WWE: Give me Sasha Banks vs Io Shirai and I’ll love the wild card rule

Sasha Banks, WWE Credit: WWE.com
Sasha Banks, WWE Credit: WWE.com /

I think the best way to open this is by saying that I was not a fan of the wild card rule. That said, there are ways that the WWE could convince me that it’s a good thing.

The problems that I found with the WWE‘s wild card are likely familiar to most people reading this. We had the same people, often in multiple segments, on both shows. Roman Reigns would often be in four of five segments a week, meanwhile, both tag divisions became afterthoughts to an extreme degree.

Additionally, main eventers were being pulled from show to show in order to take up title programs for championships that they weren’t technically entitled to challenge for. Samoa Joe had a particularly rough time and suffered hard from repeatedly losing matches on both brands.

The name “wild card rule” also isn’t much of a winner in my eyes. We need something more wordy, clunkier, and heavier on the lips.

That said, it genuinely wasn’t all bad. When Sasha Banks returned she was able to pair up with Bayley straight away, heralding the move to the evil Bayley that we all know and love. FTRKO was a masterstroke. Finally, and probably most importantly, Roman Reigns would often be in four or five segments a week. What more could you possibly want?

On this week’s Raw, the WWE announced a new variant of the wild card rule. I know that they did this because Drew McIntyre commented on the announcement after it apparently didn’t happen.

This time around, they’re not calling it the wild card rule. They’re calling it the brand versus brand invitational, which just rolls off the tongue so much better. Drew McIntyre’s initial challenge was for Baron Corbin – currently working with Elias maybe. I don’t think too many people are going to complain about watching Drew McIntyre claymore Baron Corbin’s head off. Even Baron Corbin will probably just be thrilled to be involved.

The idea of an invitational sounds intriguing until you realise that Charlotte Flair has already been booked to SmackDown without any suggestion of anybody actually inviting her to the show. This is a situation that is ripe for abuse, with talent such as Ripley, Flair, or Baszler uncertain as to their brand at current anyway. Thankfully, there’s one definitive way that the WWE can convince me. Sasha Banks vs Io Shirai.

To be clear, Banks vs Shirai is an example as much as it is an exciting option. If we’re openly involving NXT the options are practically limitless. Liv Morgan vs Dakota Kai? Rhea Ripley vs Nia Jax? Bayley vs Tegan Nox? These are just the women. How about Finn Balor vs Aleister Black? Johnny Gargano vs Daniel Bryan? Basically what I’m saying is let’s get NXT involved in a big, big way.

Instead of a brand versus brand invitational, let’s have a brand versus brand versus brand invitational. See, isn’t that just music to the ears in a way that “wild card rule” just wasn’t?

There are a number of Raw and SmackDown superstars who have gone on the record stating that they have had discussions about returning to NXT, however briefly. At the same time some NXT stars, most notably Tommaso Ciampa, have made clear their intention to never leave the brand. This might be the ideal opportunity for NXT to show what it’s made of with a number of exciting, intriguing matches that we may not see again or at least for a long time.

Who were the biggest winners from this week's episode of Raw?. dark. Next

Yes, I’m saying that Sasha Banks vs Io Shirai is a comet that only comes around once in a lifetime. Let’s not miss it.