WWE WrestleMania 37 will feature a dream match in the making: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Despite the poor build, this is a match that the fans have been looking forward to and WrestleMania is the perfect stage for a match of this caliber. With that being said, the issue in today’s episode of ‘Debate The Mark’ is whether Bianca Belair should dethrone Sasha Banks on the grandest stage of them all.
Mark Justice and Kevin Parvizi, two of Daily DDT’s beloved contributors, will tackle this issue and pontificate their opposing viewpoints in a debate that could very well be the ‘EST’ of Daily DDT. Here is their riveting debate on this issue, with Mark taking the side of Sasha Banks retaining the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37, and Kevin taking the side of Bianca Belair becoming the new SmackDown Women’s Champion at WrestleMania 37.
WWE WrestleMania 37 is right around the corner. Should Bianca Belair dethrone Sasha Banks? Here is a debate on who should win.
Mark Justice: Sasha Banks is 0-5 at WrestleMania
Mark Justice: ‘It’s Boss Time!’ This catchphrase is enunciated by Michael Cole on commentary every time Sasha Banks makes her entrance to the squared circle. However, is it really boss time at WrestleMania? Sasha Banks has a notorious losing streak of 0-5 at WrestleMania and needs a victory at this year’s WrestleMania to break that curse. At the end of the day, it is characteristic of deserving champions to solidify their title reigns by retaining the championship at WrestleMania.
Indeed, Sasha Banks has a SmackDown Women’s Title reign to solidify, especially since she is arguably the biggest draw in WWE’s Women’s Division at this stage of her career. Since her reign began, she has only wrestled two former SmackDown Women’s Champions in Bayley and Carmella. There’s a lot more left for her to do as champion and a lot more opponents for her to face before anyone should even consider a title change.
Our Kevin Parvizi, who happens to be my adversary in this debate, did argue that Bianca Belair is on the verge of being WWE’s next top babyface and a victory over Banks would be “another beginning in her path to representing Black women and standing at the summit of WWE to build a legacy of greatness week after week in an industry that has failed to give equal opportunities to Black wrestlers since its inception.”
This is a very important point and should always be considered in high regard. However, the same and more can be said for Sasha Banks, who has trail-blazed the landscape of the WWE for far too long and has yet to be rewarded for her many years of diligence, dedication, and excellence with a memorable victory at WrestleMania. Although Belair deserves this victory at her first WrestleMania, Sasha Banks needs it a tad more due to her longevity and box office appeal.
Besides, Belair’s momentum won’t necessarily suffer in a loss to Banks. For example, when Belair lost to Bayley on the December 18, 2020, episode of WWE SmackDown, her momentum did not suffer because it was a great match that showcased her strengths in the ring but also gave her some room to reflect on her mistakes and seek redemption against Bayley down the road, which she finally did on the Royal Rumble go-home episode of SmackDown on January 29, 2021.
This same booking methodology should be used in her Mania feud with Banks. Although Belair is the EST of WWE, she is also a fresh, rising babyface on the main roster who must learn from her experiences with established stars before defeating them. When Banks delivered the Backstabber to Belair one week, she was not able to do the same to Belair the next week because Belair learned to watch her back and be ready for Banks.
In turn, the stakes are higher at WrestleMania, and this storyline needs to show that Belair was under a lot of pressure battling an established star in Sasha Banks. Banks always has something up her sleeve and she will use her conniving techniques, one of which Belair will not foresee, to get the upper hand on Belair. Winning the Royal Rumble is a groundbreaking accomplishment, but winning at WrestleMania against Sasha Banks should not be taken lightly anymore.
Consequently, Sasha Banks should retain the SmackDown Women’s Title at WrestleMania 37, giving Belair a solid rub for a future opportunity at the title down the road where Belair can eventually win it in a rematch. Sometimes, it is good to strike while the iron is hot but this situation needs a little more breathing room before pulling the trigger on a title change that could be appreciated even more for a beloved babyface if the fans waited a bit longer to see it happen.
Kevin Parvizi: Bianca Belair Needs To Win At WrestleMania, Not Later
I think you made a lot of great points, Mark, and I had a feeling you would bring up her 0-5 record at WrestleMania. But while I do acknowledge that Sasha Banks is one of THE two main draws in WWE right now and would continue to be a great champion, I wonder if the main points you raise actually favor Bianca Belair. Furthermore, they don’t undermine the central reasons for Bianca Belair’s winning.
WWE had no issues with crowning Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, and Drew McIntyre in wins over Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania after their babyface Rumble wins. Lesnar and Rousey were dominant, MMA-credentialed champions heading into the Show of Shows, with Brock having the distinction of breaking the Streak at WrestleMania and even embarrassing Roman Reigns in the show’s main event.
Yet WWE had no issues with having him lose in back-to-back years to put over a babyface Rumble winner when a star was needed.
So what does it say if WWE fails to do the same with Bianca? Her Rumble win was more memorable than either Seth’s or Drew’s, and her rise as a homegrown NXT star to a Rumble winner parallels Drew’s “Chosen One” path to redemption. There’s this argument that WWE cannot build its own self-made stars, and they have quite literally found the best possible homegrown superstar in Bianca.
And it would be a huge missed opportunity to fail to crown someone who dazzled at Survivor Series, at the Royal Rumble, and weekly on SmackDown in her programs with Sasha and Bayley.
Sasha is 0-5, but these kinds of streaks only matter when a babyface breaks it. While Sasha’s fans will relish her finally winning at WrestleMania, will it have the desired effect on most wrestling fans? I truly don’t think so, especially in the context of the story when you look at how Sasha has acted as the “Legit Boss” in trying to get under Bianca’s skin and assert her dominance over the newcomer. The EST is the babyface.
So really, it might be better for WWE to prolong Sasha’s losing streak. They really don’t care if her fans are upset by this either, because, well, that’s the desired reaction and a “deferred payment” of sorts to make her one-day babyface triumph at WrestleMania.
Let’s talk about “box office”, since that’s the phrase you used. I will take things a step further with Sasha. She is “box office” in a way that literally no other full-time superstar is in WWE. She has MADE IT, all caps, full stop. The Mandalorian is just a start. Like, she is bigger than the title, as she said during the feud with Bayley, and she will one day be bigger than WWE just like The Rock and John Cena. I fully believe it.
And you know who believes it? Sasha Banks does. She knows she’s bigger than the title, and, therefore, she knows there is no better place to pass the torch to a worthy successor than the main event of WrestleMania. And there is no better person to pass the torch to than the EST. Think about it. SmackDown and WWE have trouble booking Sasha as a full-time champion. They kept her in that Carmella feud for too long.
The tag title stuff with Bianca has had some bright spots when it comes to the actual work done by Sasha and Bianca, but, again, is it really befitting of someone of Sasha’s quality?
The more she appears on SmackDown, the more they are watering her down. It makes a lot more sense for her to drop the belt, take time off, focus on projects outside wrestling, and transition into being a megastar who wrestles in big storylines and matches. You know, like what WWE has done with established male talent such as Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. Sasha is an even bigger deal than those two and on par in the ring.
Belair doesn’t need a rematch. She doesn’t need to wait again, just like she waited – and then never won – for her opportunity to be NXT Women’s Champion. The time is now. You don’t book her at Survivor Series like that, put her over the greatest SmackDown Women’s Champion in Bayley, and then have her win the Rumble with fanfare only to lose in the main event of WrestleMania to a champion who then has nobody left to feud with.
No, no, you start the era of the EST and entrench a new top star from the WrestleMania 37 to WrestleMania 38 cycle. And Sasha losing to Bianca does NOT hurt Sasha in any way. In the long run, it will probably even help her, because her name will forever be attached to Bianca’s big moment and she can take some more time to figure out her next mainstream projects in 2021 and 2022.
What did you think of today’s “Debate the Mark,” and whose argument swayed you more? This series is brought to you by a shrewd mark who enjoys debating hot topics in professional wrestling, especially when pertaining to the WWE. It was a pleasure debating in what was a fruitful discourse with my fellow Daily DDT Contributor, Kevin Parvizi. Stay tuned for more debates in the future and WrestleMania 37 live coverage from Daily DDT this week.