Several months later, Becky Lynch debuted “The Man” gimmick, establishing herself as one of the faces of the company, while engaged in a feud with eight-time women’s champion Charlotte Flair over world title gold.
And on Sunday, the three starred in the first ever all-women’s main event in the history of WrestleMania, which began in 1985 in Madison Square Garden.
The event, which set a MetLife Stadium record $16.9 million for highest grossing entertainment event, along with a sold-out 82,265 in attendance, ended with a controversial pinfall victory for Lynch, who took both Rousey’s Raw and Flair’s Smackdown’s Women’s Championships.
“I mean it’s something I definitely want to obtain,” said fellow WWE competitor Naomi at a Superstars For Hope event in One World Trade over the weekend. “I wasn’t sure if I would ever be on WrestleMania and just to see where I am now, where we all are now, it’s very inspiring.”
The landmark moment not only inspired their peers, but even those like Stephanie McMahon, the WWE’s Chief Brand Officer (and daughter of Chairman Vince McMahon), who felt the match’s significance on a sentimental level.
“Growing up in WWE and now as the mom of three girls, having women main event headline WrestleMania for the first time in 35 years is equal part pride and a feeling of accomplishment for our women,” she offered.
“This is an opportunity not only for fans, not only for our superstars, but this is a win for women in sports,” she continued. “This is a win for women in business, in media, all around the world. Our women are the headline, they’re the main event of WrestleMania.”
Dana Warrior, a WWE ambassador and creative writer, says she always believed the day was possible that women could headline WrestleMania.
“I always believe, whatever that ceiling is, crash through it and then keep on going,” she said. “I have two daughters of my own so I feel like I set an example for them from the time they born that whatever it is you’re passionate about, you can do.”
And WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry adds that Lynch, Rousey and Charlotte earned the spot because of their abilities, not just because the stars aligned in their favor.
“Along the way, every week, the women were stealing the show,” said the one-time World’s Strongest Man. “It wasn’t like they were given opportunities because they were women. They were given opportunities because they were the best talent on the roster.”