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Volume 22 No. 27
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How women earned their way to the main event

Charlotte Flair
Photo: courtesy of WWE

Women continue to get a bigger stage with the WWE.

When the company holds tryouts at the Performance Center, the ratio is about 2-to-1, men to women. Compare that to about 4- or 5-to-1 when the center opened in 2013. The talent pool has grown so strong that in October 2018 the WWE held its first all-women pay-per-view event, called “Evolution,” that showcased the athleticism and quality that now define women’s matches.

Paul Levesque points to a photo at the Performance Center showing his entrance as Triple H at WrestleMania 30 in 2014. Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair, then all training at the center, were used as masked extras.

Flash forward to this year’s WrestleMania 35 at MetLife Stadium, where all three had major roles, including Flair competing in a three-way match for the women’s championship against Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch. It was the first time a women’s match had served as the main event of WrestleMania.

“We’ve watched them go from ‘the divas don’t wrestle like the guys’ to ‘you are going to be the first group that we train in a different manner and we’re going to give you a different opportunity,’” Levesque said. “And then we watched them kill it over and over to where it created such a buzz that all of a sudden there’s this pressure on ‘Raw’ and ‘SmackDown’ and [fans] start this hashtag GiveDivasAChance.”