The Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair rivalry has had some ups and downs over the last year, most of the ups have come from the matches. These two women are brilliant in the ring, not to mention more brutal towards each other than we’re used to seeing when it comes to women’s wrestling. The downs however have come from the booking.
At first the booking was pretty solid, we saw Charlotte dominate as the queen of the division starting a 113 day reign starting at Wrestlemania 32, but that would be the end of the decent booking for the division. On the July 25th edition of RAW Sasha Banks won her first Woman’s title. It would seem there would be a changing of the guard and we’d see a decent reign from the Boss, we were wrong. Just over three weeks later she’d drop the belt back to Charlotte at Hell in the Cell, and then a couple weeks later on RAW Sasha would win it back just to drop it back to Charlotte last night at Roadblock.
I know what you’re thinking (don’t ask me how I just do), trading titles back and forth built up Stone Cold, the Rock, Triple H, and Mick Foley in the Attitude era, and yes this is true, but this was also 4 top Main Eventers trading back and forth, with sprinkles of guys like Jericho, Angle, the Undertaker and Big Show (among others) here and there winning the WWE title, also it was unpredictable. With Charlotte and Sasha we pretty much know what will happen. Sasha wins the belt on RAW and Charlotte wins it back at the Pay Per View in order to keep her PPV streak alive. I’m not sure what the WWE is doing with this PPV streak. Some think it’s to make her lose at a PPV seem even more special but the WWE has screwed this up before, i.e., The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. Hopefully they’re setting this up for the ultimate underdog Bayley because if they’re not then this will all be for naught.
Predictability aside, two other things have hurt this, and I’m quoting Michael Cole here, “storied rivalry”, the first of these two things being not letting it breath. All these two do is fight each other. Rivalries in sports and sports entertainment aren’t just built on matches, but also giving the us the audience a break. The Red Sox and Yankees or Redskins and Cowboys wouldn’t be as good if they played only each other, it would get boring, which this rivalry kind of has. Last night’s match should have been a triumphed conclusion of a seemingly great rivalry, but I could barely be bothered. Since Mania it’s been pretty much Sasha vs Charlotte, with the occasional Becky or Bayley thrown in for a triple threat match, but we knew neither on was a threat. The beauty about the Attitude Era title swaps were that they were unpredictable, we really didn’t know who’d leave with the title. With Sasha and Charlotte if it’s a RAW match Sasha will win, if it’s a PPV match Charlotte leaves with the strap.
The second thing that really hurt this rivalry was that Sasha never had a successful title defense. She’d beat Charlotte on a RAW and not defend the belt until the next PPV and drop the belt to Charlotte. When you have one champ that never has a successful title defense it makes them look like a transition champion, so in spite of her in ring work, Sasha looked weak, especially since in every PPV match Sasha was selling some sort of injury, being a knee or back, it made her look fragile as well. Even some of the best “come from behind” wrestlers they aren’t selling injuries every PPV.
So we have a “rivalry” where one competitor looks way weaker than the other and then we come to last night’s finish. Here is the thing, I don’t have a problem with Charlotte winning last night, as I said above it was pretty predictable, what I don’t like is that Sasha tapped out with 2 seconds left to allow Charlotte to tie up the ironman match sending it into overtime. This makes Sasha look extremely weak. One could say that she didn’t know how much time was left and the pain was too much, but since that clock hit 10 seconds left the crowd (who had been pretty silent most of the night) started counting down and extremely loud. No matter what the pain level is, if you have any kind of strength you’re going to be able to hold on for 10 seconds especially with an arena of people bubbling over thinking that you’re going to hold out and win. Especially since it would have meant ending Charlotte’s PPV win streak. This would have been the ultimate under dog win for Sasha and make her look extremely strong, instead they went the opposite and had her tap with two seconds left which made her look weak. If they wanted an overtime what they should have done was have Charlotte tap Sasha earlier to tie the match up and then have Charlotte slap her in the Figure 8 and Sasha outlast the clock and it ends in a tie. This of course makes Sasha look tough and the WWE still gets their overtime and Charlotte is still protected from a PPV loss.
In the end this really made Sasha look weak to end this rivalry (though we know they’ll fight again eventually) and I’m not sure where they go from here with the Boss. Obviously the Charlotte streak will eventually be broken by Bayley eventually, my guess is at Wrestlemania.
So what did you think about the Sasha/Charlotte match last night? What did you think of the PPV overall, let us know in the comments section below.