KEY POINTS

  • Fit Finlay was featured in the "WWE Ruthless Aggression" docuseries for his work with the women's division
  • WWE women's wrestling cornerstones like Trish Stratus and Victoria credit Finlay for turning them into stars
  • The women's division is currently anchored by Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair

The women’s division in WWE has come a long way since its early iteration as a form of eye candy.

If there is anyone that should be given credit for ushering in the new era, it should be Fit Finlay.

The 38-year pro wrestling veteran was featured in the docuseries “WWE Ruthless Aggression” in which the company relived one of the promotion’s most beloved times.

Finlay was brought into the company as a trainer for new wrestlers, which included future superstars John Cena and Randy Orton, for the better part of 2001 to 2005 after WCW was purchased by WWE.

In the docuseries, the 63-year-old from Carrickfergus, Northern Island revealed that he was put in charge of the women’s division as some sort of a joke by the higher-ups.

However, Finlay saw the potential they had and made the most of his time with them.

“I’m thinking [at the time] ‘it’s sports-entertainment.’ I get that, and it’s entertainment. But I also thought, why can they not do the same as the guys?” said Finley in the docuseries.

Key figures in the women’s division like Torrie Wilson as well as former WWE Women’s Champions Trish Stratus and Victoria all shared their adoration and respect for Finlay for molding them into the WWE superstars that they would become.

“I had expressed my frustration to Fit [Finlay] like many times just saying, ‘instead of slapping her or pulling her hair, can I, like, punch her? Because I can! Like, I’ve done them! I can do them. Can I do them on TV? Can I do them in my match?’ And so, we started to sort of do them a little bit under the radar,” Stratus revealed.

Stratus would go on to become a WWE Women’s Champion seven times throughout her career and cited as one of women’s wrestling’s biggest inspirations, alongside former titleholders Lita, Molly Holly and Victoria.

After the cornerstones of the WWE’s women’s division either retired or left the company, the division would stagnate until the main roster arrivals of eventual WWE Divas Champions Paige, Beth Phoenix and AJ Lee.

Finlay’s contribution to women’s wrestling would coalesce and further explode into what it is today, with superstars like Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss and Rhea Ripley all leading the charge to bring back the prestige that Stratus and her peers brought to the division.

View Finlay’s contribution to the development of women’s wrestling in WWE during the Ruthless Aggression Era in the feature below.