This week on Monday Night Raw, Sasha Banks returned to the WWE from her back injury to announce that she will be facing Charlotte at this month's Clash of Champions for the WWE Women's Championship.
Before announcing during her promo that she would get an opportunity to win the Women's title back, Banks talked about how far women's wrestling had come over the years, from people like Mae Young and Lita helping advance the division over the years.
She also mentioned how women had moved on from bra-n-panties matches, and have now instead been addressed as superstars and taken more seriously within the business. This provoked a comment by Vince Russo on Twitter, who was one of the main booking figures that created bra-n-panties matches.
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He said in a series of tweets: "The GREAT women wrestlers before Sasha didn't book the bra-n-panties matches--Ed and I did to HELP WIN A WAR. A WAR that saved the company. I'm a Sasha Banks fan, but I think she just slighted some GREAT female athletes who performed at top levels while drawing huge ratings.
"What a bunch of sexists PIGS. Guys can show off their bodies in short trunks, but women aren't allowed to? Somebody call Sports Illustrated"
This caused some people to respond towards Russo, calling him pathetic, to which he replied: "Yup--we used them by making them stars on a television show. viewed by millions. Get a clue--then check back," as well as, "And the women were PROUD to show off their hard work. Unless you were there-U don't know. I was there."
It's difficult to assess the situation from back then unless you were there. It was a time where WWE/WWF was not PG and in a ratings war with WCW, so they could and had to do more things to attract viewers to their programme that may be seen as unnecessary today.
However, there was a time as well when Vince McMahon wouldn't even place women's wrestling on TV. You could argue that women performing in bra-n-panties matches gave them a spot to show off their talent, but not all women had to do that. It played a part in helping women's wrestling in WWE, but not a significant part like Russo is making it out to be.
The quality of wrestling women from people like Lita and Trish Stratus provided over the years helped more people become interested in the division, not the fact they were in revealing outfits.