On January 28, WWE will make history when they have the first ever 30 women Royal Rumble match. Over the past few years, WWE has completely overhauled their presentation of their women wrestlers. In the late 90s, women in WWE were primarily eye candy who wrestled frequently in bra and panties matches. Some women such as Trish Stratus and Lita delivered quality matches but the women were still typically marginalized.
The situation for the women got worse when both Stratus and Lita retired in 2006. Most women’s matches were only a few minutes long and very unathletic. There were a few women who stood out, like Beth Phoenix and Mickie James, but WWE was too prioritsed on making their women into divas instead of actual credible wrestlers.
In 2015, a few women who were having showing stealing matches in NXT were called up to the main roster. Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair helped spearhead WWE’s women’s revolution which lead to them being rebranded from divas to women at Wrestlemania 32. Since then women have main evented shows and competed in ladder matches and Hell in a Cell matches just like the men.
Now the women will have their own Royal Rumble match. However, since their are 30 participants there a few spots that need to be filled by women who are not active on the main roster. Here a few women who could possibly make appearances in this history making match.
The Bella Twins
It has been no secret that both Brie and Nikki Bella have been wanting to return to wrestling. Brie has not wrestled since Wrestlemania 32 and Nikki has not wrestled since last year’s Wrestlemania where she got engaged. These two were a major part in giving many of today’s women exposure through the E! Network show Total Divas. While they may be seen as the last relics of the divas division they really helped the division get to this point. Both women always train regularly so a spot in this match would be a perfect comeback for two women who have helped bring more eyes to the women.
In the mid 2000s, Beth Phoenix stood out from all of the other women. She was a muscular woman who was a multiple time WWE Women’s Champion. Her nickname the Glamazon perfectly described Phoenix. She is one of the few women to actually compete in the Royal Rumble match so it would be fitting she would be in this one. Beth Phoenix was recently announced as a commentator for the upcoming Mixed Match Challenge. This makes it more likely she would make an appearance in this historic match.
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce
These two have been a highlight of NXT for over a year. They are a great duo but haven’t been in as many high profile matches as others. Royce has been featured more due to her in ring skill but their association really helps her and Kay. Considering how long they have been in NXT it seems they should be called up soon. Hopefully the Women’s Royal Rumble could be a test run for them both.
Sane is one the most talented women employed by WWE. She was the winner of the Mae Young Classic tournament this past fall beating former UFC fighter Shanya Baszler in the finals. Since then she has not done much in NXT but she is clearly destined for great things. WWE loves to showcase their advancements in presenting women’s wrestling. Having the winner of the Mae Young Classic in this match would do that.
The current NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon has carried the torch of NXT that other former champions like Sasha Banks and Charolette Flair had carried. NXT is going to get some kind of spotlight in this match and Moon is the perfect person to highlight. She defends her title against Shayna Baszler the night before at NXT Takeover. It is possible she may lose her title which would make it less of a hassle if she were to get eliminated in the Royal Rumble.
McCool was the first ever Divas Champion and was bright spot in a low period for the women in WWE. Her run as champion that included an association with Layla, known as Laycool, was one of the best duos in WWE at their time. Since McCool retired she has started as family with The Undertaker. He seems to be on the verge of finishing up his career so it would be interesting for his wife to get one last chance in the spotlight as well.
Ever since Rousey’s appearance at Wrestlemania 31 everyone has been clamoring to see her in a WWE ring again. This former UFC champion has not fought since her loss to Amanda Nunes in December 2016. It seems that she is retired which has lead to talk she may do something with WWE. She made a few appearances during the Mae Young Classic where she was supporting her friend Shayna Baszler. There was even a incident where Rousey and her friends confronted a few WWE women. A few weeks ago, Rousey posted a video hyping her new website where it had clips of her training to wrestle. Recently, Rousey and Triple H were seen by TMZ leaving the same restaurant. There are clearly talks on going between WWE and Rousey. An appearance in the Women’s Royal Rumble may be too early for her to debut. However an appearance and possible win by Rousey would make this historic match even more noteworthy.