There’s no denying that Sasha Banks and Charlotte are shattering glass ceilings in WWE. From main eventing Monday Night Raw’s to getting Hell in a Cell matches – the pair’s rivalry is carving a path through WWE that will lead to opportunity for others. But that’s the thing – when will those other women get that opportunity? The Raw Women’s Championship has been shuttled between the pair five times now – with no other women getting close to holding the illusive title. Some fans are beginning to resent the pair; and it’s hard to not agree with them on some level.
Even when the pair fought at Hell in a Cell, fans were ready to move on. New matches were needed; fresh direction for the division as a whole. Yet here we are less than a month before the end of 2016 and the two continue to trade Raw’s Women’s Championship. What this means for the likes of Bayley and Nia Jax, two women who have been sat waiting on the sidelines, is anyone’s guess. The fact is that they’re secondary to the two women at the top right now, and they’re very likely to remain that way. It isn’t fair and it’s time WWE Creative stopped this game of tennis before they do more harm than good to the Women’s Division.
I say division carefully – because WWE has certainly built a Championship picture. Using the Four Horsewomen’s momentum, the company has managed to successfully parlay that momentum into something that’s caught fans attention. Yet for those women who aren’t in this group of four, the opportunities haven’t been so forthcoming. The spotlight hasn’t been shining on these ladies yet, instead the company seemingly is still stuck giving the lions share of attention to Sasha and Charlotte on Raw.
The problem this leads too; fans aren’t being prepared for what comes next. When Sasha and Charlotte move on to their next feuds, who will they be against? With no story line reason or incentive to care for these other women, it creates an awkward disconnect with the women whom WWE deems “unworthy” of the spotlight. When Emma returns in a few weeks, will fans honestly see her as a potential equal to Charlotte or Sasha Banks? It’s unlikely, because the company has put the pair on such a pedestal. Sasha and Charlotte are the only women being allowed to break those records – and that’s a problem.
It’s even more awkward when you glance over at Smackdown’s Women’s Division. Originally laughed at for its awkward lack of depth, the women over there have quickly found their stride and are creating a viable division where women can move up and down the card. Nikki’s return have lended some authority to the division, while Carmella and Alexa Bliss are being given plenty of opportunity to shine among their more popular peers. On top of this the brand did an excellent job of finding a position for Eva Marie; quickly capturing the fans dislike of her and transforming her into one of the divisions biggest heels.
The reason for this is simple – there are story lines that are helping to get fans invested. Carmella is being made to look like a genuine star as she goes toe-to-toe with Nikki on a weekly basis. Meanwhile Alexa, a women most fans hadn’t heard of before her promotion from NXT, is being carefully crafted as a manipulative heel. It’s this attention to detail; the crafting of individuals that mes watching these women so enjoyable. Yes Becky Lynch is the most popular women, but she’s not hogging the spotlight. Her position is being used to create new stars; stars that will eventually make the division around her better.
It’s something Raw hasn’t been able to achieve. They’ve given Nia Jax some squash matches – but even she’s being held in a holding pattern until opportunity is handed to her.. Until she’s ready to challenge for the Raw Women’s Championship – there’s nothing for her. No division to terrorize, no feud to keep her momentum fresh. She can’t go over Sasha or Charlotte as that would weaken the division. It’s a bizarre situation – and WWE shouldn’t have done it this way.
This is why Raw needs to start using its parts more cohesively. The creative team behind Raw need to craft a division that works for everyone involved. Not everyone needs to be a star – but there should be logical progression for those who are working their way up the card. How can the likes of Nia possibly get over if the company doesn’t consistently showcase her character? Why should fans care about Emma if she’s forever being held down? Right now the disconnect between the top and bottom of both women divisions highlight how the different approaches are yielding different results.
Raw needs to showcase all its female talent if this revolution in women’s wrestling is to really benefit all. The danger is fans will turn on Sasha if she’s constantly painted as unbeatable. It seems they haven’t learned from the whole Roman Reigns fiasco.