As it turns out, there was more than meets the eye in the longstanding feud between Charlotte and Sasha Banks this year. In professional wrestling, that’s often the case and goes beyond the simple surface factor that it produced entertaining content on television. Charlotte and Sasha certainly provided their fair share of that, but there have been other extenuating circumstances that led to such a lengthy rivalry.
Once the dust settled on the debuts of Charlotte, Sasha, and Becky Lynch, sparking the Divas Revolution last summer, the three squared off in one of the most important matches in women’s division history when they competed in a triple threat for the newly-minted WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania.
Soon after, it became clear that Charlotte and Sasha had separated themselves from the rest of the women on the roster and were on a collision course for a significant singles program. That was put on hold in the aftermath of ‘Mania however as Charlotte moved on to Natalya while Sasha would miss the three ensuing pay-per-views.
There were initial reports that surfaced indicating the WWE’s plan to hold off on a one-on-one match between Charlotte and Sasha until SummerSlam and that is why Banks was being kept off television. However, it was later revealed that she had suffered a concussion in a house show match, adding to an already long list of injuries. This resulted in Vince McMahon souring on Sasha somewhat, but even he couldn’t deny her appeal to the WWE Universe upon her return.
During Charlotte’s program with Natalya, Sasha was supposed to feud with Summer Rae until the higher profile build to SummerSlam arrived. Summer, too, was injured, giving off a disjointed feel to the whole thing. Sasha finally returned in time for Battleground where she tagged with Bayley in a win over Charlotte and Dana Brooke. The next night, Sasha defeated Charlotte to win the Women’s Championship on the first episode of RAW after the brand extension.
That match came on July 25, with their rivalry finally coming to a close at Roadblock: End Of The Line on December 18. It remains to be seen if they re-engage in some fashion down the line, but the feud in its current fashion is finished.
During their program, the RAW Women’s Championship changed hands a total of seven different times. Sasha won each championship match held on RAW while Charlotte was victorious on every pay-per-view. This was no accident. Part of Charlotte’s gimmick includes her impressive undefeated streak where she has won 14 consecutive singles matches on pay-per-view.
There was initially talks that would have ended the Charlotte-Sasha feud right after Survivor Series. The company went so far as to book a finish that easily could have set up that transition in which Bayley would have emerged as a new challenger to Charlotte. However, they ignored it shortly after that and continued with Sasha for another month.
It appears now that the pieces to the puzzle make more sense. Last month, we reported that the WWE had plans in place for Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 33 if the two sides could come to terms on a deal. Those plans initially called for Rousey to compete in a match with none other than Charlotte. However, now it seems like those plans have been changed.
According to a report from Daily Wrestling News, the current plan is for this new feud between Charlotte and Bayley to extend all the way to WrestleMania. That doesn’t necessarily mean that negotiations with Rousey fell apart, but as of now, if she does appear, it looks like it will be with or alongside someone other than Charlotte.
As noted, Charlotte has never lost a singles match on a pay-per-view in her WWE career on the main roster. She’ll likely be putting that – and the RAW Women’s Championship – on the line at the Royal Rumble against Bayley where she’s currently expected to retain.
As of now, there is one RAW-exclusive pay-per-view scheduled between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania and that is Fastlane in March. A lot could change between now and then considering our report published earlier on Tuesday indicating that the WWE may do away with brand-exclusive pay-per-views next year due to a lack of interest from a social media and search engine standpoint.
However, if the current schedule isn’t affected, Charlotte is expected to retain at both the Royal Rumble and Fastlane before finally losing to Bayley at WrestleMania. Charlotte would have amassed a string of 16-straight singles victories leading into ‘Mania, a number her and her father are very familiar with. However, her attempt to “break” that streak would come up short in what would amount to the coronation of Bayley as she would ascend to the top of the division.
It’s also been noted in the past several days that Vince McMahon is more high on Bayley than Sasha as the top babyface of the women’s division and sees more money in a feud between Bayley and Charlotte than anything else right now. Where this leaves Ronda Rousey is unclear, but booking Charlotte elsewhere certainly does not close the door on the UFC star appearing on the WWE’s biggest show of the year.
[Featured Image by WWE]