On Thursday, Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks made history by performing in a WWE Raw Women’s Championship event at a live show in Abu Dhabi. Just last year, women wrestling in the United Arab Emirates was completely banned.
UpRoxx reports that the women had to change up their outfits to wrestle, as they usually show quite a bit of skin. The UAE has very strict modesty mandates, and revealing too much skin can end up in severe fines or jailing. Nonetheless, they were psyched for the opportunity and celebrated the breakthrough on social media, showing off their new looks.
One person explained the significance of the day on Instagram, writing "Tonight at the WWE live event in Abu Dhabi, history was made. It is the first event in that country to host the first ever women’s wrestling match. It was Alexa Bliss defending her Women’s Championship against “The Boss” Sasha Banks. They were covered up in special gear due to the culture over there but they still looked badass with this special gear. Salsa looked like a power ranger (or like MVP. LOL) and I grew up a with the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, so I dig It. Anyway, it’s a huge moment for both women and seeing Banks break down in tears about it reminded me of why she’s my favourite women’s wrestler. I’m sure Alexa Bliss feels the same way and hopefully we’ll get her thoughts on it too in an interview. I wasn’t going to post today but I couldn’t help but share this piece of history featuring two of the most popular superstars of the modern era. If the women’s revolution felt like it slowed down...it hasn’t. On this day history was made. Bless. 🙏🏼💜"
Wrestling fans are celebrating Banks and Bliss for their history making moment:
Congratulations Ladies! What an amazing & historic accomplishment, not just for wrestling, but for Women all around the world!— Boschy Boy 🇨🇺 (@IAmTheBoschMan) December 7, 2017
History!! 😊— Diego (@diegp77) December 7, 2017
Another big step for the Women's Division was written and I really proud of this. Congratulations ladies!— Marco The Bo$$ (@MarcoFigiVale96) December 8, 2017
Though some dissenting opinions say that if they really want to do something for women, they shouldn't have covered up:
Eh, breaking barriers would be wearing their normal attire. Seems to me they went along with the oppression. Not saying they did anything wrong, but the barrier isn't broken.— PowYeah.com (@powyeah140) December 7, 2017
But what the women want to do is wrestle, and that's what they got to do. It's reported that people in the stands were chanting "this is hope," so it obviously meant a lot to see the women doing what they came to do, even if it was in long pants:
And if you don't believe it was meaningful, try watching this interview and not tearing up yourself: