Saturday, July 2, 2022

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Retrospective: First WrestleMania Match to Now

Over the next two days, WrestleMania 38 will be taking place and at the time of this writing, there are three matches for the women over both days. Arguably there could be more, however, a total of 12 women will be on the biggest stage of them all and will undoubtedly leave everything they have out in the ring.

Credit: WWE

Women’s wrestling has a sordid past when it comes to WrestleMania. Up until WrestleMania 32, the Divas weren’t particularly highlighted or given the best opportunities. Of course, we will always have classic matches before that time such as Mickie James vs. Trish Stratus and who could ever forget Molly Holly vs. Victoria. But WrestleMania 32 is when less gimmicky matches faded away and wrestling skills were brought to the forefront.

In 2016, at WrestleMania 32, the landscape for women’s wrestling in WWE started to shift as the Divas Championship was retired and the new Women’s Championship (later to be named the current Raw Women’s Championship) was introduced. The introduction of the new title was done by Lita.

Credit: WWE

It is fitting that this year’s WrestleMania is in Dallas, TX because it is a full-circle moment for three women in particular. Three women who had their very first WrestleMania match together at WrestleMania 32 which also took place in Dallas. Charlotte Flair walked in as the last Divas Champion and she walked out as the new and first Women’s Champion after a Triple Threat against Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.

With there being 12 women on the card this year, let’s have a retrospective from their first WrestleMania matches until now.

Becky Lynch – Sixth WrestleMania

Starting off alphabetically we have Becky Lynch first. WrestleMania 38 will be her sixth WrestleMania. The only one she has missed since being on the main roster was last year’s due to being out on maternity leave.

Her first WrestleMania she shares with Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair, so this will be on this list a few times. WrestleMania 32 was a turning point in women’s wrestling for WWE. Since then, women have not been left off the card entirely just as they were years before at WrestleMania 29 and many others that came before.

Becky has been locked into the event ever since and would go on to be one of three women to be the first to main event a WrestleMania (along with Flair and Ronda Rousey). She won that match and won both the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Titles that were on the line. At WrestleMania 36 she would defeat Shayna Baszler making her a two-time WrestleMania winner. Will she make it three this weekend?

Bianca Belair – Third WrestleMania

Bianca Belair is poised to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship on Saturday. Her very first WrestleMania was actually before she was even on the main roster. Back in 2018 at WrestleMania 34, Belair was part of the NXT crew that would participate in the first Women’s Battle Royal. The match was won by Naomi.

The women of NXT would have a moment in the match where they were all on the same page and chanted “NXT.” Belair was involved along with Peyton Royce, Kairi Sane, Kavita Devi, Taynara Conti, and Dakota Kai.

Belair’s second WrestleMania match would of course come last year as she was in the main event on night one with Sasha Banks. This made history as the first two Black women to ever main event a WrestleMania. She walked out with her first title in WWE as the SmackDown Women’s Champion.

Can Belair make it back-to-back wins at WrestleMania and defeat the only other main event winner Becky Lynch and become Raw Women’s Champion?

Carmella – Fifth WrestleMania

Carmella’s first event involved a championship match for the SmackDown Women’s Title. At WrestleMania 33, Carmella participated in a six-pack challenge where Alexa Bliss walked in as champion and Naomi walked out as the champ in her hometown of Orlando, Fla. The match was entirely too short but all six women involved made the best of their time given.

Now heading into this year’s event, Carmella is one-half of the Women’s Tag Team Champions and despite being preoccupied with her upcoming wedding she probably would like to keep the gold. She has had one previous WrestleMania win when she won the second Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania 35.

Charlotte Flair -Sixth WrestleMania

Missing last year’s event, Flair is heading into her sixth this year as SmackDown Women’s Champion. As mentioned earlier with Becky Lynch, Flair shares her first WrestleMania moment with both Lynch and Sasha Banks. She walked in as Divas Champion and out as Women’s Champion as the butterfly belt was retired.

Over the years, Flair has had three wins to her name and if she retains against Ronda Rousey it will make four.

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