WrestleMania 32 signified a new era for the women of the WWE in more ways than one. The wheels were set in motion eight months earlier, however, when Stephanie McMahon introduced the Divas Revolution, announcing the main-roster debuts of Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks. Only Bayley was missing from the quartet that called themselves The Four Horsewomen.
In introducing the new women to the WWE Universe, they did so in a way that featured a nine-woman, three-team elimination tag team match at last year’s SummerSlam. Charlotte and Becky were brought in as babyfaces, teaming with Paige (Team PCB), while Sasha debuted as a heel, partnering with Naomi and Tamina to form Team B.A.D. The other three participants were Nikki and Brie Bella, along with Alicia Fox.
The match was used as a launching point for something much greater with Charlotte, Sasha and Becky being viewed as the future of the division and the hope that Bayley wouldn’t be that far behind. Charlotte was the first of the fresh faces to capture gold when she defeated Nikki Bella during the September pay-per-view, Night of Champions. Nikki had just surpassed a mark previously set by AJ Lee for the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history, but Charlotte was about to embark on a historic run of her own.
Fast forward to that aforementioned new era at WrestleMania when the company used Lita to introduce the brand new WWE Women’s Championship to replace the Divas title. They’d no longer be referred to as Divas either, instead, the goal was to put them on equal footing as their male counterparts by calling them superstars. The Bellas may have started to pass the torch back in September, but the WrestleMania spotlight shined on the new breed of women while the rest of the division participated in a jumbled undercard match.
Charlotte, Sasha and Becky were booked in a triple threat match for the new WWE Women’s Championship, wrestling for over 16 minutes in what was widely considered one of the top matches on the entire WrestleMania card. But according to Cageside Seats, the original plan was for Charlotte to defend the title in a singles match against only Sasha.
Charlotte and Sasha were long considered the money feud in the re-branded WWE Women’s division, and WrestleMania is usually the perfect venue to culminate a feud between the top babyface and top heel in the company. However, Becky did not want to miss out on the golden opportunity and got herself over to the point where WWE officials had no other choice but to put her in the match.
It seemed obvious that Becky was a long shot to win that night, and obviously she didn’t, but it wasn’t originally supposed to be Charlotte either. Had they gone with the one-on-one program, Sasha would have won at WrestleMania to become the first-ever WWE Women’s Champion, but it was Becky’s development that delayed Sasha’s reign until last week when she defeated Charlotte for the belt on RAW.
Originally, the plan was for Sasha to win at SummerSlam, but because the brand split put extra emphasis on the first RAWs and Smackdowns of the new era, officials decided an extra jolt was needed for the first show following the WWE Draft and Battleground.
It’s interesting to look back to try to figure out where Becky would have fit in on that WrestleMania show had she not been placed in the triple threat match. The most obvious, of course, would have been in the 10-woman tag match pitting Team Total Divas vs Team B.A.D. & Blonde, but Becky is neither on Total Divas, bad or blonde so it may have been tricky. It’s also worth noting that Sasha missed time due to injury following WrestleMania, so there’s no telling what would have happened had she won the title and then been forced to miss time or relinquish it.
[Image via WWE]