Saraya’s NXT Match Was The ‘Foundation’ Of The Women’s Revolution


Hamish Woodward

William Regal has named Saraya‘s match against Emma as the foundation of Women’s wrestling in the WWE.

The pair faced off at NXT Arrival on February 27th 2014, and put on an iconic women’s match. Then known as Paige, Saraya picked up the victory over her Australian counterpart.

In an episode of the Gentlemen Villain podcast, William Regal heaped praise on Saraya and Emma for their match in NXT. He claims they “were the foundation” of women’s wrestling in WWE.

Regal even said they were more important than the likes of Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks, in regard to the Women’s Revolution.

“Paige and Emma were the foundation of whatever came out of the incredible run of ladies that came through NXT and all that the happenings afterwards. They were the two starting ladies that sort of got the attention of everybody”.

He later went on to praise the likes of Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, but conceded that Paige vs Emma and their work behind the scenes was the foundation that helped the Four Horsemen succeed in WWE.

He also expressed his shock that Paige was WWE Divas Champion when the first NXT Takeover was broadcast in 2014.

She had been a key component to women’s wrestling and was one of the main catalysts of the “Women’s Revolution” in WWE, a movement that will echo through the generations from years to come in WWE.

Saraya vs Emma Came After Decades Of WWE’s Poor Treatment Of The Women Wrestlers

While some huge matches like Sami Zayn vs Cesaro and Bo Dallas vs Adrian Neville were the selling point for the event, it was the NXT Women’s Championship match that has the fans going away and marvelling at to their friends.

WWE fans had never seen a match like Paige vs Emma. While previous generations were scolded for having too good a match for women and “wrestling like the men”, the new era of women’s wrestling placed no restrictions on how the women could wrestle.

This was evident with Paige vs Emma at NXT Arrival. They had the third longest match of the showing, having over 12 minutes to showcase their skills, which was unheard of in WWE. At TLC 2013, AJ Lee defeated Natayla (considered to be the two best women workers at the time) in 6 minutes, which was unusually long for a women’s match at the time.

Natalya vs AJ Lee shows just how far women’s wrestling has come.

Emma and Paige helped create a new style of wrestling for women in WWE. They were more technical and more explosive. They didn’t try to wrestle like the men, who outdid them in strength and speed, but worked to their skill set and put on a fantastic match.

Paige vs Emma ended in a submission victory for Paige, but it was women’s wrestling which was the real winner. The two women laid the foundation for all the female WWE superstars that came after them and were even more influential than the Four Horsewomen of WWE, at least according to one former WWE legend.

The women had never been given a chance to wrestle this style before. Bra and Panties matches were comm place in the WWE back then. Vince McMahon still had his grubby little paws on the division, and would not let go until ousted by TKO some decades later.


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