Sasha Banks and Bayley are the ones who stepped up as top stars

WWE, Sasha Banks, Bayley Photo:
WWE, Sasha Banks, Bayley Photo: /

WWE needed two wrestlers to step up to the plate as top stars this summer, and that’s why Sasha Banks and Bayley hold all the gold.

The decision to have Sasha Banks defeat Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship on July 27 –after Bayley wrote Kairi Sane off television during the match to cost The Empress – was controversial, to say the least. Many WWE fans noted how with the three main roster titles tied up in two women, it will be even harder for the other women of WWE to get opportunities.

But that’s not how this game works. Firstly, it’s understandable to be upset that other women in the division won’t get on television as often, but that’s WWE’s issue. And there’s reason to believe they are finally realizing how popular their women’s wrestlers in the mid-card are and may finally be ready to have those mid-card feuds. So keep applying pressure, keep cheering your favorites, and keep using that #NaomiDeservesBetter hashtag.

More to the point, when WWE notices that someone has all the momentum from the fans and is driving the vast majority of the discussion, they hit the gas pedal. They are often too slow to do this and have undermined so many wrestlers in the past. Becky Lynch went through that before WWE finally let her break through as a superstar, though it was more that she and the fans forced  a change.

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The same has happened with Sasha Banks and Bayley.

Since Becky left WWE to become a mother, there’s been a void at the top of the card that was further exacerbated by the lack of top star Roman Reigns on SmackDown. Forget the falling ratings for a minute. In any situation, WWE would have needed multiple wrestlers to emerge as top stars who can put on great matches and promos on a weekly basis and continue the conversation on social media.

Without this sort of attention, Sasha and Bayley have been doing this for years. Their social media work has always been strong, they’ve been two of the best wrestlers on the planet for the last five years, and they have the promo chops. But in 2020, they have hit another level, especially Bayley with her new heel character, and they have fully seized this opportunity with the spotlight on them.

Sasha Banks and Bayley aren’t the only wrestlers who have shined in this pandemic period of wrestling. Asuka, for example, has been wonderful, which is why she’s a huge part of this Raw Women’s Title story and was initially picked as the champion after Money in the Bank.

But Banks and Bayley hold the gold for a reason. They are the ones with a dedicated fan base that has been waiting for YEARS for a run like this. And even though they can’t be there to boo along (or, far more likely, cheer!) their favorite wrestlers, they have certainly played into the interest in Sasha and Bayley by engaging frequently on social media.

It’s not fair to cut down or be upset at the massive success that two wrestlers are having, and the idea that their success comes at another wrestler’s expense is, honestly, a fallacy. Opportunities for television are set and manufactured by WWE, specifically Vince McMahon. So if someone like Ruby Riott or Bianca Belair isn’t being utilized, it’s not on Sasha Banks and Bayley. It’s the same kind of warped thinking from fans that has antagonized Charlotte Flair, for example.

Sasha and Bayley have earned their spot. And in the meantime, Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax, the Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan storyline, the Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss partnership, Naomi vs. Lace Evans, and the returning Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose program are signs of WWE finally using the full depth of the women’s division. Again, keep the pressure.

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And keep on reacting to Sasha and Bayley. They are the faces of the company right now and are putting in historically great work on weekly television in a difficult era for performers. Sasha and Bayley are admired by so many fans for a reason, and, hopefully, they can use their star status to help others in the division, just as Becky did before she left.