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The WWE Match of the Decade was obviously Sasha Banks vs. Bayley at TakeOver: Brooklyn

This isn’t even a debate.

First and foremost, we have to look at its impact.

No other match of the last ten years influenced the business/art form in more or more meaningful ways. Bayley and Sasha Banks’ 20 minute classic in Brooklyn came just months after #GiveDivasAChance trended on Twitter. Their match on Aug. 22, 2015 proved to Vince McMahon and the WWE Universe what that could mean.

As a result, the Divas Revolution became the Women’s Evolution. Because of a match NXT didn’t feel comfortable putting on last, we got women main eventing Raw, and PPV, and eventually WrestleMania. The Mae Young Classic might not have happened without the fourth match on the card at TakeOver: Brooklyn I. 2018’s Evolution event probably wouldn’t have, either.

Then there are the young women (and some men) who will decide to become pro wrestlers because they saw this match. Their impact won’t be felt for years, maybe generations to come.

Does NXT exist in its current form without this bout? This was the brand’s first live WWE Network special outside of Full Sail, and was clearly a test to see how the developmental show would do on a big stage. There were other good matches that night, but do we talk about Samoa Joe beating Baron Corbin? The Vaudevillains title win? The Finn Bálor/Kevin Owens main event? No, it’s the Women’s championship that set Barclays Center and the wrestling world abuzz. If The Boss & The Hugster bomb, Triple H’s vision may have taken more time to develop - if it ever did at all.

Which could mean a more vibrant independent scene heading into the 20s. It could have left WWE without a show custom made to compete with AEW. I don’t know if that leaves the industry in a better or worse place, but it’s inarguably a fundamentally different one.

It’s the historical impact that pushes Banks & Bayley’s performance over the top, but it’s not like it wasn’t great regardless.

You want long-form storytelling? This had it. Relateable conflict between clearly defined characters - including a heel who wasn’t afraid to scream at children and a babyface who unironically inspired them? Check, check and check.

Thrilling, well-executed wrestling? Match psychology and an in-ring story which built on and enhanced the larger narrative? A red hot crowd that was with the wrestlers every step of the way? Great but not overdone false finishes? A satisfying conclusion?

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley at TakeOver: Brooklyn was the hottest club in the wrestling world, and needless to say, this place had everything.

It was obviously the WWE Match of the Decade.

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