When Stephanie McMahon came down to ringside and announced the first women’s Royal Rumble for January, it was a huge deal. Period.
But what came after, with women thanking her for announcing it and giving women the spotlight… it just called back to a theme that has been bubbling beneath the surface. It’s not necessarily on WWE TV regularly, but Stephanie gets (or takes) a lot of the credit for the resurgent women’s division in WWE during the past two years.
Respectfully, that’s a bunch of crap.
You’d think that Stephanie invented women’s wrestling given all the praise and recognition she gets, when it’s the women who have stepped up their game who should be the centerpiece of the division. Stephanie presided over SmackDown in the 2000s, when women’s wrestling was all but an afterthought. She was a top officer in WWE when AJ Lee and fans finally called the company out for its shoddy divas matches.
It was only when women like Venus and Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey and many others grabbed the spotlight in other sports that WWE’s eyes were opened. And while Stephanie should get some credit for pushing the issue, there’s a difference between a businesswoman doing something because it’s good for her company and a person on a philanthropic, moral mission.