Melina has opened up on how certain gimmick matches used to be used punishment for female wrestlers, and how there needs to be a further push to get rid of the toxicity.
Although the Divas Era in WWE was to the benefit of some competitors, there are plenty who feel that this is something women’s wrestling has now moved a long way away from. However, there are still elements which seem to creep in during the modern era in an attempt to keep ratings high.
In a discussion with WrestlePurists, former WWE superstar Melina has opened up on how the industry has come a long way, but the change needs to happen faster. The former Divas Champion also discussed how if you used to do well in WWE, you could be punished by being put in a gimmick match to even things out.
There are things within the roster where things should change, but it hasn’t. It’s still kind of trickling from the years and the decades and the eras prior. Certain attitudes or maybe viewpoints, it’s still there. So whatever toxicity, it’s slowly getting flushed out, but not fast enough. So when it comes to a coalition or anything where it’s like, hey, girls, let’s get together, we’re lucky we have a job, but we don’t want to lose our job, and we’ve seen people come and go.
It’s like, how do we go about where we keep our job but kinda like push this in [and not get heat]. We’d kind of come together, and then it’s like okay, pick your spots, and we’d get punished. Our punishment was, ‘Hey, here’s a lingerie match right after you did something extraordinary,’ or here’s like, I don’t know, a swimsuit match. They would do stuff like that to kind of see what we’d do. It’s like okay, what are they gonna throw at us at this point? I turned it into, in my kind, I turned it into like a game. Like okay, let’s see what they’re gonna have us do now. [Laughs]. Okay, they wanna see our reaction to this.
The Divas Championship was officially retired in an announcement by Lita at WrestleMania 32, with the winner of the triple-threat match that night between title holder Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks leaving AT&T Stadium as the new Women’s Champion.
With thanks to Fightful for the transcription.