In this edition of The Wrestling Estate roundtable, the gang dissects the first Women’s Royal Rumble.
How do you feel about a Women’s Royal Rumble?
Jack Goodwillie: I feel better about it than I did a women’s MITB match, which I think bombed for the obvious reasons. Especially with this being the first match, there is a lot left up to the imagination and I can see it really kick starting a WrestleMania program the way the Royal Rumble has traditionally done, last three years non-withstanding.
Evan Cross: As long as they can fill it with interesting competitors, I’m in. Now that the women’s roster has been built up, it’s the right time. Just doing it for the sake of it without the proper talent to make it work would have made it as bad as the 2012 Rumble.
Anthony Mahalis: I am excited about the Women’s Royal Rumble. With women performing in Hell in a Cell and Money in the Bank matches, this just makes sense. I told my friend they should do this last year, so I am glad my ideas are being utilized by WWE finally.
John Corrigan: I regret not getting Royal Rumble tickets now. It would have been so cool to be a part of history.
What former diva or current indie star would you like to see appear?
Goodwillie: Blue Pants? Honestly, it would be a great way to debut a new character or maybe allow someone from the Mae Young Classic to come in and get some exposure. Jazzy Gabert, of course, comes to mind, but I also think Abbey Laith is a future star and that Santana Garrett can one day be like the Kerry Von Erich/Trish Stratus/Tanahashi of the women’s division.
Cross: Kharma. The former TNA star made only one appearance in WWE – in the Royal Rumble six years ago. It would be a nice wink to the past to see her appear in this one.
Mahalis: I would love to see Trish make an appearance. She shouldn’t be eliminated in short time though, let her get a little bit of a run. Hopefully, they have a few surprises in store.
Corrigan: For all her underrated efforts in adding credibility to women’s wrestling in America, Madusa deserves one last pop.
How do you feel about intergender wrestling?
Goodwillie: Not great. I’m against it, primarily because science and genetics say that the vast majority of women will not win a fight against a man, let alone a finely-tuned athletic machine in a wrestling ring. I’ve become a big proponent of the increased attention to detail the ladies are getting, but I do know “man against woman” has been done in the past and it doesn’t particularly age well, not to mention intergender matches were probably my least favorite thing about Lucha Underground. Were it to ever be utilized, I think Andy Kaufman wrote the blueprint on how to work it into a heel character and build it into a program with a top babyface, i.e., Lawler.
Cross: I have no problem with it in concept, but I’ve never been particularly captivated by intergender matches. Many things could cause a so-so match, like a lack of chemistry between the workers, a difference in the way men and women are trained or a reluctance of the men to hit a woman. All are understandable hurdles, but until women’s wrestling is booked, promoted and viewed as just as important as men’s wrestling, I don’t think intergender matches will ever fully work.
Mahalis: If we are talking about the Mixed Match Challenge, I am ok with it. Could be an entertaining tournament, but the days of women actually wrestling men is long gone, though.
Corrigan: I’m pissed that you can’t play Asuka vs. Braun in WWE2K18.
Who is your pick to win the Women’s Rumble?
Goodwillie: It’s tough, because I’m still not sure what the plans are going to be for Ronda Rousey and her crew come WrestleMania. If I were in charge, I’d give the nod to an internal name from Raw or Smackdown, though I believe original plans probably called for Paige, pre-injury. Still, Becky Lynch might be working with Charlotte, and if so she’ll need a shot in the arm coming off that terrible Marine sequel, so we’ll say Becky Lynch!
Cross: Asuka. She’s the obvious choice for a reason. She has the pedigree and could use the establishment at the top of the card.
Mahalis: Ronda Rousey. She will be the biggest “surprise” of the night and she isn’t coming to WWE to lose. Rousey vs Charlotte at Mania, I can feel it.
Corrigan: This event was conceived with Ronda Rousey in mind. It’s the perfect way to bring her into active competition and set up her vs. Charlotte or Asuka at WrestleMania 34.
Who is your favorite women’s wrestler ever?
Goodwillie: Favorite in the ring? Lita. And she wasn’t so bad outside the ring either. But as far as women’s wrestling personalities go, Maria Kanellis-Bennett checks off every imaginable box as a valet.
Cross: Nia Jax, because she’s not like most girls.
Mahalis: Trish Stratus. There is not a close second. I was in love with her when I was younger.
Corrigan: I’m a Blissfit.