This past year was unprecedented in the world of professional wrestling. One that saw the end of travel, restricted or no crowds, and the normalization of cinematic matches. What, oh what, could 2021 bring?
We did it, everyone. 2020 is over. Gone, but never to be forgotten.
This year was hard on everyone, some more so than others. As the calendar flips to 2021, it brings a sense of hope. Hope that soon COVID-19 vaccines will be available to the general population and we can slowly transition into some form of a new normal lifestyle. Hope that we can once again do the things we enjoy the most with the people we love without fear of fatal consequences.
Deep down I think we all know life will never return to what it once was, but as time marches on we will adapt and endure as we always have. A new year means a fresh start. A chance to reflect on our past and build a better future.
I’m sure you’ve set yourself some personal goals you hope to accomplish this year. I myself hope to drop a few pounds, grow my modest Twitter following, and maybe even score my dream interview with Becky Lynch (if and when the time is right).
That said, I also have a list when it comes to WWE. Unlike my personal goals, this is a list I have absolutely no control over. That said, there are a few things that I am dying to see the alpha dog of professional wrestling pull the trigger on this year.
Crown a NEW Women’s Champion on RAW and SmackDown
August 19th, 2018 is a significant date in the recent history of the WWE Women’s Division. On that day, at SummerSlam, the new era of dominance at the top of the women’s card began. Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to win the RAW Women’s Championship and Charlotte Flair won a triple threat match to claim to SmackDown Title, ending Carmella’s four-month reign.
As you may remember, that was also the night The Man came around. Becky Lynch attacked Charlotte after her win to a thunderous roar of approval from the sold-out crowd at the Barclays Center. It was a reaction WWE creative wasn’t expecting, nor could they ignore, as a main event star was born that night.
Since that day, six different women have held either the RAW or SmackDown Women’s Championship. Furthermore, ever since Rousey’s last match at WrestleMania 35, only five women have held the top “main roster” prizes in WWE – Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Asuka.
For well over 600 days the Four Horsewomen and the Empress of Tomorrow have flat out dominated the time spent at the top of the card. Including Ronda Rousey, it’s been over 860 days since another woman on the roster won the big one. It’s time for that to change.
There is simply too much talent in WWE for these same five women to continue that domination. That’s not a knock on any of them by the way. I’m one of the biggest Becky Lynch homers on the planet. I genuinely cannot wait to see her back in the ring. Charlotte Flair is arguably the greatest women’s wrestler of all time, and definitely the most accomplished. Sasha, Bayley, and Asuka are all equally as great as well. They’re the top stars on the women’s roster, so it’s no wonder WWE has leaned on them as much as they have. Sooner rather than later though, they have to give someone else a chance to run the ball.
It’s not like they don’t have options. Early on in 2020, Rhea Ripley seemed like she was strapped to the back of a rocket heading straight to the top. However, that rocket exploded when she lost her NXT Women’s Championship to Charlotte at WrestleMania 36.
Bianca Belair, just like Rhea Ripley, is an all-world talent. However, since moving on from NXT Belair has struggled to gain any momentum. She was seldom used on RAW, and has yet to gain a big marquee victory on SmackDown. She had a chance, but the company chose to have her lose to Bayley a couple of weeks ago. Then she was pinned again the following week by Charlotte.
Remember when Shayna Baszler was dominating the entire RAW roster en route to her WrestleMania showdown with Becky Lynch? Seems like forever and a day ago doesn’t it? Baszler lost clean to The Man and then was off TV for a while before being paired up with Nia Jax.
Sonya Deville seemed destined for superstardom before her very scary real-life situation unfolded. Hopefully, she’ll return soon and be able to regain her momentum. Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott are both very talented and highly underutilized. Peyton Royce is another name I’ll throw out there as a potential breakout star. Not to mention the wealth of talent waiting in the wings in NXT.
The Royal Rumble is right around the corner. It’s the perfect time to elevate one of these ladies with the biggest win of their career, and then follow it up at WrestleMania 37. If I had to make the call, give me Bianca Belair over Sasha Banks on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Speaking of grand stages for the women…