Re-wind 18 months and The 4 Horsewomen looked like they were the heart and soul of the Women’s Division.
However, fast forward to now, and three of the four look completely lost in the shuffle. The characters they portray appear to be majorly stale and the performers themselves are failing to understand their own identity- with Charlotte Flair being the only one who still seems relevant.
Does Bayley still work as the fan girl? Is Sasha still the Boss when she loses most weeks? And how is Becky “straight fire,” when she’s the Dolph Ziggler of the division?
It’s hard to determine where the blame lies. The company haven’t done a great job in booking all three, however, the lack of improvement shown by the performers, means that a large portion of the blame has to lay at their door. The backstage scripted exchanges between Sasha and Bayley are regularly the worst thing on Raw, whereas Becky Lynch’s in-ring work continues to look terribly sloppy. Despite being on the main roster for two years- Lynch is still struggling to run the ropes.
As previously mentioned, all three characters seem dead in the water, because all three of them stand for nothing.
Bayley was always in trouble from the minute she won the Championship. Once the underdog fan girl achieves her goal, she can longer been looked at as an underdog- therefore, continuing to portray one, simply looks stupid, and it did. Fans turned on Bayley weeks after she became Champion.
Sasha Banks is the most confused character in the WWE. A heel character who was turned by the fans, but in turn, completely lost her identity. It may say “Boss”‘on her tacky costume jewellery, but this Boss has held the championship four times and has never made a single title defence. This could easily be blamed on the company, but in reality, Sasha’s backstage attitude and comments about fans have resulted in her failing to obtain a sustained push. Banks should’ve learnt when to keep her mouth shut and unfortunately, it may be too late to recover. A heel turn is desperately needed.
Lynch seems to be the most unfortunate of the three, as she’s been cast into the gatekeeper role- in that, you beat Lynch before you get a title match. Lynch has maintained her popularity due her looks and real personality. She’s willing to put time in with fans, appears to love her job and portrays herself very well on social media. However, the happy go lucky character can’t be saved by the occasionally “straight fire” promo, and accent makes her hard to take seriously. It’s hard to see Lynch ever capturing the championship again at this juncture.
It’s easy to the blame the WWE creative team for so much that happens in the company, and they aren’t blameless when it comes to the way these ladies have been booked. However, I very much doubt any woman is given the same consideration that Roman Reigns is given and it’s up to the performers to take the ball.
The likes of Alexa Bliss, Carmella and the Iconics have all done a brilliant job in portraying mean girl type characters whilst differing themselves enough so that you can distinguish them individually. Bliss and Carmella primarily play the same character, but both have worked extremely hard to differentiate themselves to the point that nobody can suggest they are the same as each other. Bayley, Banks and Lynch haven’t evolved one bit since NXT, and for that, the blame for their shortcomings lies squarely at their door.
By contrast, their Horsewoman counterpart, Charlotte Flair, has improved her in-ring work considerably, and has successfully evolved from playing a heel to a face. When Charlotte is asked to play a heel again, the WWE know that she will comfortably slot back into the role, as the company know she is one of their most reliable performers- and that’s not just out of the female performers, as Charlotte has evolved into one of the best performers in the WWE and the world in general. She should be a strong contender for next year’s PWI Top 10.