WWE taking a slow approach to building the women’s division


Women’s wrestling is slowly getting more time on WWE main roster television and the work should reap long-term benefits in the near future.

Fans continue to push their favorite professional wrestling organizations to better utilize the women on the roster. Companies boast talented performers like Hikaru Shida, Bianca Belair, Athena, and Becky Lynch, so it’s understandable why viewers clamor to see more of them on television. WWE is slowly taking steps to develop more of the women’s division and with that comes the slow build that fans witnessed during the November 13 edition of Monday Night Raw where new faces had valuable match time that can’t be measured by immediate crowd reaction.

Two women’s matches occurred during the latest episode of WWE Raw. Tegan Nox picked up a victory over Piper Niven in a back-and-forth contest that lasted 4:45. Xia Li continued knocking foes out, this time putting Indi Hartwell down via referee’s decision in 2:35. These matches included additional segments such as Nox getting another video introduction and Lynch confronting Li after her victory. There was also a segment backstage where Maxxine Dupri and Ivy Nile kicked off a budding friendship while their male contemporaries argued.

This is a telling shift in strategy for WWE. The company has long leveraged the same few faces without giving many others the opportunity to build any momentum with fans. This was especially true within the women’s division. While the audience reaction was tepid to both matches, it is important that those women continue to get consistent and valuable exposure to build them over time. Very few performers get over in an instant, instead, it takes reps in matches and segments week over week.

Wrestling Mark (@WrestlingMark16) on Twitter does an excellent job tracking match time in total and within the women’s division across AEW and WWE each week. According to their November 12 tweet, WWE Raw included 16 minutes of women’s wrestling the week prior. One week before that, WWE Raw featured only 8 minutes of women’s wrestling on the show. The tweet on October 29 mentions that 13 minutes of Raw featured women’s wrestling. It’s a shock to no one that these figures are still substantially more than when Vince McMahon oversaw creative. It’s a slow, but necessary growth in the right direction.

WWE NXT consistently leans on the women’s division for much of the weekly show. Lynch’s return helped boost numbers across the board, but there’s growing interest in individuals like Lyra Valkyria, Kelani Jordan, and Lola Vice among others.

There’s still work that needs to be done. SmackDown still struggles to have more than one women’s match on a two-hour show. And some of those matches are still unbelievably short. That brand also boasts a stacked roster, so there’s no excuse why that further development can’t happen on Fridays as well.

Wrestling fans are pushing their favorite promotions to feature more women’s content on their shows. It is high time this occurred across the industry. WWE is slowly taking steps in the right direction, and while there’s a lot of work left, there are some improvements that should reap long-term benefits.

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