WWE has a long history of marginalizing women within their company. Between embarrassing gimmicks, a lack of women’s titles, and sickening matches, women have notoriously been given less opportunities than their male counterparts.
Even worse than less opportunities, women have been treated differently when it comes to appearances.
Statements have been made that WWE gives preferential treatment to certain women wrestlers due to their appearances. Complaints state blonde women are given more opportunities than any other group, and that Women of Color hurt the most when it comes to distribution of titles and opportunities within the company.
Math is a universal language, and statistics exist within sports to give analysts a better foundation to really critique a variable, or to evaluate a claim. So, this article uses statistics to form conclusions on the areas that WWE needs help, and in what ways perceptions of women in WWE are skewed.
The history of the women’s titles in WWF and WWE, including the original women’s title, Divas title, and current women’s titles, were evaluated to create this piece that breaks down the statistics of WWE women’s title holders. Number of reigns and title reign length were calculated, as well as average title reign length, in order to successfully compare the core groups in the analysis: blondes, non-blonde white women, and Women of Color.
The purpose of this article is not to provide commentary or opinionated analysis of the numbers. The numbers are able to speak for themselves, and readers can draw the conclusions from the statistics in the way they see fit.
Intelligent discussion of equality for women wrestlers, or the lack of, is the end goal.
Forty-nine women held titles within WWE. Of the 49 women, 17 are blonde, 16 are non-blonde white women, and 16 are Women of Color.
Blonde women held a total of 41 reigns for 4,318 days, for an average reign of 105.3 days. Non-blonde white women held 36 reigns for 4,466 days, for an average reign of 124.1 days. Women of Color held 34 reigns for 3,155 days, for an average reign of 92.8 days.
When comparing those numbers, out of 111 reigns, white women held 69% of title reigns for an average of 114.1 days, while Women of Color held 31% of title reigns for an average of 92.8 days.
A few interesting rankings emerged while researching women’s reign history in WWE. Charlotte Flair held the most reigns at eight, and Rockin’ Robin held the longest reign at 502 days. The longest average reign length was held by Robin at 502 days, followed by Sensational Sherri with 441 days, and Ronda Rousey with 232 days.
The shortest average reign length was held by Jillian Hall with one day, followed by Velvet McIntyre with six days, and Sasha Banks with 20 days. The female wrestler with the longest continuous tenure in WWE is Alicia Fox with 13 years.
Statistics were then calculated for each title era: WWF, the first WWE Women’s Title, Divas Title, and the current Raw and SmackDown titles.
Within WWF, blonde women had six reigns for an average of 80.8 days, non-blonde white women had 17 reigns for an average of 170.2 days, and Women of Color had six reigns for an average of 131.7 days.
During the first WWE Women’s Title era, blonde women had 15 reigns for an average of 121.1 days, non-blonde white women had nine reigns for an average of 110.6 days, and Women of Color had 10 reigns for an average of 77.5 days.
The Divas Era took over, and during that time, blonde women had 5 reigns for an average of 127.4 days, non-blonde white women had five reigns for an average of 75.2 days, and Women of Color had eight reigns for an average of 139.6 days.
In our current, post-Divas title era, blonde women have held 14 reigns for an average of 92.4 days, non-blonde white women have had 5 reigns for an average of 60.4 days, and Women of Color have had eight reigns for an average of 49.5 days.
It’s interesting to note the numbers of reigns per year on average for each era: WWF had 1.6 reigns per year, the first WWE women’s era had an average of 4.25 reigns per year, the Divas era had three reigns per year on average, and the current era has nine reigns per year on average.
For the current roster: NXT and NXT UK have a total of four (19 percent) blonde women on their rosters. WWE has 15 (51.7 percent) blonde women on their main rosters. NXT and NXT UK have a total of 12 (57.1 percent) Women of Color on their rosters. WWE has nine (31 percent) Women of Color on their main rosters.
The end goal is to allow the numbers and percentages above to speak for themselves. The article is built around the idea that an argument based in factual form is the best for discussion pointed to changing an imbalance in WWE’s legacy.
While many conclusions can be drawn from the statistics, one conclusion is blatantly obvious: WWE has not provided equal opportunity to Women of Color when compared to their counterparts in the women’s divisions.
The current environment within WWE is not ideal for fostering the evolution they claim they are providing. While women have seen plenty of “firsts” in the last few years, there’s still work to be done.