Not totally sure what side of the argument I fall on here as I cringe at a lot of the intergender storylines from attitude era etc. particularly when a face was being cheered for attacking a woman. But if it was done correctly and very infrequently it could work.
Imagine on raw a heel (miz) is angry after a loss and attacks the next performer, a returning Brie Bella, then there would be months of Daniel Bryan unable to get to miz because he’s on raw, the heat on the heel would be massive.
Similarly, Ronda Rousey doing a billie jean king, bobby Riggs type storyline with an established male performer (Ziggler) resulting in a competitive match which she wins would do more for her than just running through the female roster.
It’s a very fine line between entertainment and abuse that WWE would have to navigate if they started doing more inter-gender action and they would probably screw it up.
But yes, theoretically I would like to see more storylines with both men and women. There are only so many kinds of storylines you can tell over and over again and WWE seems to ignore opportunities for love stories. Even though it has led to some amazing feuds in the past (Macho Man vs Hogan, Edge vs Matt, HHH vs Angle).
And a recent example is that Zelina Vega and Candice Lerae have added a ton of drama to those Almas/Gargano matches.
No one wants those days back. In terms of someone attacking a female performer It would have to be a heel move and one move max, and only happen every few years. For instance if Ciampia had hit candice la Rae after he’d taken out Gargano.
I can’t stand mixed tag matches. Unless you’re going to have intergender fighting (which I’m not in favor of), the matches make no sense. How do you get heat on somebody if every time you tag, your opponent gets to switch too?
They certainly can make more intergender storylines that don’t involve male/female ‘matches’. Always seems to add something when there’s some connections: Vega/Almas, Cross in Sanity, Lana/Rusev, AJ/Ziggler/Big E. Have Paige recruit a couple of male wrestlers to be part of her stable.
Many of the intergender matches usually have the guy show the audience that he’s not going to punch the girl and we’re just gonna see who the better ‘wrestler’ is, but we’re probably not gonna even see that. I still think there’s a way for more interactions between the males and females as it opens up some more story lines. Heck, I wonder if Candice has been petitioning the bosses to let Ciampi hit something on her.
The Gargano/Almas feud is a great example of how it should be done. Vega got involved several times and the big pay off was Candice taking her out when she tried one too many times. I’m not the biggest fan of intergender wrestling and the only time I get into it is when the wrestlers are about the same size. Someone like a Nia Jax in WWE could face off against some men and I’d believe it. I also think intergender works better on the indies because of their size, Fight Club Pro have just crowned Meiko Satomura as their champion as she beat Chris Brookes. Kimber Lee was also the Chikara Grand Champion and there are plenty more stories of women winning championships and wrestling men on the indies. I don’t think that would work in WWE, who are more PG and have a lot more eyes on them.
I would have a real problem with this as I remember when Chyna was competing against the men. While it did a lot to bolster Chyna’s reputation with the crowd, it also totally buried the women’s division as everyone knew that the woman’s champion could not compete against Chyna. She had qualified for King of the Ring, was the number one contender for the Heavyweight Title, and won the IC title. When Chyna did decide to fight for the women’s title, she won it in a squash match at Wrestlemania against Ivory.
I think that the attitude era was a weak time for the women’s division and Chyna’s position above the division was a significant part of the reason why.
There are definitely ways it could be effectively done and could be really genuinely interesting. It can be used effectively, but I don’t think just getting cheap heat out of it is useful. You can have a heel man hit a woman, and that’s probably fine if you have that woman do anything other than get knocked out and carted off. Have a guy like, I dunno, fucking Drew Gulak try to bully a woman around and intimidate her, do a slap spot, have the girl take the slap, sell it but not so massively, come back with a big punch to the face, have Gulak bump and sell for it. I’m not saying that’s necessarily amazing tv but it genuinely is doable without being Attitude Era level awful. I don’t hate the bubbles that men and women act in, how there’s rarely crossover. I just wish that they’d either do one or the other. Either have a little bit of mixed interaction in tasteful doses OR don’t, and never do things like the Mixed Match Challenge (or mixed tags in general). I think my problem with it is the kind of limbo it exists in. You have no contact between men and women (with very few exceptions) but you also have matches where men and women are fighting each other and using really poor writing to have matches that are guaranteed to have virtually zero psychology. I dunno. I imagine nobody wants to see Braun Strowman powerslam a woman through a table, but there’s ways you CAN go that won’t be absolutely terribly misogynist.