On Monday the above tweet, sent by the screenwriter behind Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, the YouTube short about the wacky world of professional wrestling that’s racked up over 2 million views, went semi-viral. It invaded the feeds of unsuspecting Twitter folk just going about the beginnings of their week while pro graps fans celebrated the SuperBowl of wrestling: WrestleMania.
While the event garnered the largest ever crowd for a World Wrestling Entertainment event—101, 763—and saw appearances by The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the thing that really made headlines and inspired the above tweet was the fact that women wrestlers are now called, well, women wrestlers. Or female Superstars, rather, which is the branding male wrestlers employed by WWE have gone by for decades.
Women wrestlers have been called Divas for the better part of the last ten years, the era of the reality show Total Divas and a pink sparkly butterfly belt. This is in contrast to the hefty gold titles carried by male Superstars and the iconic Women’s Championship that came before it, held by the likes of the late Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young, and the high-flying Lita, who presented the brand spankin’ new WWE Women’s Championship, a red and white strap in line with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, at WrestleMania.
This historic announcement was accompanied by not one (the Women’s Championship was decided in a triple threat match the girl in that tweet was so intently watching between three stalwarts of the women’s wrestling renaissance: champion Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks) but two women’s matches at the event, which has previously been marred by Playboy Pillow Fights and Evening Gown matches, when the women’s match wasn’t scrapped completely.
Sasha Banks, who was decked out for her match in ring gear inspired by her hero, the late Eddie Guerrero, has said that, growing up in the era of Divas posing for Playboy and bra and panties matches, she never had woman role models in wrestling. Now, in the new dawn of women’s wrestling in WWE, Banks and her fellow women wrestlers will act as role models for young female fans who have been denied them for so long.