The significance of Sasha Banks and Charlotte headlining Hell in a Cell
WWE just made wrestling history. News broke on Tuesday morning that the Hell in a Cell match between Sasha Banks and Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Title will be the main event of the Raw-exclusive pay-per-view. Mick Foley made the announcement on his Facebook page.
Forget for a moment about Stephanie McMahon's jumping high-five or my awkward attempt to hug the #RAW Commissioner.
The biggest moment of the night for us came when the #WWE cameras were off, and Stephanie and I just looked at the #HIAC poster, realising that for #WomensWrestling, history is upon us - as Sasha Banks and Charlotte will main event the #HIAC PPV.
I am so happy for Sasha, for Charlotte, for all the women who paved the way, and all those who aspire to follow in their footsteps. It is no exaggeration to say that looking at that poster gave me chills...and they were multiplying.”
If this isn’t the biggest news in wrestling this year, I’m not sure what is. I can only hope The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young are smiling right now and Trish Stratus, Lita, Lelani Kai and Velvet McIntyre are doing a happy dance after hearing the news.
What was once thought to be a pipe dream and as far a chance of happening as someone winning the lottery is now a reality. Kudos to WWE for making this happen.
Two women who have helped to revolutionize a division that was once considered nothing more than a bra and panties show, a reason to take a break from watching television and nothing more than a ploy to attract middle age men to watch females who off a little “T & A” is getting the credit it deserves.
Here’s a video of Sasha Banks talking to Lita about the match:
I am still not sold on the notion of Banks and Charlotte settling their differences in the steel structure, but I love the concept of putting women first in a business they have fought for decades to gain respect.
If anything, this main event will get the respect it deserves, the honour it has been afforded and the embrace from the fans who love watching these two titans in the ring.
WWE was behind the eight ball for years, while TNA made their Knockouts part of weekly programming, headlining Impact Wrestling and hosting a female-only viewing. It was innovative but still did not reach the masses like it had hoped.
A decision made by the McMahons, with Stephanie McMahon taking the lead in its development – to make women’s wrestling matter on its grandest stage has finally paid off.
With Raw still dealing with ratings issues, the uncomfortable booking involving the Universal Heavyweight Title and the United States Championship – which almost seem equal in value – and the notion that they have to beat SmackDown Live at their own game, this gives McMahon and Foley the ammunition to go above and beyond with creative ways to promote their brand and the WWE name.
Here’s a video of Charlotte speaking about what her plans for Hell in a Cell:
Banks and Charlotte are everything Lita and Stratus were and then some. They are Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat, Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. They are the present and future of this company. Adding the likes of Becky Lynch, Bayley and Nia Jax to the mix and the women of WWE have never been stronger. It’s not a stretch – it’s reality.
That reality was further accentuated with this announcement. What has to happen now is a match beyond, the one we talk about until WrestleMania 33, the match that we rewind on WWE Network and a place in history as the greatest women’s match in wrestling history.
Anything short of that might be a disappointment. WWE cannot screw this up. Reputation and progression depend on it. While the Rock and Wrestling Connection of the 1980s that helped usher in WrestleMania and Hulkamania was considered the biggest deal in the business to date, this move overtakes that by a mile long.
There are two weeks to build what is arguably the biggest moment in the modern era of professional wrestling. The two greatest stars of the women’s division in the past 20 years and the chutzpah to make this happen.
I can only hope, as do the millions of wrestling fans, this is something we talk about for decades – not something that leaves us a bit empty inside and wondering what just happened. This match has to redefine women in this business and the company in its booking moving forward.
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