at the time.
Stacy remain as Duchess of Dudleyville for a long time, but all of it ended with her powerbombed through a table. Who says that there is no karma? ;) (kidding). At the begining her career was more managing-centered: Vince McMahon, Test, Scott Steiner, Randy Orton... she managed many famous WWE Superstars and have several accidents with them, like the infamous case of receiving RKO from Randy Orton.
As a competitor she get the unique chance to fight against the best. At the beginning she messed-up with Lita, Torrie... Later she turned face and meet the likes of then heels Molly Holly, Gail Kim, Trish Stratus. She has a title shot on Victoria's newly won gold which was preceded by a crazy angle. One of her greatest fights was against Molly Holly, as she pinned Holly at the end to received a title shot against Trish Stratus, which was epic for her. Her last rivalry, was a short-lived feud with Jillian Hall, which ended with Hall defeating Keibler.
After years of competition, stories and managing some of the best, Stacy left WWE to dedicate herself on another endeavors: like movie industry. Her relationships with the actor George Clooney, may be forgotten, but her WWE Legacy will remain still alive in our memories.
From ECW to WWE!
Dawn Marie is one of those ladies, who entered the business in a time when developmental territories like NXT, didn't exists like many other women of her generation.
Despite that fact she earned a lot of fame and respect as a nice and ethic worker.
After negotiations Dawn found herself involved with the WWE's Blue brand SmackDown! feuding with Stacy Keibler, for a while over the position of Mr. McMahon's affections.
She had a very competitive career. SmackDown!'s ring became her own playground. Her rivalry with Torrie Wilson was the most memorable WWE moment. She faced Nidia, Miss Jackie and Shaniqua on different occasions. Having something from the days of the half-naked valets in her, Dawn throw herself with desire into the world of WWE.
At the end she was released during her pregnancy. Later she joined the independent circus as valet and competitor.
Stone Cold's wife, earned a fame on her own, not only because she was beautiful lady with a lot of curves on her body.
She was a part of many angles. She managing a lot of Superstars, like Jeff Jarrett. At one point of her career she was a Lieutenant Commissioner.
At the last few years of her career in WWE, Debra played the character of the loyal wife to Steve Austin. Even when she didn't approve his attitude at the time. During the Invasion angle she stayed with her husband and even appeared in a mixed tag team match against Lita and Matt Hardy.
Debra is WCW Alumna, like the fellow Superstar Terri Runnels. She has several matches in WWE as mostly she managing others. Her one and only reign as WWE Women's champion is related with a controversial victory over then champion Sable, in a Evening Gown Match. Debra technically lose the match, after she was stripped to her underwear. Then she was announced winner, thanks to the then commissioner Shawn Michaels.
With typical manager gimmick, often more sexualized, Debra left a trace on her own. Surviving in that cruel business, do what is needed to be done. These days she is one of those you can't hardly remember, especially if you miss the Attitude Era. But her role is important. Maybe it's related with stereotypical views, about beauty, but it's important, because she was a part of the WWF women's evolution. She was a part of one generation, who were put in a very unpleasant position and we owe them some respect.
At the end all of these women are symbol of one different kind of wrestling figures. They were managers and sexual objects, some of them crossed the line and competed. Their role is important, because it it related with the women's existence in WWE and other promotions. They put some foundations for the next generation of really talented competitors, but at the same time they stayed more closely to the "regular" woman model. The model that accompanied men and served as a sexy distraction. By doing this, they survived and evolve in the wrestling business, staying as a step stones for the other women.