Divas wrestling is dead in WWE. It's a moment that many fans did not expect, but one that has come at just the right time. WWE's new era of women's wrestling has arrived, and it's the era that was over even before it was announced at WrestleMania 32.
Mania was the night when women's wrestling not only took center stage, it stole the show.
Fans knew that Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch were going to bring it at WrestleMania. They tore the house down in NXT, which was really where this new movement began. Fans of WWE's developmental brand saw them as hungry competitors, anxious to prove themselves.
But they stayed hungry even after coming to the main roster.
This is where the true heart of women's wrestling is. These three had the intensity, the drive, and the ambition to do great things in a company focused largely on men. That was not an issue for them, however—all that mattered was the moment and how they could make the most of it.
Along with Bayley back in NXT, they did just that.
Fans latched onto this, they allowed themselves to be taken in by it, and they went along with the notion that women could become relevant as ring warriors once again. The truth is they always wanted it to happen, but WWE has not always made it easy for it to happen in the first place.
Women were Divas, nothing more.
The idea of female wrestlers being one part actress and one part runway model was ridiculous at first. A few women like AJ Lee voiced their displeasure on the situation over the years, but it was all storyline, so nothing changed.
The longer it went on, the more fans became accustomed to it. This did not translate to acceptance, however, merely just routine. WWE was getting what it wanted as a company, and there was really nothing fans could do about it.
So why fight it? Total Divas is a hit, so who was to say WWE was wrong in its assessment of women in the locker room?
But every week, the Divas matches would happen on Raw or on pay-per-view and those matches were used for bathroom breaks. It was just how things were. Fans were used to mediocrity, and WWE was only happy to give it to them.
But times have changed. The efforts put in by the group collectively known as The Four Horsewomen have paid off. The new championship belt awarded to Charlotte is not just a strap, it's a symbol. Gone is the big gaudy butterfly, replaced with a smaller version of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
This is a symbol of women's wrestling being put on par with men's wrestling, and it's long overdue.
WrestleMania overall has received mixed reviews thus far, but the Triple Threat match between Charlotte, Sasha and Becky, has exceeded all expectations. They worked the match as if it was their last, and they left fans wanting more.
The trio knew that the pressure was on, and they thrived under it. They rose to the occasion, and they turned in a potential Match of the Year candidate for wrestling, not just women's wrestling.
Now everything has changed.
The female Superstars of WWE will no longer be known as Divas, which means they must start stepping up their game. Wearing booty shorts and posing for the camera will no longer be enough. The real work must be done between the ropes, as it should have been all along.
WrestleMania 32 was perhaps the biggest night that women's wrestling has ever known in WWE.
Shane McMahon versus The Undertaker was supposed to get all the attention. Roman Reigns was finally ascending the ladder as WWE's new top guy. Dean Ambrose went in for the fight of his life against Brock Lesnar. But none of them were arguably able to top the Women's Championship match, and that is a testament to how far WWE has come.
Now the possibility of women working the main event of Raw or SmackDown is very real. The possibility of them working the main event of a pay-per-view may not be far behind. There is no limit now as to how far this can go, and it's thanks to the work done in the ring.
It's also thanks to WWE's willingness to evolve and move to the next level. Women's wrestling is important again, it's relevant again and it's been put on the same level as men's wrestling. This is what so many fans have wanted for so long, and now they finally have it.
Tom Clark can regularly be found on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here