The feud between Sasha Banks and Charlotte appears to have come to an end. At Roadblock: End of the Line, Charlotte defeated Banks and won back the Women’s Championship once and for all. Unless there is some sort of major reversal on Raw tonight, The Boss has no right to a rematch. So what ultimately went into the WWE’s decision to have Charlotte walk away from this feud as the victor?
Dave Meltzer observes on the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio that the WWE has been planning to begin a feud between Charlotte and Bayley for quite some time, but they kept delaying it, and this resulted in the Charlotte vs. Sasha battle being extended. It’s thought that they now want a match between Bayley and Charlotte to take place at Royal Rumble next month, and so if the two women butt heads tonight, there’s plenty of time for this storyline to be properly developed before January 24th.
This would explain a lot, and there were definitely several times over the past few months when the conflict between Banks and Charlotte could have conceivably ended. Their Hell in a Cell match certainly felt final at the time, but they would go on to feud for another two months after that. Meanwhile, Bayley has had little to do on Monday Night Raw, being kept busy by feuds with people like Dana Brooke that have not gone over particularly well with the crowd even though Bayley has a large following.
However, a significant moment for Bayley came during the women’s elimination match at Survivor Series in November. Sasha Banks was eliminated, but the sole survivors were Charlotte and Bayley. After the match, Charlotte attacked Bayley, setting in motion something that will apparently now start to pay off.
The biggest unanswered question from all of this is, what is to come of Sasha Banks? Vince McMahon is evidently still skeptical of Banks, partially because of her tendency to get injured during matches. At SummerSlam this year, she hurt her back and needed to take some time off to recover, and at Roadblock, a nasty hit to the nose left Banks gushing blood throughout the final few minutes of the match. Plus, when the ending of Hell in a Cell was poorly received, McMahon reportedly blamed Sasha Banks, as the plan was for her to break through a table but she was unable to do so.
The Raw women’s roster is sparse, and so there are only so many people that Sasha Banks can feud with going forward. Outside of Charlotte and Bayley, the other active female superstars on Monday Night Raw are Alicia Fox, Dana Brooke and Nia Jax. That’s all there is, although Emma is scheduled to return any time now, so perhaps she will debut her new character just in time for The Boss to be available for a fight.
All in all, reactions to the end of the Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte feud have been mixed. Many viewers have complained that it went on too long and was repetitive, while others praise the impressive work of both athletes and find them to be consistently fun to watch. As for the match at Roadblock, a common gripe is that Banks, who is portrayed as a tenacious woman who will do whatever it takes to stay at the top, nonetheless tapped out with three seconds left to go in the Iron Man match.
The future of the women’s division will be made more apparent after tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw, which airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the USA Network.