As we all know, WWE’s Divas division desperately needs a revival. The WWE Universe has made it known that they prefer to see women in professional wrestling be portrayed as something other than sex objects; they prefer to see them portrayed as competent, authentic, worthwhile competitors. For this reason, fans have become less invested in WWE’s Divas division, and are now completely enthralled by NXT’s Women’s division. The women in NXT have impactful, meaningful storylines. They are given copious amounts of screen time, which helps their ability to tell the audience a story over the course of a match. Overall, NXT’s female performers are completely equal to their male counterparts, and it just works.
As history shows us, every crusade needs a leader. As mainstream sports show us, every organization needs a franchise player. This idea holds true in professional wrestling as well. Every era, company, division, etc. has a performer who serves as its cornerstone and foundation.
When WWE finally decides to turn their Divas division into a legitimate showcase of the most talented female professional wrestlers in the world, they will need their leader, their franchise player; a performer who serves as the pillar in which the entire division is based around. Luckily for WWE, they already have that person under contract, and her name is Sasha Banks.
Sasha Banks is the reigning NXT Women’s Champion. She has an overabundance of charisma and is a magnificently talented wrestler. Matches involving Banks are as highly anticipated by fans as the headlining matches that involve men. Banks’ work in NXT is undoubtedly a glimpse into a bright future for not only her, but for WWE’s female performers in general. Thanks in part to the attention she is bringing women’s wrestling as a whole, the conversation about women having more meaningful roles within WWE has quickly gained more momentum than it ever has before.
Paige and Charlotte were two of the first women in NXT to begin this sort of paradigm shift for female talent. They opened the door so to speak, and Sasha Banks followed by completely kicking that door in.
At one time in WWE, it was difficult to think of a standout match involving women. Banks has now made that task much easier due to her acclaimed matches against the likes of Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Bayley. Her latest match against Lynch at “NXT Takeover: Unstoppable” in May was her greatest accomplishment to date. The promotion for the match itself was that of a main event, and it lived up to that title. It was the type of match that had fans gasping, cheering, and cringing simultaneously. It wasn’t an excellent match by women’s standards; it was an excellent match by all standards. Even more impressive is the fact that this match was not the apex of what Banks is capable of. It was only a preview of what she could possibly accomplish on WWE’s main roster, provided that the company is ready for her to do so.
WWE’s Divas division does in fact have some incredible performers; Paige, Natalya, and Naomi immediately come to mind. However, Sasha Banks is the absolute best female performer at the moment on any stage, in any division. Her in-ring skills are penetrating, her character is viciously entertaining, and she has already mastered the ability to blend technical skill and showmanship to create the ideal professional wrestler.
Personally, I view what goes on inside of a wrestling ring as a work of art. Sasha Banks’ work inside of the ring is exactly that; artful. The way she is capable of painting a picture for the audience during a match will play a major role in her rise to greatness. Her surplus of different skills is what makes her a one-of-a-kind talent that WWE can place on center stage. Banks is fully equipped to handle being the pillar that WWE leans on as they revolutionize their Divas division.
Banks can be seamlessly transitioned to WWE’s main roster. Place Banks against any woman on that roster and it instantly becomes electrifying to watch. Paige vs. Banks, Naomi vs. Banks, Nikki Bella vs. Banks; all of these promise to be matches that will draw the eyes of the WWE Universe back towards the Divas division.
Sasha Banks also has the rare gift of being able to bring out the best in her opponents. Many of Charlotte’s most memorable matches included Banks. Becky Lynch’s tour de force came against Banks, as well as Bayley’s. Both women came up short in the end, but put on the best matches of their career, even in a loss. Even when she’s working with newer talent such as Alexa Bliss, Banks has proved that she can produce a quality show. That talent will make it even easier for WWE to build the Divas division around her. She expands their number of options for feuds, and guarantees a high-quality bout on each and every show she is on.
Rebuilding a new and improved Divas division will of course take more than one performer. WWE has a plethora of other talented women who are capable of elevating it. The company will have to afford their female performers more time and more valuable narratives. Vince McMahon and the powers that be must adopt a new line of thinking about the way women are portrayed in the company. The redevelopment process is not going to be easy or fast by any means, but WWE does have the foundation on which to start that development in Sasha Banks.