We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
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Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Bayley all came up through WWE’s developmental system, NXT, during the same time frame. The first three all made it to the main roster much earlier than Bayley did, but that was due to the Hugster suffering an injury that interfered with her timeline, and also the move of NXT into a touring brand that needed major players to sell tickets. Charlotte was the first of the Four Horsewomen, as the foursome was often referred to as a unit given their developmental proximity to each other and importance in changing the perception of women’s wrestling in WWE, to win the WWE Women’s Championship, at that time known as the Divas belt.
The Divas title transitioned into the WWE Women’s Championship, with Charlotte transferring her reign from one to the other with a triple threat victory at WrestleMania 32. Sasha Banks would eventually be the first women to successfully wrest that that championship from Charlotte. Becky Lynch was drafted to SmackDown, where the SmackDown Women’s Championship was eventually introduced, and she was the inaugural winner. Now, Bayley has defeated Charlotte on Monday Night RAW to become the last of the Four Horsewomen to hold a WWE Women’s title. She’s not behind, though: the whole women’s revolution idea WWE had going is still ongoing, and far from over.
There was some (unwarranted) concern over whether WWE just got lucky with these four women in particular or if they were truly the start of something new for women in the company as a whole. With Alexa Bliss defeating Becky Lynch to become the second SmackDown Women’s champ, then original NXTer Naomi — like, NXT-as-game-show original — taking out Bliss at Elimination Chamber, and Nia Jax likely to be a major piece of RAW’s WrestleMania feud for the title, we can see WWE is already successfully integrating women who aren’t one of the Four Horsewomen into the scene, and doing so convincingly and successfully. Charlotte, Becky, Sasha, and Bayley aren’t it for women’s wrestling in WWE, not by a long shot. They were on the front lines of the push that has helped Bliss, Naomi, Nia, and more to come get their shot and time, though, and that’s something to celebrate on top of Bayley winning herself a title.
- RAW as a whole was stuffed with key moments building toward both Fastlane and WrestleMania 33.
- Tuesday’s Rumor Roundup includes, among other things, what’s next for Samoa Joe now that Seth Rollins is out.
- Let’s say something nice about Total Divas, which is great and unifying more coherently with WWE television these days.
- The Festival of Friendship on RAW Monday night was as amazing as it was inevitably violent. Gillberg returned to RAW as a way for Jericho to taunt Goldberg!
- Afterward, Kevin Owens destroyed Jericho’s gift and the Jeritron and also Jericho’s face and heart.
- Jericho is being medically evaluated following this beatdown, so don’t be surprised if he’s off WWE television healing for a bit... but maybe is well-rested in time for Fastlane.
- Goldberg tweeted about Jericho and Owens, and really, he should know better: Goldberg might defeat KO in the ring, but he got bodied by Owens on Twitter.
- Here’s Bayley’s first interview as RAW Women’s Champion.
- Emmalina finally debuted, but did so in order to tell us all that Emma will soon reemerge from this nightmare and that Emmalina is no more. A huge waste of time? Sure! But also likely the right thing to do, because Evil Emma was legit, and as far as we could tell, Emmalina’s character was “is hot.”
- John Cena will get his shot at winning back the WWE World Championship from Bray Wyatt, and it’s happening in a hurry, as he’ll face off against Bray on SmackDown this Tuesday.
- That’s not the only big SmackDown news! Money in the Bank will be a SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view, so WWE is indeed keeping the Big Four as a foursome rather than upgrading to five.
- Bray, by the way, said that winning the WWE World Championship was an “up-yours to the authority.” That’s authority with a lowercase “a,” of course. The distinction is important!
- Kassius Ohno is already getting an NXT Championship shot against Bobby Roode at next Wednesday’s taping.
- Elimination Chamber made it clear that SmackDown’s tag team division needs a new approach.
- Lucha Underground officially announced their deal with Netflix, so in a couple of months you’ll be able to relive the show or watch for the first time. Either is recommended.
- Rosa Mendes has made it official: she’s retired from WWE and wrestling.
- Brandon Stroud made a great point in his recap of Elimination Chamber: WWE went to the post-match beatdown far too often, and only once did it successfully contribute to what was going on.