When it was revealed that the WWE main roster would be having a "Women's Revolution", I was cautious. Optimistic, but cautious. The company had often decided to put its focus in other areas of the roster, leaving the women to basically fight over bread crumbs and table scraps, but something just felt... different... about this.
In Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, you had one of the most heralded "classes" of women that WWE had ever seen, and they were fresh off of being booked tremendously in NXT. The buzz surrounding them was out of this world, and people at least had a reason to be excited about a division that had been almost exclusively nothing but short matches that ended with roll-ups for a long, long time.
Fast forward to a little over a year later, and we have, indeed, seen some great things from the women on the main roster. Their matches are generally much longer. They have a lot more time to build storylines and matches through promos and backstage segments. Crowds are more receptive to their work. Sasha and Charlotte just had an opportunity to main event Raw. The women are making history. However, with history comes added pressure. With history comes added stress. Now, we're on the verge of seeing Sasha and Charlotte compete inside Hell In A Cell for the Raw Women's Championship. That is a well-deserved and historic step for both women as they continue to bring mainstream women's wrestling to prominence.
Is there a downside to this, though?
Yes. Yes, there is a downside, and it's a potentially huge downside if you stop and think about it.
Sasha, Charlotte, Becky, Bayley, Nikki Bella, and every other woman who wrestles for WWE have these chips on their shoulders. They feel that women's wrestling is just as entertaining as their male counterparts, if not more so. They feel that anything the men can do, they can also do, and perhaps do it even better. This is where the problem comes in. Gone are the days of WWE women barely connecting on halfhearted slaps and strikes. Gone are the days of WWE women sloppily landing moves that have little to no impact to them. No, this new breed of women have, for lack of a better term, "male matches". Watch a Charlotte match, and you see a woman who throws very physical strikes. Watch a Sasha match, and you see a woman who clearly isn't afraid to put her body on the line to tell a story in the ring. We've seen those two fight before, and some of the results weren't pretty. Sasha has been battered and bruised at the hands of Charlotte. Detractors will say it's because of how "green" Charlotte is, while others will say it's simply the style those two have decided to work with. Whatever side of that fence you're on, what is true is what we've all seen with our own eyes, which is Sasha and Charlotte not being afraid of getting very physical.
Now, they're being thrown inside of Hell In A Cell. It goes back to what I said about wrestling with a chip on your shoulder. Yes, WWE programming is far more family friendly these days, but think back to all the madness you've seen in Cell matches. Mick Foley being thrown from, and then through, the roof. Men like Shawn Michaels, Triple H and The Undertaker bleeding buckets during their matches. You don't think both Sasha and Charlotte have seen all of that? You don't think they've done their homework on this? They know exactly what Hell In A Cell matches before this have given us, and they know exactly what they need to do during their match to stand out. They're going to want to "wow" the WWE Universe. Going in there and having nothing more than a glorified "cat fight" harms the "revolution" more than words can express. Doubters will never take the women seriously if Charlotte and Sasha have a "light" (even by current PG standards) Cell match.
We've seen Sasha fight through injuries and pain before. Is putting her in a Cell match with a sometimes overly aggressive opponent the wisest thing for her long-term health? She's still three months away from her 25th birthday, and she has quite the petite frame. I'm worried that her frame, combined with the aforementioned chip on her shoulder, is going to lead to something exceptionally risky during their match. Sasha has the chance to be something very special when all is said and done. It would be a shame if she never got to reach the meteoric heights she's capable of reaching because she had to retire by the time she was 30, you know?
You can follow Aaron on Twitter at @HustleTheSavage