The views expressed in this article are solely the opinions of Kendra Bunyon & Big M and do not necessarily reflect those of WrestlingNewsWorld.com or any of the other writers employed by the site.
There was so much excitement heading into the first Women's Money In The Bank Ladder Match. Finally the WWE has seen women as athletes, something more than a sexy body wearing a bikini and bouncing around in the ring. These women have made huge strides for the pro wrestling industry, and pro sports. Finally girls have really strong, smart, and beautiful women who work hard for where they are, work hard in the ring, and give girls real women to look up to. Well, until the ending of the Women's MITBLM that is. As soon as the ending of the match happened Twitter exploded, the WNW Open Thread Discussion exploded, and a number of WNW readers knew that I would be jumping all over this. Not surprisingly, Big M jumped in and asked if I wanted to write a tag team article to get everything off our chests. There was no way I was turning that down, because what the WWE did to these five women, women's wrestling, and the fans, was a travesty with McMahon's name written all over it!
You will never find a bigger supporter of the Women's Revolution in WWE than I. For years WWE looked for only one thing in the Women they hired. They had to look hot and fit the "Diva" mold. With that mindset, it was a wonder how performers like Trish Stratus, Lita, and Mickie James broke through and became the legends they are.
Even after all the progress, today's generation of performers in WWE's Women's Division has made today; they are still so many remnants of the archaic "Divas" mentality amongst WWE's higher-ups and creative team. From Nikki Bella trying to pass herself off as the Kim Kardashian of WWE (and all the negative female stereotypes that go with that). And WWE continuing to try and create another "Diva" type character with women like Eva Marie (someone who had no business being inside a wrestling ring at all, ever). They tried with a legit in-ring talent in Emma (A gimmick change that was both unnecessary and an insult to her). And now they are trying it again with Lana! So sadly, the Women's Revolution continues a mixed bag. None of which is the new generations of female performers' fault but the fault of people behind the scenes. I mean, all you have to do is watch the entire Bayley/Alexa Bliss program to see what I'm talking about!
And that leads me to the outcome of the first Women's Money In The Bank Ladder match. I am not going to sugar coat this. The finish to that match was simply put SEXIST AS F**K! Now I know what you might be thinking? You are thinking “Oh come on, what about how Women Wrestlers were completely objectified in the Attitude era?” Yes, Women’s Wrestling in the Attitude era and to a mush lesser degree, The Ruthless Aggression era were akin to softcore pornography quite frankly. But here is the thing, in any creative medium, what you put on the screen sends a message. And the image on my screen at Money In The Bank of James Ellsworth climbing the ladder, grabbing the briefcase and handing it to Carmella sends a horrible, regressive message.
Starting the PPV with the Women's MITBLM was smart, it got the fans excited early. While the actual match wasn't fantastic, this was the first match of its type, and they were all doing something new to them. They all worked really hard in this match, putting their bodies on the line, to make this match into something magical. Even Charlotte changed up her moonsault to a less dangerous move off the top and made it look strong while keeping safety in mind. Tamina really impressed me in that she took more bumps than I've ever seen from her, and really put her heart into the match. Becky, Nattie, and Carmella worked just as hard as the other three, stepping out of their comfort zone and doing it all to entertain the fans. All five of them left it out there for the fans, and it was exciting to watch history as it happened.
Many of us knew James Ellsworth would get involved in some way, and most of the people I talked to expected him to try to help Carmella while mixing it up and being taken out by Becky in the ring. The two of them have been teasing a fight of some sort, and this would have been the place to do it because it wouldn't be them facing off in a real match, which is now (sadly) verboten in the WWE. Becky could have slammed Ellsworth onto a ladder, or off from a ladder, and the fans would have loved it. It could have been the pop of the night if they'd gone there, but we all know they didn't.
The WWE has (mostly) done the right thing with the Women's Revolution. They have stepped up by booking great matches and letting the women show what they have, which has more than proven that these women are true athletes and superstars. They have proven that they can tackle anything put in front of them, and not just fulfill the booking, but make it look so much better than it did on paper. Or, they did that until this MITBLM. It's one thing to have a man get involved in this match, it's another to make it look like they needed a man in this match to climb the ladder and retrieve the briefcase. If this hadn't been the first Women's MITBLM, I doubt there would be the outcry there's been, but to do this in the very first, and very historic, match was a bitch slap to every female superstar on the WWE roster.
The glass ceiling has been a serious issue for women in so many professions, and professional wrestling has been slowly trying to remove it as the women are breaking through it. The problem with Ellsworth climbing that ladder and dropping the case to Carmella is that it was a literal visual of what these women have to deal with in their chosen profession. Some of the women climbed the ladder, reached for the case, but in the end, only a man is able to crash through the glass ceiling and grab what the women all wanted. If it wasn't so disgusting, the visual Ellsworth made grabbing that case and dropping it to the ground, where Carmella was sitting, waiting, for her man to do the thing that (so far) only men have been able to do. McMahon couldn't even let a strong, smart, beautiful woman win the very first Women's MITBLM.
After all the hype and the incredible build up the match had going for it. After All five women put on a great match for the whole world to see. And after all the talk of Women’s Revolutions and breaking glass ceilings, only for Carmella to have a man essentially win the match for her! That sends a worse message than a million bra and panties matches in my opinion!