Stephanie McMahon says listening to your audience works and she discusses the women’s evolution in WWE and how the fans started that tidal wave.
After years of being boxed into short matches and few storylines, fans wanted more for the women competitors of WWE and began a ‘Give Divas A Chance’ hashtag that went viral in 2015. From there, the likes of Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks became key figures on the main roster and the WWE Divas Championship once again became the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 32.
Speaking at the Sports Business Journal World Congress of Sport, the Chief Brand Officer of WWE Stephanie McMahon made clear her thoughts on how the company responded to their audience in a positive way leading to positive results:
“Our fans are part of the women’s evolution. If you listen to your audience, they can impact your brand in such positive ways. Give them the power, empower your audience. We had started to train, develop, and recruit female athletes the same as men, giving them opportunities and the same match times, but it wasn’t until our fans started the hashtag ‘Give Divas A Chance’ in 2015 that gave rise to the whole women’s evolution in our business. Listen to your fans, give them what they want, and it’ll work.”
McMahon then went on to discuss night one’s main event at WrestleMania 37 that featured Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair clashing for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. In finding themselves in this role, Banks and Belair became the 4th and 5th women to main event WrestleMania but became the first African-American women to do so:
“This past year at WrestleMania, we had the first African-American female event with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. Even though it was early in March, the crowd gave so much support. The energy is kinetic, and you can feel it at WWE events. What happened in that moment as Sasha and Bianca were standing and opposing each other, the audience started to show this respect. The two of them broke character for a minute and teared up, sort of making the ugly cry face. It was such a moment.”