Why the Finish to the WWE Women's Championship Match at WrestleMania 32 is a Problem

When "Better" Still Isn't Good Enough

Pro wrestling is a storytelling medium. As storytellers, wrestling writers and creators know well the importance of symbolism, because they use it every day in their product. Seemingly minor moments or small objects can have large significance in stories and character building, and often become shorthand for what are ultimately historic events within this universe.

This is why it is so disappointing that the outcome of the WWE Women's Championship match at WrestleMania was determined by a man, Ric Flair.

The match itself was fantastic. For me, it was the match of the night. All three women gave it their all and performed spectacularly. WWE gave the match a lot of time. And the new WWE Women's Championship title, which is beautiful and perfect, was featured prominently throughout the night.

When I registered my discontent on Twitter last night, I saw a lot of excuses and justification for the ending to the match. "Charlotte's a heel, she should win like a heel." "Ric Flair is the dirtiest player in the game, what do you expect?"

I, and all the other men and women unhappy with the ending last night, know how wrestling works. Yes Charlotte is a heel, and she could have cheated to win on her own. Ric could have done something dirty that didn't affect the outcome of the match. (I wouldn't have loved it, because I'm tired of him being so involved in this otherwise great story, but it wouldn't have been a huge deal.)

But context matters. This wasn't Monday Night RAW. This was Wrestlemania. We can never have another First Ever WWE Women's Championship Match. This was an historic night for women's wrestling and wrestling as a whole. Put simply: last night mattered. It was important. And they tainted it.

I'm still kind of reeling from the whiplash of the elation during this amazing match and the disappointment at how it ended. I'm trying not to let the single moment of the ending color my perception of the match as a whole and the accomplishments of the women involved. But it's hard to let it go in a universe where women already have had to work so hard to get to where they are, where for so long women (both fans and performers) were treated like they didn't matter. This incident doesn't stand on its own, it stands in the context of all of that ugly and unfortunate history. And instead of using last night as a real turning point like I believe WWE intended, they allowed one of those old tropes to remain. What a shame.

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.