A well-presented, well-performed feud is the single greatest thing on any wrestling show. Matches can be great, and titles can be important, but without caring about the characters involved—without feeling their pain and celebrating their successes—the program lacks heat.
Let's Go Bayley. Let's Go Sasha.
This article is most definitely not about a program that lacks heat.
LET'S GO BAYLEY. LET'S GO SASHA.
The story of Bayley and Sasha Banks is a journey; an unending, ongoing journey in which so much more of the best is yet to come. It's a story of two performers growing into their characters to the point that it's impossible to imagine them as anything else.
It's cheap to say this story is more muddled than I expected—but, this story is more muddled than I expected. The narrative heading into Brooklyn was "innocent Bayley must overcome bully Sasha," which while being accurate, is a surface-level reading of a conflict that lies on such deeper, psychological levels.
There's also the problematic fact that Bayley holds a winning record in (televised/PPV) singles matches against Sasha, 6-3. This includes two number one contender matches for the NXT women's championship. Yes, Sasha holds the overall advantage, thanks to a dominant 6-2 record in tag and multi-person matches.
But that singles record doesn't lie. Simply put and contrary to all preconceived notions I had, historically in story, Bayley has Sasha's number, not vice versa. And that explains why Sasha is so much better in tag matches: because she consistently sought out allies (in the form of the BFFs and then Becky Lynch) to bring Bayley down while she continually failed doing so on her own. Her ability to find allies gave her the edge in narrative over Bayley, if not in their personal encounters.
This is a story of a face, through sheer determination and consistent effort, rising above an opponent who constantly runs them down. But it's also a story of a young woman, being constantly overlooked and ignored, choosing to forge her own path—and viciously assault anything that reminds her of her prior failings.
If you read either of my earlier pieces, I don't need to explain to all of you how important Bayley and The Boss are for me. I can't even watch a minute of their Brooklyn match without tearing up. Actually, I can't even watch a minute of either of them on screen without having the feels. Yes, I'm a sap.
But why have I been so eager to write thousands and thousands of words about Sasha Banks (and Bayley! I promise this piece is more balanced) in the last month?
I've only been back into wrestling at all for maybe a year, and only seriously invested since February. I had heard good things about NXT and had been following it, if not closely, at least semi-consistently. It was NXT TakeOver: Rival that cemented my interest in the product, largely because of a certain fatal four-way match for the women's championship. Coming into this event, I was merely interested in wrestling again. But seeing four insanely talented women being allowed to showcase their immense skill struck a cord: wrestling had changed from when I last abandoned it. (The Attitude Era was not for me, even as a teenager.)
On a whim I bought floor seats to a Smackdown taping in my home of Washington, D.C., back in March—it had been a long 18 years since my only prior event, the infamous NWO Souled Out pay-per-view, in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There was a dark match between the tapings of Main Event and Smackdown. Natalya's music hit to a decent pop. Then her opponent's music hit.
I remember this vividly: I JUMPED out of my seat and shouted, "OH SHIT." I literally, involuntarily, yelled this, very loudly, in the fairly quiet crowd. Two guys in front of me, who didn't know The Boss, turned to me and asked, "You like her?" All that little mark me could offer was, "Yeah, she's tight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111"
She tapped to the sharpshooter in like four minutes. (Come on! Put the newly-crowned NXT Women's Champion over!)
I didn't care in the slightest. I had no idea I was going to see Sasha Banks, this performer I knew basically nothing of only weeks before. But her presence, her natural charisma, hooked me immediately in the Verizon Center. (Can you tell?)
Was it the surprise of seeing someone totally unexpected? Maybe. Would I have marked as hard for, say, Becky Lynch? It's possible.
When you're a kid, there are moments when for whatever reason, you become attached to certain sports teams, or certain fictional characters. You carry these attachments with you for the rest of your life (being an Indians fan is going real swell). And something, somewhere in my then-nearing 30 subconscious, picked Sasha Banks. I picked really fucking well.
Regardless of the circumstances, I'm now just a guy spitting out thousands of words on the Internet. I'm a mark like everyone else. I'm such a mark I have legitimate, sincere trepidations about the debut of Asuka, not because I think she won't be an incredible performer and wonderful asset to the program, but because it makes me worried ever so slightly about Sasha's positioning. I'm self-aware of this worry, yes, and I know it's absurd—but that awareness puts not one dent in its hold on me. Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado is so magnetic as Sasha Banks that I don't have to bother suspending disbelief—I simply believe, entirely and without reservation, in what is in front of me.
I'm not even kidding. It's 1997 all over again and I'm the Bret Hart mark hating Shawn Michaels.
But what about Bayley? For better or worse, I've always been hugely contrarian, making most faces utterly uninteresting to me. I liked Bayley, sure, but I don't know if I would have said I was a Bayley mark going into TakeOver: Brooklyn.
A few hours later, me, the super Sasha mark, yelled, "ONE-TWO-THREE," just as loud as any other person in Barclay's. (And how loud is that crowd chant? My God. Talk about being over.)
Actually, just take a minute and look at these photos following her win in Brooklyn:
- Love the dude with his hands on his head. He was like this for two full minutes.
- This is unbelievably sweet.
- A childhood dream comes true on such a grand stage.
- All the feels.
- Everyone freaks out. BUT WAIT LOOK AT THIS SASHA MARK IN THE ORANGE SHIRT TOTALLY UNENTHUSED. Seriously this boy slays me.
I have dozens of screenshots on my desktop of just sweet, innocent (naive), adorable, facial expressions of Bayley's. One early promo of hers, with Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Summer Rae—the week before Charlotte turned and joined the BFFs—has her display such enthralling timidness, such overt (but not cheesy) vulnerability, such cheery enthusiasm, that you just want to give her a mug of hot chocolate and send her outside to go sledding. I now literally say "Aww" when she appears on my screen—and not in a patronizing way, like Sasha is so wont to do (and do damn well, I might add).
Wrestling programs need good faces. It's how you structure an entire program, around goodness struggling to defeat darkness. Heels drive your programming—but faces center it. And Pamela Martinez isn't a good face; she's an incredible face. In fact, she's the best, purest face in the entire company.
We know how much a mark (sidenote: how good is this clip?) she is in real life, a trait that bleeds over into her character—in such convincing fashion that it's not easy to discern what's kayfabe and what's legitimate. I've noted many times how immersive Kaestner-Varnado makes the performance of Sasha Banks
But oh em gee, Martinez so perfectly embodies Bayley's sweetness and innocence that when she is wronged, her expressiveness is so genuine and heartfelt that the viewer feels it on a visceral level. And when she triumphs, you can see the joy written all over her face as she instantly breaks into near-tears—without ever fully cracking. Her reaction to winning in Brooklyn is immeasurably powerful. Referee Danilo Anfibio has to ask her more than once, before raising her hand in victory, "Are you ready?" And the little nod she gives... It's perfect. It's perfect. I love it wholly.
It's a beautiful moment for both the character and the performer, and a gift that only the most elite of faces—and the most wonderful of people, as all who know her attest—can produce.
In 2015, it is damn hard for any actor in any role to play a completely innocent character and not be mocked. We're all jaded, we're all cynical. Everything is awesome and nobody is happy. Sincerity is rare, and even rarer is a sincerity that elicits genuine sympathy. Bayley, though, is the quintessential face.
It takes special talent to be a real babyface in 2015—talent that Martinez has in spades. You know if Kevin Owens—Mr. "I Block Anyone on Twitter Who Says Something Nice About Me" Wrestling—describes the happiness you bring to crowds as infectious (just look at this guy marking the fuck out before the finish in Brooklyn) and that it even gets to him, you've got some serious credibility.
I wrote this two weeks ago about their promo setting up the IronMan match at TakeOver: Respect:
"There isn't anyway I can describe this without temporarily discarding kayfabe. The brief monologue given by Sasha Banks at the opening of this promo is so on point, so heartfelt, so emotionally charged, that it certainly seemed just as much a Mercedes Kaestner-Varnado speech as a Sasha Banks one. Until, of course, Sasha reemerged.
She's good. Real good. To basically shoot and nearly cry (fuck it, I had tears in my eyes ever since Bayley lifted Izzy over the barricade) about the impact these two performers, these two very good friends, were making in women's wrestling—and then to turn that around into a distinctly in-character work is masterful."
Now, I still believe what I wrote in those two grafs. But I paused for a second after writing them, and realized that masterful doesn't quite cut it. You see, that was Kaestner-Varnado getting choked up. There's no doubt in my mind. But her nearly breaking down is also in-character for Sasha Banks.
Think about her story again. This was an innocent, bubbly, happy girl, who was convinced she had to become a cold-hearted badass to reach the success she so desired. She always wanted to be the best, and became convinced this was the best path for her to reach that goal. But when people mature and evolve, they don't discard everything that came before. It remains a part of them, influencing their decisions even if they've determined to break course with their past.
We are led to believe that Sasha Banks is bad. She is the heel after all, and a wonderfully diabolical one at that. But is that how the character sees herself?
I keep coming back to this: The common reading of the Bayley-Sasha Banks rivalry is that Bayley wanted to prove Sasha wrong. She needed to overcome this mean-spirited bully who continually degraded her. This is only partially true.
In kayfabe, Bayley was loved from day one, and Sasha was largely greeted with a collective "meh" for months on end. Sasha chose to adapt, chose to evolve, and it proved beneficial for her. But what was it about Bayley? What did she have that Sasha didn't?
The rivalry contains such venom because Banks harbors intense loathing for Bayley—because she recognizes in Bayley her own failed past. Her unsuccessful path of being good on the way to anonymity and irrelevance. This resentment drives this feud. Bayley largely minds her own business and just tries to have good matches and give hugs and high five fans. Sasha continuously inserts herself into Bayley's world, "again and again and again and again," to big herself up. She wants to run Bayley down because Bayley is a symbol of her failed past, and she does not want anyone to succeed on that path because all it led to for her was complete irrelevance—until Summer Rae showed her the light.
And The BO$$—specifically using her nickname here to signify the difference between the core of the character, and the act the character is putting on—absolutely despises Bayley's existence because of this reminder, this memory of the nothing she once was.
They're two sides of the same coin, but with vastly different paths. Their narratives are polar opposites and destined for conflict—there can be no temporary alliances like both had at points with Charlotte or Becky Lynch.
Yes, Sasha heels it up against all her opponents. But not like this. She doesn't stand on their hair and pull them off the mat. She doesn't consistently call other opponents a loser (she didn't once say this to Becky Lynch during their Unstoppable match). She doesn't continuously attack others—not even Charlotte, her other main rival—in backstage interviews or after their matches.
Think about this: After Charlotte beats Bayley at NXT TakeOver: Fatal Four Way to retain the title, Banks makes an appearance. But not to blindside the champ and stake her own claim to the title that she always thought belonged to her. Instead, she walked by Charlotte and callously attacked a broken Bayley, yelling at her that she had blown her chance. Bayley's failures are vindication for Banks—which is why she works so damn hard to ensure Bayley fails.
Sasha is driven to make Bayley's failure a reality in order to prove herself right—to herself. This psychological motivation is the sign of a well developed character in the hands of an exceptional performer. Because she is absolutely, consistently, downright vicious toward Bayley, someone who couldn't hurt a fly. You don't continuously target the same person in this manner unless it's the symptom of an underlying issue.
As a face, Bayley doesn't have to just prove Sasha wrong—she has to prove everyone wrong. But The Boss is hellbent on ensuring that Bayley not reach her dreams. She is so embittered and twisted by self-loathing—even if she is yet to realize it—that every Bayley victory, every time her music hits, every fluttering of the wacky wavy arm inflatable tube men, is interpreted by Sasha as a direct insult toward her:
- She blows up at the NXT: TakeOver Fatal-Four Way pre-show panel for simply mentioning the name Bayley.
- She goes absolutely ballistic when Bayley taunts her by wearing her shades and strutting around. (Seconds later, she turns the tables by appropriating Bayley's headband.)
- She burns a hole through Bayley while waiting for their #1 contenders match to start.
- And God forbid, when she loses to Bayley.
- First match as a heel.
- First use of the Bank Statement.
- First use of Sky's the Limit.
- Two number one contender matches, both losses for Sasha.
- Two alliances formed in/after matches with Bayley (Charlotte joining the BFFs, Becky joining with Sasha).
- Sasha stops Bayley from becoming the NXT women's champion at TakeOver: Rival. After Bayley hits a Bayley-to-Belly on Charlotte from the second rope, Sasha is the one to run in and break up the pinfall by tossing Bayley outside the ring. Barely a minute later, Banks is the champion.
Again, Bayley, in singles matches, has a far superior record to Sasha. The number one contender matches in August 2014 are especially interesting: after losing the first, Sasha demands a rematch. A "prove it" moment. And Bayley goes over again.
Why were they building Sasha—the heel—as the one who is failing? Her looks of exasperation, the failure of arrogance—what was this saying, in story, about Sasha Banks?
It was saying that she's not the finished product. She mocks Bayley but loses to her. She carries herself with such overconfidence and poise—a legitimate aura and presence—that it masks her own failings.
Think all the way back to Sasha's first story as a face, the secret admirer story. Sasha wanted to be loved in the most naive, eager, almost pathetic, sense. She was attacked from behind in that feud, and though it never really had a conclusive finish—she lost in singles to Audrey Marie, but the feud more or less ended in a tag match in which Sasha's team went over—that betrayal/aggression stuck with her. Audrey Marie thought Sasha had "taken her spot," like how Sasha felt Bayley was receiving opportunities that should be hers (despite losing in the #1 contenders matches—the willful blindness of the heel, to a tee).
What Is A Face?
I keep feeling like I'm selling Bayley short and denying her agency (and I kinda am). I struggle with a philosophical question: Is playing a straight babyface—again, an actual babyface—less nuanced than playing a shaded character, or a heel? It appears so, definitionally. But you can show the struggles of someone good, their battles with morality—not just their battles against opponents who seek to belittle or berate or degrade them. The best faces demonstrate internal struggle but always fall on the side of justice, even if it continually hurts them.
One thing I loved about Sami Zayn's journey was how his unwillingness to take shortcuts (e.g., hit opponents with the belt) continually hindered his progress toward the NXT Championship.
In a way, it's the sense of playing a too-perfect character. No one in real life is a straight babyface. But we can accept them in our stories because all humanity knows of those internal struggles, and that we know that always being wholly pure and righteous is often a path to failure and pain.
It's the classical morality play. Good faces make you want them to succeed. But great faces hurt you, inside; they hurt your very core of wanting to be a decent and upstanding and virtuous human being when they inevitably fail, and fail, and fail. They make the viewer struggle with the nature of goodness, of whether justice is worth all the pain and heartbreak. Bayley is unbelievably brilliant at making you feel devastated for her.
When Charlotte slaps her and joins the BFFs, Bayley sells the physical pain of the slap well. But it's the emotional pain and heartbreak she sells that makes you invested. Sitting on her knees, holding her face and covering her eyes with her hand, waiting for the final blow of Natural Selection as if she's Ned Stark awaiting the "king's justice."
Maybe grey characters or heels are more nuanced. But sometimes what we all need is a hearkening of the classics: can goodness triumph in the face of adversity? Is goodness a virtue of its own, rather than a means to an end?
For a company that historically is a face-dominant territory, it's shocking how very, very few decent faces WWE produces and has on the roster. Bayley, Zayn, Bryan. In fact, in the traditional sense, those are not just the only decent faces the WWE has recently put forth, they're nearly the only real faces, period.
That is not to say there haven't been or aren't great characters. There most certainly has been. But clean, legitimate, contextually appropriate faces center your program. They are the arbiters of truth and goodness that other characters either strive for or openly reject (and, frequently, with failed striving leading to the rejection).
Faces sell merchandise by the buckets not because they're forced down our throats, not because they're booked as superhuman, but because they're actually good people and fans like rooting for actually good people.
Imagine, for example, a very successful businessperson who, through a mixture of hard work, a lot of luck, the active support of powerbrokers and kingmakers, and a favorable institutional system, rose to the very pinnacle of their industry. That person, while on the very top of the world, believes they're an underdog, that they currently face such hardships, that they are oppressed and have to overcome great challenges. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Millionaires and billionaires who think they are the underdog are not just wrong, they're not just deluded—they're sociopaths. (Oh yeah, they also make sexist insults.)
In a meta-sense, if this type of character in a work of fiction is presented by self-aware creators, it's an incredible statement on the gullibility of humans, how disturbing bandwagoning effects can be. Claiming to be inherently virtuous simply because of your identity is tautologous to the extreme—and even more so when your actions are not in any way virtuous.
Legitimately believing that described person is an actual representation of goodness—that they are a face in the real sense of the word—is a special case of insanity.
Bayley is nothing like that, though. One complaint is that she's simply too sweet. But she isn't saccharine; she's real. She's a good person, full stop. She's what we all want to be, and like to think we are. Sasha Banks, however, isn't a bad person: She's what we sometimes become in pursuit of of our goals. Ruthless, arrogant, and yes, successful—but at what cost to yourself?
(I mean, I'm giving you Sasha's eventual face turn—a story that can and should be slow-built for years. It's a story that, if done right, will be viewed not just as a great wrestling angle, but a great American work of fiction, period. There's no doubting that Kaestner-Varnado would fulfill her end of the bargain: in her Talk Is Jericho podcast interview, her and Jericho discussed how her favorite wrestler, Eddie Guerrero, was so good because he could be both loved as a face or absolutely hated as a heel. Though she's not yet turned, she will someday, and much like her idol, she'll be the most beloved wrestler on the planet.)
No, Sasha is not yet shaded this way. There is yet to be any moral conflict, any inner turmoil—she turned heel and has been The Boss ever since. I've not seen one iota of remorse or regret on her face or in her actions—and trust me, I've looked really damn hard. But review her character arc: there are so many little things about overcoming adversity or silencing the critics or making it on her own. These are distinctly face characteristics and will inevitably be part of any future turn.
Why does Sky's the Limit, which some say doesn't fit because the lyrics especially are too face-like, work for Sasha Banks? Sasha is a heel, and a damn good one at that: but she is not destined to always be a heel. Her redemption arc has all-but flashed in front of our eyes.
Everyone of us has fantasy booked the women's division on the main roster in our own minds. I keep shooting this idea down in my mind, but it keeps popping back up: Are they going to turn Sasha, if not "face," tweener? The comparisons to The Rock are blatantly obvious, except that Sasha, unlike The Rock, is an in-ring master.
I'm not saying I want this to happen, or that I think it's the best idea. But it's a coherent idea and one that Kaestner-Varnado could absolutely rock. So often, talented members of the roster face the dreaded "creative has nothing for you" status that is utterly career-crushing. Performers need to be on TV and in entertaining arcs or interest will fade—it's the simple nature of the business.
This story even works for Sasha failing to quickly win the women's championship on the main roster, and is a sort of continuity that is sorely lacking in WWE.
I would love, love, after Bayley goes over (leaving myself open to a swerve here, but, come on) at TakeOver: Respect, to have Sasha offer a meek handshake and walk off slowly, head down, with her long-buried doubts written on her face. I would completely trust Kaestner-Varnado to pull this off compellingly.
(Again, this hasn't been teased at all, so I'm almost certainly miles off here.)
The above section is more-or-less a liveblogging of my internal narration. I don't know what's going to happen, which, frankly, is utterly terrifying. Because we know how good Sasha can be, how good Bayley can be—we've all seen it firsthand.
I'm not trying to be a debbie downer. But God if it doesn't make me more than a little scared. I care about Sasha Banks. I care about Bayley. And here's a sure sign of a total mark—I'm absolutely worried about the future of the characters. But this is the cruel twist of the Reality Era. I'm not worried that Sasha Banks or Bayley won't succeed because of storyline obstacles. I'm deathly afraid they won't be ever given the proper chance to succeed and reach the heights they can—and already have—because they're women. Somehow the biggest heels, whether it be through incompetence or malice, have become real-life ownership and backstage voices.
I'm scared. Really scared. But honestly, is there any possible better sign of how invested in these characters—and by extension, enormous fans of the respective performers—I've become?
Maybe we're all just being worked, really damn hard.
(Nah. I'm legit terrified.)
In the last month or so, Sasha has again and again said that "fairy tales don't have a happy ending," and that she would teach all the little girls what a "real role model is." One could discount this as simply Banks running down her rival—but as we've seen, Sasha's attitude toward Bayley is not so black-and-white. Sasha is being mean, yes. But she's not, from the character's point of view, lying. She legitimately believes herself to be the best, and she only reached that status by abandoning her naivety, by willingly discarding her innocence, and becoming cold and calculating. It is not that Sasha Banks is mocking the idea of role models for little girls. She's mocking the idea of Bayley being the ideal role model, rather than herself, the champion (or, post-Brooklyn, the soon-to-be-again champion). It should be noted that since Brooklyn, Sasha has told Bayley she earned her respect—but that she's still not The Boss.
(Also not The Boss: this dude dancing in the background.)
Martinez recently expressed hesitancy toward an eventual heel turn for Bayley. Done right, this could be a masterful piece of storytelling. What's more, the groundwork—already being laid—can easily be established for a double turn. (Actually, a Bayley heel turn can probably only be done by including Sasha in some way, as the chemistry between the two is otherworldly.)
Imagine that Bayley faces failure and failure and heartbreak and heartbreak in the coming years. All the while she sees her greatest rival, the one person most antithetical to her worldview, standing tall and dominating the women's division. It slowly eats away at Bayley—she is human after all—until one day she cracks.
Sasha Banks would see this as the ultimate victory—she corrupted Bayley. Bayley.
But Sasha isn't evil. She's cutthroat, ruthless, and callous. She's not evil. There are limits, even for her. As Bayley wreaks havoc on the division, and crushes the hearts of her most devoted fans, Sasha begins to wonder, have I done the right thing?
Bayley's heel turn would need to be relatively short and ABSOLUTELY VICIOUS. She needs to be booked as a monster heel, like she had a demon inside her all along—and it needs to bring her unmatched dominance, but at the cost of her identity.
Here's the thing: a Bayley heel turn wouldn't be all that different from Sasha's heel turn, only that it would be shorter (Banks will almost surely stay a heel/tweener most of her career—she's so malicious that I constantly find myself wondering whether she's grinding the hell out of her teeth as a character trait). Wrestling is like all fictional mediums: you can tell largely the same stories, if they are told well and with established, sympathetic characters.
And it would be an absolute treat to see Martinez, so skilled with facial expressions and body language, enraged and tormented by a vitriolic heart.
The Best There Is
You build a company on engrossing rivalries between layered characters. This has always been true, but after the raft of nuanced, smart, engaging stories that American pop culture has produced in the 21st century, it's even more necessary.
People are not good or bad. They're people. They approach different situations and different peers in disparate ways. Witness Sasha running down Bayley versus her co-opting Becky versus her initial fear of Charlotte and then overcoming that fear through success.
Long-form television drama is the great American cultural medium of the early 21st century. The representation of the world as it is, not the halcyon ideas of the way we used to pretend it was, fits perfectly a cultural zeitgeist of emphasizing reality—hell, emphasizing reality even when it's fake—as the hallmark of storytelling.
We love anti-heroes like Walter White, people just trying to scrape by in a post-modern, uncaring world. We root for those, however flawed they may be, working to make sense of rigid and unjust systems—and we feel distress when those systems inevitably win, as the death of Stringer Bell proved.
If you present legitimate, consistent motivations for your characters, they will win the favor of viewers. They may be "good," they may be "bad." What's important is whether they keep people coming back to see their growth. The Cold War is long over, and the idea of All-American Goodness and taking your vitamins and saying your prayers has been exposed as an utter sham to the whole world.
I'll put this out there: There's a large part of me that doesn't think they can top Brooklyn. Really. And that's nothing against the performers (clearly: I've been a blubbering idiot ever since the final video promo on yesterday's episode of NXT, which, holy shit). But that night was just so special that it's impossible to envision something topping it ... until of course they go and do just that.
Everyone said there was no way Brooklyn would be better than Unstoppable. No way.
Well, in our stupid fucking faces.
I suppose we all should have learned our lesson by now: Never underestimate these two.
When Kaestner-Varnado was growing up, her mom was absolutely not OK with her interest in wrestling. And it's not hard to understand why: in the United States, women in professional wrestling were treated as eye candy and nothing more.
But it is because of the work of people like Martinez and Kaestner-Varnado that no little girl with dreams of becoming a wrestler will ever again be forced to ignore all women as possible role models. No future young mark will have to tell her mom to ignore the degrading bra and panties matches or the necessary Playboy spreads to get any sort of company attention.
Moreover, Bayley and Banks are heroes for countless little boys, too—one already sees plenty of evidence of this in their respective Twitter feeds—demonstrating that if you give performers the freedom and opportunity to do their best, they can put on incredible shows and more importantly, change the perception of what it means to be a wrestler. Never again can anyone claim that "women can't wrestle" or "they're not as good as the men." Never again will women's matches be the designated "bathroom break" of the show.
They each just released childhood essays of theirs on Twitter overnight, about their respective dreams of becoming a pro wrestler. Reading them is so incredibly special—to be given a glimpse into two wonderful people chasing and reaching their dreams is enough to make anyone cry.
But the two of them aren't just wrestlers in the WWE. They're not just stealing the show, they're not just putting on great matches. They're not just the main event.
They are the best.
They are trailblazers, and legitimate cultural icons for a company always desperately in search of that. (Are you reading, Vince?) It's not just that the story of Bayley and Sasha Banks can be a future foundation for the biggest wrestling company in the world.
It's that the story of Bayley and Sasha Banks should be the future foundation for the biggest wrestling company in the world.
Wrestling is best when it recognizes the cultural zeitgest it operates in and plays to that effect. In 2015, that means giving us Bayley and The Boss.