Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus are two of the most important names in wrestling today and WWE made the wrong decision to pull them from SummerSlam.
WWE’s booking of the women’s division is not good. Fans consistently push to see more opportunities provided to more women on the roster and the company falls short of that on both WWE SmackDown and WWE Monday Night Raw. With SummerSlam coming in a few days, the news that Becky Lynch versus Trish Stratus would not happen on the card is yet another instance when the promotion has failed the ladies that perform in the ring. This is a huge issue that could have been avoided.
On Thursday, Fightful Select reported the reason why Stratus versus Lynch will not happen at SummerSlam. According to its sources, Fightful reported the following:
"“Instead, we’re told that WWE has been adamant about limiting the number of matches and the runtimes for PLE shows, which caused some matches that were being built for the show to be moved elsewhere. Those we spoke to said that on SummerSlam, the match would have been severely limited by time, and the decision was made to put it on a future Raw instead. Consideration was also given to moving it back to WWE Payback.”"
That’s quite an excuse to keep two of the biggest names in wrestling off the card. When coupled with the fact that WWE Women’s World Champion, Rhea Ripley does not have a match, it’s clear that this division isn’t getting the attention that it should.
WWE has been widely praised for keeping PLEs within 3-4 hours and moving them to Saturday evenings. These are two positive steps that fans would like to see more of in the future. But this should not come at the cost of women’s wrestling. Explain how the 20-man Battle Royal is more important than a match with a Hall-of-Famer and someone that will eventually be in the Hall-of-Fame. The Battle Royal doesn’t involve any stakes, and only a few names are announced heading into WWE SmackDown. Expectations are that LA Knight will win and use that as momentum to get a match with Austin Theory, an individual that many forgot is a current champion, but again – that is not more valuable than a match with Stratus and Lynch.
The report mentions the plan to move them to a future Raw. Even if the two ladies are given a main event slot, with 20 minutes to battle, that does not erase the message that is sent to the roster with this decision. And even if that is the case, that doesn’t solve the problem because this would be a simple “make good” that continues to fall short. Would SummerSlam be any less of a show if GUNTHER versus Drew McIntyre was switched with Lynch versus Stratus? Absolutely not.
Some will point to the idea that the feud between Stratus and Lynch hasn’t been well-booked. While understandable, it’s also important to point out that the booking decisions lie solely with WWE Creative. If fans aren’t receptive to the two women facing off, one must look back at the way WWE has treated the feud in recent weeks and months. There are several examples of things being booked “well” across WWE and getting over with fans. If this feud isn’t that doesn’t point toward Lynch and Stratus as stars, instead, the blame falls at the feet of those making the creative decisions.
WWE has made these same mistakes in the past. Look at the recent pulling of Becky Lynch versus Bayley, or the need to rebook the first Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match because of careless decision-making. These types of situations show the women that risk their bodies in the ring that they aren’t seen at the same level as their male counterparts. And that’s a glaring issue that needs to change immediately.
There are a few days left before SummerSlam, but even if WWE tries to correct the problem, the damage is done. The company has made the big mistake of telling two of its biggest women’s stars that they aren’t important enough to be booked for a big annual event. That speaks to a recurring issue in WWE that must end.