What does the independent wrestling (indie) circuit actually mean? The indie circuit is those promotions that are smaller than the major televised promotions (i.e. WWE, Impact). WWE has been known in the past to just pick their female talent from the scene of models or other sports backgrounds instead of directly from the indie scene.
Just as with anyone who is starting a new job in life, any aspiring wrestler that is not coming from experience or an indie scene background will most likely be coming into this scenario like a deer in headlights. A lot of the female roster from the “Diva Era” and even the “Attitude Era” did not have indie experience. With that being said, how does the current roster match up between indie versus non indie talent?
Taking a look at the current roster on both RAW and Smackdown Live!, both champions at the moment were not indie wrestlers. Alexa Bliss has a background in gymnastics and body building while Charlotte Flair’s athletic history and lineage speaks for itself. Although everyone knows the lineage for Flair, she was not in the indie scene like the rest of her Four Horsewomen counterparts. Here is a look at how the current main roster pans out between wrestlers with indie experience as opposed to wrestlers with no indie experience:
Bayley (Davina Rose)
Mickie James (Alexis Laree)
Paige (Britani Knight)
Sasha Banks (Mercedes KV)
Becky Lynch (Rebecca Knox)
Sarah Logan (Crazy Mary Dobson)
Ruby Riott (Heidi Lovelace)
Natalya (Nadia Hart)
Where Mandy Rose started:
What these numbers show is that there tends to still be more non indie wrestlers on the main roster than indie ones. However, if you take in consideration the women of NXT who have come up from the indie scene, (for example, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, Kairi Sane, Aliyah and Lacey Evans) this will help even out the numbers on the main roster. In order to see how far WWE has come with their hiring of indie wrestlers, if this roster was compared to the roster just 10 years ago in 2007, this change could be acredited to NXT.
2007 Women’s (Divas) Roster
Not to take anything away from the talent of those who were not in the indies, but there definitely seems to be a shift throughout the years. The shift is a mere desire for more experienced talent. The Mae Young classic introduced a lot of indie talent as well. Some may argue that the Divas from the 2000’s were not given the appropriate time to put on a good match. Other people may argue that they were not given the time due to them not being up to par to their indie counterparts. It may also be argued that the male roster is more dominated by indie talent being hired then the women. It does seem that the women division has come a long way, but with more indie stars the division could be unstoppable.
Do you think the WWE is heading in the right direction with their female talent? Who else would we like to see in the WWE from the indies? Let us know in the comments.