Almost two weeks ago, it was revealed on the PWI Female 50 that Nikki Bella topped the coveted list, adding to the controversial and notorious year the Diva has had.
Passing AJ Lee’s 295 day WWE Divas Championship reign was primarily the reason why Bella was named in the top spot. In addition, Bella is also complimented on improving in the ring this year. As the year passed, many fans have speculated as to why Bella, of all Divas, kept the title so long. Especially when there is other Divas who are far better and more deserving of such praise that she is currently getting.
But there was no greater controversy with this list than the shade Sasha Banks got. Banks was ranked number three on the PWI Female 50 this year. It was noted that this was the highest debut for a woman, but still, fans were left scratching their heads at this one.
If ANY woman had a stellar year in 2015, it was Sasha Banks. With the four NXT Takeover events that happened this year, Sasha Banks stole the show in all of them. Starting at NXT Takeover: Rival, Banks captured the NXT Women’s Championship, kicking off a memorable run with it. Since then, Banks put on classic after classic with the likes of Becky Lynch and Bayley. Each match at Takeover was going down as Match of the Year candidates and some of the greatest women’s matches of all time. Banks went on to main event NXT Takeover: Respect by participating in the first ever Divas Ironman match this past October.
What did Nikki Bella do? She captured the WWE Divas Championship last November, and held it for 301 days. Her matches didn’t leave fans wowed by the time the win was secured. None of her matches were considered by fans as Match of the Year candidates. The only history making she did other than pass the reign was the being the cause of Give Divas a Chance movement. Those two things are clouded in a negative way.
Simply, put Banks’ work next to Bella’s and there’s honestly NO comparison.
I will give credit when credit is due; yes Nikki Bella has improved. Compare her and her sister Brie from three, even five years ago, it’s a startling contrast. But Bella is not that seasoned as she claims, and it definitely shows when she’s in the ring with more talented women. Furthermore, I have yet to see a match from Bella that I would consider anywhere near the caliber of Banks. Bella may have had a great year. But she could only dream of having the body of work Banks possesses.
Fans definitely notice and know the difference. And they want a piece of what Sasha Banks has to offer. If you have been watching Raw or SmackDown over the last month or so, there is always an audible “WE WANT SASHA” chant each time there’s a Divas match. They chant it when she’s out there, and the chants are louder when she’s absent from the ring. No other Diva on the main roster is more in demand than Banks.
Even though Banks is a heel character, she is popular with the fans. Other than her exceptional performances, Banks has stated many times how much she loves this business. Sasha Banks is passionate about professional wrestling – women’s wrestling in general – and it shows in everything she does.
Nikki Bella on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care about those things. She has only improved significantly the last three years, even though she’s been around for around eight. Bella always comments on having haters; the things she posts on social media and says on Total Divas doesn’t do her any favors in that department, thus the lack of fans’ respect. Bella talks the talk, but can’t walk the walk, so to speak. Her performances reflect that.
While The Bella Twins are overexposed between TV time on Raw/Smackdown and Total Divas; you have Sasha Banks making appearances on TV here and there. Just last week, Banks and Becky Lynch wrestled on Main Event. The same two women who put on their classic match at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable was put on that show. That adds to the frustration of fans who are growing tired of the Divas Revolution.
Which brings up the fact, the Bellas didn’t start the Divas Revolution. They were the reason why the Revolution started.
Case in point: Nikki Bella claims that the infamous thirty second tag team match with her and Brie versus Emma and Paige was her idea. While that was going on Sasha Banks was still in NXT wrestling in ten, fifteen minute matches with her other Horsewomen combatants. The Give Divas a Chance movement was started because fans were tired of seeing the Bellas dominate in short, meaningless matches. Fans wanted to see the women on the main roster do what the NXT women were doing. That turned into the Divas Revolution with the debuts of Lynch, Charlotte and Banks.
While the Revolution itself hasn’t been perfect it at least put the NXT Divas on the main roster and making others step up their game. Maybe it’s a “crawl before you walk” situation as to why Banks hasn’t been unleashed to her full potential just yet on the main roster. If and when she is unleashed, it won’t even matter Sasha Banks was shaded on the PWI Women’s 50. Give it due time and the world will be hers for the taking. She’s already started the journey.