The following editorial was written by Tyler Treese and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Tyler’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post and follow him on Twitter @tylertreese.
Yesterday WWE announced that Torrie Wilson would be going into the WWE Hall of Fame. The reaction online was decidedly mixed as many lauded the female star for her years of contributing to the business while others looked at her as a negative relic of the past back when female stars were seen primarily for looks other than talent.
However, no matter how you try to divide things into semantics, one thing is clear: Wilson was one of the WWE’s biggest female stars of the 2000s. This isn’t the Hall of In-Ring Skill or the Hall of Workers. It’s the Hall of Fame. If you played a pivotal role in the business, popped ratings, sold magazines, and got people to care about the product on an above-average basis then you deserve to go in. Torrie Wilson constantly entertained WWE fans for several years and that’s why she has earned this distinction.
Going a step further, it makes zero sense to criticize Wilson for being used for her looks. Yes, the physical attractiveness played a major role for female wrestlers at the time, but it’s not as if Wilson was a member of top WWE brass demanding that’s how they were portrayed. One can’t punish Wilson for simply going with the segments that she was handed. Even though attractiveness and body expectations are always changing, wrestling has always been a business that puts an emphasis on looks. That is still true today for both men and women. The top stars are generally attractive men like Roman Reigns or imposing figures like Braun Strowman.
Yes, there has been a change in how women are perceived in pro wrestling since Wilson was a star. Rather than being used in lower-card segments, they’re not regularly main eventing and being viewed as equals. That’s incredible progress, but it’s not an indictment on the past contributors. The first all women’s pay-per-view was called Evolution, and that event was all about empowering women. Sexuality and looks can both play into empowerment, and demeaning her accomplishments isn’t pushing the wrestling scene forward any.
So, I would like to thank Wilson for all of her years of work. Not only did she entertain crowds and helped maintain relevance for female stars when they weren’t viewed as equals, but she sacrificed a lot of her time and energy for the business. By doing so, she earned her way into the WWE Hall of Fame.