The WWE is continuing to make significant strides in the development of women’s wrestling following the announcement that the first all-female Royal Rumble will take place this January.
Stephanie McMahon announced the plans during an appearance on Monday Night RAW in which she outlined just how far the women’s division has come in the years since.
It’s already shaping up to be a night to remember with Ronda Rousey rumoured to be in the running to appear in the 32-competitor over-the-top-rope elimination match.
Rousey is closing in on a move into the world of WWE, with reports indicating it is no longer a matter of “if” but “when” for the former UFC star.
The Royal Rumble would make for quite the curtain-raiser on Rousey’s grappling career and follows on from some notable firsts in the world of women’s wrestling.
Just 14 months ago, the WWE hosted its very first women’s Hell in the Cell match between Charlotte “daughter of Ric” Flair and Sash Banks.
Since then, the women’s division has also hosted a Money In the Bank Ladder match with Carmela defeating Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya and Tamina to land a WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship contract.
Banks and Alexa Bliss then went on to become the first women to wrestle in a live event in the Middle East, as part of a pay-per-view hosted in Abu Dhabi.
This is far and away the biggest announcement to hit the WWE though and represents another major step towards equality in sports entertainment, after so many years in which women were reduced to mere eye-candy.
The only real sadness is that Chyna, aka Joan Laurer, was not alive to see it.
A pioneering grappler who fought under the name Chyna, the wrestler dubbed the “Ninth Wonder of the World” died in December 2016, following problems with addiction and depression.
That this announcement comes roughly a year since her passing is a fitting tribute.
Meanwhile, the news has been greeted with delight by WWE legends far and wide, including a certain Trish Stratus, who has hinted that she could yet return to the ring for the event.
— Trish Stratus (@trishstratuscom) December 19, 2017
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.