In December of 2004, Trish Stratus and Lita made history with their innovative main event match on Monday Night RAW. The mid-00s were an amazing time for women’s wrestling, with the likes of Victoria, Jaqueline, and Molly Holly bringing life to the division. During the end of the 00s, after such feuds as the famous Trish/Mickie James storyline that culminated at WrestleMania 22 with Mickie James winning her first Women’s Championship and reaching the first major storyline of her decorated career, times began to change for the Divas Division with more emphasis on eye candy as opposed to wrestling ability.
From bra-and-panties matches to bikini contests, it was better for fans to venture to other companies or independent organizations if they wanted to see women’s wrestling. However, by the next decade of the first millennium, the Divas Division has been revived and there seems to not be any slowing down anytime soon. While there were impressive reigns during this time period, such as Maryse’s record-setting Divas Championship reign, and story lines such as the dynamic duo of Michelle McCool and Layla as Laycool, there appeared to be more discussion of the divas with the all divas season of NXT in 2010.
As the years progressed, viewers saw the rise of the next generation of divas who truly exemplified the WWE’s model of women who are strong, tough, and beautiful. With the likes of Kaitlyn, Naomi, and rising star AJ Lee, things began looking up for the Divas Division once again. While these strong, young women are extremely beautiful, they are also extremely tough as they show their incredible athletic talents inside the ring. 2012 was a year that saw the boom of AJ Lee’s career. From her many romantic story lines with almost every top WWE Superstar, to being included in main event story lines, becoming the General Manager of RAW, and eventually the Divas Champion, more and more fans were showing more respect to such an underrated division and demanding more. With the debut of the E! Network reality show, Total Divas, the divas began getting even more attention, from newcomers like Eva Marie and Summer Rae, to increased interest with the Bella Twins, who have improved in the ring dramatically since their WWE debuts in 2008 and have stolen the spotlight with their captivating personalities, it’s not uncommon to see the divas in high profile story lines or there to be multiple diva segments on any given Monday Night RAW.
From the Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon feud leading up to this year’s SummerSlam (evolving into her current feud with her sister, Nikki), to the battle of the “psychos” between Paige and AJ Lee, along with other divas getting screen time, it’s the dawn of a new era. Just last night, you had Stephanie McMahon with The Authority, Layla defeating Rosa Mendes with Summer Rae at ringside for Layla (Tyson Kidd with Natalya for Rosa’s side, furthering events that unfolded on the previous night’s Total Divas episode), Renee Young’s interviews, Nikki Bella taunting Brie Bella before her match against Eva Marie and Cameron, Lana’s incredible promos on the mic with Rusev, and Paige cutting a promo before Divas Champion AJ Lee’s match with Paige’s “new best friend” Alicia Fox. It’s a great time for the Divas Division and it does not look like it is slowing down any time soon.