There is no denying that the WWE’s efforts to be more proactively pro-women is welcomed. Women wrestlers have, over the last few years, enjoyed matches that were once exclusively only for men. Despite still being separated from their male counterparts, women wrestling has exploded as real competition. And yet, despite the many steps in the right direction, even as the WWE moves towards a 2018 looking reality I can’t help but take it all with a grain of salt.
The WWE is very good at looking good. Having every woman wrestler stand up on stage while the key public facing members of WWE announce their own all-women pay-per-view is a wonderful move. Women have come entirely too far just to be treated as equals, and it’s all come up just in the past few years. Yet somehow with these handful of moves the WWE is hand waved into the category of “good for women” when it clearly still isn’t. The company is heading in the right direction, but this trip takes a while.
Obviously the women of the WWE have earned their own PPV. Just as they’ve earned every big match and moment that’s been given to them. However every one of those moments has also been clearly advertised and utilized by the WWE to promote just how forward thinking the company clearly isn’t. The WWE is still encouraging women on the roster to look good in addition to performing in the ring. Sex and attraction still play a major role in the division. And while sexuality can empower someone, it can also be cruelly converted by the corporation that claims to own it.
The WWE is making the right moves, but for the wrong reasons. We can’t go back in time and fix the years of mistakes made within the women’s division. But we can move forward with the right choices and mindset. And yet it feels like the WWE is making these choices not based on what’s best for wrestling, culture, society, or the women wrestlers themselves but what’s best for business. Wrestling might always be all about business and money, but that’s a lackluster bandaid to cover a terrible wound. It’s time to stop making excuses and join the modern age, in earnest.