"That's like slapping God across the face for giving you a beautiful gift!" - Jonah Hill, as Seth, from Superbad (2007)
Whether you're a WWE apologist, AEW fanatic, both, or none of the above, there's one thing I think we can all agree on... Vince McMahon doesn't always take advantage of the opportunities that are clearly placed in front of him.
Hey, it's natural. If we all took advantage of every opportunity we had, there would be a lot more rich and/or famous people in the world. With that said, though, there's a difference between random Twitter user 481389993 striking out looking and the man who is supposed to be the leader in his field doing so.
Recently, yet another example of this took place. Allow me to take your minds back to the July 13th episode of the Monday Night Raw post-show, Raw Talk. In said episode, Asuka and Kairi Sane appeared and were discussing Asuka's upcoming Raw Women's Title defense at Extreme Rules (I'm not calling it that stupid ass name WWE gave it) against Sasha Banks. In the segment, Kairi appeared to surprise Asuka a bit by saying that she was "ready for Asuka" should the champion retain her title. Kairi was emotional in saying it, and Asuka was emotional in saying she wanted the match, as well, with Kairi saying a match between them was her dream.
Then came word that Kairi's time with WWE was officially coming to an end, as she wanted to return home to Japan to be with her new husband. That's when the gears started turning in my head, as well as the heads of many of you.
"Hmmm... if Kairi is leaving the company, and she wants to face Asuka, what better send-off could she get than having that match?"
Look, it doesn't take a genius to see that times are rough for WWE. The first half of the calendar year is supposed to be a huge time for the company, with the Royal Rumble leading the way into the build for WrestleMania, followed by another big push to SummerSlam in August. This is when you usually see the biggest names, the best stories, the biggest matches, and so on. Obviously, COVID-19 has stomped all over those plans from March until now, and it is becoming more and more clear by the week that wrestling fans just aren't all that interested in watching the WWE television product with little-to-no crowd interaction. Viewership numbers for Raw and Smackdown are in the toilet, seemingly setting new record lows every week. WWE could use all the good news they can get, even if it doesn't last.
Just picture it... Asuka retains the title at Extreme Rules, and because WWE is WWE, Sasha would find a way to get a rematch on the following night's episode of Raw, where Asuka retains again. Sasha is pretty close to untouchable at this point in her career, so a couple of losses aren't going to hurt her, especially when she still remains half of the Women's Tag Team Champions and especially especially when she was involved in a storyline where she seemed to be envious of Bayley being the Smackdown Women's Champion. No harm, no foul there. After the Raw match, have Kairi challenge Asuka again in front of a bigger viewership, and have Asuka accept. Have commentary put over the fact that Kairi's contract is coming up, and that she wants to have her personal dream match before she loses that opportunity, maybe forever. Boom... fast forward a week. The show is built around the match. Asuka and Kairi are given 20-ish minutes to tear the house down, which they undoubtedly would. Asuka gets the win, but by this point, both women are in tears. They embrace and have a big moment, and Raw can go off the air with Kairi's farewell to the company. Hell, if you're feeling froggy, you could have all that happen, only for Asuka's next challenger (Shayna Baszler, preferably) to spoil the moment by sneaking into the ring and destroying both women. Either way, Raw gets a story, a match, and a television "moment" (two if we're counting a post-match attack) that would get people talking.
HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT?!?
I didn't have to spend weeks and weeks tying my brain into knots trying to figure out how to make things happen. The entire thing fell right into my lap on a single episode of Raw Talk. It was right there.
Do not get me wrong in any way... I'm a big fan of what Sasha Banks and Bayley are doing right now as She-Generation X. As I said, though, this wasn't a win that Sasha needed. In fact, Sasha not winning the Raw Women's Title would make for a better story as she could/would continue to get more and more envious of Bayley having the Smackdown Women's Title.
How do you screw this up so badly?!?
You know, ladies and gentlemen, I'm beginning to get a sneaking suspicion that Vince McMahon just might not be at the top of his game.
What say you, Fightful Nation? Would you have preferred to see Asuka vs Kairi, even if it didn't happen exactly as I put it here, or would you have preferred what we actually got on Raw? Hit me up in the comments section below or on Twitter (@HustleTheSavage) and let me know.