Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bayley and Sasha Banks may be the most important main event of this decade

Over the course of the last decade, WWE rarely makes matches that are truly consequential for the future of the business. Money in the Bank 2011 changed the shape of the WWE's main event scene with John Cena's loss to CM Punk. Wrestlemania XXX proved that fans' support could actually reshape the future of the promotion. But when NXT Takeover: Respect airs tomorrow night, it will bring a main event unlike anything WWE has ever done on a special or pay-per-view.

Image credit: WWE.com.
Bayley and Sasha Banks are two of the best wrestlers in the modern wrestling world. While the Four Horsewomen of NXT are all exceptional in the ring, Bayley and Sasha argue have the strongest personalities and personal styles. They proved they could also put on a match of the year contender back in August in front of a sold out Barclay Center. Their next main event may be in front of a much smaller crowd at Full Sail University, but with thirty minutes, they will have a match even longer than their eighteen minute masterpiece in Brooklyn.

Bayley and Sasha bring a dramatic sea change to women's wrestling the like of which hasn't been seen since Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff squashed the previous female wrestling revolution in TNA. They both have the added bonus of not needing a day job while working as the top competitors of their division, but they also get a sign of respect that TNA could never have imagined then or since with their main event berth at Respect. While NXT might be a secondary product to the main WWE roster, it shows week in and week out that fans will respond as strongly to the women as they will to the men. Now the women get their chance to show why at the top of the card on a special event for the first time in WWE's history.

Before NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, I advocated for the women to take the top spot. They didn't, but the ladder match between Kevin Owens and Finn Balor felt anti-climactic as a result (as I also warned in the same article.) Now WWE has learned its lesson, and the women of NXT now have the biggest chance yet to prove their worth in the future of wrestling.

It isn't a move that either Bayley or Sasha haven't dreamed about in the past. Last week, both women posted their own thoughts from their younger days about their future in wrestling. Bayley gave us a a glimpse of a high school paper about her future where she said "The sport is serious to me and I want to be elite in it." A grade school essay by Sasha Banks had a few more grammatical mistakes, but showed her own drive to succeed saying she would be "the best Pro Wrestler the WWE has ever seen: a women [champion], United States [champ] and the World Wrestling [Champion]." Both clearly envisioned themselves as far more than what WWE ever did for women in the past.

Now they have their chance to show the world they deserve it all. And I strongly suspect, we will see that reason tomorrow night at NXT Takeover: Respect.

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