On Monday I noticed something about myself that I guess always had been there. I have a love/hate relationship with slow-burn rivalries.This is a war between my impatient side and my patient side. This war has always been going on, but it wasn’t until after Sasha Banks and Bayley’s latest dance in the ring that I noticed this war.
Sasha and Bayley’s friendship is coming to an end, and it is widely believed that Sasha Banks will be the one to turn heel. Monday night, during her match with Bayley, Sasha displayed more heel tendencies than she had in a while. That, plus the fact that Bayley won, had many [including yours truly] believing that Sasha would finally snap.
After the match, the two women had a very intense stare down. Sasha especially looked ready to tear "The Hugster" limb from limb. I was excited, this was great, the true "Boss" was coming back, and then came Nia Jax. She bulldozed over Sasha, Bayley, and my excitement. I was angry. I wanted to know why WWE decided to tease me again. This was the perfect moment to turn Sasha, and they missed it! Well, that was my impatient side talking.
I can recall when my mother would cook dinner. The food’s wonderful smell would permeate the household. The smell would lead me downstairs; my mother would see me and ask to come and taste whatever she was cooking. I would, and the food tasted even better than it smelled. I told her it tasted great, but then she would taste it and say "no I think it needs something else." Suddenly the food I wanted to eat was shut off, and I would have to wait even longer. That’s how I felt with last night’s segment. It looked perfect, seemed perfect, but now I’m told that it’s not perfect. To my impatient side the iron was hot and should have been struck. That’s how that side of me has always felt.
I can look through my time as a wrestling fan and point out examples of when I thought the iron was hot enough to be struck. Braun Strowman should be champion; he is so over. Sasha should have beat Charlotte at either SummerSlam or Hell in a Cell. The Iconic Duo and The Authors of Pain should have debuted by now. Ember Moon should have beat Asuka's streak. Edge should have never lost his first WWE championship so quickly. John Cena shouldn't have beat the Nexus. These are examples of when my impatient side took over my thought process. Sometimes, in retrospect, I believe some of my impulses are correct, and sometimes I believe they were wrong. However, at times its my patient side that wins the war.
As a journalism major, a comic book lover, and a fan of MCU movies I am a sucker for great storytelling. Sometimes, I have found, the best stories are the ones that makes you wait. The same goes for professional wrestling. Would Daniel Bryan's Wrestlemania win have felt as good without his long feud with the Authority? Would Bayley's rise to the top of NXT have warmed our hearts if she did not have to fight for so long to get there? Would Batista's rivalry with Triple H have mattered as much if we hadn't had the almost 2-years-long Evolution story line? Or would Mickie vs Trish be considered an all-time great women's rivalry without their months long story line? The answer to these questions is probably not.
Most of the time long, drawn out,feuds have huge payoffs. Of course, there are times when they do not (Bray Wyatt's feud with Randy Orton comes to mind.) However,sometimes it pays to wait. Which brings me back to Sasha and Bayley's post-match segment.
The period of time that I spent being upset at the ruining of Sasha's heel turn lasted all of five minutes. I realized that there being another tease meant Sasha's eventual shift to the dark side will be much more satisfying. This budding rivalry has slowly been boiling ever since Bayley arrived on the main roster almost 2 years ago. When the impending implosion of the two friends finally happens, it will feel all the more amazing because we had to wait. It doesn't happen all the time, but this time I think I'm going to agree with my patient side.
Thanks for reading Cagesiders. Do you think slow-burn storytelling is benefiting Sasha and Bayley? Or do you think Sasha should have already turned? Let me know in the comments section.