wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Ruthless Aggression Report: ‘The First Revolution’

November 25, 2021 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
WWE Ruthless Aggression Season 2

-Continuing along as I have some time after spending the day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tomorrow is a day of rest at the house as we celebrate Thanksgiving and Friday we close with Magic Kingdom. Episode three of season 2 is all about the ladies as we cover the time the division started to take off for the first time behind Trish and Lita, among others. Let’s get to it!

-Run Time: 34:36

-As a reminder Pat McAfee is your narrator for this season.

-At the turn of the Century the WWE was enjoying a renewed popularity, but not everyone got to enjoy the fun. The women were given less to do and Trish mentions there wasn’t a division as it was just six of them and any wrestling was more like cat fighting.

-Vince McMahon buys WCW in 2001 and adds a ton of people to their roster which cuts the TV time for people. With limited hours the women were the most to suffer and Cole says that was a shame as they had a good amount of talent blossoming. Torrie Wilson tells us they always pushed for more time and it was frustrating when their matches were the ones always trimmed for time issues. It made them feel like they weren’t important.

-Not only were they struggling for airtime, but the women also faced a tough time getting people to let them actually wrestle. Ivory mentions they had a hard time with fans chanting for puppies during their short matches. Molly Holly says she didn’t have resentment and only wanted to show what she had been trained to do.

-Change came when Finlay was brought in to work with the division. He admits it was alien to him and Victoria mentions it was a joke, but Finlay took it and said he would make them tough. Finlay was all in and questioned why they weren’t allowed to get physical like the guys. He could see they were athletic and had talent. Trish talks about asking Fit if should start throwing punches and they started doing them in small doses under the radar. It was their way of showing they could do these things.

-Gewirtz puts over their hard work and Fit says he would get calls saying the girls can’t wrestle like the guys. He would back off for a bit and then go back to doing it again. Perfect! The girls would always go to him after a match and we get some great moments of Fit looking like a proud papa.

-Well, it wouldn’t be a show about women in wrestling without Stephanie McMahon as we cover her being named GM of SmackDown. Fit says having Stephanie there helped their cause as Steph was behind the women getting these chances. The thought was to build the women’s division and see where they could go.

-Trish Stratus became the face of the WWE Women’s division. Michelle McCool calls her the total package. They touch on the Victoria/Trish feud as they were fitness model together. They beat the crap out of each other and it helped get fans buying into the idea that they could do more than cat fights. Trish and Victoria had a wonderful hardcore match at Survivor Series and the rule they had was to apologize after the match. Fit goes back and watches the match and is still amazed they were able to do it. Soon they would get cage matches and Lita would join Trish as one of the marquee names in the division.

-WrestleMania XX: Molly was excited to be at MSG and was told there wasn’t going to be a Woman’s Title Match and instead just a pillow fight. Molly threw out the idea of losing a hair match and they agreed to put the match on the show. Victoria pins Molly Holly and true to her word, she gets her head shaved. Gargano calls it a great match and loved the stakes. “We wanted to see women with stories.”

-Trish/Jericho/Christian Love Triangle which led to Trish turning on Jericho and running off with Christian. Kevin Owens: “Jericho and Christian had a great match, but I sure remember Trish.” We all do, KO. We all do! That kick started heel Trish and for whatever reason she became 1000 times hotter.

-Gewirtz says that what fans remember the most from Mania XX was Molly getting her head shaved and Trish turning heel. Oh, there is something else the fans remember, but the WWE rightly, doesn’t want us to remember.

-Diva Search: Winner gets $250,000 and it was the answer to Tough Enough. It became a weekly fixture on RAW as they were given valuable airtime. Torrie mentions she started as a model and realized she needed to become a wrestler. She became annoyed these models didn’t want to put in to be wrestlers and were getting this valuable time on RAW each week. Melina admits she would have done Diva Search as it was a foot in the door.

-SummerSlam sees Diva Dodgeball as Team Diva Search faced Team WWE and Molly sums it up by saying Michelle McCool kicked their asses. Oh, Molly cursed! What are we doing here? Anyway, yes, for whatever reason I remember this and Michell absolutely destroyed Team WWE damn near single handily. Michelle says she didn’t make any friends that day and it was hard as she respected the girls, but she is a competitor. They hired quite a few of the women from that initial Diva Search Class.

-Trish vs. Lita: Their rivalry defined the era and fans were interested in the story and wanted to see what they were going to do each week. On December 6, 2004 they were given The Main Event Slot on RAW which was a first for the women. Gewirtz says the audience cared about both women and for the WWE it was just a way to get ratings as both were so over. Lita says it made sense and they did the work to get to that point. The knock if out of the park even if Lita nearly killed herself on a suicide dive. Just nasty the way she bent. Finlay says the match was for the entire division and Lita calls the match magical for her and Trish. Charlotte mentions she was sitting ringside watching and didn’t realize she was witnessing history. They were off to the races as it was a turning point for the division.

-Lita’s run as Champ is cut short as she blows out her knee in a match against Trish at New Year’s Revolution (same show HHH tore his quad…again, I believe). The division rolled along though as Mickie James hits the scene as a Trish superfan and it was awesome. Gewirtz loved the storyline and Mickie says their personalities played off each other so well. The story was given a ton of time and had 6 months of build before Mickie turned which built to their match at WrestleMania 22. So far they aren’t touching on the fact that the fans turned on Trish as the audience sympathized with Mickie.

-WrestleMania 22: They have a great match and the Chicago crowd just loved Mickie. Trish doesn’t want to brag, but they tore the roof off the place. Mickie mentions the fans were cheering her and all she could think was “boo me.” Trish calls it a huge moment for them. Trish feels it was the peak of the division at that point.

-In 2006 Trish retires with a match against Lita in Toronto and went out as Divas Champion. Two months later Lita retires as well, but she doesn’t get the send off Trish got, though that is not covered here.

-The run down the list of women that came from The Diva Search: Layla, Maryse, Christy Hemme, Maria, The Bella Twins, Eve Torres, Michelle McCool. Rhea Ripley says she would watch LayCool and try to copy.

-With a deeper division the women were a full part of the show. Mickie was grateful for the lessons she learned from that era. It was fun times for all and they all are grateful.

-We jump to the first Women’s Royal Rumble as they brought back a lot of the women from the RE Era and they all felt welcome by the current roster. The current roster knew they aren’t at this point without the women that came before them. From there we got Evolution PPV. Women Main Eventing WrestleMania, and then Bianca vs Sasha. Trish gets the final words: “We created a vocation and that’s pretty cool.”

-This was fine and it’s great some of these women were given the props they deserve. The division still faces some of the same issues though as we have seen with Zelina getting a match dropped from SmackDown and the rushed matches from Queen’s Crown, but the WWE has a come a long way since Gravy Bowl matches. Much like rest of this series things are kind of rushed through, but they touched on what’s important to them and left out anything they don’t care about. Thanks for reading!