Is WWE Ready For A Woman To Win A Male Championship Again?


Wrestling, despite recent leaps over the past decade or so, is a male-dominated industry. With one or two exceptions, the biggest stars of wrestling are men. If you ask someone on the street to think of a wrestler, they’re likely to name stars such as The Rock, John Cena and perhaps Hulk Hogan.

Perhaps someone who used to watch will mention The Undertaker or even Shawn Michaels, but these wrestlers, all legends in their own right, are all men.

For the vast majority of non-fans and fans alike, women’s wrestling will always play second fiddle to their male counterparts. It seems that promos and pinfalls have a much greater impact when the XY Chromosomes are involved.

Sure, WWE has made genuine efforts in recent years to promote women, but is WWE ready for a woman to hold a male championship? That’s the topic we’ll be exploring today.

We should start off by saying that women winning male titles is not unheard of in WWE. In 1999, Chyna made history by defeating Jeff Jarrett at that year’s No Mercy, capturing her first of two Intercontinental Championships. Five years later, Jacqueline would capture the Cruiserweight Championship though her reign was short-lived at just 12 days.

Chyna after capturing her first of two Intercontinental Championships.

While the WWE 24/7 Championship is something of an exception (and at the time of writing is held by Dana Brooke) that championship is non-gender specific, and for this article, we will focus on titles that are solely expected to be held by men (World titles, secondary titles and men’s Tag titles.)

On the one hand, it’s easy to see why WWE would pull the trigger on a woman winning a men’s title. After all, the company has spent the past seven years promoting women’s wrestling as on even footing with men. Once relegated to three-minute bathroom breaks, the female Superstars now get actual storylines, prolonged feuds, and prominently-featured matches.

Here’s an example. At WrestleMania 35, Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair headlined the show, the first time that a women’s match had closed out WWE’s flagship event. While the match may be best remembered for a botched finish (where Lynch pinned Rousey despite the latter’s shoulders being off the mat,) this was a historic night for all of women’s wrestling.

A decade prior, at WrestleMania 25, the only women’s match was a multi-woman battle royal, that is best remembered for a Kid Rock concert beforehand, and the winner being Santino Marella’s drag-act alter ego ‘Santina.’

Needless to say, a lot changed in the ten years between the two shows.

In a low point for WWE’s Women’s division, Santino Marella’s drag-act is crowned Miss WrestleMania in 2009.

Nowadays, WWE is all about ‘female empowerment and ‘you go girl!’ even if it can come across as forced at times. With the company now an international media hit, what better way is there to guarantee media attention than a title change like this?

It’s not even like WWE is running low on possible title holders. While Chyna may have been seen as the only credible female threat to men at her time, WWE now has names like Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair, who could easily be presented as equal to any man on the card.

For this article, I used an image of Charlotte Flair, unquestionably WWE’s most decorated female Superstar, holding the WWE Championship. Of all the names the company has, Charlotte is the most likely to win a male title.

Already a 13-time Women’s Champion, its plain to see that WWE is looking to cement Flair as the greatest woman of all time, and holding a men’s title, perhaps even a male World title, will be just another feather in the cap (or rather, crown) for Flair.

WWE’s Women’s Revolution, which began back in 2015, has elevated the company’s treatment of female talent, and it’s not hard to see why a men’s title win could be part of the movement.

But here’s the problem.

The Women’s Revolution may be a reason why WWE put a men’s title on a woman, but it could easily be exactly why they don’t.

Think about it this way. For seven years, WWE has elevated the profile of women’s wrestling. No longer are bouts considered to be toilet breaks or storylines based on two women lusting over the same man.

Now, Women headline shows, compete in matches just as hard-hitting as the men (Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell etc) and in 2018, even had their own Pay Per View: Evolution.

As far as WWE is concerned, Women’s wrestling is just as important as the men’s.

So why would they have a woman win a man’s title? If WWE believe that women are equal to men, then the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships are (in theory) as important to women as the Undisputed WWE Universal title is to the men.

Surely, a woman challenging for a man’s title is going to send a message:

“The titles meant for women are beneath me.”

In an era where titles continue to lose importance thanks to a mix of bad booking and short reigns, the last thing WWE needs is for fans to see any title, especially a Women’s title, as less and less important.

There is also a much another big issue with a woman holding a men’s title that needs to be addressed: Intergender wrestling.

Intergender matches, as opposed to mixed-tag matches, are when men and women wrestle, and it’s something WWE RARELY uses. When WWE does use it, they go to great lengths to downplay the physical threat the man has over the woman.

Instead of equally matched athletes, intergender wrestling is usually a female Superstar defeating a man who isn’t a typical wrestler, such as Becky Lynch’s win over James Ellsworth in 2018.

WWE’s last intergender match was last year when Randy Orton faced Alexa Bliss, though to call this a match would be generous. Instead, what fans saw was a storyline segment that served to reintroduce The Fiend after a lengthy hiatus.

Bliss pinned Orton at Fastlane 2021 in the most recent intergender match on the WWE main roster to date.

It’s not hard to see why WWE is against intergender wrestling. In a publicly-traded company airing a PG product, the last thing WWE needs is bad publicity.

Sure, WWE will have context for matches, but for the average person scrolling social media, and seeing a woman getting pummelled by a man over a foot taller, they won’t go looking for context. They’ll see a woman being attacked by a man, and WWE’s apparent acceptance of violence against women.

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