How WWE Rebranding Divas Division After WrestleMania 32 Impacts the Future

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterApril 1, 2016

Credit: WWE.com

In the process of furthering and elevating women's wrestling, rebranding the WWE Divas division is a vital step but by no means the final one.

As of now, WWE holds fast to the term "Diva" to describe its female wrestlers. It's a term that stirs up images of catfights, women stripped down to their underwear and petty squabbles instead of wrestling. After WrestleMania 32 comes to a close, though, WWE may be ready to do away with that terminology.

According to PWInsider Elite (h/t Wrestling Inc), WWE is planning to replace the Divas division with the women's division, a transition that would include introducing a brand-new WWE Women's Championship to take the place of the Divas title. This would all start on the Raw following WrestleMania 32.

Rechristening the title and the division would signify a major change. It's one that many have pined for.

Indy wrestler Gran Akuma is among those who support the switch:

Current Divas champ Charlotte told Alfred Konuwa in an interview on his PodNasty podcast that she was in favor of bringing back the women's title. She said: "I think changing it to Women's Championship would be great. It's 2016 now. We've had the Divas Championship for how long now? And I just think NXT is the Women's Championship, I find no reason why the main roster couldn't change it."

That change would be an indication to the audience that WWE is ready to take its women more seriously.

Calling the women on the roster "Divas" and having them chase the sparkling, purple title belt creates more separation between the male and female competitors. While the men are presented as warriors who are pursuing a prestigious trophy, the women are fighting over a butterfly-emblazoned toy.

NIkki Bella (with Brie Bella) with the Divas Championship on her shoulder.
NIkki Bella (with Brie Bella) with the Divas Championship on her shoulder.Credit: WWE.com

The Divas moniker bears a connotation of being temperamental, pop star-like, overly dramatic.

Why play those negative stereotypes? Why not just call them Superstars like the men? NXT has already ditched the Divas phrasing, using "women's division" instead to describe that part of the roster.

Following NXT's lead will help usher WWE's women's wrestling into a new era. It's largely a symbolic move, but one that needs to be made. It was hard to take the company's claim that a revolution was underway when the division's top prize and labeling remained the same. 

And now the timing is perfect for this reported rebranding.

Three former NXT stars in Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte are all set to compete in the most significant women's match on a WrestleMania stage. After women have so long been an afterthought at that marquee event, it will now host a meeting of three wrestlers with the potential to be cornerstones of a revamped division for years to come. 

Talking about that Triple Threat match for the Divas Championship, Mick Foley told Steve Austin on The Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network that it was a defining moment for women's wrestling.

Following up that momentous match by offering the champion a new title and renaming the division that she rules would be a powerful gesture. It would read like a changing of the guard and could easily be the catalyst for an improved women's division. Suddenly, there would be a sense of rebirth and tangible evolution.

However, it becomes only a superficial moment if more changes don't follow.

Even with an added emphasis on women's wrestling in the past year, the same issues have popped up again and again. The WWE too often allots the women too little time, as they are frequently forced to rush their stories in the ring. Rivalries aren't developed nearly enough. Too much of the division is underutilized.

A new championship title doesn't change that. It is only the precursor to WWE addressing the cracks on the facade of the women's division.

A sustained effort from WWE Creative to get the most out of the women on the roster is a must. So is affording Banks and Co. ample time and space to thrive.

If that doesn't happen, it won't matter what the belt is called that the champion carries on her shoulders.

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