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Prior to the Women's Evolution, WWE's female talents mainly consisted of former fitness and swimsuit models and only a few indie wrestlers. Not only were most of the women untalented and lacked charisma, but they also were pretty much looked and wrestled the same. With a few exceptions such as LayCool (vain and beautiful mean girl bullies), Beth Phoenix (a powerful and muscular woman who defied the Diva mold) and Jillian Hall (a very bad singer), the women were either good girl babyfaces such as Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Maria Kanellis, Gail Kim, Melina, Tiffany, the Bella Twins, Ashley Massaro and to a lesser extent, Natalya or the Alexis Carrington-type heel such as Maryse, Alicia Fox, Candice Michelle and Kristal Marshall.

The first woman IMO who broke the Diva stereotype was A.J. Lee. She actually had a distinct character and did not fit the Diva archetype. Fans saw this and were very impressed with her. Once the likes of Paige and the Four Horsewomen made their debut, interest in women's wrestling had changed due to the fact that not only were these women very talented but they also had unique characters and were not models.

I think the main reason why WWE's Women's Division has outshined the WWE Men's Division is the fact that each woman is very talented, has a distinct character and pretty much look like normal women who for the most part, do not fit the Diva mold (Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Eva Marie and Mandy Rose are notable exceptions to the rule).

Thoughts?
 

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There was some great female talent in the attitude era - Trish, Lita, Victoria, Jazz to name but a few. The women's divison then was actually watchable. I think it's pretty poor these days. The only female wrestler that is the overall package these days is DMD.
 

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They stopped giving a shit after Trish retired. They had Mickie, Melina and Beth they could've done SO MUCH with. To a degree they did build the division around them but it felt lackluster.

Mickie was their most popular diva but they never treated her the same way they treated Trish. Look at how many WrestleMania moments and matches Mickie have post WM22. SHE HAS ZERO (she don't even have any SummerSlam moments besides losing to Beth in a Tag Match for the IC and Women's Title). She was left off WM23 in favor of Ashley of all people. They made her a Lumberjack at WM24 to Maria and once again Ashley (imagine them doing that to Trish) and the sad thing is that they had a whole story focused on Mickie always falling short when it came to beating Beth, regaining her title and they don't even bother finishing the story at WM24, they wait until the night after on Raw. Her feuds with Melina and Beth were DEFINETLY not on the level of a Trish/Lita (or even a Becky/Charlotte).

They ruined Beth with the Santino crap and don't even get me started on how they used her towards the end where she was losing to Alicia Fox clean in 1 minute. Having to cheat to beat Kelly Kelly after falling short in their previous two matches.

Melina was probably treated the best out of the three which isn't saying much.

They pushed the models over the wrestlers. It would be understandable if the models had mic skills and they had characters that you could get into so you can get invested in their feud. The biggest problem is that models were bland and had no character. Seriously, what was Kelly Kelly's character? I don't even remember her cutting a damn promo. Maryse had potential but her momentum was never the same after the Bellas injured her. You could argue that she stood out more when she came back to WWE in 2016.

Let's not forget they wasted three years pushing Undertaker's boring ass girlfriend later turned wife to the point where nothing else mattered unless you were feuding with her. Even if you were the Champion, if you wasn't feuding with Michelle you were irrelevant. She finally fucks off and retires but WWE are even more lost than they were when Trish/Lita retired because they had no one in the division that was on the same level as Beth, Mickie, or Melina were in 2006/2007 that time around. Awesome Kong/Kharma was a huge flop (not really WWE's fault). Their most interesting characters in 2012 where AJ Lee and Eve but they were non-wrestlers for a majority of that year. Eve becomes champion and instead of doing the right thing and having Eve lose the title to AJ Lee, they give it to Kaitlyn and they do NOTHING with her until the feud with AJ. Another thing, Eve (who was one of the MVPs of the previous year when it came to the women) leaves the company afterwards.
 

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If you're sending out models with minimal training to have 5 minute matches, it's not going to appeal to people who want to watch wrestling. Things are so much better for WWE's women's divisions now since for the most part they're actually getting wrestlers to wrestle.
Yeah at that point you might was well just hire dancers a la the nitro girls. You get sex appeal and keep a crowd hot between matches rather than grinding everything to a halt with matches no one could give a shit about.
 

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I think this has been answered many times.

The death knell for women's wrestling in mainstream WWE came when in 2004 they changed direction with the women and practically gutted the legitimate workers of the women's division and replaced them with their new vision of the Diva search girls.

As we all know by now the days of Trish, Lita, Molly, Ivory, Jazz, Jackie and Victoria elevating the division was then removed and the division instead was dictated and ran from John Laurinaitis' lingerie catalogue which of course destroyed any credibility moving forwards.
The diva search women was untrained models that practically crapped all over any progress that women's wrestling had made and it became the bathroom break match for many years due to people having next to no interest in seeing untalented women rolling around or being made to act like Santa's little helper. There was no talent in it and the audience knew it so it was never given any investment.
There was maybe a handful of women they kept on board to at least have some competence in leading in the ring like Mickie James, Melina, Beth Phoenix and a couple of others but sadly those women had next to no chance with the talent pool they had to work with.

All that continued into the Total Divas era where the division was then just transformed into a commercial vehicle for the Bella twins to gain the fame they could not achieve on their own merit.
Of course that was just as unwatchable also.
Which of course brings us to when fans demanded change and WWE said they so called heard them.

In short lack of talent does not translate to great viewing for the audience and that was the main issue.
 

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It's sad how little credit AJ Lee gets for how much she did regarding everything that happened. None of it likely would have even happened without her. Sure, people enjoyed watching the women wrestle in NXT, but AJ proved for the first time in nearly a decade that women could make WWE money. Which, as we know, is what Vince actually cares about.
 

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If you think it's strong now.....imagine how great/strong the current Women's division would be today if they never hired Ronda Rousey.

They were moving in the right direction. Then Ronda came in....buried the entire roster(truth), dangerously injured and took out a major star twice(truth), and forced WWE to take a beloved star and make her a man to compete against Ronda(truth).
 

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Because its never been anything other than eye candy or a PR move in the managements eyes. Dont fool yourself thinking WWE as a company care about women making a difference. They dont. Thats why Steph came out to announce the "revolution" thats why she was front and centre for the Evolution PPV. They care about the women as as much they do the men - Sod all. Its all about little puppets in their playground to get PR.
 

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^
this was 2010




to me, it wasn't unwatchable. it was still fun but there was definitely a dead period because WWE was not putting any effort into the matches, no time or stories. the fact that it was lots of t&a, contests and other stuff included in it didn't bother me. I would like if wwe still mixed in t&a stuff with some of current women.
 

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If you think it's strong now.....imagine how great/strong the current Women's division would be today if they never hired Ronda Rousey.

They were moving in the right direction. Then Ronda came in....buried the entire roster(truth), dangerously injured and took out a major star twice(truth), and forced WWE to take a beloved star and make her a man to compete against Ronda(truth).
You really call them having that corny ass no talent Alexa Bliss steamrolling through the division “the right direction”?

If anything Ronda saved us from that crap. It’s just a shame WWE had to learn the hard way.
 

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Its really diffacult to compare what the womens division was years ago to how it has progressed into actually carrying the WWE product with Becky Lynch on top.

Back then they didnt have women like a Becky Lynch or a Bayley to come out and be wrestlers, they pretty much just had a bunch of Carmellas lol
 

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Because they were stuck in between worlds. Not hiring (mostly) wrestlers to wrestle the way they do now, and not doing the pure filth they were doing in the Attitude/Ruthless Aggression eras, but trying to hire folks who looked and were suited to the latter style to do the former style. It was so dumb it made my head hurt. Sucks so hard that Nattie wasted away her best years in that period.
 

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IMO, AJ is more relatable to the general public than any of the other females. She wasn't a blonde siren, she didn't have a fake body, she was pretty much 'one of us'. Most of the females have a certain mold and it can be hard to relate to that. AJ jumped in there and didn't change herself to fit that mold, she was just basically herself.

A fair bunch of the females that did have talent were just in wrestling at the wrong time. They got wasted in matches that lasted 60 seconds. It's a real shame.
 
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