The recently completed SmackDown Women’s title feud between Sasha Banks and Bayley got mixed reviews from wrestling fans.
Match-wise, everyone loved it - because Banks & Bayley are very, very good wrestlers. The story is where there were criticisms and complaints. After such a long wait and so many teases & false starts, some wanted... more.
Not Sasha. She told Digital Spy that the long, twisting tale was her vision for the program all along. The Boss also revealed the inspiration for doing a lengthy alliance-turned-rivalry (minus some of the Attitude Era-like flourishes of that mid-Aughts angle):
“This whole storyline with Bayley, it was a long time coming and there were times in the past where we saw it stop and go, but in the long run we really had to have the fans see this long, long friendship which you don’t really get to see in the WWE too often.
“Five years of this journey, of this friendship growing and growing, and then Bayley turning on me... it’s been everything that I’ve ever wanted.
“I got really inspired from Trish Stratus and Mickie James – they had a year-long storyline when I was watching as a teenager. That’s what I wanted growing up, I wanted a year-long storyline where you just were on the ride the whole time. So for us, it’s kind of like a revamp of that.”
While I think we all could have done without the Dr. Shelby skits, and would have rather the Bayley’s turn and their matches taken place in front of packed houses, I can’t argue with Banks’ appraisal of what the pair accomplished.
And look, as the Role Model reminded us this week, they’re not done yet. Sasha has her eyes on another prize with her best friend and better enemy:
“... of course, to main event WrestleMania is still one of my biggest dreams and to do that with Bayley would be ultimately a dream come true.”