Yes, the Glamazon has earned her spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. When Beth Phoenix was first announced as an inductee into the Hall of Fame Class of 2017, the decision was touted as one of the most controversial inclusions in recent memory. After all, she hadn’t had a particularly long career in the ring. Surely, others were more suitable choices? But the more we look at back at Phoenix’s career, the more we realize the wisdom of her inclusion.
Yes, Beth Phoenix’s WWE career probably wasn’t the most impressive in terms of tenure: she was active on the roster from only 2006 to 2012. However, the impact she made in that short half-decade has got to be some of the biggest made by a female in the industry.
Let’s take a closer look.
The Glamazon: Unrivalled Strength
As a wrestler, Beth Phoenix was the type of woman that the roster could seriously fear. Her strength displayed itself in the most jaw-dropping ways. She once bent Melina’s leg backward like a pretzel, and another time carried two women on her shoulders at once. The reputation of Beth Phoenix’s raw physicality came to the point that, when she was feuding with the likes of Kelly Kelly and Candice Michelle, losses to them felt unrealistic.
That’s not to say that Beth Phoenix couldn’t hold her own in entertaining the fans of the WWE. She was a surprise entrant into the 2010 Royal Rumble – only the second woman since Chyna – and eliminated the Great Khali with a combination of feminine wiles and her incredible strength.
Her onscreen romance with Santino Marella was also worth comedy gold. When the pair won both the Women’s Championship and Intercontinental Championship in 2008, she hoisted him up on her shoulders. Moments like that are what get fans on their feet.
Before The Revolution
Phoenix’s impact isn’t gauged just by her individual feats of strength. We can’t just measure it by her championships either (three Women’s, and one Diva’s, for those counting her reigns). The Glamazon’s impact is best seen by how she created a paradigm shift in the whole women’s division.
Once upon a time, the typical Diva looked like Mickie James and Torrie Wilson – slender, pretty, something to look at. Phoenix smashed that notion, almost literally. She was a woman to take seriously, bringing in brawn as much as beauty. Before the Divas Revolution of the mid 2010’s, Phoenix was a one-woman revolution on her own. Through her success, other female ground-and-pounders like Becky Lynch have managed to find a share in the spotlight.
And for those wondering Beth’s opinion on things, she’s no-nonsense about it:
“I have two little girls. Who knows what they want to do in the future? But if they want to be wrestlers someday and I helped forge a path for them to be more successful, then it was all worth it. I’ve done what I wanted to do.”
And if there’s one thing we know about Hall of Famers, it’s that they do more than just wow the crowds. They impact and inspire others long after they’re gone.
Does Beth Phoenix deserve it? In the words of Daniel Bryan: Yes! Yes! Yes!