Review of The New Book on History of the WWE Women’s Division
by Alan Wojcik
When you think of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars, naturally you think of the men like John Cena, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. But there’s a whole other side to the term superstar, the women who compete in WWE. They’ve had different connotations to describe them; ladies or divas, but since 2016 they have been called just superstars. They have come to be just as important on a live event or TV/PPV event as the men. So why not give them their own book about them. That’s exactly what happened in the new release KICKING DOWN DOORS: FEMALE SUPERSTARS ARE RULING THE RING AND CHANGING THE GAME ($19.99, 124pp, DK Publishing.) The book written by LJ Tracosas is broken up into three main chapters that outline the legends, the “women with attitude” and the current women’s evolution.
The WWE (AKA World Wide Wrestling Federation from 1963-1984 or World Wrestling Federation from 1984 to 2000-something) is a multi-generational promotion. The lineage goes from Jess McMahon to Vincent J McMahon to Vince K McMahon and his family. So the ladies story goes as far back to legends like Joyce Grable, Mildred Burke & Johnny Mae Young (yes the women the ladies tournament is named for.) The initial section also covers 1980-1990’s stars like Miss Elizabeth, Wendi Richter, Sherri Martel, Bull Nakano and Alundra Blayze (AKA Medusa Miceli.) It’s nice to see the Rock-N-Wrestling connection of Richter and music icon Cyndi Lauper be truly acknowledged as a factor in the creation of Wrestlemania 1.
Section two is all about the Monday Night Wars until about 2003. This area covers the WWF Diva’s many know like Trish Stratus, Lita, Sunny , Sable, Debra, Ms. Jacqueline, Ivory (they talk about her time on GLOW) , Victoria, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James and the late Joanie “Chyna” Lauer. Also covered are Trish and Lita being the women to main event an episode of Monday Night Raw, Trish and Victoria doing the first ever hardcore rules match and the infamous 2003 Diva’s Search that brought to the roster Candice Michelle, Christy Hemme and the late Ashley Massaro.
That leaves the current superstars you see weekly on Raw, Smackdown and NXT (WWE’s developmental brand.) This covers the Women’s Revolution and the #GiveDivasAChance social media movement that brought to light the way the writing teams were poorly using the women. The stars covered include Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, Paige, Natayla, Ronda Rousey and of course the Bella Twins who helped create the Total Divas show seen on the E! Network. Also covered are the groundbreaking things the ladies have accomplished in the last 10 years like competing in their own Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank ladder match, the Elimination Chamber, Hell in a Cell and wrestling in the Middle Eastern city of Dubai where women are not treated all too well.
Grab this for the woman in your life to enjoy. My 11 year old read it and love it. Thanks to Kristen Fisher for the digital review opportunity. Follow Alan Wojcik on social media @MyNameIsWojcik on Twitter and www.facebook.com/KayfabeWrestlingRadio