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THERE IS NO EXCUSE: SASHA BANKS VS. CHARLOTTE SHOULD CLOSE HELL IN A CELL AS THE MAIN EVENT

By Mike Johnson on 2016-10-21 11:20:00

Earlier this week, Mick Foley set the Internet on fire by writing on his Facebook page that WWE Raw Women's champion Sasha Banks and Charlotte would headline the 10/30 Hell in A Cell PPV in Boston, MA.  Obviously, the idea of two women competing inside Hell in A Cell is newsworthy enough, but the idea that two women would close a WWE PPV for the first time since WWE debuted on PPV in 1987 has fans excitedly talking...until perhaps it appeared that celebrating the milestone is premature.

Several days later, Foley quantified his initial statement, penning, "The match order for #HIAC Will probably not be finalized until hours before the actual show, so each member of the WWE Universe can decide for themselves what their main event is. Regardless of where the women's match is placed on the card, both Sasha and Charlotte should absolutely feel like they are the main event - as should Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins. It's a competitive business, and that competitive spirit should bring out the best in everyone on October 30th."

Foley is right that the competitive nature of professional wrestling brings out the best in everyone on big nights, but in his books, Mick has also reflected that a number of times during his career, caution had to be thrown to the wind and things had to be done, "for the sake of history."

WWE has wrapped their promotional arms around the idea of a women's professional wrestling revolution and how the current women's roster has evolved and carried the company from the days of Divas in Hedonism DVDs, mud pit matches and pillow fights at Wrestlemania.  They have cultivated a group of women who can not only look beautiful and portray over the top, sexy characters but who put their athleticism and in-ring prowess at the forefront of why fans have become invested in them.

Since the days Sasha Banks and Charlotte graduated from NXT to the main roster, WWE has been building them as legitimate main eventers.  They have crafted an excellent storyline between the former BFFs that has seen them trade the championship back and forth, with each devastated and upset when their cherished prize has been ripped from their arms by the better woman.  The antagonism between the two has been continuously raised to the next level with Charlotte even "injuring" Banks and putting her out of action after Summerslam.  The back and forth promos have been good to excellent and the story has been so important, it has pulled others into it, from Bayley to Dana Brooke to even Rusev and Roman Reigns.  They have captured the imagination of the audience and have created not one, but two phenomenal championship changes in matches on Raw, one that was designed to help kick off the brand split and the other, which was deemed so important that it main evented the episode.

These are not the hallmarks of just a great women's wrestling feud, but a great wrestling feud, period.  It's the same DNA that made Tommy Rich vs. Buzz Sawyer, Jerry Lawler vs. Bill Dundee or Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair immortal feuds that fans talk about and remember forever.  The times may have changed and the styles may be a little different, but at it's core, we are talking about the type of unique, special sparks that light the fuse that captivate fans into caring and loving professional wrestling.

There will be some that argue that the women should not close the PPV because the WWE Universal championship should close the show.  To that, I say to look back at the last Smackdown PPV, which saw AJ Styles vs. John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose open the show.  That match lost no luster and still grabbed the fans and took them on the ride that a great match should, so match placement shouldn't be a concern here.  Hell, Undertaker vs. CM Punk once opened a Hell in A Cell PPV and Undertaker is the farthest thing from what an opening match performer is considered to be.

 What is also remembered about No Mercy is that Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental championship did not close the show and in hindsight, it deserved to and WWE missed a big moment that would have helped solidify each of those performers as top personalities as well as it would have assisted the Intercontinental's credibility taking a big step towards being restored to it's glory days.

At Hell in A Cell, WWE has a chance to realize they made a strategic error at No Mercy and place the Raw Women's championship in the final slot.  They can have Seth Rollins come out at the top of the show and say he doesn't want to wait to get his hands on Kevin Owens and demand his match open the show.   Owens refuses and Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon overrule him and we are off to the races, leaving the main event slot open for Banks vs. Charlotte to finally settle their grudge in the "most dangerous environment" in WWE.

The women have been primed to close a PPV forever.  The output of their work has never been in question.   The feud and the rivalry is good enough that it deserves to be seen as a main event.  Anyone who is going to the show has paid for their ticket.  Anyone who is watching the show has ordered the PPV or subscribed to the WWE Network, so it's not as if they are going to hurt the drawing power of the show by placing the women in the main event and have them close out Hell in A Cell.

The upside, however, is amazing.  WWE not only raises the profile of the Raw Women's championship as well as Sasha and Charlotte as individual performers, but they raise the credibility of all of their female performers and the entire women's division.  They change the paradigm of their business by creating the possibility of women main eventing down the line, giving every female on the roster a new goal to shoot for and giving all the men a reason to work even harder, because from that point on, who main events is not defined by gender. 

WWE loves to showcase that Ronda Rousey, a legitimate UFC main eventer and one of the biggest names in all of combat sports, worked Wrestlemania 31.   There was a time when UFC President Dana White was down on the idea of women fighting for that organization and we see how that worked out.  Rousey became one of the biggest franchises in UFC history.  While we have no idea of whether a woman can one day reach those heights within the WWE machine, by putting Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte in the main event position, for real, by closing the PPV in Boston, WWE is taking a big step forwards towards that possibility, because once that door is open, it will never close again..and it shouldn't.

Other than someone making the worthless argument that "women shouldn't main event a PPV because they never have" - and if they do, WWE should fire them on the spot.  There is no argument. 

Sometimes, things need to happen, for the sake of history. 

That's why Charlotte and Sasha need to close the Hell in A Cell PPV next Sunday.

Mike Johnson can be reached at MikeJohnsonPWInsider@gmail.com.

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