In 2015, during a 30-second tag team match between Paige and Emma against The Bella Twins on Monday Night Raw, the hashtag #GiveDivasAChance trended as WWE fans demanded the company start treating their female talent as competent wrestlers rather than eye-candy. It wasn't the first time the sentiment had trended, but it was the first time WWE paid attention. Soon after, Stephanie McMahon introduced the Four Horsewomen of NXT — Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Bayley, and Charlotte Flair — to WWE's main roster and the Women's Revolution, soon to be renamed Women's Evolution, was born.
Though it's hard to disagree with the end result, WWE's branding of a movement that was born of frustration for decades of WWE's own policies was always suspect. There wouldn't have been a need for Women's Evolution if WWE had treated women with anything close to equality in the first place, and women's wrestling outside of WWE had already been taken seriously for years. Nevertheless, it's been five years since that fateful moment when Stephanie McMahon (some people say) started the Women's Evolution, and WWE has been celebrating all week on their television and social media.
And in a new twist, WWE has celebrated so hard they've actually recreated the original moment, causing the hashtag #NaomiDeservesBetter to trend after disrespecting the longtime WWE star for the past two weeks (and past few years). Last week on Smackdown, Naomi competed with Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, and Tamina Snuka in a Karaoke Showdown, a throwback to the days when wrestling was the last thing WWE expected its female performers to do. And on last night's episode of Smackdown, Naomi was beaten uneventfully in a very short match by Evans.
That cause the hashtag to trend, even garnering some attention by wrestlers outside of WWE, such as Lio Rush, who tweeted, "Oh yeah…. and @NaomiWWE should have been a 10x women's champion by now," and AEW star Big Swole, who said, "#NaomiDeservesBetter Naomi BEEN that woman, ok?! I will take no slander of any kind regarding that Queen." Naomi herself even acknowledged the movement, posting a screenshot of the Twitter trends and saying, "Wow! I know y'all got me you always have! I appreciate you all so so much! Thanks for the continuous support and believing in me 😘 #bestfans #glowmob #naomob #wweuninverse"
So in a remarkable show of obliviousness, WWE managed to pay tribute to the start of the Women's Evolution by recreating the circumstances that finally pushed people over the edge, to begin with. And this time, with more racial discrimination! How long before Stephanie McMahon steps in to give Naomi a push and take credit for it?