Thursday, 5 February 2015
Top 50 Best WWE/NXT Matches of 2014: #48. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks (ALL)
The greatest feud in the women's division in NXT had no one true standout moment last year, but instead used their time wisely in a constantly evolving showcase of progression in counter based wrestling as seen through the perfect heel/face dynamics of Bayley and Sasha Banks. It was a series of matches that was based upon callbacks to previous matches, and since they've wrestled each other so many times there was plenty to build upon. It was always slight variations that brought something new to the table that kept this feud fresh. In April Bayley won with a Belly to Bayley suplex, One month later they wrestled again, but Sasha countered the Belly to Bayley with a backstabber crossface. When they picked their feud back up in August Bayley goes for the Belly to Bayley again, Sasha counters it again with the backstabber crossface, but Bayley, knowing this is coming, ends up countering that move with a roll up. It's little things like this that make watching the two very interesting.
As an aside I would just like to get on my soapbox for a moment and just talk about why these two (and Charlotte) are important. Women's wrestling is not given the respect it deserves in WWE, and to be truthful I'm not sure if it ever has. The closest it has ever come to being equal with the men was in the mid 90s when Bull Nakano, Alundra Blayze and Aja Kong were representing women's wrestling in the company. The attitude era saw the dissolution of this, and the arrival of Playboy matches shortly afterward. WWE has never recovered, but I respect that they are trying with NXT. The Women still aren't equal down in NXT, because if they were they'd be going after people like Athena as hard as they went after wrestlers like KENTA, but it brings me an infinite amount of joy knowing that there's at least one area of WWE programming that's giving women a spotlight. Women have always been as good as men at wrestling, but there's always been a stigma that they can't do it for whatever reason, and I think WWE is a big reason for that stereotype existing. I don't know if things are ever going to change on the main roster, but as a Woman I can at least take solace in knowing that Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte and to a lesser extent Becky Lynch are ushering in what will hopefully become a new era for Women's wrestling in the biggest Wrestling company in the world.