Dave ‘Fit’ Finlay has spoken out about the WWE’s attitude towards women’s wrestling when he was first assigned to produce the division in 2012.
Dave Finlay’s role in WWE’s women’s revolution dates back to long before he was promoted to Producer. When WWF brought WCW in 2001, the Irishman decided to accept a trainer role with the company instead of continue as an active talent.
Specialising in the women’s division and getting those the promotion wanted to exhibit in their new league – the championship had been iced when Chyna relinquished it in May 2001 and not seen again until Survivor Series – ready for in-ring action, the former WCW Television Champion was credited by the likes of Lita and Trish Stratus for their immeasurable success.
Ask any female wrestler who was active after 2001 and they will tell you that their career and the success of women’s wrestling in the WWE would not have been possible without Dave Finlay.
Following a return to active competition from 2005-2011, a departure and eventual return to WWE in 2012, Finlay was made Producer of the female athletes thanks to his starling success with them prior and tasked with making the current crop of Divas into the Fabulous Moolah’s of tomorrow.
Now, the man who loves to fight has sat down with Sitting Ringside to tell all about his re-hiring and how difficult the company made it for him to breed a new generation of superstars:
“I was assigned to the girls and I was there when they had to do bra & panties matches and lingerie matches and pillow fights and Thanksgiving dinner matches. The whole thing. This really was not in my wheelhouse and was not who I am. I did it and tried my best at it. The girls were doing good, but I was getting embarrassed telling the girls how to strip each other off on a sunset flip. Eventually, I got the girls and sat most of them down and I was like, ‘Hey, I don’t know how you feel about this, but I’ll tell you how I feel.’ I told them I was embarrassed about, not the job, but about how to talk to a girl and tell them how to take their clothes off in a wrestling match. It was degrading to them. We all agreed, hugged, and had a plan to teach them how to wrestle. That’s what we did. I got my wrist slapped and was told, ‘This is not what we want, we don’t want girls wrestling like guys.’ We want them pulling hard and having catfights and wardrobe malfunctions.’ I would back off for a day or two and then we’d go back to wrestling. Stubbornly, I kept plugging on. Then, of course, they decided that did want a women’s wrestling division, and it’s their idea, right? I sparked the flame, I guess,” he said.
After eight years as a WWE Producer, Dave Finlay was furloughed along with Shane Helms in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both men returned to the company in November 2020 and resumed their position in the company.
Credit for the interview: Sitting Ringside
h/t for the transcription: Fightful