WWE did the best thing it could for its red brand on Monday night when it booked a Raw Women’s Title match between Charlotte and Sasha Banks as the main event of the evening. Finally, everything is right in the world of women’s professional wrestling. The definitive moment of this revolution is the evolution of this rivalry, which is the best thing Raw can offer right now.
When I wrote over a year ago that the women of WWE are still caught in a log jam of sorts due to politics behind the scenes and no sense of direction, I never thought there would come a time when two women would close out the lead program of the McMahon empire, let alone become the lasting impression fans have as the company closes in on the holiday season.
If I could stand and applaud, I would. The fact the creative team has worked hard to tell a story with this rivalry as well as the Roman Reigns-Rusev feud is testament to how this new era has come in a short time. Someone said to me a few days ago he was excited about what WWE had to offer now. He was pleased there were more options and better feuds. Until Monday night, I was still skeptical. I’m not a true believer yet, but I am inching closer to finding peace in a WWE that is different than what I used to know.
Professional wrestling’s biggest draw in the 1980s, especially in the NWA wasn’t the match as much as it was the build, the promotion. Wrestlers give fans vignettes and backstory. There was a beginning and a rising action. The end result was the dance in the ring. Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair had it. Any time Dory Funk Jr. and Jack Brisco got in the ring, there was magic. Dusty Rhodes and Harley Race. I could go on for a while here, so I won’t bore you.
A few years ago, TNA sold its promotion on the fact it was a “wrestling” business, that the men and women out on a show, that wrestling mattered once again. It was a solid sell. The vignettes by Sting, Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode alone were worth their weight in gold. WWE shied away from the concept of making wrestling important again. In the end, there was a failed product. Now, there is hope and in the future, there is success.
WWE has tried this before – taking two women and building a division around them. Lita and Trish Stratus were as close to a powerhouse duo as there could be. Flair and Steamboat all over again. It worked and fans had a deep appreciation for their work in the ring. The same holds true for these two greats. While Banks, who is now the Women’s Champion, is every bit as solid as Lita, Charlotte is every bit her father, Ric Flair and some of the components of Trish, Fabulous Moolah and Alundra Blaze.
When it comes to the women in this company and Monday Night Raw, wrestling matters again.
The biggest fear I have now is WWE stopping this momentum. Too many times there have been storylines interrupted by a change in direction. That cannot happen this time. There is too much build, too much excitement. Besides, the fans might revolt. While there is a belief Bayley and Banks should tear down WrestleMania 33 (and they should) let’s see what happens. There are two months left in 2016 and a road to Orlando still to happen. In the meantime, let’s enjoy all of this while it’s happening. And hope the momentum doesn’t evaporate any time soon.