The WWE found themselves somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place when they booked Charlotte and Sasha Banks to compete inside the Hell in a Cell structure at the RAW-exclusive pay-per-view in October. Sasha challenged Charlotte to the match on October 10, and the next 20 days were spent debating where the match might fall on the card. And that same debate was being had inside WWE headquarters.
The WWE ended up going all the way with the match, making history twice in the same night. Not only would Sasha and Charlotte become the first women to compete inside Hell in a Cell, but they would also become the first female superstars to main event a WWE pay-per-view. WWE officials put them in the headlining spot instead of Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, who were fighting over the WWE Universal Championship.
Back in October, the vague details behind the decision only highlighted that some WWE officials were pushing for the women to close out the show. For the few weeks leading up to the event, Vince McMahon seemed to be opposed to the idea but was finally convinced the night before Hell in a Cell.
As it turns out, the key WWE official who persuaded Vince to put Sasha and Charlotte on last was Tom Casiello, according to a report from Wrestling Inc. As fate would have it, Casiello, who was third in line in terms of WWE creative behind Vince and Triple H, was let go from the company last week. Casiello was informed that he was relieved of his duties due to budgetary reasons and that his was position was being eliminated.
Stephanie McMahon used to assume Casiello’s position, and with the recent restructuring, the head writers on RAW and SmackDown, Ed Kosky and Ryan Ward, will report directly to Triple H. Previously, Kosky and Ward would provide their WWE creative materials to Casiello, who would then bring them to Vince and Hunter.
There has been speculation that Casiello was fired because of his overt passion of putting Sasha and Charlotte in the main event at Hell in a Cell and that the budgetary reasoning was just a cover-up. Casiello took to Twitter to post a long series of tweets (condensed into the paragraph below) to refute that speculation.
“Newsflash: if Vince doesn’t want to do something, he doesn’t do it. If he wants to, he does it. Did I work closely with the Women’s Division? Yes. I did. From Day one. And I always fought to get them more time and better stories, etc. But believe me when I say it takes an ARMY of people to make Raw and SDL happen. And EVERYONE is behind what’s been happening with the Division. And EVERYONE works together to see it through. So for everyone posting and speculating and wondering if this means the Women’s Division is suddenly going to go back to bra and panties matches that are 3 minutes long… stop. These women are unstoppable. They’re here to stay, no matter who’s writing the show.”
Further evidence that the former top WWE official isn’t just toeing the company line is in plain sight at the WWE’s upcoming pay-per-view. Sasha and Charlotte are finally set to finish off this rivalry with an Ironman Match at this Sunday’s Roadblock: End of the Line pay-per-view, yet another gimmick match.
What comes after that remains to be seen, but the WWE recently sent out a poll to fans and subscribers asking them what gimmick match they want to see the women in next. The options included a Royal Rumble, ladder match, TLC match, and Falls Count Anywhere bout. Plus, Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss just competed in a tables match at TLC. Triple H and Stephanie have also been working hard behind the scenes to put together an all-women’s tournament for the WWE Network, similar to the Cruiserweight Classic and the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.
[Featured Image by WWE]