There are many journalists and fans in the WWE that will continue to defend everything and anything the company does because they are making record profits. They will tell you that a certain talent just held a championship or got a push to the top and its someone else’s time. The truth is it all happened at a time while the golden children Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Brock Lesnar and even Ronda Rousey were away and they had no one else they could turn to. Lets check some examples.
Sasha Banks – Banks and best friend Bayley were absolutely a huge part of the last year and a half. They were the main acts of WWE Smackdown for about 4-5 months without Roman Reigns around due to the pandemic while carrying empty arena shows and then helping Roman Reigns with carrying the Thunderdome shows after his return with their Golden Role Models team and their subsequent break up and feud. Banks and Bayley would at times appear on all 3 WWE shows in the same week. They would elevate others and give the spotlight to others. Some of these examples are Asuka, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Tegan Nox, Shotzi Blackheart. Banks especially would be part of the majority of the highest rated segments on the shows (that’s where the WWE gets the majority of their revenue, tv deals). Banks would main event Wrestlemania with Bianca Belair in a history making first time ever match that 2 African American wrestlers would main event WrestleMania. The match was highly praised and garnered the WWE the most mainstream media attention they have gotten in so long. Before and since then, Banks herself would also get the company some much needed attention appearing in a Super Bowl commercial, starting the Daytona 500 race, appears on the ESPYS with Belair, opening the national title game between Alabama and Georgia and most of all appearing on one of the most streamed shows in the world Disney’s The Mandalorian season 2. It looked like we were heading for Banks vs Charlotte Flair for a while for the title at WrestleMania 38 until Ronda Rousey came into the picture and Banks’ Wrestlemania 38 plans look to be up in the air despite carrying the WWE women’s division through the hardest times during the covid pandemic and despite being by far the most popular woman on the roster today.
Bianca Belair – In 2021 Belair had one of the best years ever for a wrestler in their very first full year on the roster. She would win the Royal Rumble, main event WrestleMania with the aforementioned Banks and win the Smackdown Women’s championship for the very first time. Belair became a star a few months into 2021. After that Belair would have a feud with Bayley that was going well until Bayley would tear her ACL. After that Belair would have mostly throw away matches with the likes of Carmella. After those matches, Banks would make her return to SD and turn on Belair setting up the most anticipated rematch from their history making Wrestlemania main event. That storyline would get a good amount of time and build and it was highly anticipated. Then what happened next is almost unfathomable. It was rumored that Banks would not be able to compete at Summerslam for to this day still unknown reasons. The WWE however would continue to promote the match up to the introductions and then they would tell the crowd that Banks was not there. Following that, Becky Lynch would make her return and beat Belair in 26 seconds. For everything Banks and Bayley did for Belair, it was all undone in 26 seconds just for a shock factor and for one of the golden children to once again get the title back that she never lost due to pregnancy. They didn’t care that Belair was having a run, they didn’t care about the mainstream attention Belair was receiving, nope it was all about Lynch. They had another rematch and Lynch also won that one. Now there are rumors that Belair might finally get her win back, but at this point, whats the point?. Belair is already a star isnt she? or did Sasha Banks have yet another WrestleMania loss for no reason?
Drew Mcintyre – I will admit I’m not the biggest fan of Drew Mcintyre however he was saddled with carrying a dying Monday Night Raw show through its hardest times during the pandemic as well. His moment was taken away from him at WrestleMania 36 when the pandemic hit and he won in the main event of the show with no crowds at all in a performance center. It looked like Mcintyre was being set up for his big win again this time in front of crowds at Wrestlemania 37 but he would lose in the opening match. He hasn’t won the championship again and has been relegated to working with mid card talent on Smackdown and guys like Baron Corbin and Riddick Moss and just some random throw away matches. It’s looking like Mcintyre’s Wrestlemania 38 plans are up in the air as well because Brock Lesnar is back and he’s facing Roman Reigns for the 3rd time at a WrestleMania.
Big E – This talent is one of the most unselfish and loved talents they have in that locker room. Everyone adores him. He has been in the tag title scene almost his whole career until the last draft when they would break him away and let him focus on his singles career. He would win the IC title and even the WWE title against Bobby Lashley after cashing in his money in the bank shot on Monday Night Raw. What happened after that however is that he would have some random title defenses. Big E would then start to garner some main stream attention while opening for a Tyson Fury fight and also for a college football game. Does this sound familiar to you? It should, it’s what Banks and to an extent Belair were doing. Yet again the same thing happened, Big E would defend his championship in what was supposed to be a fatal 4 way at Day 1 in January of this year. It looked like he was going to retain his championship and head into Wrestlemania 38 as the WWE champion however Roman Reigns would contact covid and Brock Lesnar would end up in the fatal 4 way instead and dispatch of Big E rather easily to win the WWE title despite already being in a storyline with Roman Reigns over the Universal Title on Smackdown. Big E would never get another shot at Brock Lesnar as champion and he would be sent back to the tag division where he had spent the majority of his career.
Now we’ll fast foward to the Royal Rumble in January of 2022, the winners were a returning Ronda Rousey, and Brock Lesnar to get his match with Roman Reigns. Two talents who simply did not need a Royal Rumble win to get to their Wrestlemania stories. Did WWE do something different with either one? No they did not; Lesnar is fighting Roman Reigns still in what very way may end up in a title for title match, and Rousey at the moment is facing Charlotte Flair, meanwhile Becky Lynch is still the Raw women’s champion and the company brought back Lita to have a title match with her. The WWE has also brought back Goldberg to have a match with Big E his hero? Nope, Roman Reigns the absolute last person who needs to beat Goldberg. There will be fans who scoff at this and say “its WrestleMania season you need these part timers and legends” but the truth is just like the WWE itself has grown, WrestleMania is going to be full of fans simply because its the biggest event in sports entertainment
You see, there’s nothing wrong with a pecking order in wrestling. There has always been tiers. However, the WWE doesn’t even try to hide it. They will give the fans what they want here and there (especially when they are forced to and have no choice), but when the biggest event of the season comes around they always return to the legends and part timers and bring back as many as they can despite the full timers last year having a very successful WrestleMania. The WWE for better or worse are all in on part timer Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (who has never actually been worth it at all). If even main stream talents such as Banks and Belair can’t break through and pass those who else on the roster can?. The morale in the locker room is said to be the lowest ever and who can blame them. The truth is when the golden children are around Vince McMahon will always lean on them. This will be even more relevant when Lynch faces Rousey next year and Roman Reigns faces another legend The Rock. This likely wont matter much to Banks who very soon will likely break away from the WWE, but for the rest of the roster its going to be an uphill battle to ever realize their full potential.