Skip to main content

The Bellapocalypse

With all of the focus given to the Bella feud, I've been thinking of women's wrestling as a whole. Specifically, it's drawing power and future. I understand the bellatrocity is an attempt to lure Total Diva fans into the product. This gives some justification to its high slot on the shows; but not much. 

However, aside from this forced corporate synergy, has women's wrestling ever had real drawing power for the big US promoters (WWE, WCW, AWA)?  The Fabulous Moolah was champion for 20+ years. Was this due to her ability to put butts in seats or her political maneuvering?  Did Trish and Lita ever headline a C-Show?  Did Chyna?  What is the highest a women's match ever been up the card?   I remember the Finlay-booked Diva's matches to some of be the best segments of Raw.  The Diva's segments now?  Not so much.

is it incorrect to say the highest goal for a woman wrestler in North America to achieve now is not the Diva's title or a semi-main event at Wrestlemania, but a costarring role on Total Divas. 


Given the ratings for the show I don't think it's gonna be around much longer.  

Moolah's title reign was due to her fucking the promoter and then basically holding the industry hostage by training girls and taking a cut of their money.  She had no drawing power on her own.  The highest I can remember a women's match ever being was the Trish v. Lita title match in 2004, which main evented RAW. In 1999, Smackdown was originally conceived and pitched as a women's show before UPN pulled the plug at the last minute and forced them to switch to a general RAW-style men's show instead.  So that would have been interesting if nothing else.      

Comments

  1. Wendi Richter in her WWF days with Lauper could've headlined a show and been a legit draw, she seemed that over...

    ReplyDelete
  2. We talked about this yesterday in the other Taker/Foley thread, I still think Montreal outranks all of them in terms of both historical importance and notoriety.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I never knew that about Smackdown. Interesting indeed.
    That Trish v. Lita match was fucking awesome. Didn't you give that 4 stars, Scott? It sure as hell deserved it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elephant in the room for women's wrestling: Ronda Rousey. There is absolutely no reason why a properly-promoted women's division couldn't be a draw. Wendi Richter and Lita were legitimate draws, and Lita sold plenty of merchandise (I wouldn't be shocked if AJ does now, too - she has great shirts). The indie scene is filled with great female talent, and many wrestlers are either WWE-level attractive, or visually interesting enough to be marketable (Jessicka Havok comes to mind).
    Didn't Lita vs. Steph headline Raw, as well?

    ReplyDelete
  5. The most famous match ever would be Melina vs. Alicia Fox

    ReplyDelete
  6. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 24, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    So thanks yesterday to everyone who gave their thoughts on what matches to pick for my HITC marathon this weekend. (As no one wants to drink with me this weekend I guess it;s happening) My 3 choices so far are Taker/Orton, Triple H/Batista and Triple H/Michaels...which no one suggested but I can use the time they are laying in the ring to take a shot of vodka. I just need one more to pick from, (and once again Michaels/Taker, Taker/Foley, Triple H Foley, and Brock Taker are off the table. The first three I have seen tons of times and I watched Brock/Taker during my Brock Lesner marathon over the summer.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think the Screwjob had a lot of notoriety, but it doesn't have the (somewhat) mainstream iconic status that Hogan/Andre did.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm pretty sure Charlotte and Bailey have headlined a few NXT house shows.

    ReplyDelete
  9. WATCH 'EM ALL!

    ReplyDelete
  10. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 24, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    my liver would not be able to handle that.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kinda on-topic - I recently watched 'Missy Hyatt reveals penis sizes' on YouTube. That woman is literally the filthiest, most cock-hungry female I've ever seen in my life. Must have been awesome having her hang out backstage back in the day, but pretty sad how it seems she never grew out of it

    ReplyDelete
  12. Come to think of it, she could really spice things up on Total Divas

    ReplyDelete
  13. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Your talking about the Expos/Dodgers NLCS series in 1981 right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. MikeyMike, WitnessOctober 24, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    That would be great when they have their brunches and force scripted lines. Missy can show up and talk about all the dudes she boned the last 30 years.

    ReplyDelete
  15. 2000, a week before Summerslam. That match ruled. Rock pointing to Lita to do the moonsault...come on

    ReplyDelete
  16. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 24, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    Really, no one is going with Tomko/Richards at Unforgiven?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maybe within wrestling communities but ask a non-wrestling fan they probably won't even know who Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels are. Everyone has at least seen Jim Ross's call spliced onto some other footage at least once.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Whenever someone mentions GLOW, this is always the first thing that pops in my head:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFe0rrLgXTU

    ReplyDelete
  19. Missy is a female Ric Flair.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm surprised they haven't tried booking a Rousey-type character on RAW. Although it looks like that Carmela in NXT may be heading in that direction.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Kharma could have been a beast.

    ReplyDelete
  22. TNA has generally been much better doing women's wrestling than WWE; this isn't hard, but hey. Dutch booked good rasslin'.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Andre/Hogan it isnt even a question.

    ReplyDelete
  24. not the most famous but my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I remember Lita beating Steph for the Women's Championship headlining a Raw.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Meh, should have scrolled down first, apologies.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Chyna is the forgotten star of past WWE women. Understandably of course, no PG company wants to celebrate a drug-addled porn star but she was more over at her peak then nearly everyone on that roster at the WWF's absolute height. She was more over the HHH. Yes, I said it. She was. The pops she was getting in 98 and 99 where as good as anyone south of Austin.

    ReplyDelete
  28. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 24, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    You know I always liked that one more then most people did....

    ReplyDelete
  29. Having seen Havok's cans now, there's some real potential there.

    ReplyDelete
  30. A fair argument but do think in terms of mainstream, Hogan/Andre tops it, that was real front page news in papers around Detroit areas and Canada as well, really major and got more people into the business than HITC did.

    ReplyDelete
  31. The Bellapocalypse is coming... Brie didn't tell anyone.


    #growingupbella

    ReplyDelete
  32. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    That suicide dive never felt more appropriate as a name

    ReplyDelete
  33. I really enjoy women's wrestling. I was watching a lot of SHINE, but they don't seem to run as much anymore....

    ReplyDelete
  34. davidbonzaisaldanamontgomeryOctober 24, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    Brie told people to draft Adrian Peterson in the first round this season. I never told anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Theberzerker! HUSS!October 24, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Unrelated to achievement status, but the Mickie/Victoria cage match that main evented an episode of Impact in 2010 was fucking awesome. I was pretty proud of them at the time, at least.

    ReplyDelete
  36. #growingupdbsm

    ReplyDelete
  37. Theberzerker! HUSS!October 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Flair seems like he's had less head trauma. Pun intended.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Naw. Hogan/Andre by a
    country mile.



    The clip of Foley falling has certainly been replayed
    endlessly in wrestling circles, but I don’t think it’s particularly famous
    outside of those circles.



    Andre/Hogan was a legitimate big deal.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Tara really seemed to hit a groove in TNA. It's a shame female wrestlers don't get to hit their mid 30s when they're better at working.

    ReplyDelete
  40. um, b/c Rousey is a real fighter?

    ReplyDelete
  41. It depends on when you were born. For people who got into wrestling in the 90s, it's definitely number one. I don't even think Rock/Foley is even in the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Theberzerker! HUSS!October 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Holy shit, I just watched this. I would make a 'too many drugs' joke, but I think she got her goddamn brain ejaculated on too many times. What a mess.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I remember everyone was buzzing about who that red haired lady was. When she unmasked and it was Stevie, the place went crazy! Talk about a moment in history.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Since there were two comments about it, I will respond up here. Wendy Richter was NOTa legit draw. Cyndi Lauper was. Richter was a generic women's wrestler who was the halfway decent looking so they quickly turned her face and tossed her in the Lauper angle. Any halfway decent female wrestler could have filled that role. All of her heat wa based on being attached to Lauper and as soon as that angle was over, Vince kicked her to the curb because he knew it too. The angle with Lauper itself was a draw (as seen by ratings on MTV and fan reaction), but I 100% believe that post -Lauper, Richter would have floundered even if Vince wouldn't have fired her and then only sporadically book a women's division (not that prior to Lauper the division was ever booked regularly).
    There have been femle wrestlers that have been over with the crowd, but given the choice between watching male talent and female over any extended period (such as a month long program), viewers have always chosen male talent and ratings back this up.

    ReplyDelete
  45. until fans realized Lauper wouldn't be at each show. She was the real draw not Richter

    ReplyDelete
  46. Seems this topic just came up a week or so ago, but yeah... women's wrestling just doesn't have a grand, respected legacy. Maybe all the way back in the 40's. In the 50's it was considered sleaze, or an attraction just barely above midgets & wrestling bears. 60's you never hear about. Maybe a little more respectable in the 70's & early 80's. Kinda peaked in the 80's (but also hit a low with GLOW). Trish, Lita & their fellow Divas probably do deserve the lion's share of credit for there still being women's wrestling today.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I can't even fathom that Smackdown thing. Like, it was going to be a female-centric show, with no male wrestling? That doesn't seem possible. They had 7 women on the roster at the time. 9 if you count Moolah and Mae Young.

    ReplyDelete
  48. He only has a different type of head trama from Missy's.

    ReplyDelete
  49. That's what we were referring to yesterday. Within the circle of wrestling lore, I'd wager Foley/Taker is more talked about and more infamous. Hogan/Andre was the biggest match ever. But it was a match that went right.

    Foley/Taker was a match that nearly tragically went wrong. And then Foley continued anyways. And you've got the iconic calls.

    Montreal is obvious.

    Again, at least myself and Marv were arguing that Foley/Taker is more written about within the wrestling community than Hogan/Andre.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think it's good.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I agree with you. She was a top star and when she beat Jericho for the IC belt, no one really thought it was that crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Sad to say, but I think the Bella Twins are definite future WWE Hall of Famers. Total Divas may not last too much longer--but it's a reality show that ran for 3 seasons, so I'd classify that as a success. I think WWE will reward the Bellas for the show's success. And the reality is that their presence on the show has probably made the company more money and given them more publicity than AJ Lee or any of the other women on the roster.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think if you polled a random group of people (non-wrestling fans) age 40 or older and asked them the most famous wrestling match of all time, the two answers you'd mostly get are "no idea" and "Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant".

    In their 30's: "Hollywood Hulk vs. that bald guy. Stone Cold? Goldstein? Something like that. Oh and the Rock. Didn't one of them fight Mike Tyson?"

    In their 20's: "There's a famous wrestling match?"

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yeah, the difference between a woman legitimately being a total badass and one being presented as such in a fake sport is pretty fucking big.

    ReplyDelete
  55. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 24, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    A few Iron Man matches, and lots of promo time.

    ReplyDelete
  56. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 24, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Oh how they botched that up.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Me too. And i feel the McMahons were a perfect opponent for DX. DX could beat them all day, every day and it doesn't hurt anyone else on the roster...


    Well except maybe Show here but he's kinda bullet proof.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Yeah because her getting pregnant was all their fault

    ReplyDelete
  59. "Yep Mode" ABeyAnce1©October 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I was a fan of it.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Rousey's days as a draw are coming to a close. She so outclasses every other woman in division that people are starting to get tired of her destroying her opponents in the first round. Unless someone could really give her a challenge people are going to be bored.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Truly a dark, dark day. Those Expos would have kicked the Yankees' asses ;)

    ReplyDelete
  62. YankeesHoganTripleHFanOctober 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Ok you all convinced me...DX/McMahons and Show it is. Think I'll start with Taker vs Orton. Seen it the least so want to see it somewhat sober. Triple H vs Batista can go second. I'll be feeling pretty good by then so it will enhance the badass, bloodness of it. Hunter vs HBK will go third. Long match so I will need to pause it to eat, plus I will be on to shots by then which I can do while they are laying in the ring. The DX match can go on last....I'll be drunk enough that Big Show passed on ropes for 10 minutes is believable. And if there's time left I will just watch Triple H vs Undertaker and good for me...I paced my self to have made it this far.
    Or maybe I should just try to get a date while I am at the gym tomorrow morning.

    ReplyDelete
  63. The call has made Foley/Taker a really big deal also.

    Whenever something crazy in the world of sports happens, people replay JR's call(s) of
    "GOD AS MY WITNESS HE IS BROKEN IN HALF"
    and
    "STOP THE DAMN MATCH"
    and the King's
    "...that's it...he's dead..."

    I don't think you can underestimate the amount of relevance that gave the match. People who are only marginally familiar with wrestling became exposed to the match through the memorable call and found their way into seeing the match that way.

    ReplyDelete
  64. In addition to those usually cited calls, I've always loved the postmatch
    "they gave you of their SOULS here tonight" from JR. Stuff
    we don't have a hope in Hell of hearing anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  65. In terms of sheer numbers, Hogan vs. Andre from the Main Event did a 15.2 rating, meaning around 33 million people watched it live. Comparatively, KOTR '98 did 310,325 buys. Slightly down on the 33 million of Hogan-Andre then. The WrestleMania III match even did better numbers, just under a million between PPV and closed circuit.

    For reference, Rikidozan did a 60-minute draw with Lou Thesz for the NWA title in 1957 that pulled an 87.0 rating, and did a Best 2/3 Falls draw with the Destroyer in 1963 that pulled a 67.0 (actually a larger figure than the Thesz match since more people had TV in '63, and it was the largest audience in Japanese history.)

    ReplyDelete
  66. I'd love to place a Austin wtf gif here lol

    ReplyDelete
  67. Wrestling With Shadows aired a lot on A&E.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Age was going to be my argument, so I asked my girlfriend. We started dating around the fall of 2010 and I really started getting back into wrasslin in summer of '11 so I felt comfortable at that point to have (force) her into my wrestling world. We're 29, so I thought she's a perfect medium for a someone detached, but somewhat knowledgeable. Her answer: "It has to be something with Stone Cold. When he wrestled The Hulk? No wait, Sting and The Undertaker." She's seen the Princess Bride at least 4-5 times and Andre didn't rate at all when I asked.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I also like that neither of those matches has actually occurred.

    ReplyDelete
  70. I'm telling you the whole NWO/Attitude Era is all a combined blur for a lot of people, and if you ask they remember Hogan, the Rock, a bald guy, a guy with a painted face, and a bunch of guys in black t-shirts doing crotch chops, carrying baseball bats, while half-naked girls dance around.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment