wrestling / Columns

Female Takeover: The Ladies Continue Their Dominance in 2017

February 17, 2017 | Posted by Tony Cutillo

On the heels of another fantastic SD PPV, the female roster is still in the spotlight with no signs of relinquishing its fame. The Elimination Chamber match provided us with a fleury of action from start to finish, but the three women’s matches dominated the card. The likes of Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Mickie James, Alexa Bliss and Naomi proved that the division can both open and close major pay-per-views without ant drop in interest.

 photo 20170206_EC_Match_BeckyMickie--523ffa2dafbaed9d9e17f0c305ebc8e7_zpsnrg0emhf.jpg

We started off the show with Becky Lynch and Mickie James, a newfound rivalry to usher in the veteran’s return. Coming off the news that Mickie would be returning, you could basically lockdown her role as a heel. This was a good match to lead off the show and showcase a glimpse of the talent they have to offer. In the end, it was the Irish Lasskicker defeating the former Women’s Champion in a bout that was short, but very impressive. We are obviously set up for a feud that will probably include a rematch of some sorts at WrestleMania.

 photo 20170131_EC_Match_NataNikki--80626b027eb08f2cd5c9b7f9dbfbf656_zpshv8shsey.jpg

Up next we have to touch on Nikki Bella and Natalya, a feud that is far from over. The whispers around the wrestling circuit have included the retirement talk for the Fearless one. Phrases like, “unable to compete” and ” numbness in her neck” were used more than “Nordstrom Boycotts Trump” over the last several weeks. However, Nikki set to prove the skeptics wrong and looked fantastic in her fight for supremacy. She has always been an underrated performer in my eyes and consistently strives to be a complete wrestler inside the ring. As far as Natalya goes, it seems as though her role finally suits her and now the skills we all knew she had can be put on display. The two fought to a double count out with a battle that ensued during an interview backstage. During the spat, Maryse was inadvertently knocked down which could quietly be setting up a mixed Tag match with Miz/Cena in the future.

 photo 20170131_EC_Match_BlissNaomi--4b8347c4d96d9b5a21cfcdb03ec4e4d4_zpsycz06qrt.jpg

In the ladies’ final chapter, the devious SD Champ Alexa Bliss looked to silence the former Funkadactyl once and for all. In a very entertaining match, Naomi followed the glow all the to the gold in a very deserving win. With no planned SD PPV’s before WrestleMania, it looks as though the rematch already has a date.

By comparison, much of the men’s action for the night failed to compare. The Dolph spot was lackluster at best and even though the Orton/Harper match had some excitement, it still fell short in comparison to the Queens of the SD roster. This has been an ongoing trend and it spilled over to the following evening on RAW.

Much like SD, the Raw roster has been dominated in the past by the Sasha/Charlotte rivalry, even though Goldberg/Brock has tried to take the top spot. Believe me, I am not taking anything away for the KO/Jericho friendship quarrel and dominance of Braun Strowman, but ignoring the Main Event status of the women would be a crime. Raw followed up with their own women’s chapter by putting Charlotte vs. Bayley as the main event. For anyone who watched this live knows how hot and interested the crowd was during this entire match. Watching another title change and deserving recipient like Bayley is what has made the trend so great. Looking back on the past 6 months you have to ask yourself if there has been any other matches with as much interest that didn’t involve the ladies. However, this same interest seemed to be in serious doubt a few months ago when some surprising creative changes were announced.

The WWE Creative team is an enigma that continues to change, as Stephanie and Vince continue to put ratings as their main source of revenue. The WWE Creative team takes the blame when wrestling fans complain about the product just like the Quarterback gets the heat in the NFL. Consequently, just like an NFL Roster goes through changes, so does the WWE.

Back in December, there was a “WWE Creative shake-up” with one key member of the WWE Creative team given his walking papers. Tom Casiello oversaw both RAW and SmackDown writing teams and had been a key person who was very influential in the push for all female storylines. The instant thought was Vince didn’t like the direction and decided it was a time for change. With Vince at the helm, anything was possible and at that time the Charlotte/Sasha match at WWE Roadblock: End of the Line, was thought to be the final angle that put a fork in the female lead. Fortunately, for the WWE and its fans this wasn’t the case and the women’s division has continued to catch fire with no signs of burning out.

The WWE has built a tremendous roster of female talent who are light years away from the Attitude’s era of Bra and Panties matches followed by the inconspicuous pillow fight. I still have nightmares of Mae Young in an old school bra trying to mount the ultimate bronco buster. Those visions are long gone and now we are treated to a professional style that all starts in NXT. Women’s wrestling has succeeded in their revolution and now looks to keep the momentum going towards the future. It has already dominated the house shows, live events and most PPV’s. Is WrestleMania next? We shall see……….

***The above article expresses my opinions only. As always, I stand behind my views and am interested to hear yours. I look forward to seeing your comments and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@TCutillo23) to get all my updates…………