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Female wrestlers deserve the same respect as their male counterparts

Female wrestlers deserve the same respect as their male counterparts

Female wrestlers deserve the same respect as their male counterparts
June 03
14:00 2022

The most common misconception about professional wrestling is how the sport as a whole is fake, which could not be further from the truth. While wrestling is predetermined and scripted, those actors are still real men and women taking those body slams.

Even though it is an act, and a lot of professional wrestlers are playing certain characters for television, there are actual people behind those characters. The WWE has been looked at as the top of the mountain when it comes to the controversial sport. Professional female wrestlers Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out on the company this May after having problems with creative decisions the company had for the duo.

Over the last couple of months, Banks and Naomi have been working together as a famous “Tag Team.” Tag team wrestling is fantastic because the limits are endless in terms of what two wrestlers can do together in the ring. The fans were on board with the duo, and so was the WWE, after deciding to have them win the Women’s Tag Team Championships at the biggest wrestling show of the year, Wrestlemania.

The team brought new respect to the belts, with a lot of fans excited they were finally in good hands. Banks and Naomi walked out because it was rumored the team was going to be split up for storyline reasons — erasing all the respect and attention they have brought to the titles they had won just weeks ago.

The two were suspended indefinitely and there have been no further advancements in the story as of this week’s publication. What makes this suspension so frustrating is fans really did love the combination of Banks and Naomi, and the pair were changing the way WWE fans looked at the Women’s Tag Team titles.

They were the first Black female Tag Team champions in company history, and for all their hard work to be disregarded for storytelling reasons was disappointing. This has even gotten to the point where people who commentate the WWE matches weekly are making statements about the two letting the company down, saying they are disappointing millions of fans.

Banks and Naomi are two of the most skilled and most loved wrestlers in the company, and few could imagine the company acting the way it did if it was John Cena deciding to walk out because he didn’t agree with a story. The WWE has always had an eyebrow-raising past with the treatment of its women wrestlers, starting with how they were called “Divas” before they realized the name was extremely out of touch and dropped it entirely.

There were also many instances where the women wrestlers in the company would be used for “Diva Swimsuit” contests, instead of showcasing their in-ring talent as they had planned. The company also has occasional matches in Saudi Arabia, where women wrestlers have had to wear large shirts over their ring gear to cover up — due to the country’s restrictions on women’s clothing.

Banks and Naomi are at the top when it comes to women’s wrestling, and the two walking out on the biggest company in the industry is a huge step. The story is still developing — and the future is still uncertain — but to walk away from the company after their mistreatment definitely pulls the curtain back and allows fans to see some of the things the WWE may try to cover up.

The WWE is also a fan of “working” their fans, which is when you think the wrestlers are breaking character and going through real-life situations, but it turns out to be a scripted storyline for the sake of the show. If this is one big work, it is a spit in the face to anyone who is trying to stand up to larger corporations, and it is definitely on-brand for the WWE to use something like unionization as an angle so a storyline comes off as organic.

I fully support Banks and Naomi, and for those who don’t, my only question is simple: if your favorite male wrestler walked out because of creative differences, would you still support him? Sasha Banks’ real name is Mercedes Justine Kaestner-Varnado and Naomi’s is Trinity LaShawn Fatu. They are human beings before they are wrestlers, and if they feel they are being mistreated, we should be quick to listen instead of being quick to criticize.

Featured Illustration By Erika Sevilla

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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