SoCal Val, a former IMPACT Wrestling on-screen personality, has slammed the treatment displayed towards WWE Divas, expressing her disappointment at the lack of diversity!
The lack of serious female wrestlers mixed with the old style of WWE Divas isn’t as empowering as it may seem, thinks SoCal Val.
The former IMPACT Wrestling personality stated as such during a recent interview with Just Alyx, stating how she couldn’t relate as much to the likes of Trish Stratus and Lita when they evolved from valets into “serious wrestlers”. As she explained, being able to express yourself in any way and still be respected is what feminism is truly about:
“When she [Trish Stratus] was a manager for T&A [Test and Albert], that’s when I really connected with her. When she became a serious wrestler, and I mean this with all due respect, I couldn’t relate as much. Even with Lita, I couldn’t relate as much. I didn’t want to be taken seriously as a female wrestler. I do think it’s great that they have that [option], but it’s not what I personally wanted to do.
So the fact that we can’t have both [serious female wrestling and glamorous Divas] now, I feel like, is very anti-feminist. In the sense that, feminism is about having freedom of choice. And if my choice wasn’t to be an athletic, super serious wrestler, that’s my choice!
If my choice was to be sexy and a Diva-type, that’s my choice. Feminism is about supporting women’s choices. So you can’t sit there and say, ‘If you weren’t a serious wrestler, you didn’t contribute to the business.’ People like Sunny, Sable, Torrie Wilson, and Candice Michelle, these women were my idols. So I find it very interesting that people have such an issue with the Divas Era because if there was no Divas Era, I would have lost interest immediately.”
WWE’s Divas Era formally concluded during WrestleMania 32, with WWE retiring the butterfly Divas Championship in favour of a modernised Women’s Championship. Divas would also become known as WWE Superstars, breaking down the gender barrier that had been in existence since the inception of women’s wrestling in the company.
A 20-year veteran, SoCal Val is most synonymous with IMPACT Wrestling, serving as a ring announcer, backstage interviewer, and ring girl. Alongside a regular on-screen role in 2008 in the rivalry between Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, Val was also the victim of several assaults from Kurt Angle, Abyss, and others.
She’s not alone in her love of the Divas era, with Maria Kanellis having recently stated her desire to see WWE bring back the divisive Divas Championship design.