In the interest of equality, WWE has taken great steps over the past two years in particular to try to give the women’s division the same platform as the male superstars. One way they’ve done this is to make sure if a gimmick match is going on, there’s one for the women, too. Nowadays, there’s a Women’s Royal Rumble, an Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank for the women’s division, a women’s Survivor Series match and so on.
In the same vein, last year, WWE attempted to have the women’s equivalent of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The intention behind it was solid, it made sense on paper and everything felt like it was a thumbs up, except for one thing: the name.
The “Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal” was obviously something WWE officials thought was the best possible option, as there was already the Mae Young Classic and Moolah had been one of their most revered women ever. She’ll forever remain the longest-reigning women’s champion in history and folks like Vince McMahon have a deep admiration for her.
And yet, there was backlash from the fan community, as more and more information got out about her past indiscretions, leading to WWE scrapping the name and Moolah statue to replace it with the horrible uterus-looking trophy and dubbing it the boring, flat, uninspired name of “WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal”—womp womp.
So far this year, there hasn’t been a peep about this match coming back for WrestleMania 35, but WWE doesn’t typically bother building to the ATGMBR until closer to Mania, so this isn’t surprising. More than likely, the women’s match will return, and in my mind, it needs a new name.
With that long-winded intro out of the way, it’s time for my pitch: The Wendi Richter Memorial Battle Royal.
Before you even say it, I know—she’s not dead!
But that’s okay. While the word “memorial” is normally used in honor of those who have passed away, it technically doesn’t have to be that way. This could be addressed in two different ways of a) this is a memorial of her career as she’s been retired for over a decade, or b) WWE can forgo the use of the word “memorial” and just call it the Wendi Richter Battle Royal until she does pass away, and then change it to add “memorial” back in. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be referring to it as WRMBR anyway.
So Why Wendi Richter Over Other Women?
Why not the Chyna Memorial Battle Royal, or the Sensational Sherri Memorial Battle Royal, or Miss Elizabeth Memorial Battle Royal, etc?
Miss Elizabeth wasn’t really a wrestler, Chyna is going into the Hall of Fame this year and I don’t know if they’d want to give her that much attention every single year for WrestleMania, and with Sensational Sherri, it’s a matter of Richter’s history winning out.
You see, Richter was the first woman to ever compete at WrestleMania, ever. At WrestleMania I, she defeated Leilani Kai to win the WWF Women’s Championship in the penultimate match of the night.
This was one of the featured matches on the card and there isn’t exactly a laundry list of women who have a history at WrestleMania worth paying tribute to. Yes, they could just go with Alundra Blayze and call it a day, but I feel this is the one and only opportunity to go with Richter and save Blayze for something else, as Richter isn’t going to get something else named after her.
All it takes is one video package explaining that they want to honor the women who have competed at WrestleMania going back to the very first one, show some footage of the match, have people explain how historic it was and so on and so forth, and we’re off to the races. If anyone complains that this is usurping the Moolah name, that person is going to be chewed up for supporting Moolah, so there won’t be a lot of backlash.
If they go with the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal name for the second time, it’s pretty much set in stone that they won’t change it and we’ll be stuck with that going forward. Now is the one and only time to fix it, and the timing couldn’t be better with something else, too…
The Cyndi Lauper Factor
Every year, the WWE Hall of Fame features at least one woman and at least one celebrity. Chyna has already been announced for the Class of 2019 as part of D-Generation X, yet she’ll obviously be unable to fully represent the women’s division, leaving a bit of a gap.
Inducting Cyndi Lauper into this year’s class helps solve that issue, to a certain extent, as she’d be pulling double-duty as both a woman who can get up on stage and give a speech as well as the celebrity wing component of the Hall of Fame.
Richter would obviously be the one inducting her and the two of them could talk about how they made history at WrestleMania I as well as their memories of Rowdy Roddy Piper and everything else surrounding their involvement of that event and onward.
Yes, Lauper wasn’t a wrestler, but that’s why Chyna is going in. Yes, WWE could just induct someone else like Sable or Stacy Keibler or whoever, but I’m not hearing any buzz about that happening, are you? And would you rather have Lauper in the celebrity wing or would you rather WWE induct someone else this year like Jon Stewart or Floyd Mayweather?
A two-hit punch with the Hall of Fame and WRMBR wraps everything up in a neat little bow.
But Why Even Have the Match?
You might be asking yourself if any of this is necessary, thinking that there doesn’t need to be a battle royal for the women at WrestleMania, but I would disagree.
We can assume this year and every year going forward (until the brand split ends) that there will be three matches featuring the women’s division as the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships will be on the line, along with the newly-created Women’s Tag Team Championship titles.
That gives Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, most likely Asuka, her opponent, Bayley, Sasha Banks and their two challengers something to do, but leaves out everyone else.
More than ever, the main roster has far too many women to push aside and say they can’t find a spot for them, while the men’s roster still has the ATGMBR. That just wouldn’t be fair and it would be obvious WWE is playing favorites and saying the women’s division surplus doesn’t matter.