It’s impossible to argue that WWE’s women’s division has been at the forefront of this era of pandemic wrestling. From top to bottom, the division has excelled during this unique time in the industry, with many seizing the opportunity at hand to create some of the most memorable moments of an otherwise downtime in pro wrestling.
One person closely working with the women of WWE throughout the pandemic has been current producer and former in-ring talent TJ Wilson. The former Tyson Kidd has been instrumental in producing some of the pandemic’s premier matches, including the 2021 Royal Rumble match and the critically-acclaimed Sasha Banks versus Bayley “Hell in a Cell” match where Banks claimed the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Wilson recently joined us to chat about WWE’s women’s division as a whole, as well as some of the Superstars who have stood out to him over the past few months since we’d last chatted.
Of course, when talking about the Women’s Division throughout 2020 and early 2021, it’s impossible to start with anyone but Sasha Banks and Bayley. The two have routinely been recognized as two of, if not the, top stars in professional wrestling throughout the course of the pandemic.
It’s a sentiment that Wilson wholeheartedly agrees with.
“I mean, I don’t know [who] it’d be. Maybe I’ll be – I don’t know if I’m biased, but I do work with [Sasha and Bayley] a lot. I don’t know – if they weren’t the MVP’s of this pandemic wrestling, then I honestly don’t know who are [or] who is.”
However, he continues, it’s not just the former Golden Role Models that have been at the forefront of pandemic wrestling. It’s the entire women’s division that have taken their on-screen performances to another level.
“But, the truth is if you watch, a lot of our talent have stepped up and especially a lot of the women,” beams Wilson. “I was very proud of the battle royale on RAW maybe three weeks ago, right before the draft or the day of the draft during the draft. I was very proud of that match. I thought it was very well done. I thought all the talent were great. It’s cool to see them – I worded that wrong, but like the Triple Threat this past week on RAW – on Smackdown, sorry – with Natty and Ruby and Zelina and the Triple Threat the week before I thought was very good as well with Billie, Natty, and Bianca.”
“Natty, obviously, her works speaks for itself. She’s the longest – you know, I don’t know that there’s been a woman that’s wrestled in WWE as long as her without a break. Actually, I take it back. I know there hasn’t. And then secondly she has the most matches in WWE for a woman and the most wins. So her career speaks for itself. But, you got someone like Bianca who has a ton of potential and you know, the sky’s the limit.”
“And,” he finishes, “I think Billie Kay is gonna surprise a lot of people as well. Like I think that Triple Threat opened a lot of eyes that maybe hadn’t seen Billie in a certain light before. We already know that she has personality for days. We already know that. So, it’s good to show that she also has some ring prowess as well.”
Of course, throughout the pandemic, it hasn’t just been WWE’s women’s division that’s come to the forefront of the professional wrestling scene. IMPACT has earned well-deserved accolades for their presentation of the Knockouts division, while All Elite Wrestling has earned headlines recently with their #1 contenders tournament and the highly-regarded Britt Baker/Thunder Rosa Lights Out match on Wednesday.
However, Wilson is quick to go to bat for WWE’s women as the top division in pro wrestling.
“I just think, honestly, across all three brands – and I’m sure to you know it obviously extends further even than that – is just this wave of wanting to prove themselves,” he states. “I did it as an individual. I was smaller in WWE and in wrestling, and I wanted to prove myself. I understand that as an individual, what’s really cool is they’re not only doing it as an individual, but they’re doing it as a collective group. I’ve never come across someone to phone it in or just kind of get by. They, if you have an idea for them and they don’t – you know, if it works, it works, but if it’s not like the – if they think that there’s maybe even a little bit better idea, that they want to keep searching until we find something even a little bit better. Something may kind of work, but they want it even to – they always go out with the mindset of making it better, better, better and, of course, going out with the goal of making [the idea] the best and then come back and kind of dissect what maybe could be better. They take it all to heart. I don’t know why, but in this last eight months of – I don’t know if it’s maybe just because my travels so easy – I just drive to Orlando and back, so I’m able to focus on things – I don’t know, I don’t understand. But, I’ve really seen it a lot the last eight months.”
“Obviously, Sasha and Bayley have had a big spotlight on them during this whole time, [with] whole time being during this last six, eight months. So, of course, them, too, but not just only them. Everybody else on that woman’s roster has really stepped up and it’s so cool to see. It’s cool to see that the ones in the lead are stepping up and the ones that you would maybe consider at the back are also stepping up. So everybody’s stepping up, and it just keeps growing and growing and growing.”
Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any transcriptions used.