World Wrestling Entertainment had their first-ever 30-women over-the-top-rope Royal Rumble match on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. It has been long overdue since women in the WWE have been taken seriously. In years of participating in bikini contests, bras and panty matches, bull riding contests and dance competitions, the women’s voices are finally being heard.
The match in itself was beyond expectations. Not only did they have a Royal Rumble match, but they were also the main event of the prominent pay-per-view, which is a pretty big deal if you have been a long time fan of professional wrestling. Women used to never be the main event. Just to have the past and the present women in the same circled ring together is just a chilling experience in its own right.
In this Royal Rumble match, there were the beloved legends, returners and call-ups from WWE NXT, in which everyone always looks forward to in the men’s Royal Rumble. The high-flying, exhilarating Lita who came in at number 5, Torrie Wilson at 9, Kelly Kelly at 19, Michelle McCool at 14, Molly Holly at 12, Jacqueline at 21, “The Glamazon” Beth Phoenix at 24 (who is also the first woman who has entered in both men and women’s royal rumble matches), Trish Stratus at 30 and even the adored heel, Vickie Guerrero at 16, were the revered legends that the WWE fans were longing to see in this match.
The Bella Twins returned with a big boom, with Nikki Bella coming in at number 27 and her twin sister, Brie Bella (who recently had a baby last year), running in at number 28. On the reality show, “Total Divas,” Brie had doubts about retiring from the WWE. She stated that she missed the square circled ring and had wished to return. With the advice from Nia Jax, her close friends and the encouragement from her fanbase – the Bella Army – Brie Bella returned and in the most remarkable way ever. Brie wanted to prove to all other mothers that their life does not have to end after having children.
When asked what does it mean to be included in NXT as part of the main roster women in the historic women’s very first Royal Rumble in an WWE interview, the NXT women’s champion, Ember Moon, responded by saying “ You know what, never in a million years did I ever think the women will ever have their own royal rumble.”
Many think that the women’s revolution started with just the current women, including Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, who is the daughter of two-times Hall of Famer Ric Flair, as well as Becky Lynch, Paige or even AJ Lee. This revolution has been going on since the age of Chyna who was the first-ever woman to be in the men’s Royal Rumble in 2000. This revolution has been going on since the first-ever Women’s Steel Cage match with Lita and Victoria in 2003. This revolution can even go back to the days of Mae Young and the Fabulous Moolah.
Recent wrestling history of women also does not start with the women’s first-ever Royal Rumble either. There has been a great deal of “first-evers” for women. In the year of 2015 at NXT TakeOver: Respect Bayley and Sasha Banks had an outstanding match at the first ever Iron-Woman match. In 2016, Charlotte and Sasha Banks competed inside the most dangerous structure in WWE, known as Hell in A Cell. Just last year, WWE had its first Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match (MITB).
In chronological order, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Sarah Logan, Mandy Rose, Lita, Kairi Sane, Tamina, Dana Brooke, Torrie Wilson, Sonya Deville, Liv Morgan, Molly Holly, Lana, Michelle McCool, Ruby Riott, Vickie Guerrero, Carmella who is the 2017 Women’s MITB winner, Natalya, Kelly Kelly, Naomi, Jacqueline, Nia Jax, Ember Moon, Beth Phoenix, Asuka, Mickie James, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Bayley and Trish Stratus were among the female competitors who entered in the first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble.
These women have worked hard over the years to have something so sensational that did not even seem possible. Regardless, all of these women have fought hard for women to be taken seriously. Over the years, women in WWE have proven themselves that they can hang just like the men can. They are most definitely deserving to have their names recognized for years to come.
We can look forward to these exceptional women to continue to make history. The first-ever Women’s Royal Rumble is now written in the history books. Next up, the world will be witnessing the very first women’s imposing, in an unforgiving steel cage, elimination chamber match this month.