WWE fans had the privilege of witnessing perfection Monday night.
The company that did its best to bury women’s wrestling prior to the “revolution” more than 18 months ago, is now reaping the benefits of patience and persistence. Thank you, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte for making us fall in love with women’s wrestling once again.
For those of us who used to think watching women roll around on a mat was a good excuse to walk away from the television, we are now glued to it in the anticipation of some of the best story telling WWE has to offer.
As 2016 comes to an end, the Banks-Charlotte feud must be considered one of the best if not the best storyline of the year. And more importantly, the women of this company are being asked to do something the men have not been able to do – stand and deliver quality with an eye toward the future.
When this “revolution” began last July, I don’t think anybody could foresee the impact Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Bayley would have in this short amount of time. To that end, for those of us who thought these “wrestlers” will be treated much like the performers in the past have been, we all must have egg on our faces. No more bra and panties matches. No more pillow fights. No more waiting to see who would flail away at a missed spot. This is as real as it gets with Banks and Charlotte – a feud that has plenty more miles to go before it rests.
Not since the days of Lita and Trish Stratus has it been cool to root for women’s wrestling. And when you think about it, WWE has done a solid job of finding a roster full of competitors who are more than capable of tearing down the house on any given night. Now that women are closing out Raw and the women’s championship is getting the respect it deserves, what happens as the new year quickly approaches? Will there be a time where there is women–only programming? Will we get to a point where there will be a pay-per-view event solely scripted for the women of WWE? Those are things that the McMahons must address in the present, not in the future.
The Sasha–Charlotte story is better than anything I have seen in sometime. The last time I saw a program where friends became foes like this in this was probably when Bobby Roode turned on James Storm. The brilliance of how well it was scripted and how it was played out is one of the underrated stories of professional wrestling.
WWE has done the same kind of thing with this feud. The vignettes have been solid. The give-and-take between the two stars has been epic. The performance in the ring has been stellar. And the chance that these two will remain rivals in the future gives the company something it can fall back on from time to time. Much like John Cena and CM Punk, this is the type of feud that will go on for years.
Now that the company is set to embark on its final two pay-per-view events, WWE must begin January with a bang. There has been some talk of Banks turning heel, which makes sense given the fact that there is talk about her feuding with Bayley. Nia Jax must figure in the equation as does Dana Brooke. While there may be two women who lead the pack, the distance between the top and the second tier is closing quickly.
I’m curious to see if WWE will take chances with other female superstars closing out Raw or SmackDown Live Will they main event at a future pay-per-view? And will the McMahons have the chutzpah to bring in more female talent and build them as strongly as they have done with the current crop of performers on the roster?
If nothing else, there are plenty of options to work with. If nothing else, there is still another chapter or two to be written between Banks and Charlotte. And more than anything else, WWE has done exactly what we thought it would fail at doing – it has made women’s wrestling a prominent part of must see television once again.
It’s one of the better success stories of 2016.