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31 Days of Wrestling (12/8/18): The First Ever Women's Royal Rumble


Welcome to the 31 Days of Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen. Once again, we're at that point where we take a look back at the past 11 months of pro wrestling (and as much as possible, the last month as well) and cherry-pick one match for each day of December from a list of bouts that defined the year in our beloved sport. Most matches will be good, while some may not be; what matters is that they helped build the perception and reputation of the kind of wrestling 2018 produced for us.

Never mind that the first ever women's Royal Rumble winner didn't really mean much after WrestleMania. Never mind that Asuka was more-or-less a non-factor in the second half of 2018, relegated to the backseat around SummerSlam time because of better feuds.

What matters more is that we've finally got ourselves a women's Royal Rumble match, and while it wasn't perfect, it was good enough to make us want another.


Even if they didn't know it, the women's Royal Rumble was the best way to showcase a division that's slowly getting better and better by the week. The action was both bite-sized and amplified to grand degrees, as any Royal Rumble match does for the men. Most of those who needed the time got the time, and it was a nice trip down memory lane. The events of the Rumble would directly influence both women's divisions for the rest of the year as well.

We've already had a women-version Steel Cage, Hell in a Cell, Extreme Rules matches of different permutations, so there's no reason why there shouldn't be a Royal Rumble—other than the fact that the men simply outnumber the women on the WWE roster no matter where you look. 

But even that problem was quickly solved; the answer was simply to trot out previous generations of Divas, because when you look at it, everything the women are enjoying now is the culmination of everyone's contributions. Yes, even the model- and pornstar-type Divas of old, for they showed us all—especially the company—what to change and progress from. Juxtaposing each generation was awesome, and it's safe to say that many of us got goosebumps.

If it wasn't clear to most fans, then we'll spell it out now: having a women's Rumble is a watershed moment in the women's revolution evolution. Where other match types with women might have felt like a step forward for the sake of novelty, now that they've done this match there's no way it won't be returning at the next Rumble in January. 

That's the real progression here, and it's another step closer to equality in in-ring action. No one's stopping this evolution.


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31 Days of Wrestling is Smark Henry's way of celebrating the matches that helped define wrestling in 2018.

Read our previous entries:

1. Winnipeg Boys Conquer the Tokyo Dome (Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho, No DQ match for IWGP US Heavyweight title, Wrestle Kingdom 12)
2. Roman Reigns Finally Becomes Universal Champion (Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, SummerSlam 2018)
3. The Man Is Last Woman Standing (Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch, Last Woman Standing match for SmackDown Women's title, Evolution)
4. Kenny Omega, Finally IWGP Heavyweight Champion (Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega, 2-out-of-3 Falls match, Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall)
5. The Resurrection of Daniel Bryan (AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship, WWE SmackDown Live 11/13/18) 
6. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Unsanctioned match (NXT TakeOver: New Orleans)
7. The Lightbringer Has Arrived (Ralph Imabayashi vs. Quatro for the PWR Championship, PWR Live: Homefront)

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