WWE has made great strides in taking women’s wrestling seriously. Back in Beth Phoenix’s days, that was not always the case. Phoenix sat down with Natalya and Nia Jax in the latest episode of Table for 3 on the WWE Network to discuss the women’s championship evolution.
You might remember Beth Phoenix eliminating the Great Khali from the 2010 Royal Rumble as nothing more than a humorous moment.
It turns out that it meant much, much more to Beth Phoenix at the time. Phoenix had the good fortune to be involved in the first women’s Royal Rumble match as well as in a men’s Royal Rumble match.
“I will say though like if you did the math on the seconds that I was in both of those, like it wasn’t a lot of seconds. But if I look in the scope of my whole career, those moments were probably my two favorite moments.
“There was a time in my career where I questioned ‘is what I’m doing going to change anything, is it going to matter?’ And I went through a lot of frustration... There were some tough moments in there where I’m like, ‘god, I’m not making any difference. Do I have a purpose? Is this going to matter?’ And so that moment was a nice vindication for me. I felt like okay, I had a part in this. It felt so good.”
In a funny way, that could end up being the Punjabi playboy’s most memorable moment for many fans. Knowing how much it meant personally to Phoenix moves it up the charts of my Great Khali power rankings. Number two might be Khali in a compact rental car. Being neutralized by Cesaro probably doesn’t count.
Phoenix illustrated how far the women’s division has come when WWE made Natalya dye her hair red because she looked too similar to Phoenix.
“That’s relevant to the women’s evolution, because it was kind of like you were defined by your hair color. Obviously, we could have become these characters that were very different, but it was like they’re blonde, you know what I mean, so we got to make one of you look different. Now I feel like the layers are there that needed to be there to show that hair color doesn’t define you. Your height, your weight, none of that stuff defines you. Like you were saying, Nia, being authentic, being who you are. Now they’re doing such a great job of giving the women a platform to show that.”
This episode was filmed during WrestleMania week in 2018, so they couldn’t provide thoughts about the newly announced WWE women’s wrestling show Evolution.
In another amusing anecdote, Natalya revealed that her cat, 2Pawz, urinated on her Hall of Fame dress. Luckily, Beth Phoenix and Natalya are the same size, so Phoenix lent Natalya a dress and all was well.
Other topics included the difference between Raw and Smackdown atmospheres, being together for the first women’s Royal Rumble match, Natalya being the only one to kick out of the Glam Slam, Ronda Rousey, body image issues, and role models. Grab a chicken dinner and eat it alongside the TV as if you were there in person with the threesome.
The best line was the closer. “Thick thighs save lives.” Make of that what you will.
What were you favorite moments from Beth Phoenix’s career? If you’ve watched the Table for 3 episode, share your thoughts about anything from their discussion.