After years of booking women on its roster as eye candy participating in awful gimmick matches centered on stripping them of their clothing, the decision makers in WWE have finally come around. Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Nikki Bella, and others are now treated like actual wrestling stars capable of wrestling in absolutely any wrestling match, no different than the men.
The proof? Banks’ next title defense will be a Hell in a Cell match against Charlotte. This is good! It is, quite literally, history in the making, a gigantic leap forward for women in WWE if only because it extends the ceiling. It’s also a show of faith from the powers that be that Banks and Charlotte are capable of delivering in a match like this.
"I don't like it at all. I don't like it. The standard for Hell in a Cell is pretty high. It physically is what it is. It's a hardcore match. It's an extreme match. It's all of the above and then some. I've talked before about expectations and managing expectations with the audience. Sometimes you can do such a great job building something up that you forgot to remember that you also have to deliver. I am not taking anything away from either of those athletes that happen to be women. I am suggesting that the audience may not necessarily want to see that type of entertainment and that type of match out of that type of an athlete. That's just my opinion."
That is a bad opinion, made worse by the fact that he works so hard not to come right out and say what he actually means: wrestling fans don’t want to see women in a Hell in a Cell match. You know, because they just “happen to be women” and fans don’t want matches from “that type of athlete.” But don’t worry, he’s “not taking anything away from either of those athletes.”
Except that’s exactly what he’s doing.
There is nothing in Sasha and Charlotte’s history of good-to-great matches to suggest they can’t take the next step and deliver yet another strong match under more extreme circumstances. In fact, one could argue all evidence points to the contrary.
Thankfully, WWE doesn’t agree with Bischoff and we’ll get to find out if they can deliver like he believes they can’t.