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We are in the middle of a revolution in women’s wrestling, both in terms of it’s quality, and the level of credibility that companies are giving towards it. At last women are beginning to be seen as something beyond arm candy or something for Johnny Ace to jerk off to, but it wasn’t always this way, not by a long shot. There was a long time where, to be a woman in wrestling meant that your life was hell. That so many stuck through that to make this industry is a better place is a testament to them. But while there have been many influential women in wrestling history, women who booked territories, women who won championships and women who were nationally beloved figures, there can only be one answer to this question…
The coin toss dictates that THE_MAN_DIVA will go first.
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To be influential does not mean that what you influence is inherently positive, as there is such a thing as a bad influence. My selection for most influential woman in WWE history is controversial for for influencing both good and bad… depending on who you speak to.
She walked into Stamford for her husband’s contract signing and walked out with job of her own. Even though there were women who came before her, she influenced the then-WWF to resurrect the Women’s Championship based on her popularity alone and influenced them to start utilizing more women in a wrestling capacity.
She was the one who coined the term Diva, launching a brand WWE capitalized on for 15 years. However, the dark side of her influence was they broke the mold when she came along and tried to force others to be her replacement once she left.
Her unceremonious departure put all the Divas under a microscope for possible ego trips or gaining too much leverage. The brand she influenced became an albatross for all female workers in and out of WWE until the Women’s Evolution.
My selection is none other than SABLE.
Let us be frank here, the list of influential women in the WWE is very small. There are really only five women have influenced the WWE, Elizabeth, Sherri, Trish, Richter and Linda.I am going to pick Linda McMahon. Without Linda there is no WWE. This is a statement Vince has echoed. Linda was able to help Vince build this empire or at the very least take it to the next level after Vince got it from his father. Linda is the most important figure in the WWE next to Vince.
Linda help create Titan Sports with Vince. Titan was able to buy out the WWE and a few other indies along the way. Linda helped spearhead the marketing campaigns that made the WWE what it is today. Even though she has taken bumps, she will never be a world champion or have five star matches. It doesn’t matter,because she was the one cosigning those checks to those who do take bumps, win titles and put on five star matches. Without those checks you don’t get a SummerSlam or a Survivor Series and you usually as hell don’t get a Wrestlemania. Even in the talent department, she has been able to get wrestlers to come to or come back to the company like she did with Warrior and Hogan. She was a figure back in the day that was able to smooth over rough feelings with certain talent to help create the best vision of the WWE for decades.
The fact that you list those 5 women as the only influential women in WWE history is laughable.
Linda is the most powerful woman in WWE history. But we’re not discussing power. We’re discussing influence.
Influence is non-coercive power… persuasion. Influence is psychological and voluntary. Persons under influence always have alternatives while accepting a particular compliance.
Sable influenced how women were booked and perceived for damn near two decades… she influenced Vince to hire models in hopes of turning them into wrestlers… she influenced WCW to utilize their women beyond dance routines because of her popularity…. she influenced the fans to tune into RAW and is repeatedly noted by her peers as one of the deciding factors in the Monday Night War. Linda may have been able to smooth rough feelings, but Sable’s name and legacy still causes great debate and still ruffles feathers as her influence affected women in WWE and elsewhere. In WWE, the Divas were held down to avoid them from gaining too much leverage or from developing an ego and outshining the men.
With the way the women were treated based on her departure, perhaps you could say Sable not only influenced Vince, but also Linda. Linda had authority, Sable did not; whatever Linda did, it was in her job description. Sable’s influence, for better or worse, changed mindsets and left an impression without authoritative force, which Linda had by the tons and failed to utilize properly when WWE was on the brink of collapse.
So, let me get this straight, you choose Sable for being a negative influence or how WWE books or treats women poorly for a long period of time then you should have picked Wendi Richter. She was the original Diva in WWE’s mind that needed to be taught a lesson. She got Montreal Screw Jobbed before there was a Montreal screw job. It can be argued that her match WrestleMania I was the sub main event then the next year after she is thrown out of the company the women’s title is given a very little time and never heard from til Medusa shows up. I think Sherri got it once or something, but who cares. Wendi Richter is the ultimate negative Diva influence, because when they screwed her over, they were willing to kill the division on purpose due to how popular she was.
Linda is the right choice, because influence comes in many forms ie money and power. Linda has both. She has successfully helped steer this company through the good times of the 80s to the bad times of the early 90s. She was able to help keep the company together while it looked like Vince was going to jail. She talked to the bookers about options of who to bring him from Jim Cornette to Paul Heymen to letting Patterson run the whole thing. Her being the captain of the ship for that period of time dwarfs anything some D cup who couldn’t cut promos did.