NXT Takeover: Brooklyn.
The scene of the greatest women’s match that ever I’ve witnessed. Twenty captivating minutes of professional wrestling that will be talked about for years to come.
A plucky underdog against a cocky, arrogant champion; it’s the perfect foundation for a wrestling story.
As someone who was still relatively new to NXT at the time, I didn’t fully feel the hype. But that match, that match had me in the sweaty palms of their genius hands. I wasn’t much of a Bayley fan before that match, but the sheer grit and determination of her to fend off Sasha’s deviousness was something to behold.
It was a 5-star match.
They then followed it up with an Iron (Wo)Man Match that ALMOST replicated the quality of the first bout. The action wasn’t quite as exhilarating, but the storytelling was perhaps even better.
Sadly, this concluded their NXT saga.
But here’s the thing…that was Oct 7th, 2015. Both women have now been permanent figures on the bloated WWE roster for over two years now. Yet, we’ve still yet to see their first “BIG match”.
It’s no secret, I couldn’t be any unhappier with the WWE product if I tried.
But this feud is truly indicative of WWE’s current failings and one that they are stubbornly reluctant to fix.
This ‘feud’ technically started at the Royal Rumble when Sasha selfishly eliminated Bayley. Which is fine, it’s a traditional protocol. A timeless WWE template that plants the seeds for a big-time Wrestlemania match. Then tensions escalated further when Sasha pushed Bayley off of a pod at the Elimination Chamber.
Perfect. We’ll see you both at Wrestlemania in New Orleans.
Wait…what? Instead of having your long-awaited one-on-one dream match at Wrestlemania…you’re going to be relegated to the pre-show in a completely meaningless battle royal that means next-to-nothing?
Yep. That sounds like the WWE I know. It’s criminal isn’t it?
If there’s one company that simply has no clue how to capitalise on momentum or pull the trigger on something, it’s the WWE. The build-up between January and April wasn’t exactly absorbing: a couple of disagreements, back-and-forth teases, and the odd scuffle.
However, the closer we got to Wrestlemania, the sinking realisation started to creep in that the match wasn’t going to happen. Instead, we got a carbon copy of the Royal Rumble, only this time the roles were reversed and Sasha was eliminated by Bayley.
Fast forward four months and we’re a day before Summerslam.
You’d think we’d have the match now at least, right?
Oh you sceptical bugger, I knew there was no fooling you. We’ve somehow gone one better, not only are they now an unbelievable team (in the sense that I’m not buying or caring for this crap for one second), but they’re also inconspicuously absent from the card.
I just can’t…like, we already how inept WWE is, but this feud has completely taken the biscuit this year. Actually, it’s unwrapped the entire pack of biscuits, taken each biscuit, then proceeded to individually throw biscuits into a pool of hungry piranhas, cooked the piranhas and then fed them to Roman Reigns. Well everything gets fed to Roman in the end.
This rivalry was like a microwavable pizza. It was ready-made, not fresh, but still tasty nonetheless. But every time we get closer to setting the timer to let this bad boy simmer, someone just seems to keep changing their mind on if they want pizza.
It’s now gotten to the point where I would legitimately have more interest in watching paint. Not watching it dry, just spend half an hour intensely eyeing up an actual tin of paint.
Now, is there still time for Sasha and Bayley’s fire to be rekindled? Probably. But it’ll take some serious story development and something big to kickstart it. Maybe have Sasha give birth to a hand?
This rivalry is one of MANYMANYMANYMANYMANY examples of WWE’s appalling lack of any basic common sense to storytelling.
Way back in 1997, Kane vs The Undertaker was stretched out over the course of a year till they eventually clashed at Wrestlemania 14. But that worked. Cool stuff happened and they were larger than life characters. It worked.
Unless the WWE has planned since the outset, to have Sasha vs Bayley at the upcoming all-women’s PPV, Evolution, then maybe it can be forgiven. Alternatively, we could’ve had one match at Wrestlemania, one at Summerslam; then they could’ve served an epic tie-breaker at Evolution.
But that would’ve been logical.
To address WWE’s problems, you’d literally need a forest worth of trees to write them all down. But one of the fundamental basics to professional wrestling is storytelling. A strong narrative can already make a match good.
Bayley vs Sasha has been an uncomfortable reminder that WWE are completely oblivious as to what MADE their product good.
Instead, eight months on, and Sasha and Bayley can’t even make the pre-show; on a card with 13 goddamn matches on…
I can’t wait for them to clash at Wrestlemania 36.
On the plus side, did you know that the apron is the hardest part of the ring?
– Andy.H. –
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