A lot of fans were surprised that Sasha Banks and Bayley weren’t on the SummerSlam card. Raw spent a lot of time on their break-up and reconciliation angle earlier this year, including bringing Dr. Shelby back for a one-week guest stint. How could they not get a match in Brooklyn, where they kicked the Women’s Evolution into overdrive back in 2015?!?!
But the now reunited Boss ‘n’ Hug connection don’t have a match at Hell in a Cell, either. Which... there are a lot of big names missing from the line-up for this weekend’s pay-per-view (PPV) in San Antonio, especially from the red brand’s roster. As of the morning before the Sept. 16 show, Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, Elias, Bray Wyatt and Finn Bálor are on the bench. SmackDown doesn’t have a match for their secondary titleholder, United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. With talent all over both shows and co-branded events every month, Sasha and Bayley are in pretty good company.
There’s a pattern which goes back to the start of 2018, though. The Boss and the Hugster are called into duty for multi-wrestler affairs. Both took part in the Royal Rumble & Elimination Chamber matches and the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal, and their storyline was a part of each. Seems like an understandable way to treat important players, and why many thought they were headed to bigger things post-’Mania.
Since New Orleans, however, Sasha got a spot in June’s Money in the Bank ladder match. It’s her only PPV appearance since April, and the only non-Kickoff appearance for the duo since February.
Bayley was on the Backlash pre-show in May, the only singles match either she or Banks has had on an event card this year.
You could argue that’s not so shocking in the case of the Hugger. Despite a Women’s Title run, Bayley’s character has never quite worked on the main roster, for a litany of reasons. But Sasha is a four-time Raw Women’s champ, and her 2016 - 2017 rivalry with Charlotte Flair is as important to the company’s Women’s Evolution as her TakeOver: Brooklyn match against Bayley.
WWE can resuscitate acts in a hurry. One of SmackDown’s hottest acts, Becky Lynch, was in the territory Banks and Bayley now occupy earlier this year. With Evolution coming up and persistent rumors about a women’s tag team title being on the way, the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection could be wrestling Sundays on WWE Network again soon.
But if you’re worried that in the age of Ronda Rousey, with a second Mae Young Classic class incoming, the window is closing on their chance to be main event players in the women’s division... there are reasons to do that, too.