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How Pro Wrestling Helped Establish Women’s MMA, and How WMMA Returned the Favor

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Photos via WWE.com

Ronda Rousey may not have made an appearance at Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas, Texas last night—despite months of speculation and rumors to the contrary—but her presence was certainly felt during the WWE Wrestlemania 32 Kickoff pre-show. After WWE Hall of Fame member Amy “Lita” Dumas revealed the brand new WWE Women’s Championship belt in the ring, created to replace the increasingly unfortunate pink butterfly Diva’s Championship belt that’s been around since 2008 and the patronizing attitude toward female wrestlers that came along with that branding choice, Rowdy’s name came up in a panel discussion about women’s shifting role in the sports world. Athletes like the former bantamweight champ and Olympic boxers, the panel of past and present WWE personalities pointed out, are enjoying both competitive and commercial success that keeps them in the public eye just as much if not more so than their male counterparts. And as part of this greater cultural shift, the women of the WWE deserved to be treated as equals in their promotion.

This echoes the sentiment expressed by Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon when she kicked off what became known as the “Diva’s Revolution,” the movement the culminated in last night’s major shift in nomenclature, branding, and championship hardware, on the July 13, 2015 episode of Monday Night Raw. “I began by speaking about the revolution around women in sports, referencing Ronda Rousey’s breakthrough success as the first UFC women’s champion, Venus and Serena Williams’ overwhelming popularity transcending tennis and the United States Women’s National Team’s World Cup-clinching victory garnering more viewers than any other soccer game in history,” McMahon writes of her speech in her article on the new division in The Player’s Tribune. “I made it clear that our female performers were going to have that same opportunity ….View full article

Source:: fightland.vice.com