In the last few weeks WWE has (finally?) pulled the trigger on a feud that is five years in the making and could be traced back longer. WWE seems to be nearing a huge feud between Sasha Banks and Bayley. Along with that we just passed the five-year anniversary of NXT TakeOver Brooklyn where Sasha and Bayley fought for the NXT’s Woman’s Championship for the first time. They would fight at the TakeOver after this, but this was the match that launched NXT TakeOvers and launched the current Woman’s Evolution in WWE. WWE Untold recently put out a new episode that highlighted the early careers and the feud between The Boss and the Hugger.
WWE documentaries are one the best things produced by the company. I’ve been reviewing their shows for years. WWE Untold seems to be a sequel series to one I was very fond of: WWE Rivalries. That show had about ten episodes and featured the stories of the biggest rivalries in the WWE Universe. That show also appeared to me to be more of the televised history of the feud. WWE Untold seems to be an updated version as they are telling that part of the story but also the behind the scenes aspect that Rivalries did not capture on film. This behind the scenes aspect in this show involved the early careers of Davina Rose (Bayley) and Mercedes Varnado (Sasha Banks.) Clips of their independent career was shown and the story advances. Sasha gets signed by NXT and heads to Florida to FCW and hears rumors of a great independent wrestler from California who will quickly match Sasha in the early days of what would become NXT and the Performance Center.
Early promo classes hosted by the late American Dream Dusty Rhodes are shown and highlight the differences in the character of Sasha and Bayley. Sasha full of confidence is shown cutting a promo with two bodyguards in tow. Bayley’s promo is a lot like what would be her early WWE career which could be said to be “happy to be here Bayley.” Sasha Banks would quickly use her confidence in becoming the NXT Women’s Champion. Bayley saw her lack of confidence result in her becoming a middle of the road superstar. Sasha Banks was in the penthouse and Bayley was close to being in the outhouse. The story advances to show how Bayley became the gutsy underdog that took the NXT Universe by storm. She would have some troubles with her friends Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks getting main event roster spots on the same night. Bayley kept plugging away and earned her title shot by in different weeks defeating Becky and Charlotte. She defeated 2 out of the Four Horsewomen of NXT which she was a member.
On what could’ve been the last day of Sasha Banks’ NXT career Bayley would face off the Boss for the NXT Woman’s Championship. The match would take place in Brooklyn, New York. It would be co-main event of NXT TakeOver Brooklyn in front of 15,0000 at a sold-out Barclay Center. This match would launch the Woman’s Revolution and would be the most important woman’s match on American soil in decades.
In one of the great aspects of this series we see the rehearsal for the match. They said they only had an hour to prepare due to a panel show Sasha had to do for fans before the event. The lack of time ended up being to their benefit. Sasha said that it was better for them to call most of the match on the fly. Their first match at the performance center was similar and they hadn’t even met each other before locking up in that match. They called it the best match they ever had to that point. They also said that they knew if they did too much in rehearsals that they would be told certain spots couldn’t be done because they were meant to be only in male matches.
The sexism that they had to fight was clearly shown in these scenes. They also harked back to the early days where matches between women were nothing, but hair-pulling and Sasha explained nobody wants to do that. They were waiting for the opportunity to do much more than that and they had it on the biggest stage either had to that date. The history of woman’s wrestling was about to change
The match started off and it seemed to mirror their entire careers. Sasha was full of vim, vigor and confidence. Bayley was the underdog and seemed to be cautious in the early minutes of the match. Sasha would taunt her opponent with attacks and verbal assault saying things like Bayley wasn’t worthy and that she was no match for the Boss. Slowly but surely Bayley gained confidence in herself mirroring her NXT journey. Bayley would hit her finisher early in the match for a two-count. They were taking the crowd for a journey and the 15,000 in attendance were with them every step of the way. The fans knew they were witnessing and becoming a part of history themselves. This match showed more heart and soul in 20 minutes than most main event matches show in 40 or 60 minutes or beyond.
The endgame of the match was explained, and we see a little bit of the lack of confidence Bayley had. She was nervous to hit a dangerous move: the poison Hurricanrana. It is a reverse hurricanrana off the top rope. A move that is now somewhat commonplace to occur on the ground, but it still hasn’t been done to death off the top rope. Sasha told her that she got this, and the move went off without a hitch. The crowd went nuts and then Bayley hit her Bayley to Belly for the three count to win the NXT Woman’s Championship! The crowd again went nuts and got to their feet and applauded Bayley as the new champion as well as the former champion for stealing the show and launching a new era in WWE. In the post-match aftermath, the Four Horsewomen celebrated when Charlotte and Becky Lynch came into the ring to celebrate. Once again, the crowd knew they were watching history: woman’s wrestling was back.
That was the end of the episode, but the story continued for years with both of the careers of Sasha Banks and Bayley intertwined. Bayley would debut at Battleground as Sasha’s partner against Charlotte Flair and Dana Brooke. Bayley and Sasha would become singles champions time and time again. They would also become the first ever WWE Woman’s Tag Team Champions. When they lost the titles, they went their separate ways for a period of time. Sasha took time off and Bayley did the unthinkable: she turned heel and became the Role Model as Smackdown Woman’s Champion. Because of the recent Covid-19 situation plans seem to have changed. Sasha Banks returned months before and tried to challenge for Becky Lynch’s Raw Championship also turning heel in the feud. They would be re-united soon after on Smackdown in a different role.
Bayley was the confident champion and Sasha became somewhat of a cheerleader/manager for Bayley. This lasted a little awhile but Covid-19 made for quick changes. Sasha and Bayley became Tag champions once again and Sasha would reclaim the Raw Woman’s Championship. All of the championships on two women would sure-up the rosters and would allow an interesting story by using less superstars. At SummerSlam this would come to an end. Bayley retained her title with help of Sasha Banks, but Bayley would not help Sasha as she was defeated by Asuka again for the title. A week later the tag titles would be lost and then in the aftermath the unthinkable happened: Bayley would viciously turn on her long-time friend and put her in the hospital repeated times with attacks from behind.
A lot has changed between Sasha Banks and Bayley over the years. We finally are back to where it all started. The story has changed but the real difference is the backdrop for the feud. The feud that launched large scale TakeOvers will now be fought in the empty void and distant voices of the WWE Thunderdome. It appears that the match will be taking place at one of the next WWE PPV offerings. It could possibly go down at Hell in a Cell. This match belongs to be a part of a large-scale event such as WrestleMania. It deserves to be the spotlight in front of a huge crowd. The virtual fans to me are insufficient for a monumental matchup like this with the history behind it and with the fans longing for it for so long.
After so long it has been teased but now many seem to think it can do nothing but underperform due to the circumstances. If any two other superstars were involved, I think it would be impossible, but I have hope. If any two can blow the roof off the Thunderdome it would be The Boss Sasha Banks and the Role Model Bayley. They made history before and now they will have to do it again.
This episode of WWE Untold doesn’t go into that part of the story but it does a great job focusing on the match involved. I give the show 5/5 stars and I will definitely be watching more episodes of this new series. If you are unsatisfied with the current WWE product, I cannot recommend WWE documentaries enough. I think this will be an on-going series reviewing these episodes. Thanks for reading and I hope it piques your interest in watching wrestling in any form you enjoy or wish to view it in. The current product might not be your cup of tea but there’s more to wrestling than AEW, NXT, Raw or Smackdown. Wrestling history is large and there is plenty to watch and absorb during the era of empty arenas and disinteresting storylines. Hopefully we will have better news in the upcoming months and wrestling fans can return. Until then the catalogue of the WWE Network and wrestling podcasts will be enough for me to work on. WWE Untold gets my highest recommendation and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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