WWE announced the first all-female Royal Rumble and the wrestling world is buzzing
It’s another massive step for the WWE’s female performers.
When WWE’s Stephanie McMahon stepped into the ring during Monday Night Raw she floored everyone, but not in the conventional wrestling sense.
McMahon took centre stage to announce something rather special: nearly 30 years after the launch of Royal Rumble, there will be an all-female edition.
“The first ever women’s Royal Rumble match will mark a significant moment in the evolution of WWE,” said McMahon, WWE chief brand officer, who announced the news in front of stars such as Sasha Banks, Paige and Dana Brooke.
“WWE’s female performers are role models, inspiring and empowering women and girls to be confident and strong. They deserve their own match at Royal Rumble.”
The event will take place on January 28 2018. Superstars will go head to head with the winner receiving a championship opportunity at WrestleMania 34 in April.
Women’s wrestling has been evolving for years, with a new Women’s Championship title belt unveiled at WrestleMania 32 for example, and 2017 seeing the first women’s tournament in the form of the Mae Young Classic.
It’s fair to say the wrestlers involved were stunned by the latest development in their sport.
EXCLUSIVE: "That's what it's all about... It's changing the perception of what people view of women. We are STRONG, POWERFUL, and we can do and achieve ANYTHING!" - @SashaBanksWWE #RAW #RoyalRumble pic.twitter.com/YncTxXrOzY— WWE (@WWE) December 19, 2017
I was put on this earth to make history, this is the first step. What an incredible day for womens wrestling. #RoyalRumble— Sarah Logan (@sarahloganwwe) December 19, 2017
Such an honor to announce the first-ever women's #RoyalRumble match on #Raw tonight. @WWE's female Superstars raise the bar every chance they get & I can't wait to see them make history once again at the #RoyalRumble next month. #WomensEvolution pic.twitter.com/Cerus16pWC— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) December 19, 2017
Women’s wrestling is breaking barriers all over the world, too. This year the diversity of the sport received a huge boost when it was announced that WWE had signed Kavita Devi from India and Shadia Bseiso from Jordan to developmental contracts.
Devi and Bseiso are the first women from India and the Middle East, respectively, to receive opportunities to become WWE Superstars.
What a historic evening! The women just keep breaking barriers at @WWE January 28th 2018 the 1st ever Women’s Royal Rumble! I’m screaming! N— Nikki & Brie (@BellaTwins) December 19, 2017
The @WWE Women’s division has evolved, shattered glass ceilings, broken down barriers, inspired men and women around the world...and has made history w/ every single opportunity.— Triple H (@TripleH) December 19, 2017
I’m ready, we’re ALL ready for the 1st Women’s #RoyalRumble Match ever. #Proud
WWE has continued to place greater emphasis on the stories, characters and matches of its female performers more recently, and McMahon reminded them how far they’d come during the announcement.
So if this is your sort of thing…
… it looks like you can expect a lot more of it in 2018.